Why in the world are the Hurricanes – one of the marquee programs in college football – playing a road game Saturday against Toledo, a road game next year against FIU (potentially at Marlins Park) and a future road game at Temple, after playing at Appalachian State a couple years ago?
Some Canes fans believe that’s beneath UM.
Simple answer: Money.
Athletic director Blake James said many schools are seeking a guarantee of as much as $1.5 million from UM to play a game at Miami, without a return game at the smaller school’s stadium. But if UM agrees to a home-and-home series, no guarantee payment is required.
James said sometimes schools playing a home-and-home give each other $300,000 to cover travel expenses, but “generally speaking, one home team keeps all receipts for their game.”
On agreeing to play football games at schools traditionally called mid-majors in basketball, James said: “In a perfect world, we wouldn’t. Reality is that sometimes you have to. Guarantee games are becoming more and more expensive, in the neighborhood of $1.5 million. I didn’t schedule the Toledo game [predecessor Kirby Hocutt did], but I scheduled the Appalachian State game.
“In a perfect world, a game like Toledo would be a guarantee game [without a return trip there]. But you have to get games [to fill a schedule], and if the dollar figure to get a guarantee game is so high, at some point you have to concede and do home and homes with these schools. I’m sure that’s what happened with Toledo.”
Still, UM is willing to pay the money for a few home games without a return road game - including Central Michigan in 2019 and UAB in 2020 – “because you look for as many home games as possible,” James said. “You hope for seven. If eight, that’s great. The reality is six some years.”
And UM has future home-and-home games against Big 10 team Michigan State. UM also plays UF in Orlando to open the 2019 season and Alabama in Atlanta to open the 2021 season. Miami would like to return to Orlando to play a marquee opponent to open the 2023 or 2024 season. Mark Richt joked this week that he likes those tough openers only if UM wins them.
By contract, FIU - per terms of its deal with UM - isn’t permitted to have its home game against UM at FIU’s stadium next season because it’s too small, leaving Marlins Park and Hard Rock Stadium as the only options.
UM had scheduled a three-game series with Arkansas State - two in Miami, one there - but the road game was canceled because of Hurricane Irma last year. Arkansas State then filed a lawsuit against UM, with that matter still pending.
UM CONFERENCE HOOPS SCHEDULE RELEASED
▪ UM received one CBS game -- Saturday, March 2 at Duke - in the Atlantic Coast Conference basketball schedule released Thursday. Duke won’t make a return visit to UM this year.
Here’s UM’s full ACC schedule:
Thu. 3 NC State ESPN or ESPNU 7 p.m.
Sun. 6 at Louisville ESPNU 6 p.m.
Wed. 9 at Florida State RSN 9 p.m.
Sat. 12 Wake Forest RSN 2 p.m.
Sat. 19 North Carolina ESPN or ESPN2 Noon
Thu. 24 at Syracuse Raycom 8 p.m.
Sun. 27 Florida State ESPNU 6 p.m.
Wed. 30 Virginia Tech ESPN2 or ESPNU 7 p.m.
Sat. 2 at Virginia Raycom 2 p.m.
Wed. 6 Notre Dame ESPN2 or ESPNU 7 p.m.
Sat. 9 at North Carolina Raycom Noon
Wed. 13 Clemson ESPN2 or ESPNU 7 p.m.
Sun. 17 at Boston College ESPNU 6 p.m.
Sat. 23 Georgia Tech RSN 2 p.m.
Tue. 26 at Wake Forest RSN 7 p.m.
Sat. 2 at Duke CBS 4 p.m.
Tue. 5 Pitt Raycom 8 p.m.
Fri. 8 at Virginia Tech ESPN2 7 p.m.
▪ Here’s UM’s non-conference schedule:
October Opponent TV Time
Tue. 30 Barry University (Exhibition) TBA TBA
Fri. 9 Lehigh TBA TBA
Tue. 13 Stephen F. Austin TBA TBA
Sat. 17 Bethune-Cookman TBA TBA
Thu. 22 vs. La Salle in Fullerton, California, ESPNU 2:30 p.m.
Fri. 23 vs. Northwestern/Fresno State in Fullerton, California, ESPN2 or ESPNU 2 or 4:30 p.m.
Sun. 25 vs. TBA in Fullerton, California, TBA TBA
Wed. 28 Rutgers (ACC/Big Ten Challenge) ESPNU 7 p.m.
Sat. 1 vs. Yale at American Airlines Arena TBA TBA
Tue. 4 at Penn (The Palestra) TBA TBA
Wed. 19 Houston Baptist TBA TBA
Sat. 22 Florida Atlantic TBA TBA
Sat. 29 Campbell TBA TBA
▪ Per our correspondent Daniel Gould, here’s how UM football split up snaps at some offensive positions against Savannah State:
Quarterbacks: Malik Rosier 24 snaps, N’Kosi Perry 29, Cade Weldon 6, Jarren Williams 9
Running back: Travis Homer 33, DeeJay Dallas 19, Trayone Gray 13, Lorenzo Lingard 5, Robert Burns 5, Cam Davis 5, fullback Realus George 7.
Receiver: Jeff Thomas 20, Mike Harley 21, Lawrence Cager 30, Darrell Langham 25, Evidence Njoku 14, Brian Hightower 13, Mark Pope 19, Marquez Ezzard 8 and Dee Wiggins 17.