Finally, the games have begun in college football, and I'm not talking about the nasty games being played in conference realignment. I'm talking about the real thing.
As usual, the first few weeks bring us pastries. Yes, it is cupcake season in college football, and the pastries can be rather pricey. Here are some figures published by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the University of Illinois and the university of Missouri are paying some of their non-conference opponents to play in their respective home stadiums.
2011 Arkansas State $850,000; South Dakota St. $400,000; Western Michigan $300,000
2012 Louisiana Tech $775,000; Charleston South. $410,000; Western Michigan $400,000
2013; Southern Illinois $350,000
2011; Miami (Ohio) $500,000; Western Illinois $300,000
2012; Southern Illinois $325,000
2013; Murray State $350,000; Toledo $300,000
2014; South Dakota St. $350,000
Darren Rovell tweets some other amounts for other schools.
Tennessee paying Montana $500K, Nebraska paying Chattanooga $475K, Penn St. paying Indiana St. $450K.
Alabama paying Kent State $1.2 million, Ohio State paying Akron $850K, Purdue paying MTSU $850K.
That's the highest payout RT @IraSchoffel Florida State is paying La.-Monroe $1.3M.
That may seem like a lot, and it is. But there is a lot of competition for these sorts of teams, and there's not enough to go around. Plus the home fans of these schools are willing to pay a lot directly through ticket, concession, and souvenir sales. So we'd fully expect the schools that come in to take a likely beating to want a "taste of the gate."
But what happens to the demand for cupcakes if conference realignment results in several super conferences?