College football playoffs money: Three-tiered plan for small conferences

Dave Reginek

College football's smaller conferences won't be shut out from the money generated by the college football playoffs, but they will be battling for the biggest shares.

The five mid-major conferences under college football's new playoff system are close to agreeing to a way of sharing their portion of the generated revenue. The Big East, Conference USA, Mountain West, MAC, and Sun Belt will be given about $86 million to split each year, a small portion of the almost $500 million in total payouts, according to CBS Sports.

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As CBS details, about half of that revenue will be shared equally among the conferences. A second tier would award more money to the conferences who finish with the best "body of work" from top to bottom.

It seems that the second tier requires some sort of rankings system to be used for all college football teams, not just the top 25. If not, the conferences would be left to use something akin to overall winning percentage, which would encourage schools to play softer non-conference schedules.

The third tier is pretty straightforward. The conference with the school that finishes with the highest ranked team gets an extra share of the money. So far, the Mountain West would appear to have the leg up on that race with a school like Boise State.

Even with this detailed revenue sharing plan, the college football playoff does little to level the playing field for the smaller conferences, barely increasing their share from the BCS era. Schools in the mid-major will still be left wanting to join the new "Power Five."

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