College football teams will pay about $150 million this season for "guarantee games," most of which involve a team paying another team to play at their home stadium, according to USA Today. Other instances are neutral site games when both teams receive a guaranteed amount of money.
The payouts for the first type of games can range from anywhere in the five figures to in excess of $2 million. Auburn, for example, will pay UMass $1.9 million to play at Jordan-Hare Stadium in 2020. And although the home team stands to make money off a home game via gate receipts, media rights, concessions and others items, sometimes they lose big — on the field.
LSU paid Troy $985,000 to play a road game 365 miles away in Baton Rouge in Week 6, which the Trojans won, 24-21. It is the largest paycheck loss of the 2017 season and one that won't be topped because there are no remaining game with a higher away team payout.
Here are the next three biggest paycheck losses of the season.
Syracuse vs. Middle Tennessee – $950,000
Syracuse shelled out $950,000 to watch Middle Tennessee outgain and outscore them at the Carrier Dome in Week 2. The Blue Raiders scored with six minutes remaining to earn their third win over a Power Five team since 2012.
Rutgers vs. Eastern Michigan – $860,000
Eastern Michigan entered 2017 without a win over a power conference team in program history. Not only did they accomplish that against Rutgers in Week 2 — improving their power conference record to 1-58 — they were gifted a massive sum for doing so.
Nebraska vs. Northern Illinois – $820,000
Nebraska throttled Northern Illinois by a combined 77 points in their two previous meetings (1989 and 1990) but that wasn't the case this year, when the Huskies shocked the Huskers for their fourth win over a Big Ten opponent since 2013. And they were given $820,000 for their troubles.