UConn’s haphazard decision to jettison from AAC membership and embark on life as an FBS Independent starting in 2020 has resulted in a number of surprising dominoes getting pushed over across the country.
The Hartford Courant detailed one such move as the Huskies have attempted to cobble together their upcoming schedule for next season and it somehow involves a seven-figure check, an SEC program and a tiny Conference USA school:
As outlined in a contract, UConn will replace Middle Tennessee State on Mississippi’s 2020 schedule, while committing to host the Blue Raiders at some point (presumably also in 2020). As part of that deal, Mississippi will pay Middle Tennessee State $1.5 million, as the schools had originally planned, even though they won’t actually face each other. UConn will neither receive money from Mississippi nor pay anything to Middle Tennessee State.
Under different circumstances, UConn would likely receive more than $1 million to travel to Mississippi, then pay a smaller amount to get Middle Tennessee State to Rentschler Field. But given the need to build a 2020 schedule on short notice, scoring two games appears to have been worth a less lucrative return.
So Ole Miss will pay MTSU a hefty amount to not play in Oxford and in exchange get UConn in town for free. Got it?
The Huskies have confirmed nine games as part of next year’s slate and as the Courant alludes above, the pressing nature of their conference affiliation change has resulted in a potential short-term hit as everything gets sorted out. UConn will collect some $800,000 from games at Virginia, San Jose State and Illinois while dishing out nearly $1.2 million in guarantees to UMass, Indiana, Liberty, Army and FCS Maine.
It’s not often you see things like losing roughly $380,000 (and counting) on one’s schedule or having an opponent pay somebody else in order to not play the next season but UConn’s move to football independence has certainly resulted in more than a few unexpected dominoes falling as a result.