Ohio State to Pay UNLV $1.3 Million for 2017 Game

By DJ Byrnes on August 15, 2014 at 10:31a
Gene Smith at OSU's Media Day

The going rate on a 2017 out-of-conference ass-kicking is $1.3 million, according to a release from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Ohio State announced yesterday the Rebels will travel to Columbus in 2017 for a September 23rd clash with the Buckeyes.

The Rebels are 13-38 under fifth-year coach, Bobby Hauck. The Rebels won six games in Hauck's first three years, but finished 7-6 in 2013. If the projection continues, the Runnin' Rebels might pose a stiff threat for freshman quarterback Danny Clark and Ohio State.


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YTOWNBUCKI's picture

Man, inflation is a bitch.  Wasn't it 10 years ago that OSU only had to pay 500K for room and board and beatdowns of random non-Power5 schools?

CJDPHoS Board of Directors

Go get your shine box, Gumar!

+2 HS
Vinsaniti's picture

UNLV gets more money than FAMU? We better beat them by 60 then.

+2 HS
sharks's picture

So, what's the logic behind backing out of the UNC series? Revenue replacement since the expanded in-conf schedule deprives OSU of a home game every other year?

This is getting silly

Edit- sorry, didn't mean this as a reply...

A man got to have a code...

+2 HS
Vinsaniti's picture

I think the logic was to have 7 home games so that the football team can continue to help fund the other athletic programs.

+1 HS
M Man's picture

I thought it was UNC that backed out, because of their realigned ACC commitments.

+3 HS
buckifishr's picture

That means $13 out of what will surely be a $100 face value ticket by then will go directly to funding a losing program at UNLV. You're welcome Nevada tax payers.

+1 HS
FROMTHE18's picture

why? Get a home and home with a legit team and keep all the money. Or play a neutral site game with a legit team. 

+5 HS
osubuckeye134's picture

Fans want that...but I guess big Gene doesn't.  Priorities...right??

Max's picture

while I'd much rather play a home and home with a legit team, the $1.3m payout  is much less of a loss than whatever share they get from an away game.

+6 HS
AndyVance's picture

I suppose I can't claim to have any experience with the extreme challenges of football scheduling in the modern era... but this is friggin' ridiculous.

+5 HS
FitzBuck's picture

Agreed Andy.  Gene should be Boo'd for UNLV

Fitzbuck | Toledo - Ohio's right armpit | "A troll by any other name is still a troll".

+2 HS
e135800's picture

I thought we didn't play the lil sisters of the poor?



+4 HS
Brich's picture

Hey fellow buckeyes I've got a special treat. I'm currently working in Regina, Saskatchewan canada and the Montreal Alouttes are in town. Troy Smith is mi favorite alltime buckeye and i'm going to try to get an O-H I-O out of him and Duron crter stay tuned.

brian richardson

+2 HS
MN Buckeye's picture

Start a thread, like 9Route.

+1 HS
Optimistic Buckeye Pessimist's picture

My guess is that even after the 1.3M payout, OSU still comes out ahead when compared to a home and home series against UNC.  There's a lot of financials that we don't know about.

Read my entire screen name....

+2 HS
M Man's picture

It's pretty simple, really.  We are doing the exact same thing.  UNLV travels to Ann Arbor next year with no return visit from us.  I'm not sure we are paying them $1.3m.  Our deal with them is a $1m guarantee, plus (I expect) a share of gate proceeds which might make it $1.3.

The math isn't all that hard, when you realize that the prime directive above all things is to have seven (or more) home games.  Nothing else matters to Dave Brandon nor, I expect, Gene Smith.  Must. Have. Seven. Home. Games.  It's not because they carefully weighed the costs and benefits of a home-and-home contract.  Rather, it is because both Smith and Brandon know -- better than we do -- about all of the other related economic activity surrounding a home game.  There's local business money.  Local advertisers.  Institutional fundraising opportunities and imperatives.

As a Michigan fan, I'd rather we have a schedule of high-quality home-and-home opponents.  In some years, that might mean six home games.  That would be great by me.  I'd rather purchase tickets to six great games, than seven games wherein two of them are low quality opponents.

I'd also be happy doing without games against B1G unknown/outsiders like Maryland and Rutgers.  But that's just me.  Nine conference games, otherwise, is fine.  Even understanding that four or five of those are on the road.

+4 HS
hetuck's picture

Game result aside, does Brandon regret the neutral site game vs. home game?

Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.

Vince Lombardi

M Man's picture

Not enough to get him to stop.  We recently inked another JerryWorld game.  Versus Florida.  2017 Cowboy Classic.

And yes, there is considerable dissent about this and yes Brandon is hearing about it.  It would be the same with Gene Smith I expect.

+1 HS
potts.125's picture

Definitely agree that UNLV is a lackluster game. But, the impact to the Columbus economy is simply far too great for Ohio State to justify playing an away game.  The University has a commitment to the city and local businesses that must make enough money to pay employees for the entire year on 8 fall Saturdays.  Losing even one of those games is a huge blow to the economy.  This is not counting ticket sales, which is likely a rather small number compared to the total economic impact of hosting a game (thinking of restaurant/bar sales, clothing vendors, hotels, taxi cabs, off-duty security and police, and the list goes on and on). 

+1 HS
mr.green's picture

m*chigan is going to get to know Maryland very fast! I think. 

gm3jones's picture

Well put, M Man. My sentiments exactly.The sad thing is both ADs know this and still dont do it. I just don't get it.

There is nothing more remarkable as learning to think better.

+1 HS
BuckeyeChris's picture

Totally agree, M Man.  Fun fact: Schedule on an OSU bye week and throw in some doughnuts and I'm there! :) 

hetuck's picture

It's simple. OSU makes $7m per home game. In a home and home, you usually make nothing for the away game. Tho home games = $14m. Home and neutral site = approx $11m.

Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.

Vince Lombardi

Hovenaut's picture

Was Vanderbilt not available?

+6 HS
OSU_ALUM_05's picture

Blasphemy .... Vanderbilt is in the SEC, therefore, they are a football juggernaut that we should be scared to play ..even on our home turf.  Of course, if we win, it's because they're the SEC doormat and don't really count ... but if they win, watch the hell out.

Yeti's have feelings too.

BeatTTUN's picture

UNLV should just take all the cash they make for these games and bet on themselves to lose, boom they just tripled their pay out.

Or would that be illegal in the eyes of the NCAA?

Go Buckeyes Beat Michigan

+2 HS
Earle's picture

I'm not sure you understand how Vegas odds work.

Have you tried Not Your Father's Root Beer?  It tastes just like the real thing, but it packs a punch (5.9%ABV).  It's a little sweet for me though.  Two is my limit.

+2 HS
BeatTTUN's picture

Odds are UNLV is going to lose they could spread the money around in multiple bets real sneaky like, who is going to notice multiple UNLV employees suddenly placing bets on that game?

Heck this thread is the most attention UNLV football has received since Randal Cunningham and Icky Woods played there.

Go Buckeyes Beat Michigan

+1 HS
hetuck's picture

You cannot bet on unlv in Nevada.

Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.

Vince Lombardi

+2 HS
elitesmithie's picture

Has Gene Smith ever done anything good at OSU other than being employed at the same time Urban was not currently coaching?

+1 HS
nickel beer's picture

Are we now picking up where UWisc (and UMin) left off, or will those guys continue their occasional scheduling?

And what about for recruiting purposes in mwc territory? 

No Sleep Till Blacksburg

2morrow's picture

In my opinion, this is short-term thinking. It may add some extra revenue in the current year but further degrades our strength of schedule. I was under the impressions that with the new playoff system, strength of schedule would be very important. So I guess our only hope of playing top teams that are not in the B1G is to make it to the playoffs - at which point we are playing a neutral site game at best anyway. Would rather schedule a home and home with a top team. Will we make more money in the long run? I would guess yes!

dubjayfootball90's picture

Here's to hoping that UNLV continues to improve and makes some bowl games, no matter what level, over the next few years. Seems like they are on the up and up, albeit at a slow pace. But hopefully they keep progressing.

You can feed a bobcat all the chili it wants. That don't mean it's going to crap out diamonds.

+1 HS
DoubleB's picture

I figure they have to keep the lights on some how. $1.3 mil isn't really that much when you think about a (currently) $80 ticket x 106,000 seats. Plus $20 to park, hot dogs, etc.


Zimmy07's picture

UNLV should pay Us for the honor of playing in the Shoe.

+3 HS
AGAB's picture

For those who think adding UNLV hurts our 2017 SOS, I suggest that they review the schedule. It has the potential to be very tough. The team will need a breather ! OSU plays Oklahoma the week prior to the newly added UNLV game. In addition, that year the Buckeyes play crossover conference games against IOWA and NEBRASKA. Couple all of those games with our B1G East opponents of PSU, MSU and TTUN and I think the schedule is potentially extremely competitive. Besides when did UNC become a juggernaut in football? I definitely do not fault GS for the 2017 schedule revision. Keep the $ in CBUS !

Tater_Schroeder's picture

Great info Agab!  Good to set the context a little bit. Appreciate the post.


BoFuquel's picture

We will need as many easy games as possible in 17, with a freshman starting QB. Let us remember how it went with Art and Brax. GO BUCKS!

I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

SpielmanForPres's picture

If only we had an SEC schedule ...

+2 HS
Myc24's picture

Someone over at Fisher needs to have a stern talking to with Gene about fiscal responsibility. This is asinine. 

"Because I couldn't go for three!"  - Wayne Woodrow Hayes

Fatpants's picture

If we're going to schedule some crap team and give them a big payday why not make it some in-state school? I'd much rather demolish OU, hump the corpse, then send them on their way back to Athens with some scratch to do good with.

I'm just a poo gas huffin' toilet snorkeler at heart....

+4 HS
TheBigCat's picture

If we want respect nationally, then we need to stop scheduling BS games like this, which do nothing to improve our national perception.  We either blow the doors off of them, which is the expected outcome, or the game is close, and it's held against us by the playoff selection committee.  Either way, this game does nothing to improve our playoff resume.

At this point, let's just call a spade a spade, this is a money grab from the athletic department.  I'm taking my name out of the alumni lottery because of games like this.  I'm not going to travel to Columbus to watch a game like this, and 1/2 the B1G schedule is not worth making the trip.  I may pay a bit more on the secondary market, but at least I'll get a game worth seeing.

I'm also tired of trying to defend our schedule.  What kind of message does this send to fans?  Alabama has scheduled a marquee neutral site game every year, on top of a very difficult SEC schedule.  I remember how awesome games like USC and Texas were, and how amazing those environments were.  I'd love to have that again, but instead, alas, we get a noon kickoff against UNLV.  Buy hey, I'm sure the playoff selection committee will understand, we needed to add another home game to hit revenue projections.  Want to stop hearing the commentary about a 1-loss SEC team jumping an undefeated B1G school, stop scheduling the UNLV's of the world.

+1 HS
BuckeyeNut71's picture

For  over 40 years, I'd bought OSU football tickets.  The last several years, I got seats in the end zone bleachers to lousy games.  With the new lottery and not knowing what game you would get (and the date), and the high ticket prices, I decided to let my Alumni Assoc. membership lapse last year and not participate in the lottery.  If I want a ticket, I'll buy it on the secondary market - to a game I'll be excited about, and in seats that I like.  This year, with the very shoddy "investigation" done to oust the most dynamic band director we've had, I'm feeling even less interested in buying tickets.


BukFan's picture

I'm sure the committee will love this match-up when the meet in that private room.

johnblairgobucks's picture

I think the committee really won't be looking at schedule strength too hard, in the long run.  IMO, the pool the 4 teams will be chosen from will be from the Conference Champions of the Power 5.

The only way I see schedule strength mattering, is if there are more than 3 Conference Champs with more than 2 losses and then there is a ( formerly known as BCS Buster) school sitting there undefeated. 

AGAB's picture

Could someone please tell me what is so great about Alabama's  marquee neutral site game for 2014? West Virginia was 4-8 last season. The "mighty" Tide have a "really tough" ocs  with the likes of West Virginia, Florida Atlantic, Southern Miss and Western Carolina. Wow, what a scary oc schedule !!! Compared to UGA's oc and ic schedules, Bama's are pathetic. If one actually compares the Bucks' schedules with those of several SEC schools, I think one will find that the Bucks' schedule is fairly competitive.

elitesmithie's picture

Fair or  not the SEC has several championships in the past decade so playing their league opponents "counts" as tough games. The Big Ten hasn't won it all in over a decade so we need to go above and beyond to prove our worth. I'm not so sure whats hard about this?

And before anyone brings up FSU last year. If we would've beat every opponent by 40 points we would have been in the final game without question as well.

BSTP DeCon's picture

I'll play against Ohio state for half that.

Jim's picture

These cream puff games aren't worth the cost of a ticket.  These games should be free scrimmages.

MiltonBuckeye's picture

I'm sorry to say it but the ONLY way that tOSU gets the recognition it deserves is for us to beat SEC teams in bowl games. Somehow that seems to be the key to national respect.

Go Dogs, Go Bucks