Big schools paying big sums of money to play little schools is hardly new, but the numbers always manage to make a few eyes pop, anyway.
Nebraska announced Monday that it's rounded out its 2017 football schedule with a season-opening game against Arkansas State. The Huskers will welcome the Red Wolves to Lincoln on Sept. 2, 2017, and the idea is that it will be an easily winnable game. In two previous matchups with Arkansas State, Nebraska won by a combined score of 80-22.
This visit will cost the Huskers, however, as the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Troy Schulte reports that Nebraska will pay Arkansas State $1.65 million for that Sept. 2, 2017, game.
Just been told the payout is $1.65 million for #ArkSt's 2017 trip to Nebraska. School record for sure, ASU is getting $1.3 mill from USC.
— Troy Schulte (@TroySchulteADG) May 18, 2015
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Again, this kind of thing happens all the time. It's what makes the little school's trip worthwhile and allows the smaller program to build up its own resources with an infusion of cash that could one day make it more competitive with the bigger programs.
But there's always a downside for the big schools, too, as we see every season. Though the odds will likely be against it, this could end up a $1.65 million defeat for the Huskers. Heck, Nebraska almost lost to FCS team McNeese State just last season in Lincoln.
Schulte tweeted that the $1.65 million payday is Arkansas State's largest ever, and the Red Wolves will be making plenty of bank in future seasons. This year, they'll get $1.3 million for traveling to play USC, and they'll get another $1.3 million for traveling to play Auburn in 2016.
As for Nebraska, this game will surely be the least-discussed one on the 2017 schedule. The other two non-conference games are at Oregon and home against Northern Illinois.