The rising cost of cupcakes

Inflation hits the non-conference opponent monetary guarantee:

Monetary guarantees for non-conference home football games are rising at “a fairly alarming rate,” according to a top athletics director, and in some cases surpassing or approaching $1 million.

Ohio State, for example, will pay $1.4 million for Navy to come to Columbus in the 2009 season. Wisconsin will pay “just under $1 million” for each of two home games against Northern Illinois, according to athletics director Barry Alvarez. Texas is paying $900,000 to Florida Atlantic this fall. Arkansas is paying Tulsa $850,000, and Georgia and Tennessee are paying more than $800,000 for a single home foe.

It’s the result of good old-fashioned supply and demand. The latter rose dramatically with the advent of the twelfth game. And it doesn’t sound like it’s going to slow down any time soon.

“You talk about coaches salaries skyrocketing,” said Georgia athletics director Damon Evans, “now the guarantees are just skyrocketing.

“We haven’t had to pay a million yet, but we’re looking at it. It wasn’t that long ago that we were paying $350,000 to $400,000.”

Said Oklahoma athletics director Joe Castiglione, “The needle is north of $800,000.”

As the pressure from demand increases, so does the leverage the little guys have, as Oklahoma recently learned to its dismay. And you can’t really blame the MTSU’s of the world when they’re given the opportunity to better their scheduling.

In the end, I still think it’s inevitable that, whether the coaches like it or not, the big boys expand conference scheduling. From the SEC’s selfish standpoint, it’s preferable for Mississippi State to play a road game against Tennessee than Middle Tennessee State.

6 Comments

Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness

6 responses to “The rising cost of cupcakes

  1. dean

    Reading this I was thinking the same thing about the extra conference game. That makes for a strong argument come discussion time.

  2. peacedog

    I think the SEC’s problem is not in adding an in-conference game. It’s that at this point, you almost wish you could play a full slate. But 11 games in conference wouldn’t be a good idea – you want several OOC games I think. Say, a 10 team conference with 3 OOC dates on every schedule.

    Super conference realignment ZOMG!

  3. peacedog

    The funny thing is, it’s not such a stretch to talk about radical conference realignment with the stakes (both costs and rewards) rising like they are.

  4. Hobnail_Boot

    Bah, talk about partial information.

    The big schools (including Georgia) aren’t exactly publishing the per-game revenue generated when a game is on campus. I guarantee you it’s much more than the $800k number they have to pay the cupcakes.

    If it wasn’t, you’d see more BCS schools willing to do home/home or 2-for-1 deals with the little guys.

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