Andy Staples ($$) brings up something I’ve touched on before, the trends threatening the future returns for mid-majors scheduling guarantee games.
… [Kent State athletic director Randale] Richmond didn’t offer any judgment about what happened before he arrived. But he did point out that those games were signed when demand for such games outstripped supply. In the middle of the last decade, Power 5 schools wanted to buy home games with no return dates without scheduling too many FCS teams. That allowed MAC and Sun Belt schools to drive up the prices of these games. Kent State made $1.2 million to open the 2011 season at Alabama. Georgia will pay 58 percent more for Saturday’s game.
As more Power 5 schools opt for home-and-home series against other Power 5 schools — because fans hated the buy games and showed their displeasure with their absence — the number of buy games is decreasing. Meanwhile, the SEC is considering adding a ninth conference game. The seller’s market has become a buyer’s market.
“Now less games are out there,” Richmond said. “People are out there saying ‘Hey, I still need that revenue. I’ll take less than School X.’ That’s where that next wave is coming.”
It’s the law of supply and demand, and demand looks like it’s starting to dry up. Also, there’s some bottom up squeeze from FCS schools, when you think about it. For the average Georgia fan, Kent State isn’t any more attractive than Samford is. So, if you’re Josh Brooks, why agree to pay mid-major rates when you can schedule a lower tier school at half the price?