It’s the conferences’ TV contracts that allow the networks to dictate college football kickoff time slots. Therefore, yes, there is money involved. But, (other that UT, which is “special”) all teams in each conference get paid the same for appearing on TV. And, every team in the conference gets to be on TV a certain, minimal number of times. So, why do the conferences contractually agree to allow networks to decide who plays when?
The answer seems to be that not too long ago it used to be an extra benefit to schools to have their games televised at all. More TV appearances meant better exposure, which translated into a recruiting advantage, a favor to the schools’ fans (especially for road games), and, in some cases, extra compensation. But, no more. At least at UH. Every game, home and away, that the Cougars play has been televised at least for the past few seasons. Perhaps all AAC teams don’t get treated as well TV-wise. I don’t know.
In any case, any new conference TV contract ought to limit the number of times that any school can be required to play at 11 o’clock or on week nights.