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July 6, 2011

Big City, Little Lights

I read an interesting story on ESPN about 'major' college programs that share a city with NFL teams getting together to compare notes on expanding fan bases.  In the article, they discussed Georgia Tech, but Tech didn't participate in the round table of ADs and Marketing Directors that got together.  Apparently, these programs all feel they have struggles with attracting fans. After getting emails from Tech to buy their four tickets and a hot dog package, I'd say they are looking to the wrong place.

After looking at the list, I'd suggest they have problems attracting top flight football players:

Arizona State (Pac-12)
Boston College (ACC)
Cincinnati (Big East)
Houston (Conference USA)
Maryland (ACC)
Miami (ACC)
Northwestern (Big Ten)
Pittsburgh (Big East)
Rutgers (Big East)
San Diego State (Mountain West)
South Florida (Big East)
TCU (Mountain West)
Temple (MAC)
Tulane (Conference USA)
Washington (Pac-12)

Besides TCU, only one of these programs have had sustained success in the past 20 years, and it has been 10 years since they were much of a factor in the national discussion (Miami). 

So, is the problem attracting fans or players?  Would filling Raymond James Stadium substantially change talent level of the players going to South Florida?  Washington has world class facilities in one of the most beautiful settings in the world, so what gives?  Is going to college in a college town as big a deal for blue chip football players as it is for the average college student?



Sam, Dawg Fan said...

As far as the teams that share the limelight with pro football, I have some theories.

How much talent is in the area? Does Arizona, Washington or Boston produce a lot of D1 talent?

Some just recently became football schools of interest (Cincy). Tulane and Temple have been bad for a while.

I think some of those end up as self-fulfilling situations. Pitt was a very good program from the Dorsett through Marino years. Some bad coaching hires and bad seasons and you lose the fan base especially in situations where the school is a private school that does not necessarily have a large local base (Miami, NW for instance).

Led Ramses said...

I don't see the correlation between a pro football team being in town and a lack of fans for the college team. what I do see is that maybe college's need to be more competitive, and spend more money to get the Talent that we like see in college football.

Tyler Dawgden said...

I just hadn't thought about it before the article. But think about the teams on this list and others like Rutgers (NY), Minnesota, SMU, and Vandy.

Just interesting to me that the blue chip hoops guys view the big city experience one way and the blue chip football guys another.

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