Hard to believe-- most Mid American Conference schools make more money playing non conference games in September on the road. Case in point-- Central Michigan. The Chips open at home next August 30 against Eastern Illinois. The receipts will pale in comparison to what CMU will get the following Saturday playing at Georgia-- a whopping $750,000! CMU athletic director Dave Heeke tells me he's heard of one larger payday to a school, but he's proud of what he'll get for playing a very difficult game in Athens, Georgia. CMU also plays on the road at Purdue and Indiana next year and while the pay will be six figures, it won't be near what Georgia signed to play. CMU hopes to play Michigan State in the Motor City Bowl at Ford Field on December 26th. It might well happen but CMU needs to beat Miami of Ohio in the MAC championship game this Saturday at Ford Field.
I disagree with Dave Dye of the Detroit News who writes Thursday about the bad deal Michigan State's football team gets if it goes to the Motor City Bowl and Indiana is chosen ahead of the Spartans for the Insight Bowl. After the BCS games the bowls arrange the teams by financial opportunity and MSU in the Motor City Bowl ensures a sellout of 65,000 fans for an event that otherwise wouldn't sell near that many tickets. Michigan State can win the game and finish 8-5 and it will be an MSU lovefest on national television since the Motor City Bowl will be carried by ESPN in prime time and is the only bowl game scheduled that night. But MSU officials still hope there is a means of getting to the Campps Sports Bowl in Orlando and play likely either Florida State or Georgia Tech, both 7-5 like the Spartans. The final bowl pairings will be made late Sunday night.