College Football Playoff helmet Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten and SEC already earn more revenue than the rest of the NCAA’s conferences due to their massive media rights deals, and now the two are looking to lap the field when it comes to College Football Playoff revenue.

Per a Friday report from Yahoo, the Big Ten and SEC would receive 58% of the College Football Playoff base revenue in its new contract. The Big 12 and ACC would combine for just 31%, with the 10% or so left going to Notre Dame and the Group of Five. That would be a gap of over $300 million, with another $300 million gap between the ACC/Big 12 and the Group of Five.

In a proposal socialized with administrators this week, the Big Ten and SEC would combine to earn about 58% of the CFP’s base distribution — a figure that will certainly grow in participation distribution as their individual schools earn more revenue for qualifying and advancing through the playoffs. The figure would greatly exceed the ACC and Big 12’s combined distribution number, which is expected to be around 31%. The remaining amount (roughly 10%) will be distributed to Notre Dame and the 64 Group of Five teams.

The difference in distribution between the two sets of conferences — SEC/Big Ten and ACC/Big 12 — will likely exceed $300 million a year. The Power Two will earn around a combined $760 million versus around $440 million for the ACC and Big 12. Roughly $115 million is slotted for the Group of Five.

Each school in the Big Ten and SEC would clear $20 million annually on that proposal, with the ACC and Big 12 schools each falling under $15 million. The Group of Five, on the other hand, wouldn’t even make it to $2 million per school.

Various formats for a 14-team playoff, before we’ve even seen the 12-team playoff in action, are also being discussed. One model would grant three automatic bids to each of the Big Ten and SEC, two each to the ACC and Big 12, one to the Group of Five, and three at-large bids. A second model would reduce each of the four conferences’ auto-bids by one and would add four at-large bids. Auto-byes for the Big Ten and SEC have lost traction after plenty of opposition.

For the conferences, getting a deal done in the near term is imperative. The Playoff and ESPN have reportedly agreed to a new long-term deal through 2031, but ESPN could also pull the offer if the Playoff can’t get its ducks in a row.


About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.