Central Michigan will receive its biggest guaranteed paycheck in football program history playing Ohio State on Sept. 24, 2016 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.
CMU will receive $925,000 to go play at OSU. The second-largest CMU paycheck was from Georgia in 2008 for $875,000.
“It’s a terrific opportunity to play in one of the greatest venues in college football,” CMU Athletics Director Dave Heeke said. “It’s a great opportunity to play against a program with the tradition Ohio State has and brand and TV exposure.”
It will be the first meeting between OSU and CMU.
The addition caps off CMU’s 2016 non-conference schedule. It also includes playing at Iowa and hosting UNLV at Kelly/Shorts Stadium. CMU might also play Oklahoma State in 2016, though the contract hasn’t specified dates for the two road games that will follow the Cowboys visit to Kelly/Shorts Stadium in 2015.
“We would ideally like to have six home games and six road games; that would allow us to make money and have a solid home slate for season ticket holders, and we’re more likely to win at home,” Heeke said. “But it doesn’t always work out that way; when you’re not scheduling home-and-home series, it’s tough.”
Freshmen redshirted during this season will be fifth-year seniors by the time the Chippewas take the field against the Buckeyes.
OSU will also play Mid-American Conference opponent Bowling Green the first week of the 2016 season. The week before the game against CMU, the Buckeyes travel to Oklahoma to play the Sooners, and CMU will take on the Hawkeyes.
The Buckeyes have won seven National Titles and 36 Big Ten Titles.
CMU is getting paid $850,000 (its third-largest paycheck) to play Ohio State’s rival Michigan next season in Ann Arbor.
Heeke suggested the Chippewas might play another Southeastern Conference team in the future.
“The price of games are around $800,000 to $1 million, depending on where you play,” Heeke said. “The SEC is closer to $1 million … we look for opportunities to generate that much revenue.”
Playing OSU would likely be the next best thing – earning more revenue than going to the SEC’s Georgia in 2008.