FAU head coach Lane Kiffin understands the reality for Group of Five schools in the FBS, but that doesn't mean he's happy to face No. 5 Ohio State to open the 2019 season.
"There's a lot of different ways to go about these things," Kiffin said Tuesday, per Bucknuts' Patrick Murphy. "Obviously, I didn't schedule these. These were scheduled before we got here, from the last athletic director (Pat Chun). I don't think it is the best idea, especially following with UCF, another team that has been a Top 10 team the last two years."
The Owls head to Columbus on Saturday to play the Buckeyes. The Caesars Palace sportsbook lists FAU as a 27.5-point underdog.
During an interview on The Andy Slater Show, he was blunt about the rationale for games against high-profile opponents where his team is at a clear disadvantage:
Because of the money involved, Kiffin acknowledged the benefits of playing Power Five schools but lobbied for matchups with teams that would suit the Owls a little more.
"The format that I think is the best, because you have to make money, you can't not play these games," he said. "But you can play somebody that pays the same, because the conference pays the same for the most part. It is not that big of a difference."
This is the second straight year FAU has opened against a Top 10 opponent. The Owls lost 63-14 on the road to No. 7 Oklahoma last season. They also played No. 9 Wisconsin in the second week of 2017, losing 31-14.
According to the Sun Sentinel's Matthew DeFranks, FAU received $1.2 million apiece from playing Wisconsin and Oklahoma and will get $1.4 million for playing Ohio State.