Scheduling is tough for every college football team, but Northwestern's refusal to pay high prices might make the Wildcats' process even more difficult than others'. According to Miami (OH) athletic director Bill Sayler, he would like to play NU, but can't due to the price it will pay compared to its Big Ten foes.
Fox Sports uploaded the contracts for all of this year's Big Ten non-conference games, and even from those, NU seems to be far behind its conference foes. According to the uploaded documents, the Wildcats, who normally do not disclose financial information because they're a private school, will pay Northern Illinois $500,000 and Western Illinois $350,000 for this year's games.
Generally, games against Mid American Conference teams like Northern Illinois and teams in conferences of similar stature are worth much more than that, as is evident by some of this year's payouts:
This season, Miami (Ohio) will take home $1.1 million to play at Michigan, Florida Atlantic will get $1 million to play at Nebraska and Ball State $900,000 for playing at Iowa. Miami (Ohio) is set to make $1 million in 2015 atWisconsin, Sayler said, and fellow Mid-American Conference school Ball State will collect a program-record $1.2 million for playing at Texas A&M. Wisconsin also will pay $1.2 million to host Florida Atlantic in 2017.
Based on this year's data, NU is half a million dollars behind its conference foes when it comes to payouts. That might not matter this year, since the Wildcats got a very solid MAC opponent in Northern Illinois. But as the prices continue to rise — and they will, since Big Ten schools have vowed to not play FCS teams, which run cheaper — NU is going to have to pay more, or else be stuck with some teams it doesn't want.