Chuck Cook-US PRESSWIRE
Nebraska officials are talking to Southern Miss about moving next season's game to Lincoln, while rumors about Miami breaking their agreement to play home-and-home are starting to swirl.
Steve Sipple of the Lincoln Journal-Star reports that Nebraska's game with Southern Miss in 2013 could move from Hattiesburg, MS to Lincoln. Tom Osborne told Sipple that "it's still not finalized, but we have had some discussions (about playing in Lincoln)." That's not a surprise to me; I suggested Lincoln made the most sense when discussions about Kansas City began to emerge. If Southern Miss needs money, there will be more of it to be made in Lincoln than in either Kansas City, New Orleans, or Hattiesburg. New Orleans apparently only makes sense if the Superdome is sold out, and expecting 70,000 Husker fans to fly to New Orleans probably is expecting a bit too much. Kansas City makes much more sense, but with Memorial Stadium expected to top 90,000 in capacity next season, Lincoln makes the most sense of all. Bigger stadium, no travel costs for Nebraska, and no third party looking for a cut of the revenue. While Nebraska normally nets over $5 million for a home football game, Southern Miss will almost certainly expect much of that in exchange for agreeing to play in Lincoln.
That shouldn't be a big deal for Nebraska, though. Even if Nebraska gives Southern Miss 80% of the net revenue from a home game, it's still a better deal for Nebraska because that 20% is almost assuredly more than what Nebraska would earn by flying to Hattiesburg.
But would fans prefer to go to the game in Kansas City or New Orleans over Lincoln? My guess is not; Kansas City is a nice trip, but I don't need a Husker game to spend a weekend in KC. I could see the point of playing in the heart of SEC country at the SuperDome, but in a half-empty dome, what does that prove? (Of course, now that Missouri is an SEC member, doesn't that make Arrowhead SEC country now? Just sayin')
Sipple also reports that Miami is considering scuttling the agreement to play Nebraska in 2014 and 2015. Miami already cancelled a home-and-home with Memphis those seasons last month. Is this retribution for the hiring of Shawn Eichorst? If this happens, Miami will only have one non-conference game scheduled for 2014: a season opener against Florida A&M. In 2015, Miami would still have non-conference games with Toledo, Cincinnati, and Carl Pelini's Florida Atlantic.
And if you are making spring game plans, Nebraska has moved the 2013 spring game to Saturday, April 6th, per KOZN-1620 AM's Gary Sharp. Good news for families; it's still a week after Easter for those people who need to travel for the holiday. No word as to the weather for next year's game; can't be much worse than the weather for the 2012 game.