According to USA TODAY, ULM is set to pay Jackson State football $350,000 for Saturday’s matchup. Such will be the case once again in 2022 when the schools play, per the report.
Don’t call Jackson State head coach Deion Sanders a fan of the “buy game” term used for FCS vs. FBS college football games — games in which the former often takes home a nice paycheck in exchange for all-too-often being thoroughly outmatched by the latter. Sanders put the concept on blast this week when discussing the team’s upcoming Week 3 contest at Louisiana-Monroe, one in which the Tigers are reportedly set to be paid six-figures for playing in.
“Normally you just get paid to go to get beat, right?” Sanders said Monday during a conference call, via USA TODAY. “That’s really the goal, right? Somebody pays you, your program makes more money than they normally will to go get your butt kicked. I don’t believe in that.”
While many FCS coaches may be thrilled about the prospect of earning $700,000 total for those two contests, Sanders has other thoughts.
“Normally when you play against a powerhouse like I see some of the HBCU schools have taken, it helps the budget, but it kills the morale,” Sanders continued. “How can getting your butt kicked, I mean really kicked, help you as a team? Financially, cool. All money ain’t good money.”
If the Tigers were to upset the Warhawks, it would mark the first time that an HBCU program has upended an FBS program in three years. It last happened when North Carolina A&T defeated East Carolina in 2018.
As far as FCS programs as a whole are concerned, though, a number of them have already upended FBS opponents through two weeks of the 2021 season. Week 1 featured a stunner in Seattle when No. 20 Washington fell at home to Montana, which was one of six games in which an FCS team beat an FBS opponent. Two more outcomes of such then occurred in Week 2, with Duquesne beating Ohio before Jacksonville State defeated Florida State on a Hail Mary in Tallahassee.
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The string of early-season upsets, regardless of whether it be FBS vs. FCS or not, has been enough for at least one prominent FBS coach to proceed with caution entering Week 3. Earlier in the week, Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher pushed back against the Aggies’ upcoming home game vs. New Mexico, though an FBS vs. FBS contest, being described as a “tune up” game given some of the surprising outcomes that have been seen early on.