How much did your school get to appear in EA College Football '25?

Cllct has the exclusive details on the payouts for all 134 FBS schools

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EA College Football 25 returns July 19, which will spark celebrations in dorm rooms across the country. (Credit: EA Sports)

Schools will join players in cashing in on EA Sports College Football 25 when the game returns this summer for the first time since 2013 — though the payouts might not be as much as one would think.

Through FOIA requests, cllct has obtained records from schools that stipulate the minimum royalties based on on-field success tiers.

As of documents dated March 2024, revenue distribution (based on the minimum guaranteed royalties) range from nearly $100,000 for a Tier 1 school to less than $10,000 for a Tier 4 school.

  • Tier 1: $99,875.16
  • Tier 2: $59,925.09
  • Tier 3: $39,950.06
  • Tier 4: $9,987.52

According to the documents, tiers are determined by each team’s finish in the final AP Poll over each of the last 10 seasons (2014-2023). When a team finished the year in the AP's Top 25, it received one point.

  • Tier 1: 6-10 points
  • Tier 2: 2-5 points
  • Tier 3: 1 point
  • Tier 4: 0 points

So, where did your school end up in this tier system?

Below is a breakdown of all 134 FBS schools, using their last 10 finishes in the AP poll as our criteria.

An initial proposal sent to each school May 31, 2023, detailed that the AP Poll would be the “primary football tiering variable" (but the documents did not indicate whether it would be the sole barometer). The document also stated the AP Poll was used to determine royalties in the previous editions of the EA NCAA Football franchise, from 1997-2013.

The current standard of using the AP Poll is not set in stone for future years. The May 2023 document stated it is “constantly working with EA SPORTS to evaluate other options to determine the tiering structure for future years.”

In the March 2024 document, there is no mention of any other performance factors, including no indication that a College Football Playoff appearance would result in any bonus royalties.

Only 13 of the 134 schools reached Tier 1 status (9.7 percent), and among those 13, just nine have ever reached the CFP (Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, Georgia, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, LSU, Michigan, Oregon).

Washington and Texas stand out as two Tier 2 schools who, just last season, were near the top of college football’s pedestal, with Washington losing in the CFP championship after defeating Texas in the national semifinals. Both had five AP appearances in the last decade and just missed reaching Tier 1 under the AP poll criteria.

The Huskies are also the only team with multiple CFP appearances (two) to not make Tier 1. Multiple attempts to reach Washington for comment were unsuccessful.

The remaining Tier 2 schools with a CFP appearance are Florida State, Michigan State and TCU.

With conference realignment being perhaps the biggest story in college sports outside of NIL, here is the tier breakdown of the now remaining four major conferences in college football, based on their AP finishes over the last decade.


  • Tier 1: Clemson
  • Tier 2: Florida State, Louisville, NC State, Miami, Pitt, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Stanford
  • Tier 3: Georgia Tech, Syracuse, Wake Forest, SMU
  • Tier 4: Boston College, Duke, Cal, Virginia

Big 12

  • Tier 1: Oklahoma State, Utah
  • Tier 2: Cincinnati, TCU, Baylor, UCF, Kansas State, Arizona, West Virginia, Houston, BYU
  • Tier 3: Kansas, Colorado, Arizona State, Iowa State
  • Tier 4: Texas Tech

Big Ten

  • Tier 1: Ohio State, Michigan, Oregon, Penn State, Iowa
  • Tier 2: Wisconsin, USC, Washington, Northwestern, Michigan State, UCLA
  • Tier 3: Minnesota, Indiana
  • Tier 4: Maryland, Purdue, Rutgers, Illinois, Nebraska


  • Tier 1: Alabama, Oklahoma, Georgia, LSU
  • Tier 2: Texas, Florida, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Auburn, Mississippi State, Kentucky, Texas A&M, Missouri
  • Tier 3: Arkansas, South Carolina
  • Tier 4: Vanderbilt

Oregon State and Washington State, the sole remaining members of the Pac-12, are both Tier 3.

Michigan running back Donovan Edwards is one of the athletes featured on the cover of the game. (Credit: EA Sports)
Michigan running back Donovan Edwards is one of the athletes featured on the cover of the game. (Credit: EA Sports)

There is also no indication from any documents that a team's conference helped to determine where it fell in the royalty structure.

Documents also indicate there has been no way to historically tie video game sales to specific institutions, despite having the ability to do so with other traditional licensed products.

Per the May 2023 document sent from CLC Learfield, the proposed terms of agreement will cover from July 1, 2024, to June 30, 2028, and will cover four EA Sports College Football video games (‘25-’28). Tiers will shift based on new rankings as the 10-year period moves up.

Schools will receive additional payments based on the success of the game. The documents state CLC is hopeful sales of the game will exceed the minimum guaranteed royalties, and increase revenue, but a breakdown of how that money would be distributed is not listed, other than to say schools will get a 10 percent royalty on sales. It's not stipulated whether those sales are net sales or gross sales.

One FBS athletic director confirmed to cllct that schools could receive a small percentage in addition to the royalty minimum due to higher-than-anticipated sales.

Colorado's two-way star Travis Hunter is also a cover athlete. (Credit: EA Sports)
Colorado's two-way star Travis Hunter is also a cover athlete. (Credit: EA Sports)

At the peak of the EA NCAA Football franchise, “royalties from the video game category represented nearly 25 percent of the total non-apparel business," per a CLC document sent to all 134 FBS universities.

A spokesperson from Learfield declined to comment to a request from cllct, stating, “CLC does not comment on financial information related to the licensing programs of our client institutions.”

EA also failed to respond to several requests for comment.

The fan-favorite game has been on hiatus since 2013 due to a lawsuit surrounding "Name, Image and Likeness." EA, which had been manufacturing the game since 1993, later reached a settlement with the former players, with more than 29,000 athletes receiving a share of $40 million, an average of around $1,200 per player.

EA Sports College Football 25 will pay each athlete who opts into the game $600 plus a free copy of the game. Compensation to individual athletes was exclusively managed by OneTeam Partners.

In looking at total royalties paid from EA, all 134 schools combined will receive a minimum payment of over $5.3 million. Per OneTeam Partners, at least 12,400 players opted into the game. At $600 given to each player, EA will pay over $7.4 million, not including what they will have paid to the cover athletes. Thus, minimum royalties paid from EA to players and universities amounts to over $12.7 million.

Matt Liberman is a reporter and video producer for cllct.