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UCONN-ish article about how to build a I-A program


Kizarvexis
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USFFAN posted a link to this article on the other board. I posted a long opinion to the Journal Inquirer that offered corrections and some additional info. It hasn't been posted yet and I neglected to copy my post. But here's the article.

TICKET TO THE BIG TIME: Attendance key to success, driving other revenues

By Steve Rogers and Joe Ax, Journal Inquirer - December 03, 2003

Tom Viet, associate athletic director at the University of South Florida, calls them tire kickers.

They are fans who showed up to see USF play when the Bulls moved to I-A college football in 1997 but haven't been back.

Every college football team with aspirations of reaching the big time has to be aware of them.  

Since that first year, the average attendance at the 65,000-seat Raymond James Stadium in Tampa peaked at 30,512 this year, paltry in the cavernous stadium.

"We had tire kickers, people who showed up to see what it was all about, something like 50,000. We need to bring them back in," Viet says of USF's dream of being a player in the I-A football arena.

The article goes on to make more mistakes and tries to make the point that UCONN was better in their 2nd I-A season than USF was in their 2nd I-A season. Have fun ripping it apart. :)

Kizarvexis

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first thing to do- stop insulting fans

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What USF has done with att. is good IMO, I expect it to increase each year ... nearly 5K this season ... Very Impressive !!!

Go BULLS !!!

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what about when w eare in BE?

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Well, my rebuttal made it to the article. Here it is if you don't want to click on the link above.

Hello,

I have a few minor corrections (and some additions at the end) to the South Florida (USF) information in this article.

"They are fans who showed up to see USF play when the Bulls moved to I-A college football in 1997 but haven't been back."

Actually, 1997 was the inaugral season of football at USF. USF's first ever football game was on Sep 6th, 1997, in which I-AA USF beat D-II Kentucky Wesleyan 80-3. I-AA USF was 5-6 that first season (3-6 vs I-AA).

"Since that first year, the average attendance at the 65,000-seat Raymond James Stadium in Tampa peaked at 30,512 this year, paltry in the cavernous stadium."

Yes, 30,512 is paltry in a 65k stadium, but for Bulls games RJS only opens the lower bowl of 41,441. So USF did fill over 73% of the stadium sections that it was selling in 2003.

"We had tire kickers, people who showed up to see what it was all about, something like 50,000. We need to bring them back in," Viet says of USF's dream of being a player in the I-A football arena."

Mr. Viet is referring to USF's first ever game vs D-II Kentucky Wesleyan which drew 49,212 in the old Tampa Stadium. (RJS opened in '98 ) USF averaged 33,038 per game over 7 home games that first year ('97). The USF average attendance fluctuated between 25k and 27k per game from '98-'02 (6-7 home games each year). The '03 USF average attendance was 30,512 for 6 home games, 2 vs last minute replacement I-AA teams after Baylor and E. Michigan dropped USF in mid Feb '03. Evidently, a lot of the fans that first season were 'tire kickers', but it appears that some of them came back in 2003 for USF's first C-USA season.

"In its second year playing a I-A schedule, UConn was ahead of USF, Marshall, Middle Tennessee, Idaho, Buffalo, and Troy State in each school's second season after making the jump in football, both on the playing field and at the bank. All six schools moved up in the last seven years."

USF's second year of I-A football was the '02 season as an independant. USF finished 9-2 (7-2 vs I-A) including beating then #25 Bowling Green 29-7 on Nov 16th, 2002. USF finished at #23 in the BCS rankings according to Shea Ratings and was the highest ranked, non-probation team to NOT be picked for a bowl game in 2002. (The ACC made a last minute bowl deal to tie up the last open slot. That last minute deal loophole was closed by the NCAA before the '03 season.)

"Consider that just three years ago -- Nov. 4, 2000 -- Middle Tennessee came to Storrs and in front of a meager 11,115 fans thrashed the Huskies 66-10."

USF, in transition to I-A, also played UCONN in 2000, in Storrs (16,585), and won 21-13 on a windy October afternoon (10/28 ). UCONN traveled to Tampa in 2001 (26,802) and USF won 40-21 in USF's first full I-A season. (USF went 8-3 in '01 including a 35-26 win @Pitt.)

UCONN does have an edge with history of the program in that they have been playing football since 1896. USF first held classes in 1960 and did not start playing football until 1997. USF has done well in it's 7 short years, starting it's program in I-AA, jumping to full I-A status after 4 years and only having 1 losing season.

1997 I-AA USF goes 5-6 (3-6 vs I-AA) in it's inaugural season.

1998 I-AA USF goes 8-3 (6-3 vs I-AA) and is ranked #19 by TSN and #16 by ESPN at the end of the year. USF was passed over for the I-AA playoffs.

1999 I-AA USF goes 7-4 (6-3 vs I-AA, 0-1 vs I-A) and is ranked #23 by TSN at the end of the year.

2000 Transition USF goes 7-4 (1-4 vs I-A).

2001 I-A USF goes 8-3 (5-3 vs I-A).

2002 I-A USF goes 9-2 (7-2 vs I-A) and is ranked #23 in BCS according to Shea Ratings at the end of the year.

2003 I-A USF goes 7-4 (5-4 vs I-A) and finishes 3rd in C-USA.

USF is 5-0 vs teams in the new Big East. 2-0 vs UCONN, 1-0 vs Pitt, 1-0 vs Cincinnati, 1-0 vs Louisville.

Thank you.

Steve A. Riverview, FL

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we will kick uconn's butt on the grid iron

we are the mighty bulls

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