A: The Thunderbirds, proud Big Sky Conference champions of 2015 and 2017, will be paid $500,000 for playing at Arizona Stadium Saturday. A week ago, they were paid a similar $500,000 for losing 48-25 at Oregon State.

While few outside of Cedar City, Utah, were paying attention, Southern Utah ditched the small-scale Great West Conference in 2012 and joined the Big Sky.

In attempt to strengthen their bottom line, the Thunderbirds began playing Pac-12 teams that year. How’s it going?

Southern Utah is 0-5 against the Pac-12 and has lost by an average score of 49-17, getting out-gained per game 554 to 321 yards. It lost 77-21 at Oregon, 50-31 at Cal and last week, at OSU, allowed true freshman running back Jermar Jefferson to rush for 238 yards.