Deion Sanders and his Jackson State team are coming off a big win last week. And they are looking to get another one this week when they travel to Louisiana to play the University of Louisiana at Monroe.
Sanders’ JSU squad will take on a ULM team coached by Terry Bowden, the son of recently-deceased Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden. Of course, Sanders played his college ball under the elder Bowden at FSU.
“Formidable opponent. A Bowden,” Sanders said at the weekly SWAC media session. “It’s going to be very emotional because we’re going to celebrate my late, great head coach Bobby Bowden. And I think both teams are going to wear decals on their helmets to commemorate that”.
The game will be a matchup of an FCS team (JSU) against an FBS team (ULM). HBCUs played 11 games against FBS competition last week and lost all 11 of them. ULM is paying JSU $300k to play the game. It is what is known in college football as a “money game.”
This is nothing unusual on JSU’s level. But it is the first time it has had one since Deion Sanders was named head coach a year ago.
“We’re supposed to lose by all accounts,” he said. “We don’t supposed to be in this game. We getting paid to get beat, right? We’re getting paid to get beat. We gonna see how that works out.”
JSU is 2-0 with wins over Florida A&M and Tennessee State. ULM has lost its last 12 contests. Due to money and a higher scholarship allotment, JSU comes in as the underdog.
“Normally you just get paid to go get beat, right? That’s really the goal,” he said. “Somebody pays you. Your program makes more money than it normally would. I don’t believe in that — I don’t know how that helps anybody.”
Just last week in the SWAC, Grambling lost 37-0 to Southern Miss. Texas Southern was dropped 66-7 by Baylor. Alabama State was beaten 62-0 by Auburn. ULM is probably the weakest of those FBS programs, but it’s still an FBS program. Sanders said he believes games like this can be morale-killers.
“It helps the budget but it kills the morale,” he said. “How can getting your butt kicked — I mean really kicked — help you as a team. All money ain’t good money. All money ain’t good money.”
So Sanders and Co. will look to keep their winning streak alive, regardless of how many more scholarships its opponent has.
“I plan on going there and putting our best foot forward, and our players playing their best games possible,” he said. “And coming out with the win.”