Yesterday, it was kudos for North Carolina and Wake Forest for scheduling non-conference football games with each other when the Atlantic Coast Conference doesn’t. So, the question asked of those two schools is: What took so long? (Not to be answered. Kudos for doing so.) And the question for NC State and Duke: Why don’t you do the same? The answer: Win games; Follow the money!
Football coaches have one mindset: Win games, which is good in itself. Why? To keep their job. Sometimes, though, winning will not keep the coach. Case in point is Tom O’Brien who did a fine job at State but Athletics Director Debbie Yow and the powerful fans wanted better, more exciting teams. Why? To continue the flow of money required to pay the coaches and support the program.
State has six or seven home games a season, sometimes eight. In that mix, there will always be four conference games. With the current rotation, the Wolfpack will host Atlantic division foes Clemson, Louisville and Syracuse along with North Carolina one season and Florida State, Boston College and Wake Forest along with one from the Coastal division the next year. With each lineup, sales of season tickets reach the 35,000 +/- level annually. With parking and tickets running about $350 a seat, that’s an income of $12,250,000. The payout to the non-conference teams except Notre Dame and East Carolina run no more than $750,000 a school, sometimes less than that.
Games against conference teams, including a non-conference game against Duke, will cost a lot more for NC State, and it’s doubtful Duke would want reciprocate in kind when State plays at Duke simply based on attendance. The dollars just don’t make sense for State to play Duke when it’s not necessary. But there’s also the possibility of losing to Duke instead of defeating South Alabama or James Madison. It takes six wins to get to a bowl, and having a slate of non-Major 5 teams makes it that much easier. And, with Notre Dame and East Carolina in the mix, why chance it?
One more thing, that’s hard to dig up. Do the football coach and the athletics director get a bonus if the Wolfpack plays in a bowl game? It’s been part of past contracts. If it’s true, neither should be involved in the scheduling process or the bonus threshold should not include number of wins or getting into a bowl. Only pay out extras for winning conference titles and beyond. More tomorrow.
Dictionary.com word of the day
sodality (noun) [soh-dal-i-tee; suh-dal-i-tee]: fellowship; comradeship