The jewel of the Ole Miss 2011 football schedule – a Boise State home game – has been taken from it, but the consolation prize isn’t that bad.
Instead of meeting on Sept. 3, 2011 at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, Ole Miss and Boise will meet Aug. 28, 2014 – the first game of the college football season to be televised by ESPN – as part of a Thursday-Saturday weekend for the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff. The Saturday game will feature Alabama against an opponent still to be named.
For Ole Miss, the replacement game for the 2011 season opener will be against Brigham Young.
ESPN helped bring Ole Miss and Boise together earlier this year at a cost of $900,000 to Ole Miss, which was not scheduled for a return game at Boise. Playing at the Georgia Dome will give the Rebels a national spotlight and let them turn a profit as well.
Teams participating in the 2012 Chick-Fil-A Kickoff each receive $2 million, according to a report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Gary Stokan, Chick-Fil-A Bowl president, said Ole Miss in 2014 will receive a payoff of $2 million. Boise State will receive $1.1 million. The difference is because Ole Miss is giving up a home game, Stokan said.
Boone said the game will be part of Ole Miss season ticket package in 2014. Moving the Boise State game did not come without serious thought, Boone said. He cited “great partnerships” with ESPN and the Chick-Fil-A Bowl in making the decision.
“When we scheduled Boise State we felt fortunate to have a team of that caliber coming to Oxford, but to move the game to the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff is like a dream come true for everybody,” Boone said.
The schools will also receive a $50,000 donation to their scholarship funds from Chick-Fil-A.
This season No. 4 Boise State is unbeaten at 9-0 and could play its way into the BCS championship game.
BYU is 5-5 in this, its last year in the Mountain West Conference. It will compete as a Football Bowl Subdivision independent next season.
Contact Parrish Alford at 678-1600 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal