Inside college football’s latest facilities craze: the football-only complex |

To understand the frontline of a college football arms race that’s playing out in Florida and across the nation, look to the extremes.

There are the big and bold extravagances that wow recruits — like barbershops, mini-golf courses and TVs staring out from bathroom mirrors.

And there are the tiny, seemingly insignificant details that coaches, architects and designers scrutinize — like where to put every door in a 100,000-square-foot palace.

The combination of gold-plated luxuries and meticulously devised logistics are why programs from Florida to Oregon State are pouring millions into the sport’s latest facilities craze.

The football-only complex.

“Literally everyone and their brother is building a football-only facility right now…” said Matt Huml, who has studied their impacts as an assistant professor of sport management at Texas Tech. “If you don’t have a football-only facility, you’re wanting to build one. If you do, then you’re wanting to improve it.”

Huml isn’t exaggerating by much.

A conservative count shows at least 17 of the 65 Power Five programs have opened or renovated football-only complexes since 2013. The combined cost: more than $800 million. Add in at least seven other projects that are in the works, and the total hits $1.2 billion.

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