Hey bum – i have a noob question. What does a “guarantee game” mean? I’m sure it has to do with the money – but I don’t understand what the impact is.
No worries. Guarantee games are common in both college football and basketball as a way for major programs to get wins and home games and for smaller programs to fund their departments. Basically, the major conference team (Michigan St for example) pays for a smaller school (Lehigh) to come and play them. Lehigh has all their expenses paid and receives a check, which can vary significantly, but usually for at least $50,000 (and much more in football). The major school pays their opponent, but receives the revenue from ticket sales, concessions, and maybe even t.v. (not sure on that one) and gets a win to pad their record (usually).
So basically, if Lehigh visits Minnesota this year it is because Minnesota offered to pay us to go out there. When mid-major teams are good it becomes more difficult to get these types of games, because the last thing a big school wants to do is pay to lose. This is probably we ended up playing North Texas last year instead of a BCS school for that game. The reason I’m not a huge fan is that although the opponent is a “name” school, it is very hard to beat them on the road. Lehigh beat Rutgers when we had Marquis Hall, but I don’t remember winning any other gaurantee games. It is also a virtual lock that we will play 3 of these games a year as they fund the program.
The other arrangements are “home and home” (self explanitory) or “2 for 1” in which one school gets a home game and the other gets 2. Bucknell has managed to schedule a 2 for 1 with Penn St (one game in Lewisburg and 2 in state college) which is a MAJOR coup for a PL school to get a Big 10 team to agree to that set-up. When we play NEC schools for example it is always a “home and home” as far as I know. Why we can’t get 2 for 1’s with CAA and A-10 schools is the ultimate scheduling mystery for me in regards to Lehigh.