RE: bowl ticket sales
This poster summed my feelings up perfectly....
Aren't you getting tired of it?
The Big East and every school in the Big East share in the revenue of the bowls. Much of this money gets re-invested in the program, to be sure...some of it is straight revenue for the schools.
ALL of it is generated by the fans (and if you're just looking at the papa bowl by itself - UC would probably lose money on this trip regardless of the fan support)
32 bowl games this year...THIRTY-TWO! How many NCAA football teams are there, 108? So 64 of 108 football teams make a bowl game, with UC being "invited" to the bowl with the lowest payout, which in my mind makes it the worst bowl. Hurray, we're #64! About 60% of all teams which play DI football make a bowl game. Let's apply this to other sports:
-18 of 31 MLB teams make the playoffs
-194 DI teams would make the NCAA tournament
And so on.
I likened the bowl process to Sweetest Day last night - a made up "holiday" created by businesses to pressure people into buying gifts...and if you don't, then you don't really care about your sweetheart!
This bowl thing is the same. Someone said it yesterday - any Tom, Dick or Harry can start up a bowl game (although I think we're at the max right now), and because bowl games used to have a reputation as being a reward for a "successful" year, programs jump at the chance. Let's never mind that in many years, there haven't been enough teams that even met the minimum requirement to get into a bowl game!
You guys say the fan base have created the UC problem by not supporting them at lower tier bowls, hence our very good team this season suffers for it. I AGREE. Now let me ask you this: If UC had never been in any of their contemporary bowls, starting with the Smurf bowl and ending in Toronto last year, don't you think we'd probably be in the Sun Bowl right now? Isn't no travel history better than bad travel history?
Fact is, UC didn't really deserve to go to any of the Bowls they were in up until this year - they went because they met bare minimum requirements and there were games to be filled. Fans are asked to shell out money for games in Detroit, Fort Worth and Toronto right around the Holiday season - and if they don't, the program "pays the price" in the future. I say the FANS pay the price, over and over again.
And if fans are paying the price, and bowl games are more about money than rewarding players for on field performance, then WHY ACCEPT THE BOWL BID? You're asking your fan base to shell out money for a product they don't want to see...in your heart of hearts, do you really, truly care if UC beats Southern Miss or not? It's no reward for the season they had, and Birmingham 3 days before Christmas in a condemned stadium is certainly no reward for the fans.
If they had turned down the bowl game, it wouldn't have hurt them near as much with truly good bowls in the future as it will when about 200 people show up on Dec. 22nd. It would've made the statement that this program has hit a level where just any old bowl just doesn't do anymore.
In my mind, going to this bowl HURTS recruiting, not helps. Let's say I'm a 3-4 star HS prospect, trying to decide between UC and a mid-level big 10 school like Indiana. If I'm looking at UC, and I see they won 9 games, beat S. Fla, Oregon State and UConn, and finished in the Top 25 of the BCS standings...and the best they could do is the papajohn's bowl, I'm thinking I'd rather go to a school where 9 wins gets me into a New Year's Day bowl.
To sum up all this rambling:
Fans are being sold a bill of goods and made to feel guilty because they didn't attend bowl games that exist for the sole purpose of making private businesses and football conferences money. These lower tier bowls do not exist as rewards for excellence on the field, and they obviously aren't a reward for fans.
The Bottom Line of all this is: do you care? Do you care whether or not UC gets to play in a bowl game, no matter the opponent or city or expense or how little they care about you as a fan? Did playing Utah State in the Humanitarian Bowl, or Toledo or Marshall in the Motor City Bowl, or Marshall in the Fort Worth Bowl, or Western Michigan in the International Bowl, truly enhance UC's program, or your enjoyment as a fan? And do you care that you're expected to shell out money for a bad football game in a bad city, in a bad stadium under the guise of future rewards that may never come to fruition?
The answers to these questions determine whether or not you'll be in beautiful Birmingham on Dec. 22. I care about UC football...but I don't buy gifts on Sweetest day, and I'm not spending hard earned money so UC can continue to play in Bowl games that mean absolutely NOTHING. I repeat, mean NOTHING. If that means less bowl games, and a 6-6 or 7-5 UC teams doesn't get the privilege of playing in the Motor City Bowl, so be it. If it means the Sun Bowl thumbs their nose at us in the future, so be that, as well. In 20 years, will anyone care about any of these bowls, save 5-10 of them?
Buy your tickets to Birmingham. And while you're at it, order up some snake oil for me, willya?