Why Would Ole Miss Pay Boise State $900k for a Game, but Nebraska Won't Cough Up $1 Million?


Had a nice discussion on twitter yesterday with Tom Shatel, a columnist at the Omaha World-Herald. He wrote this piece about how Nebraska tried to schedule Boise State, but it didn’t work out. Obviously, he put the Nebraska spin on things: “… according to NU Assistant Athletic Director Jeff Jamrog, Boise wanted a minimum $1 million to play in Lincoln. Geez, no wonder the Broncos can’t get anyone to play them. Pay Boise State $1 million to come to your town? Sorry, don’t want it that bad.” Shatel, of course, left out that $1 million is increasingly becoming the ‘going rate’ for these early-season non-conference games against the WAC (or lesser conferences).

Boise State reportedly received $1.25 million (it is a little unclear who paid that) to play Virginia Tech at a “neutral” site Monday.
[UPDATEAccording to the Statesman, the Redskins paid Boise and Virginia Tech for the game.]
Texas reportedly paid UTEP (of Conference USA) $1 million for a non-conference game this season.
Alabama reportedly paid San Jose State $1 million for a non-conference game this season.
Auburn reportedly paid Arkansas State $1 million for a non-conference game this season.
Nebraska reportedly paid Idaho $800,000 for a non-conference game this season.
Texas A&M will reportedly pay Idaho $850,000 for a non-conference game next season.
LSU will reportedly pay Idaho $950,000 for a non-conference game in 2012.
Ole Miss will reportedly pay Boise State $900,000 for a non-conference game next season.
Ohio State will reportedly pay Colorado $1.4 million for a non-conference game next season.
In 2006, Tennessee reportedly paid Air Force $850,000 for a non-conference game.

(One key aspect of Shatel’s piece that wasn’t specified – what did Boise want $1 million for? A home-and-home? A 2-for-1? Just one game? That was unclear. In our opinion, there’s a huge difference. We would agree Boise was being greedy if it wanted $1 million for a home-and-home. We hope that’s not the case.)

So essentially, Boise is screwed. Teams won’t give Boise a home-and-home because the Broncos don’t lose on the blue turf, and the way the archaic BCS is rigged, one loss early in the season is so damaging that nobody wants to risk it (ask Oregon). You lose one game in the current system and you just hope the “computers” put you in the title game. You lose one game in the playoff system? You can settle things on the field in a 16-team playoff.

At the same time, big conference teams like Nebraska, who basically pay for automatic wins against cupcakes, won’t pay the going rate to Boise State. Keep in mind, of course, the game against Boise State will likely be televised nationally, at night, and garner enormous TV ratings. So then Boise cries “nobody will play us” and a couple clowns say, “you want a million bucks!” and Boise says, “well that’s what everyone else is getting, why shouldn’t we?” and the clowns come back with, “we’ll pay for easy victories” and then Boise will say, “fine, if we’re on your level, play us at our place, too” and then the endless circle begins again.

When we presented a couple of the games mentioned above to Shatel on twitter as proof the system is broken, he finally agreed that Boise wasn’t at fault (nor was Nebraska).

Don’t hate the playa (Boise). Hate the system (BCS). [Photos: Getty]