The Nebraska Cornhuskers couldn’t possibly be happier with the way things have worked out for their 2013 schedule. The Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles were the only non-Big Ten squad that the Big Red was going to play on the road next season.
Thanks to the Golden Eagles’ desire to buy out Ellis Johnson‘s contract following his horrific 0-12 first season under the USM banner, Nebraska made them an offer they couldn’t refuse. For a scant $2,125,000, rumors of potentially playing this game at the Superdome or Arrowhead Stadium went up in smoke.
While the Huskers are paying a significant price for the new home game in terms of bringing their opponent to Lincoln, NE., other local sales and profits from the BTN should help offset the cost, if not actually help Nebraska come out ahead. The additional game also gives the Huskers another opportunity to bring in recruits.
If there’s a plus side to this situation for Southern Mississippi, it doesn’t have to spend the entire check on ditching Johnson. His buyout is only $2.1 million. The remaining $25,000 can be put to good use if the Golden Eagles look to mid-major conferences like the MAC or through the assistant coaching ranks for an up-and-comer.
Meanwhile, former USM head coach Larry Fedora had a solid first season with the North Carolina Tar Heels. They currently sit at 8-4 on the year and with a bowl victory, this season would mark the first time the Tar Heels notched nine wins since 1992.
Brandon Cavanaugh is a college football columnist for Rant Sports and a member of the Football Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter: @eightlaces