Daily Archives: August 13, 2008

“I just wanted a school I’d like even if I wasn’t playing football.”

Westerdawg tips us to this terrific article on Mr. Moreno at ESPN The Magazine.  It’s almost a story that’s too good to be true.  Here’s the part I had the most trouble swallowing:

… The day Moreno’s No. 24 jerseys went on sale, Aunt Michelle bought every one she could find and had “Moreno” stitched on the back. At first, fans seated nearby asked her, “Who’s that?”

Unless those were Oklahoma State fans, I’m in shock.

Everybody knows his name now.

Everybody knows his name now. (Photo courtesy Sarah A. Friedman)

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Filed under Georgia Football

Weak economy or weak football?

This post over at The Business of College Football explores whether the slow economy hampers ticket interest for Georgia Tech football.

… Does the impact of a economic slowdown or recession (technically speaking requires two quarters of negative GDP) translate into lower attendance at college football games?

Several of Atlanta’s pro teams, including the Falcons and Braves, also have cited the slow economy as a challenge in sales. One team not impacted: the Georgia Bulldogs, who have sold out of football season tickets and rejected orders for new seats from customers with less than $10,651 in lifetime contributions to the athletics program.

If you have a product worth buying the answer is no…simply no a slowdown in the economy hurts those that are offering a weak product; like the Atlanta Falcons.

So, does Tech have a product worth buying?  Ehhh… they’d better win.

… Despite a good football tradition the Yellow Jackets are a fringe big time team with the additional problem of needing to compete with a full set of local pro teams and the big Dawg for the fan’s dollars.

An interesting point in the article is the recruiting of local fans without ties to the university. Traditionally there are two ways to get fans: loyal alumni and winning. As most college teams lack the marketing muscle of a NFL, MLB, NBA or even NHL organization, the success of Coach Johnson is the best hope of selling more seats.

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Filed under Georgia Tech Football, It's Just Bidness

Crash the party.

In response to my post about Tulsa coach Todd Graham’s “if Boise State and Hawai’i can, why not us?” pitch for his team to play in a BCS game if it runs the table, Jerry Hinnen writes

… Senator Blutarsky proves the point I made last January about Hawaii: all the work done by Boise the year before to legitimize mid-majors’ right to crash the BCS party has been undone. It’s not that I mind the skepticism regarding Tulsa’s legitimacy for a BCS berth, but they shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand, either–sure, the defense sucked last year, but if it improves to the point where they’re blowing teams out 55-20 on a weekly basis, I’m not sure that or their schedule should matter. It’s simply about how good they are, and anyone who paid close enough attention last year would have realized that a Hawaii team that needed overtime to beat Louisiana Tech just plain wasn’t. (Good, I mean.) A better schedule would be nice, but if even the likes of the Golden Hurricane romp all over it, the JCCW’s official position is that they’ll deserve their shot. Too bad that thanks to Hawaii, it seems a whole lot less likely they’d get it.

I’m not sure if I’m being misconstrued here or not.  If Jerry’s point is simply that an excellent mid-major school deserves a shot at a BCS game, no argument here.  If he’s saying that Tulsa shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand because Hawai’i crapped the bed last year, well, that depends.

Look, the lesson that Hawai’i should have taught the pollsters is that while it’s nice for a school to go undefeated with a nice, shiny toy of an offensive system, you’ve got to make some objective effort to look at the journey a school takes to get there.  And for a school in a non-BCS conference, I can only see two ways to judge that:  either by playing a credible schedule, or by dominating opponents on a week-in, week-out basis.  Hawai’i did neither last year.  But a lot of voters (and certain pundits at a certain sports network) were blinded by the record and the offensive stats.  There should be a better way to evaluate than that.

So what are the reasonable expectations for Tulsa in ’08?  Well, whatever credibility it garners shouldn’t come from the schedule, which I’ll charitably call mediocre.  (Compare Tulsa’s to Utah’s and Fresno State’s for some perspective on this point.)  So that leaves on-field dominance.  Is it likely that Tulsa will score a lot of points this year?  Sure – after all, the Golden Hurricanes were first in total offense last year.  But defensively, as I noted in my initial post, this team was less than impressive.  The good news for 2008 is that Oklahoma isn’t on the schedule (Tulsa yielded 62 points to the Sooners last year); the bad news is that Tulsa only brings back five starters on defense this year.

Jerry says that if Tulsa rattles off a stretch of 45-20 wins, that’s a likely indication of the team’s worthiness for consideration.  Assuming for the sake of argument that’s true, what’s the basis for that premise in the first place?  Tulsa lost four games last year. It was smoked by the only ranked team it played, it lost to UCF twice and was beaten by a 4-8 UTEP squad.  It held teams to twenty points or less only three times last year.  From such things greatness should not presumed.

Bottom line here is that Hawai’i shouldn’t be a bar to non-BCS conference schools’ participation in the big games.  Should Fresno State run the table with who it plays this year, there won’t be any need to parse the results.  But a source of healthy skepticism?  Absolutely.  There should be some context to going undefeated as a member of C-USA.  So don’t blame me for knocking Tulsa.  I’m not the one who brought up the “if them, then us” pitch in the first place.

4 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, College Football, The Blogosphere

This, that and the other

Random goodies to check out this AM:

  • The Quad turns its eye to #17 Tennessee.  It’s a surprisingly bland look.  The most interesting thing there is the alumni list, with Cormac McCarthy and Kurt Vonnegut making an appearance.  And you didn’t think Vols could read, did you…
  • As far as I can tell, the Times Free Press is the first to the gate with a post-Sturdivant projection of the SEC East.
  • The Dead Guy takes a look at the math of Rivals SEC unit rankings.
  • SI.com’s Andy Staples takes Urban Meyer to task for his “top one percent” comment in the wake of the Ron/Ronnie Wilson reinstatement.  Bonus:  audio of the 911 call during Wilson’s shoot ‘em up moment, including gun shot.
  • David Hale gets Ray Gant to reminisce about Reggie “Dog” Ball.  *Sniff*
  • Paul Westerdawg has some fun updating the pre-game scoreboard show.  It occurs to me that Brandon Cox could be his own Georgia highlight reel.
  • This started with a UT preview, and I’ll finish with one over at the great The Joe Cribbs Car Wash.  Check out Jerry’s “our nickname will kick your nickname’s ass” portion of the analysis; it’s hilarious.

6 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles, SEC Football, The Blogosphere