View Full Version : For those that question the scheduling of powerhouse schools playing weaker schools

12-06-2009, 08:57 PM
I have seen discussion criticizing the non conference scheduling ...and I understand both sides of it ...

I googled it and picked the top three articles (with no agenda). we were talking about it yesterday. I have to agree with a friend of mine. If they are using the money to help build up their program he thinks it is a good thing . if they aren't, something doesn't seem right. I haven't looked it up but he said teams like boise state are where they are at is because of their scheduling a few years ago and situations like that is good for College football.

DOVER, Del. — The coaches and players at 3,534-student Delaware State know their chances of winning at mighty Michigan later this season are slim at best.

But they also understand why their program, which plays a level of NCAA football below that of the Wolverines, will make the trip: a $550,000 payday. At Delaware State, that's equivalent to the revenue from at least two years of home games.

"From a competitive standpoint, it's not an ideal situation," says Delaware State football coach Al Lavan, whose team plays in a 7,000-seat stadium, compared with the 106,000-seat Michigan Stadium. "(But) you always have hope."

The Hornets aren't the only ones. Throughout the football season that begins this weekend, so-called guarantee games — where lesser programs are paid lots of money in exchange for a presumed loss — are common. For the larger, better-funded programs, such deals typically mean an easy home game. Saturday alone, Western Kentucky will get $700,000 to play at Tennessee, Montana State will make $650,000 playing at Michigan State, Charleston Southern will get $450,000 for playing at defending national champion Florida and Liberty will earn $365,000 at West Virginia.

And Navy will receive an eye-popping $1 million for playing at Ohio State for the first time since 1931.

"I think $1 million is going to be the market price in the coming years," Ohio State athletics director Gene Smith says.


The University of Iowa’s cost of doing football business with Arkansas State today comes with a record $900,000 price tag.

Like most major college football programs, Iowa must offer guaranteed payments to schools hailing from non-marquee conferences to play Iowa at home.

This year, Iowa will pay $1.3 million on a pair of guarantees to Arkansas State and Northern Iowa. Iowa still makes a significant amount of money by playing these schools — about $5.5 million in gate and concessions for two games, according to 2007 figures — before guaranteed payouts.

The rising cost of these guarantees, however, has school officials concerned and almost resigned when it comes to scheduling opponents from so-called minor leagues. Those opponents are happy to accept the large check to help their athletic departments, even if they usually take a beating on the football field.

Every weekend of the first month of a college football season offers up a duel between David and Goliath.

The big boys, the Bowl Subdivision schools, routinely welcome an opponent from the Football Championship Subdivision, formerly and commonly known as Division I-AA. Usually, those smaller schools are such underdogs the Las Vegas oddsmakers won’t even set a betting line. Often the results affirm that decision.

So, what’s in it for the little guy?

Well, for one thing — cash. When Northwestern (La.) State coach Bradley Dale Peveto brings his Demons into Waco this weekend to play Baylor, it will be with the understanding that a nice paycheck awaits, no matter what the outcome may be. Last year, according to figures collected by the Des Moines Register, Northwestern State was paid $250,000 for the Baylor game.

Peveto, whose Demons opened the season against another FBS opponent in Houston, even has a name for such events — “money games.”

“There is a pretty good paycheck involved, which helps the entire athletic program,” he said. “It’s a great bonus for the whole program.”

But the financial payoff isn’t the only allure for the smaller schools. Peveto, who has coached at such I-A schools as LSU, Houston and Arkansas, said his staff frequently points to those nonconference battles against the BCS conference big boys when wooing potential recruits.

And, apparently, such recruiting pitches work.

Taking on challenges

“I really admired what Darrell Dickey did when he was at North Texas,” Peveto said. “He used to play four or five powerhouses every year. He’d play Texas, he’d play Oklahoma, he’d play A&M, and sometimes he’d get slaughtered 50-0 in every game. But I think playing those challenging teams really prepared them. Darrell’s teams won something like four conference championships in a row, and I think a lot of it was due to that tough preseason schedule.”

Just as the SAT challenges a student’s knowledge, so too does a great gridiron opponent stretch a team to its limits. The Demon players say that season-opening rout at the hands of Houston acted as kind of a litmus test, exposing the weaknesses and mistakes upon which they needed to improve.

“You’ve got to take the good with the bad, and use those losses as a learning tool,” Washington said. “Then you come back the next week and eliminate those mistakes.”