ESPN: Big Ten Schools Pay A Lot For Non-Conference Opponents

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Through open records requests, ESPN has learned that ten Big Ten schools rank in the top 25 in terms of paying opponents.  Ohio State tops the list, spending an average of $7.4 million a season in all sports to visiting teams.  Of course, a huge part of this is football, and specifically non-conference opponents.  This upcoming season alone, Ohio State will spend over $2 million to bring Virginia Tech, Cincinnati, and Kent State to the horseshoe.

A lot of money?  Yep.  But Big Ten schools pay a lot of money because home games bring in even more money.  It had better, with three stadiums that seat over 100,000 fans.  Most schools make well over $3 million for a home game; Nebraska reportedly makes over $5 million.  So it's really not a question of what you pay, it's what you get in return.  Last year, Nebraska bought back a road game from Southern Miss for $2 million, and still turned a huge profit for the game.

So when you discuss the idea of playing ten conference football games, with five home games and five away games, you pretty much have to acknowledge that those other two games will be have to be home games, because of the positive revenue that home games generate.  Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez admits it, as such, when he talked to ESPN about the current plan to move to nine conference games:

"You try to stay at seven games at home, it's very difficult to do that in the year that you have four Big Ten games at home. So there are some issues."

Want better schedules?  It's clear that as long as ticket revenue is the overriding factor, Big Ten teams are going to be extremely selective when considering playing games away from home.  That, in turn, means the "body bag" money games aren't going away until teams get a financial incentive to play better opponents on the road.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Corn Nation

You must be a member of Corn Nation to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Corn Nation. You should read them.

Join Corn Nation

You must be a member of Corn Nation to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Corn Nation. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker