The Nebraska Cornhuskers will be paying the Arkansas State Red Wolves $1 million to play a game in Lincoln on Saturday. This will be the highest amount ever paid by Nebraska to an opponent for a home game.
The reason the fee is so high is that there is no return game setup for Nebraska to visit Arkansas State. Nebraska athletic director Tom Osborne said in an email to The Associated Press that this price was the going rate for these kinds of scenarios. Nebraska paid out the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles $300,000 for visiting in their home opener this year, but the Cornhuskers will return the favor by visiting them next season. They will also be paying the visiting Idaho State Bengals $600,000 for a game next weekend.
Osborne went on to say that he thinks teams will have to continue to shell out big money to ensure a good strength of schedule when the playoff system is implemented in 2014. Which makes sense because a selection committee will still be ranking the top four teams that get into the playoff. Chances are there will be several one loss teams, and a stronger schedule may put you over the top.
Although the $1 million tops Nebraska previous high payout of $800,000, it is still not an NCAA record. For instance in 2011, the Ohio State Buckeyes paid $1.4 million to the Colorado Buffaloes for a game and the Florida Atlantic Owls will be receiving $1 million in each of the next two weeks for games against the Georgia Bulldogs and Alabama Crimson Tide.