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My OOC Wish List Part 3 - Win-Win Losses, Strategic Paycheck Games

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If I was in charge of football out-of-conference scheduling, I would build four games using four principles.

The third priority would be strategic paycheck games.

I hate paycheck games, you can't win by losing. However they seem to be here to stay. One paycheck game a year could be useful as a benchmark for UB's talent, and an opportunity to play in regions where we have alumni and where we recruit.

Location: Our paycheck game should always be against a team in the Texas area, Florida area, California area, or against schools close to Buffalo.

Paycheck only: Some schools work to get Home-and-Home series, or 2-for-1 series. The idea being the mid-major should treat their home fans to marquee games, and the mid-major team has a better chance at a competitive game at home. In UB's case, our home field advantage is not established, therefore I don't believe we'd play better at home than on the road (we were slightly better at home against Baylor, but still lost by a gazillion).

The buzz created by a marque opponent is always offset by the negative review of our stadium and the big loss on the field. Thus I do not believe UB has anything to gain from bringing a Power 5 team to Buffalo. They should just take the money and play on the road*.

It seems the current regime agrees with the take the money idea. Warde Manuel signed a game at the University of Miami in 2017 with the Hurricanes returning to Buffalo in 2018. The net payout for the game would be $0. The Danny White regime canceled that home-and-home, and replaced the 2017 game with $900,000 for one game at Minnesota. If Greene can add a similar game in 2018, the 1.8 million will do more for UB than the one game against Miami.

*Once (if) we improve our stadium, I'll probably change my stance on this.

No ACC games: The ACC surrounds Buffalo with Syracuse and Pitt. Again, my feeling is our best bet as a program is to avoid any direct comparison to Syracuse and Pitt. We need to be successful in our area, and let those teams continue to struggle to succeed in theirs.

This strategy is based on 2007. In 2007, UB was a decent 5-7, Syracuse was an awful 2-10, you could make the case that UB was the better team EXCEPT, UB played Syracuse and lost 20-12. As a result we have to admit that the awful 2007 Syracuse team was BETTER than the good 2007 UB team.Buffalo's best interest would be to avoid any comparison to these teams.Thus Buffalo should never play an ACC team.

Say instead of playing each other, that year, both teams played an FCS team. UB would have finished 6-6 and gone bowling, Syracuse would have finished 2-10, and you could definitely make a better argument for UB being the better team. Although Syracuse fans would point to common opponents, (Rutgers and Miami) which UB lost to both by 38 points while Syracuse lost to both by 27 points.

If in 2007 we avoided direct competition and common opponents, it proves the best narrative for UB. 6-6 bowl team or 2-10 bottom 10 team? Which team is better, you'd have to say Buffalo.

This paycheck game strategy gives UB many teams to play:

California(ish): Arizona, Arizona State, California, Stanford, UCLA, USC
Florida - Georgia: Florida, Georgia
Texas (ish): Baylor, LSU, Texas, Texas A&M, TCU, Texas Tech
Our Radius: Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers, Virginia, Virginia Tech, West Virginia

At the top of my list would be Michigan, a great venue we haven't been to and perhaps a favorable contract from our old AD, he owes us one.

Arizona State, Phoenix is a Buffalo ex-pat hub and anti-Hurley sentiment adds a little juice to a UB ASU matchup from our perspective.

LSU, cause New Orleans.

Rutgers because they give us a local game and a great chance to beat a B1G team.

The West Virginia-Pitt rivalry won't return until 2022, in the meantime, we are closer than it seems in both distance and culture to the Mountaineers.

Florida, any trip to a new SEC stadium is special.

Conrad Future Schedule:


2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Week 1 vs. Temple at Temple vs Temple at Temple vs Temple
Week 2 Albany Stony Brook Albany Stony Brook Albany
Week 3 at Michigan at Arizona St at WVU
Week 4 at Florida at Rutgers