After his incredible season at Jackson State, in which he led the team to an 11–2 record and Celebration Bowl bid, the college football world wants more of coach Deion Sanders. However, don't expect to see his program taking a bunch of buy games from Power Five programs.
Jackson State faced one FBS opponent in 2021, falling at Louisiana-Monroe, 12–7. The team has a history of facing some programs up one level, with games against TCU, UNLV, Southern Miss and South Alabama in recent seasons, before Sanders was named coach.
There is a major draw for programs like Jackson State facing big-time college football powers. Those games are usually worth high-six-digit payouts, even if they are losses the vast, vast majority of the time.
Sanders isn't into the idea of taking his team on the road to get thumped, just for a big pay day for his program. He spoke about his philosophy on scheduling those games during an appearance on The Rich Eisen Show on Friday.
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“The goal is to dominate where you are, not win, but to dominate where you are,” Sanders said. “Then, you look towards down the line to scheduling some of those games. Right now, those games are a financial beatdown. That's what I call them. That's what some HBCUs choose to do. I'm going to go to these various schools, get my butt kicked, but I'm walking out of there with $750,000 or a million dollars. That's not worth it to me. To me, that's the ultimate sell out to children.
“I know I'm not going to win, I'm going to lose three or four players to injury and you're going to humiliate my team and I'm going to have to build them back up the next week to play again. That doesn't make any sense to me."
He didn't close the door on Jackson State facing some SEC-type programs down the road, if he establishes the program as an FCS power, but for now he doesn't believe it is worth it for the money.
This isn't the first time he's taken this stance, either.
“All money ain't good money,” he said during a conference call in September, denouncing the idea of “buy games.”
We may see Coach Prime going up against those types of program soon enough, though. He drew attention during the coaching carousel, getting involved with the opening at TCU, and acknowledging that other programs are interested in what he's been able to build at JSU.
No moment during his 11-win season was bigger than the opening of the early signing period earlier in December, when he poached five-star wide receiver Travis Hunter from his alma mater Florida State, the top player in the SI99 rankings.
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For more news on the Jackson State Tigers, head over to HBCU Legends.
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