- Beretta leaves Maryland over gun laws, heads for Tennessee
- Neal Boortz defends Hillary Clinton for representing child rapist
- House task force to recommend National Guard on border, faster deportations
- Top federal judge uses pizza to explain complex Obamacare situation
- Obama, Biden overhaul job training programs
- Drought-plagued Californians turn to paint to keep lawns green
- ISIL now forcing Iraqi shopkeepers to veil mannequins in Mosul
- 11 parents of Nigeria’s abducted girls die
- Genetic mapping triggers new hope on schizophrenia
- Turkish P.M. Erdogan won’t speak to Obama, but he’ll take calls from Biden
Football patsies paid to take beating
Question of the Day
Humiliation does have its price, at least in college football.
For Middle Tennessee State, it was a whopping $500,000 — the sum the University of Maryland paid the Blue Raiders to come to Byrd Stadium two weeks ago and, presumably, take a whipping.
That was a relative bargain for the Terrapins — even if they bought only a 24-10 victory, not a rout — considering the spike in the purchase price of a patsy.
“It is getting out of hand,” said Jim Weaver, the athletic director at Virginia Tech. “Something has to be done about it.”
These games between big-time programs and small-time foes commonly are known as “money games.” The transaction goes like this: The powerhouse gets a guaranteed victory, and the little team that probably can’t gets a big, guaranteed payday and, in all likelihood, a bad beating and a roster full of bruised egos.
Money games are at a premium this year because the NCAA added a 12th game to the regular-season schedule, one more than last season.
The move was intended to allow athletic programs to generate more revenue. Nebraska, for example, typically takes in about $3 million in tickets sales alone for one game in its 92,000-seat stadium.
The expansion prompted major-conference teams such as Nebraska, Wisconsin and South Carolina to fill that extra spot on the schedule with a home game against a weaker team, a contest promising both easy victory and easy money.
The result: A hot market for whipping boys — the low Division I-A programs such as Middle Tennessee, Florida Atlantic and Louisiana-Monroe and Division I-AA teams such as Northeastern and Eastern Washington.
This weekend is a prime example.
Troy University will receive $750,000 to play at 23rd-ranked Nebraska. Buffalo, meanwhile, travels to No. 2 Auburn as a 43-point underdog. The balm for the pain the Bulls surely will suffer? A $600,000 payday.
No school, however, has profited so much from indignity as Florida Atlantic, which currently is embarked on a four-week trail of smears that will leave the Owls in fine shape financially but in the poorhouse competitively.
Florida Atlantic opened the season with a 54-6 debacle against No. 19 Clemson, followed by a 45-0 trouncing by Kansas State and a 48-8 shellacking by Oklahoma State.
Another thrashing is in the forecast this weekend: Florida Atlantic on Saturday faces coach Steve Spurrier and South Carolina, and the Gamecocks are a 30-point favorite.
The cumulative damage reflected on the scoreboard is frightful — the Owls were outscored 147-14 in those three games — and the psychological toll … well, it can’t be good.
The president could pay the full price for ignoring Congress
- David Perdue defeats Jack Kingston in Georgia Republican Senate primary runoff
- IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 computer hard drives
- 'Straight White Guy Festival' supposedly set for Ohio park
- D.C. appeals panel deals big blow to Obamacare subsidies
- Beretta moving to Tennessee over Maryland gun laws
- BERMAN & MADYOON: An Iranian-Turkish reset
- MAY: Barbarians at Jordan's gate
- EDITORIAL: Obamacare in intensive care
- Pentagon team dispatched to Ukraine amid crisis with Russia
- Hamas terrorists wear Israeli army uniforms to ambush soldiers in Gaza
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq