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Is RV doing it wrong?


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We often talk about the millions and millions of dollars that are made in college athletics, especially college football. More often than not it's a case of the rich getting richer. Generally speaking it's the Power Five universities who see the largest gains in revenue. But there is one spot where members of the G5 conferences have found a niche, non-conference guaranteed games. 

A Million Good Reasons 

Over the past decade, as strength of schedule has become such an important factor. Determining not only who plays for the national championship, and who gets to a major bowl. This has caused a shift in college football scheduling. Power five programs need to schedule tough, yet almost guarantee a victory. 

To accomplish this, major programs have started to schedule the top tier programs from the AAC, C-USA, MAC, Mountain West and Sun Belt. While it's not new for big time programs to buy a win by scheduling a "cupcake", what is new is the amount of money it is now costing to schedule a G5 opponent.


Just last week it was announced that Arkansas State, who has won or shared the Sun Belt crown three times in the last four years, will receive $1.65 million to play at Nebraska in 2017. That's just one example of how the cost of scheduling is on the rise. 

As Miami (OH) Athletic Director David Sayler told Fox Sports Wisconsin, he won't think about scheduling a major P5 program unless they are willing to guarantee the RedHawks at least a million dollar pay day. In 2014, Sayler's Miami (OH) program was paid $1.1 million to take a trip to play Michigan in the Big House. 

The Cost Of Increased Demand 

While the cost of buying a home game has risen across the country, the Big Ten seems to be shelling out the most, but why? 

In early 2013, the Big Ten made a decision to stop scheduling FCS opponents. Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez introduced this new system, designed to raise the Big Ten's strength of scheduling, ideally giving the Big Ten a better shot of sending a participant to the College Football Playoff. Limiting Big Ten schools to FBS opponents only, has worked out great for the conference and even better for fans, but there has been one unintended consequence. Supply and demand. 

As the demand to play the toughest schedule possible has risen, G5 programs have taken advantage. In the Big Ten's case, without being able to schedule FCS opponents, members are left with a pool of 64 G5 opponents to fill the schedule. With the self-imposed elimination of FCS opponents, the Big Ten has given financial leverage to the smaller leagues. 

According to ESPN's Darren Rovell, the opening week of the 2014 season saw away teams haul in $12.9 million in guarantees. The Big Ten had six of the top ten payouts, with Michigan and Nebraska leading the way. Both the Wolverines and Huskers paid their opening week opponents a cool One million dollars. Michigan alone paid a whopping $3.1 million for its non-conference home games in 2014.

The $1.65 million that Nebraska will pay to Arkansas State covers a onetime trip for the Red Wolves. Conversely, G5 members have started taking less than a million dollar guarantee if the major conference school agrees to make a return trip sometime in the future. 

Most often the big program will get two guaranteed home games, and in return make one trip to the home of the G5 university they have entered into the agreement with. 

These two scenarios are win-wins for smaller conference universities. Either they get paid big bucks to make one trip or they get the opportunity to sell the fan base on having a big time program make a once in a lifetime trip to your home stadium.

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edit: coding error

Edited by 10Eagle10
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Good article, but reading all of that gave me a headache. Yes, I know I'm shallow, but I left the "Bring Dickey back" thread for "is RV doing it wrong?". I was hoping for a UNT90 response and a firing squad? Guess we are all a little tired of it all.. So, Let's change the subject and lighten things up a little. I think Hal Wasson would  make a GREAT UNT Head Football Coach!


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Yes, but we go in opposite directions as well.  We not only get short changed going to play P5's, we overpay to bring in FCS's.  

Its a win-win for all involved not named North Texas.



RV is everyone's favorite AD. 

Everyone that is a fan of programs not named North Texas.

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Yes he is doing it wrong.  The fact that we haven't had Southern Big 12 team at Apogee since it has opened or conversely gotten a 1.75 million dollar payday to play one of the upper echelon Big 10 team is testament to that.  Can we at least get an Arizona, Arizona State, USC, Arkansas, or Oklahoma State in here once every 5 years.

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