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Report: Illinois will pay Middle Tennessee State $950,000 to visit Champaign

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Fighting Illini to spend nearly $1 million to play Conference USA school.

Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois will host Middle Tennessee State in the final game before Big Ten conference play begins Oct. 26. It's expected to be a non-conference win for the Illini, but it's going to cost them.

According to a report from the Daily News Journal, Illinois is paying Middle Tennessee State $950,000 to play the game in Champaign.

It's not an usual occurrence for a Power 5 team to pay a smaller school to travel for what should be an easy home win. The Blue Raiders will also receive $1.5 million to travel to Tuscaloosa, Ala. to play the Crimson Tide this Fall.

Last season, the Illini needed fourth-quarter comebacks against Youngstown State, Western Kentucky and Texas State -- all smaller schools that received compensation for their trip. In 2013, Illinois edged in-state foe Southern Illinois by just eight points.

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