Amounts shown are actual 2016-2017 (updated 12/4/17) total payouts per information available from the NCAA. Conferences have different methods by which bowl money is divided among its membership and participating teams. Some bowl agreements call for higher payouts to one conference than the other, depending on such factors as which is the "host" conference.
Total postseason payout increased from $174,561,086 in the 2015 bowl season to $181,845,519 in the 2016 bowl season. If you include the College Football Playoff Distribution Policy explained below, the total payout was $622,600,033 (a $116,700,033 increase over 2015). The final year of the BCS (2013) generated $309,900,000.
Playoff Revenue Distribution Policy
1) Each conference will receive $300,000 for each of its schools when the school's football team meets the NCAA's APR for participation in a post-season football game. Each independent institution will also receive the $300,000 when its football team meets that standard.
(2) Each of the 10 conferences will also receive a base amount. For conferences that have contracts for their champions to participate in the Orange, Rose or Sugar Bowl, the base combined with the full academic performance pool will be approximately $54 million for each conference. The five conferences that do not have contracts for their champions to participate in the Orange, Rose or Sugar Bowls will receive approximately $81.32 million in aggregate (full academic pool plus base), which the conferences will distribute as they choose. Notre Dame will receive a payment of $2.65 million if it meets the APR standard; the other three independents will share $928,503.
(3) A conference will receive $6 million for each team that is selected for the semifinal games. There will be no additional distribution to conferences whose teams qualify for the national championship game. A conference will receive $4 million for each team that plays in a non-playoff bowl under the arrangement (in 2017-18, the Cotton, Fiesta and Peach Bowls).
(4) Each conference whose team participates in a playoff semifinal, Cotton, Fiesta or Peach Bowl, or in the national championship game will receive $2.25 million to cover expenses for each game.
Additionally, certain conferences in the Football Championship Subdivision conferences will receive $2.53 million in aggregate.
New Bowl Games
The NCAA in April of 2016 said no new bowls for 3 years. At that time, Austin (TX), Charleston (SC), and Myrtle Beach (SC) – were hoping to stage games in 2016.
Bowl Ineligible Teams
Welcome back to another edition of "Hey Ref!", the only place where you can fire off your questions to a man with three decades and 400-plus games of college football officiating experience. I'm talking about Dr. Jerry McGee, aka Pops (i.e., my father).
As always, if you have a question, feel free to fire it off to HeyRefESPN@yahoo.com.
When I was growing up, the month of December always meant hoping that Santa Claus came early to deliver Dad a trip to a bowl game. He had 20 in all, from the Liberty to the Rose to the BCS title game. And as this year's bowl season begins, that's what our first question deals with.
I read where you've worked a ton of bowl games. How are officials selected for the postseason? -- Janine, Culver City, Calif.
Janine -- I always felt that when I got a bowl game it was based on merit, but when I didn't, it was all political! Seriously, though, bowl games are assigned by each conference. The conferences are informed which bowls they are working, and then it's up to each individual conference coordinator as to who goes where.
Theoretically -- and I do believe this is the case most of the time -- the top-rated guys at each position are chosen to work the games in order of importance. It's a reward for having a good season. A lot of things complicate it now. Officials can't work a game that includes a team from their conference and conference championship games are usually treated the same way, so some coordinators might be reluctant to give the conference title game and their best bowl assignment to the same guys. But in the end, the best guys usually find their way into the best games.
I'm not going to put you on the spot about whether or not Tyrann Mathieu had crossed the goal line before tossing the ball to the ref on his punt-return TD in the SEC title game. In the end it didn't matter. My question is this: As fast as everything is moving on the field, how easy is it to lose track of where you are in relation to yardage markers? Is it something you have to stay mindful of all the time? -- Brad, Huntsville, Ala.
- Senior writer for ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com
- 2-time Sports Emmy winner
- 2010, 2014 NMPA Writer of the Year