$2 million dollars.
That is how much money FAU will receive from Nebraska and Alabama for being their proverbial "tune-up" game before conference play starts as members with the Big Ten, and SEC respectively.
For FAU, its a "money game" to help pay off the beautiful newly minted on campus stadium, or to allocate funds to the rest of the athletic department wherever money is needed.
Truth be told, for most casual college football fans this occurrence is the norm.
Directional school visits traditional powerhouse, the Traditional powerhouse wins the game in convincing fashion, and the Directional school receives paycheck for its cash-strapped athletic department.
Truly a Win-win.
Unless of course, the directional school takes the money and gets the win.
The most famous example of the latter outcome is Appalachian State defeating Michigan in the Big House 34-32. But for every upset there are tons of games where schools experience the same lopsided loss FAU had to go through last week against Nebraska.
So, is the money worth it in exchange for the team taking a battering in the final score, while being subjected to potential injuries that can affect the outcome of more relevant contests towards Bowl eligibility?
"Our scheduling philosophy is to place our football program in the best possible position to achieve its goals on an annual basis," said Athletic Director Pat Chun.
However, for a fan base itching for relevance, the answer is clearly no.
As one Owl's Nest site member stated last Saturday, "Anyone else over the whole body bag thing? Even FIU gets to start with two FCS opponents at home. This is never fun."
More centralized conversation can be found Here.
Twitter also had its share of likewise comments, a couple of the clean ones are shown below.
On to date night with the wife. No point in watching this slaughter anymore. But nevertheless I will always be #OwlsUp— Owl Family (@OwlFamilyFAU) August 30, 2014
i thought FAU woulda came out a little more competitive then this smh..— EB (@EBreithut22) August 30, 2014
FAU has played Florida, Michigan State, Georgia, Auburn twice and - after this week - Alabama twice over the past few years. For a fan base clamoring to see more home games thrown against the potential of FAU continuing to schedule these "tune-up" games themselves, its hard not to agree with them. Fans want to see more potential wins.
"Football scheduling is done years in advance and thus we are contractually obligated to fulfill these agreements," replied Chun of the recent out of conference schedule.
But he did go on to elude to changes considering the desired end goal of a 50-50 split in scheduling.
"We also have a responsibility to host at least six home football games in our stadium", said Chun.
For the players and coaching staff, these games allow them to matchup and scheme versus the game's elite with a chance to prove that they belong. If done right, they could put FAU on the map.
This week Charlie Partridge and the Owls have another chance as they take on Nick Saban and the second ranked Alabama Crimson Tide.
Nick Saban prides himself on building football programs with "The Process." When asked about what "The Process" is in Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian's "The System," Saban said, "You can talk about winning all you want but really the goal is for our guys to go out there and play with the best of their ability from an effort standpoint, from a toughness standpoint and from a discipline-to-execute standpoint."
When FAU takes on Alabama at noon this Saturday, Owl fans should keep this in mind as they ponder why their program continues to take these "money games." It may be the only way to reflect whether progress has been made as the scoreboard may not be the biggest indicator of such.