UNT paying pretty large guarantee for Idaho game

North Texas football head coach Dan McCarney and the Mean Green wiii host Idaho in their season-opener on Aug. 31. UNT will play a large guarantee to bring the Vandals to town. (Denton Record-Chronicle/David Minton)

One of the yearly routines when it comes to following along in college athletics is to keep track of contracts for coaches and nonconference games.

I put in a request not too long ago. The timing seemed good at the time with the coaching staffs apparently all settled in. I ended up missing one contract with UNT looking for a new cornerbacks coach (I was told today that the process is going well, by the way), but did get everything else I was looking for.

There were no real surprises on the contract front, but I did request the nonconference football contracts at the same time.

The contract for the Idaho game is pretty interesting.

UNT will open at home for the first time since 2001 this fall. Head coach Dan McCarney really wanted to make that happen. Now that it is going to happen, UNT is making a big production out of it with special uniforms and a host of festivities.

What I wondered was how much UNT is paying to get that game and is there is a return written into it.

There isn’t a return game in the contract.

UNT is paying $410,000 to Idaho to make the trip.

That’s a pretty big indication of how much emphasis UNT is putting on winning in its first season in Conference USA. UNT is getting $975,000 from Georgia to play in Athens, which helps offset the cost, but buying in an FBS team with no return game is a pretty big investment.

It just goes to show how important this season is for the Mean Green. UNT loaded up on junior college players and FBS transfers in its 2013 recruiting class and went out and bought in an FBS team that — on paper — it should be able to beat to start the season before taking on what will be a tough series of games to close out nonconference play against three bowl teams in Ball State, Ohio and Georgia. The last two of those games will be played on the road.

UNT needed a game to start that it could win and pick up confidence heading into those games. UNT got it, and paid a pretty penny for it.

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