The financial details of college football’s new postseason are still being sorted out. Some of them are already known. For example, the Rose Bowl (Big Ten/Pac-12) and Sugar Bowl (Big 12/SEC) will reportedly be worth $80 million annually in payout, while the Orange Bowl (ACC/Big Ten/SEC/Notre Dame) will reportedly be worth $55 million.
However, Notre Dame’s payout for Orange Bowl appearances wasn’t known, although it was expected to be different from the $27.5 million the ACC/Big Ten/SEC would bring home for participating in the game.
Until now, that is. Reportedly (again).
ESPN’s Brett McMurphy reports that the Irish will only receive half of what the three participating conferences will get in payout, meaning that when Notre Dame plays in the Orange Bowl, it’ll actually receive one-third the payout that the ACC gets.
To put it more simply:
ESPN will pay an average of $55 million annually for the bowl, sources said. If the ACC plays an SEC or Big Ten opponent, both conferences would each receive $27.5 million.
However, if Notre Dame is the ACC’s Orange Bowl opponent, the Irish only receives $13.75 million and the ACC $41.25 million.
Money has never been an issue for Notre Dame, so this isn’t a slight to the Irish. In fact, it’s a rather sweet deal for Notre Dame considering the agreement. The Irish will be making $6.2 million for its BCS championship appearance against Alabama next week, so it’s already a step up in payout. Notre Dame’s Orange Bowl agreement was more about making sure the Irish had a guaranteed place in college football’s new postseason. Even Notre Dame’s new membership with the ACC wasn’t driven by money.
The financial outcome, while important, is secondary.