The future of Miami vs UC

I thought that this topic deserved it’s own thread. I am very interested in what my fellow hawktalkers feel and believe we could have an impact on the future. Please feel free to critique either the dollar figures or probabilities cited in the post but i would request that you buttress your contention by either citing a source or otherwise explaining your position.

As i recall the current contract runs through 2029. It called for 5 games at Nippert, 4 games at Yaeger and 3 games at Paul Brown. The contract after 2029 will not be the same. UC will never agree to that and, realistically,nor should they.

UC is in a different position than when they last signed a contract with us. I highly doubt that their game day revenues minus game day expenses are less than 2.5 million dollars before opponent payouts. Every game played outside of Nippert is now a significant financial sacrifice. Furthermore, they don’t want to take the increased risk of a loss at opponents home field because they don’t have to. Please believe that the only way we will ever have UC in Oxford after 2029 is if they throw us a bone in a 10 year or longer contract.

So where do we go from here? Our choices are framed by financial considerations. What is the alternative to a series with UC?

The current trend in buy games is remarkable. In the future Miami should be able to pocket at least 1.25 million or more to go on the road versus P5 opponents unless you try to schedule in the Chicago area.:wink: I don’t believe our program is in a position to forgo having at least two such games per season even if we want to. We could play every game at Nippert and probably pocket 1.25 per year. I am sure that most MU fans don’t support this and I know I don’t.

Our games vs. UC at Paul Brown(sorry!@#$% Paycor)have been based on a 50/50 split of the take. That take has been significantly lowered by the Bengals taking all non ticket revenue.

If we assume a future contract with the UC and the Bengals would look somewhat simmilar how much could we make?

If the game was embraced by both institutions and included in the season ticket packages for both schools that would probably be over 22,000 tickets sold before an individual ticket was sold. Heck, over 30,000 tickets were sold this year without being included in anyone’s season ticket packages. I can easily see 48,000 attendees plus if both schools use this strategy.

The likely 50/50 split would be over a million dollars. That is the rough equivalent if a “buy” game. Would you rather play UC or someone else?

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I detest UC. Any chance to beat them heads up is too good to pass up. Anywhere, as long as Oxford gets it’s share (and no, I don’t know what that is).
And MJ, good post.

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There have been two schools I’ve hated in football:


The Marshall rivalry went away. It would be criminal if we walked away from the UC series.

Edit: I know I’m supposed to hate OU and whatever other MAC school, but the honest truth is no current MAC opponent has risen anywhere close to the two mentioned above.


How does playing UC vs a different opponent impact the program? What are the chances of a win in either scenario?

Long term contracts are based on long term trends. Let us try to ignore recent events. I am as scarred by UC’s 16 year win streak as anyone. I live in Cincinnati and am next door neighbors with UC season ticket holders.

Realistically, UC is a different animal than when most of us attended Miami. I believe That Luke Fickell is a unique talent and nothing is impossible for UC while he is there. I also believe it is unlikely that he will be there during a future 2030 onward contract. UC will still be different than 1990 but how different?

I think the most likely scenario is that UC will be, over time, an average Big 12 program. What does that mean? After averaging the Phil Steele preseason rating for all Big 12 teams after excluding Texas and Oklahoma I came up with a figure of 120.01.

I believe that a realistic average performance for Miami in the future is the average of the 6 best MAC programs. That figure us 108.21. For those not familiar with Phil Steele that means in an average year we are likely to be 12 point underdogs to the dregs of Clifton. Bettors will tell you that means winning just shy of 20% of the time.

That is, of course, a higher percentage chance than playing an average Big 10 team in their home field.

I believe that the UC game, played on a “neutral” field is better for Miami than the average buy game. A yearly game vs a P5 school in an an NFL stadium is a recruiting advantage. Miami vs UC is now the second most played rivalry in FBS after Wisconsin vs Minnesota. We should not lightly give it up.


First off, agree with Phil on the two most hated rivals…UC and Marshall (when they were in the MAC). Until recently OU was just not good enough to get me excited about them as a rival…actually, I tend to think of BG as more of a MAC rival than the Bobkittens, but that probably has more to do with my timing of attending Miami when we were so dominate.

I understand the negatives, but I am in the camp of wanting to see us continue to play UC so long as we can get a few games in Oxford and neutral site games in PB Stadium. How that split can be negotiated post 2029 is the key to continuing the series.

I am not going to argue the economics but if we can get relatively close on the money vs. a replacement buy game (which we also rarely win), I like keeping the tradition of the series alive, and having a program like UC (much as it pains me to say that) coming to Oxford every 3 years is a plus. We get a lot of local media interest and a big crowd and great game day experience for our students and alums which also counts in my book.

Lastly, despite the strong tilt towards UC over the last 15 years, we have had our chances to win, and certainly should have won a few games…once Fickell leaves perhaps we’ll have another window of opportunity.


I want to add that this discussion ought to incorporate the Miami football program. Specifically, what are the goals of the program? Do we strive for anything beyond winning the MAC and making a bowl game? If so, how do we get there? And is Chuck Martin the person to help reach our goals (he has been good on the modest MAC + bowl game goals).

I feel like there’s a ton of uncertainty with what we (fans, alumni, coaches, athletes, athletic department employees) want this program to be in 5/10/20 years. I’d love for Miami athletics to put together a sort of long term strategic document that has clearly outlined goals, peers, and benchmarks.

Once we know what we want to be, and where we want to go, it’s a hell of a lot easier to analyze the UC series.


Great post, Phil. I’m not certain we know who we are, whether we want to stay whatever we are right now - probably a MAC East contender that loses two big money buy games and a game to UC every season - or whether we want to be something else more relevant in the FBS arena.

In watching some of Toledo’s games this year I have learned from broadcaster comments that Toledo seems to have grander aspirations than being a MAC West contender every year. Allusions were made to the vision of their AD.

Having a better handle on what aspirations Miami has would help us reevaluate the UC tradition better.

I like what Dick suggested on the other thread - that we let the series run it’s course as contracted before making the ultimate decision.

If our decision is to maintain a modest program at a level below that of UC, it might be appropriate to convert the annual series to an occasional buy game with them.


Paul Brown is not a “neutral” field, it’s a home game for UC where Miami is given permission to wear Red jerseys. We should absolutely cancel the series.

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You are spot on about the lack of a vision for this program. I yearn to hear someone in authority at Miami give us an aspirational, challenging and yet achievable long-term objective for not only football, but Miami athletics in general.


We’ve stunk against UC but we won’t always. The key (to me) is getting more basketball games with them out of this situation. They aren’t going to cancel it and I like that we are likely one of the top 3 oldest rivalries in America (despite that it doesn’t look like a rivalry now). Keep playing it!


While it is not neutral, it is far better than playing at Nippert, which is as big a homefield advantage as anywhere. It was far more neutral than the game we played at UK this year. We are not on even level in negotiating a contract with a top 25 program, if you expect that then this series will definitely end. I think the current setup is reasonable. We had some fan support there this year and for 20 minutes we were having fun. Getting more Miami fans there might be a goal. University did bring a lot of students on busses.

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Sayler should have never agreed to a neutral site is my point. UC can suck a Bearcat’s teat if they want to continue with the neutral site game.

Actually Miami didnt bring anyone on buses except the team and band. They had buses lined up but the company that was supposed to provide backed out due to staffing

As far as the series I would like to see it continue. I was surprised how modest that attendance was at the Bengals stadium to be honest

The 5-5-3 model seemed really good to me. But of course we lost the 2020 game and the 2 of the 3 final years are in Oxford- we will see about that

I guess the problem is that our current program cant handle the injuries of the game and it will likely get no easier when they join the Big 12

It doesnt seem like UC can afford to pay us to make it a money game and maybe we cant afford D1 football without 2 money games

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I think DS has made it perfectly clear Miami needs two money buy games every year just to survive. Looking at our future schedules there are years where with have one buy game and UC.

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Nescacdad: still think there is intrinsic value in maintaining the UC series if we can get a P5 team to play us occasionally in Oxford…also, as speculated earlier on these boards, UC’s financial position in B12 allow them to pay us more for games in Nippert.


Continue the series but not every year. And have games only at Nippert and Yeager

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A one for two Yager and Nippert might work - played over 7-8 years. We have become the Colorado State vs Colorado or the Idaho vs Boise. Might win 20% of the time and struggle even when the bigger program is down a bit - like Colorado is now. It just happens CSU is even worse right now. Too bad for the Rams. They probably missed their opportunity. We might have missed ours this season with UC reloading from a CFP team and in a gap year before heading to the Big 12.

I think RS mentioned this before also…to me that would be best idea, every two or three years?

Make UC a buy game for us and put them in a 4 year rotation among, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan.
Each year, play two buy games, a home FCS and a Home and Home with another G5 program.