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It’s Still Good to be the Cupcake: A Continuing Series

2012 September 14
by Phil Miller

The upper-echelon FBS schools continue to have a high demand for games against so-called cupcake opponents as exemplified by what Arkansas State is getting to play a couple of big programs.  One was Oregon.

“It’s another reason not to schedule games like this on the West Coast,” said Malzahn, who was hired last December after three years as Auburn’s offensive coordinator. Arkansas State will get a check for $950,000 for playing the Ducks.

The other is Nebraska.

Nebraska is paying Arkansas State $1 million for playing at Memorial Stadium on Saturday the highest amount ever guaranteed to an opponent for a game in Lincoln.

Dr. Tom gives one of the reasons for the high payout.

Athletic director Tom Osborne said in an email to The Associated Press on Thursday that $1 million is the “going rate for a great many teams to play an away game with no return engagement.”

Another reason is that these small programs are likely, but not always (right Arky; right Michigan?), to receive a beat down on the field of play.

Here’s a related tidbit:  what it costs Boise State, no cupcake itself, to travel to away games.

One Response
  1. Millsy permalink
    September 17, 2012

    After the Savannah State massacres this season, I’m curious to know whether serious legal issues could arise with the employer-employee relationship between NCAA athletes and their parent institution. At some point, the difference in size, speed and talent could present serious injury risk. Appalachian State is one thing. The worst team in FCS over the past 6 or 7 years is another.

    Ultimately, the school is selling them off for a large payout (OK State and Florida State in consecutive weeks) and allowing them to risk what could be serious injury above and beyond what they would otherwise be risking across a season.

    Now, I’m sure there is some assumed risk in participating in football at the collegiate level. But I think that gets somewhat murky when the schools gets a $1 million check and the players take 100% of the health risk with zero reward. Not that players aren’t receiving this treatment all around (media contracts, etc.), but I think the injury issue gets highlighted a little more with such stark contrasts in the talent on the field.

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