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What's the going rate for a guarantee game these days?

Missouri helmet

The cost of everything is going up these days, including the price of a guaranteed victory.

According to open records obtained by the Columbia Tribune, Missouri is on the hook for nearly $5 million in guarantee games over the next six seasons. Here's how it breaks down:

- vs. Southeast Missouri State, Sept. 5, 2015: $385,000
- vs. Eastern Michigan, Sept. 10, 2016: $1.3 million
- vs. Missouri State, Sept. 2, 2017: $400,000
- vs. Idaho, Oct. 21, 2017: $1.3 million
- vs. Southeast Missouri State, Sept. 21, 2019: $425,000
- vs. Eastern Michigan, Sept. 26, 2020: $1.1 million

Bryan Maggard, Mizzou's executive in charge of scheduling, told the paper that guarantee games with MAC and Sun Belt programs like Eastern Michigan and Idaho would have gone for $800,000 or less as recently as a few years ago. In 2012, Missouri paid a total of $700,000 to bring Murray State, Toledo and Arkansas State (though the Tigers returned the trip to Toledo in 2014, driving costs down) to Columbia. They'll pay nearly double that next season just for the Eastern Michigan game.

Maggard said prices are going up because mid-major programs' costs are going up as well. Oh, and they're just as aware of reports like these as the rest of us:

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“It’s indicative of the fact that your midmajor programs have greater needs from a financial standpoint,” Maggard told the paper. “And with TV, the revenues generated by all these networks that everybody’s aware of, it’s just driven the price up. I do believe the midmajor programs are looking to support their programs in the various needs — whether it be cost of attendance, things like that — through guarantee monies.”