OT: Market Efficiency and Valuation [6:31 pm]
I know this is a bit off-topic, but the irony of this market valuation of football opponents is too striking to pass up: In College Football, Big Paydays for Humiliation
The University at Buffalo football team went 1-10 last season and did not score a touchdown until the fourth game. For nearly a decade, it has been considered one of the worst teams in college football.
Buffalo is just the kind of opponent some of the nationâ€™s top-ranked teams are looking for â€” and are paying rapidly rising prices to play this season. The Bulls will travel this coming season to play Auburn, a national title contender, and Wisconsin, a perennial Big Ten Conference power. Although Buffalo appears destined to be humiliated, the university will receive a $600,000 appearance check for each game.
Scheduling easy victories is a tradition as timeless in college football as fight songs and homecoming. But after the National Collegiate Athletic Association approved the addition of a 12th regular-season game for the coming season, the appearance fees began climbing in a bidding war for games against college footballâ€™s flotsam and jetsam.
[...] Adding a weak team like Buffalo can be beneficial for two reasons. First, it practically guarantees a victory. Second, weak teams will visit for a lower price than better teams, meaning a higher profit on each home game. And many of the weaker teams do not insist on a home-and-home series that would require the better team to visit the next year. That means the better team has an open home date for the next season, which it can use to play another weak team.
Later: NYTimes editorial Boolah-Moolah Kickoff Time