Via an open records request, Vanquish The Foe has obtained a copy of the contract for BYU football's upcoming two-game series with the Mississippi State Bulldogs of the SEC. While much of the language and structure of the contract is similar to that of other games, like the one we previously obtained for the Michigan State series, there are a few interesting wrinkles.
As previously announced, Mississippi State will travel to Provo on October 15, 2016, while the Cougars will make a trip to Starkville on October 16, 2017. Both games have a listed time of TBA on the contract.
First, the home team in each game will pay a guarantee of $250,000 to the visiting team. The Michigan State series will pay out $350,000 for each team. The $250k seems a little bit low compared to other contracts I've seen, but not dramatically so.
Second, the home team will provide 300 complementary tickets to the visitors, with the option to request up to 2,500 tickets. That's also less than the 3,600 for Michigan State, but to be fair, Spartan Stadium (listed capacity 75,000) is much larger than Davis Wade (listed capacity 55,082).
The opt-out clause is the most interesting part of the contract though. Like with Michigan State, and many other future games on BYU's schedule, it contains language allowing the Cougars to opt out of the game without penalty if they join a Power 5 conference. The language here is a little bit different from other contracts though:
So if BYU say, joined The American or Mountain West, it doesn't look like they would be covered. If some weird hybrid conference starts up that grabs some teams from the Big 12 or Pac-12 though, and THAT conference invites BYU...then they're safe. Mississippi State also gets protection here, in case the SEC decides to move to a nine-game conference schedule by 2017, which while unlikely, certainly isn't impossible.
This isn't to say that BYU joining a conference before 2017 is likely, only that BYU's lawyers are doing their due diligence. You know. Just in case.