According to this article by FBschedules.com, the Kent State Golden Flashes will head to Oxford to take on the Ole Miss Rebels out of the mighty SEC. Also gleaned from the same article, the Golden Flashes will receive a cool 1.5 million for the game.
Kent State could gain even more with a win. Very few things in this world are more satisfying than going into SEC land and coming away with a major upset. Unlike when a MAC school knocks off a Big Ten opponent, the national media narrative is more about how good the win is for the little guy and less about how weak their power 5 opponent is.
Speaking of Big Ten opponents, the Golden Flashes are also set to take on Illinois and Penn State the same season. If I were a MAC athletic director, that’s exactly how I would schedule it. 3 power 5 opponents that could result in a win. Illinois is currently a dumpster fire. Ole’ Miss never seems to live up to the preseason hype. While Penn State had a very good year, they don’t just physically explode “lesser” teams off the field.
The non-conference is there for three reasons if you are a MAC school. Playing teams like these are a win in all three categories. Make money. Check. Get ready for the MAC season, which playing tougher competition certainly does. Check. Have the potential improve the national foot print and up exposure with a win. Check.
Kent State has already had a successful non-conference season in 2018, and we aren’t even to Easter in 2017.