Ohio State to pay 3 early home foes $3.1 million total

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Defending national champion Ohio State will pay its three nonconference home opponents -- Hawaii, Northern Illinois and Western Michigan -- a total of $3.1 million to come to Ohio Stadium this fall.

Ohio State's athletic department provided the contract guarantees after a request by The Associated Press.

The Buckeyes, who beat Oregon in the inaugural College Football Playoff championship game in January, will pay Hawaii $1.2 million for a Sept. 12 matchup, Northern Illinois $900,000 to play on Sept. 19 and Western Michigan $1 million to come to the Horseshoe for a game on Sept. 26.

Ohio State receives $350,000 to open its season on Sept. 7 at Virginia Tech.