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What Do I/We Not Like?
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rabidTU2 Offline
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Post: #1
What Do I/We Not Like?
There are a few things I think TU has done wrong in the past and if I could, I'd change. Maybe others have their own list as well.

I've never seen this done on a message board before (perhaps it has), but if there were things that needed changing, I'd do some. Some are inconseqential, others not so much. But if anyone has a few examples and the time to post them, please feel free.

Here's my first dislike. Its the color of Chapmans chairback seating in the middle sections and the bland color in general of the inside of the stadium. First off, I'd have made the chairbacks TU Royal Blue to give some color and a background that wouldn't accentuate any empties we sometimes have there. The administration decided to make all seating in the Don blue in color, yet there is vitually no blue inside Chapman.
That is a mistake imo. If you could picture blue premium chairbacks on the east and west side, I think most would generally agree.

TU needs to have an athletic facility architectural strategy for any future facilities and the blue color seating should be one of them.

I know this is a minor dislike, but every little thing matters to some of us fans who have nothing to do when its raining cats and dogs.

More to follow.
(This post was last modified: 07-29-2015 11:12 AM by rabidTU2.)
06-18-2015 01:55 PM
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rabidTU2 Offline
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Post: #2
RE: What Do I/We Not Like?
Parking.

There are a lot of programs around the nation that have a "parking problem" and IMO we are one of them. Parking is the single most important problem that needs a solution so the universities FB and MBB programs can grow and prosper. There have been numerous attempts at a solution, but none have really solved it and some good folks believe an expensive parking structure that would drain millions of dollars away from the program should be construction - a bandaide on a gaping wound IMO.

A multi-million dollar structure would never pay for itself and isn't needed since TU at some point will have the room for ground level parking as the campus expands. Only campuses that are locked in to the inner city need parking garages because the land is so very expensive it is warranted. TU is now a residential campus and the land cost is reasonable as well compared to that of an inner city campus. Shuttle buses to the fairgrounds has been attempted, but only complicate the problem since people want the freedom to come to and leave the game or event when they want as well as the forgetful person who always leaves their sunglasses in the car.

As i've stated a few times in the past, TU already owns the land for addtional parking along the east side of Harvard - the old setback. But that land just sits there not being used and is an out of place eyesore - a roped off field not utilized by anyone for anything.

So IMO TU should approach the city with a plan to beautify that section in the same way it is right across the street next to the Don - landscaped trees and flower beds so that it is integrated into the neighborhood. TU is growing and needs the extra student parking right now and when there is an event of any kind at the Don, the students sometimes find themselves wo a parking spot.

I estimate at least 1200 to 1500 parking spaces could be paved and landscaped in that area. Those cars normally carry several people to an event so it equates to a few thousand "bodies" going to a basketball game or the FB stadium next door. Also, students who commute (about 25% of the total number of TU students) could park there through the week for classes and would be long gone by a Saturday FB game or nighttime MBB affair. So there should be no comflicts.

I also think the university could better utilize "pickup points" rather than random "see and ride" stopping. A pickup point is when the shuttle buses go directly to a designated parking lot near campus (like Kendall School or even WRogers HS) to pick up a group, rather than a single individual or couple. The "stops" TU now performs are random and only delay getting people to the games. The pickup points could be at parking lots (if agreed to with the schools) close to campus like Kendall or even Rogers HS or the lots south of 11th and Delaware. There are hundreds of vacant speaces in those locations.

The shuttles would go directly to the pickup locations, load a group of people who do not want to walk to the event. The shuttle would then transport those folks to the event, let them off, then go directly back to the lot and pick up another group. There wouldn't be multiple stops that take up a lot of delivery time.

The advantage of the "Pickup Point" approach is that if someone does forget their sunglasses (for instance) they can walk back to the car since its not at the fairgrounds or some other distant point. Also, the stopping isn't at random and the buses are better utilized.

So the goal should be ground level parking as close to the event as possible - parking that can be both utilized by students and event attendees and a system of transport that is both fast and efficient.

But as stated above, the university in the very near future should lobby the city to allow them to use its own land along Harvard for its own purposes (accomodating TU fans who are also citizens of the city and voters who elected those city officials in the first place).

IMO
(This post was last modified: 06-21-2015 11:20 AM by rabidTU2.)
06-19-2015 09:35 AM
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rabidTU2 Offline
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Post: #3
RE: What Do I/We Not Like?
Here's another one of my hidden gripes that isn't the fault of the university, but effects the program. Its the access to the campus and the events on campus as well as promoting the school by our elected officials.

I've noticed over the years that we "magically" seem to have some road/access construction project going on during the FB/MBB season and that's still occurring as I-244 is now almost impassable and will be for the next couple of years/seasons.

In the past few years, there has been some sort of construction project as close as third street and twice on I-244 - the first was a repavement project from about the 169/244 exchange toward TU. That project occurred a couple years ago with orange barrels and lane closures extending all the way to Yale (if my memory is correct). And now the newest ODOT "problem" on 244 that has cut traffic to one lane - thats ridiculous. It seems to me that some Oklahoma highway official has it "in" for TU and its their way of cutting down traffic to the school.

An extended problem over the years is the lack of signage on 244 and the other access roads near campus. It just puzzles me that if a newcomer to the area finds themself near campus (say at 11th and Harvard), they literally "discover" the place in front of them wo knowing they were close to it. It just seems the city and the state sometimes take TU for granted and don't really care. That needs to change. There should be lots of signage giving directions to campus as far away as a mile or two and it should be provided by the city AND the state where possible. I'll be anxiously waiting for that large signage on I-244 from the state announcing the only university in Oklahoma ranked in the top 100 academic universities in the state. And as for the city, they don't know how lucky they are to have a school like TU in their front yard. They need to get a reality check and see how they can promote it. Put up a few signs for crying out loud!
(This post was last modified: 06-21-2015 11:24 AM by rabidTU2.)
06-20-2015 12:41 PM
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rabidTU2 Offline
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Post: #4
RE: What Do I/We Not Like?
Scheduling.

Now of course I'm not the AD at TU, but I think we are really hurting the program by scheduling the wrong teams at home and away, particularly in CFB. This year and last, we scheduled FAU there and they return this year. Why?!

I can't think of a single fan I know that went to that game in Florida. It wasn't a required conference game. it wasn't a game that held any interest to fans on either team. it was not driveable. We do not recruit there to any degree. On and on.

The year before, we played Bowling Green. All the above criticisms can be applied to that game as well. Oh, and one more. they were both very bad losses that tarnished the program IMO. Now I believe we have home and away series with several other teams similar to the two just mentioned. Again the question Why?!

No, i think we need to become scheduling partners with teams that our fans have heard of and wouldn't crush the program losing to and that are driveable by our fans and theirs. Here is a list off the top of my head. BTW, I'm not including "money" games with most of the P5 programs that give us the prestige and bigger stage we sometimes need.

North Texas#
Texas St#
UTSA#
UTEP
Rice
La Tech#
Arkansas St#
Air Force
Colorado St
BYU
UTEP
New Mexico*
Southern Miss
NM St
Louisiana Laf

On 2015 schedule*
Driveable Games# (appr 500 miles or less)
(This post was last modified: 07-29-2015 11:13 AM by rabidTU2.)
06-21-2015 01:57 PM
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rabidTU2 Offline
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Post: #5
RE: What Do I/We Not Like?
I also have a criticism of our branding in general. Some of the criticism is due to the perception of TU in general by people that know nothing about the school and others that just think TU is in the way of their prejudiced idea of thier favorite college institution.

(On a side bar, it was told to me once that T Boone Pickens (OSU sugar daddy) hates TU with a passion because he had applied to our energy/petroleum engineering school when he was looking for a college and was turned down, then had to attend the school in Stillwater instead.)

TU and other private schools are sometimes viewed as full of spoiled rich kids that don't relate well to the common folks. Of course I disagree, but part of the problem is that TU doesn't do enough to stop that criticism with its branding as a "school of the city and state". So IMO we need to show the local people some love. One way is to display that love with our branding.

I've noticed a lot of schools are wearing symbols on their athletic uniforms that symbolize their pride in being local. An example is the Fresno "V" on the back of their FB helmets. Louisiana Tech's helmet symbol has a state map design displayed prominently. Others schools do that as well on all their uniforms. So if TU wants to become more friendly inside our region here in Oklahoma, I believe they need to show that love back.

Last basketball season, I decided to brave the ice and snow and come to the TU-Cincinnati MBB game - a bad loss BTW. Noone else wanted to come with me so they stayed home. And as I was walking to the Don and passing Mabee Gym, a guy with OSU gear on asked where the basketball arena was. So I told him to follow me. He'd never even been to TU before - believe it or not. He lived in BA and owned OSU season tix, but decided not to attend their game because of the weather that night, was recording it on TV and decided to come to ours instead, but had never been "on" the campus. My first thought was "why" he hadn't been to TU before, living in BA. But its obvious that some folks just don't see TU as a part of their sports experience. They don't identify with TU in the same way they do with the state schools and of course there is the "media" giving prefential treatment to the other state schools on top of that.

So IMO TU has a branding problem that it needs to work on and could be helped by making its identity more "state" friendly. Its not painful to incorporate a state flag or a state map design onto the helmets or jersys of our sports teams.

BTW, even though we lost that game at the Don, the visitor from OSU said he would try to come back and see some games in the future. He really liked the campus and the atmosphere.

So TU needs to have a more inclusive brand, one that is more Okie friendly.

IMO
06-24-2015 11:39 AM
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rabidTU2 Offline
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Post: #6
RE: What Do I/We Not Like?
Group A

Longhorns
Gators
Wolverines
Seminoles

Group B

Aggies
Bulldogs
Sooners
Cornhuskers
Gophers
Bruins
Huskies (Wash)
Huskies (Conn)
Tigers
Golden Bears

What do all these college nicknames have in common? Use the link for a guess at my mystery question.

http://espn.go.com/ncaa/revenue
(This post was last modified: 06-29-2015 10:27 AM by rabidTU2.)
06-29-2015 10:19 AM
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RE: What Do I/We Not Like?
(06-29-2015 10:19 AM)rabidTU2 Wrote:  Group A

Longhorns
Gators
Wolverines
Seminoles

Group B

Aggies
Bulldogs
Sooners
Cornhuskers
Gophers
Bruins
Huskies (Wash)
Huskies (Conn)
Tigers
Golden Bears

What do all these college nicknames have in common? Use the link for a guess at my mystery question.

http://espn.go.com/ncaa/revenue

The answer is that Group A all have brands that gain them over $10,000,000 per year and Group B have branding that make them over $6,000,000 per year. But on top of that, they all have something else that links them together - that all their "branded" nicknames are living and breathing. Some are human and others are animals, but none are wind gusts or inanimate objects. There isn't a Golden Hurricane, Green Wave, Rocket, Zip or Mean Green in the bunch. Now I know what you are thinking, nicknames don't matter, but IMO they do and I have two examples in the list that verify that statement. The examples are Alabama and Ohio St.

Now those two schools should dominate branding money earned, but they are miniscule compaired to many of the others on the list. And what "is" a Buckeye anyway? Well its a tree nut that evidently grows up there in Ohio. So make sense out of that. And as for Alabama and the "Crimson Tide", their mascot is an elephant. So I suppose that elephant surfs that red ocean in Tuskaloosa. Just kidding.

But my point is that a "brand" has to make sense to the buyer that purchases that gear - the hat, the shirt, the stadium seat which all make money for the school. But of course Ohio St and Bama don't really need the money like a TU does since they have vast resources with TV contracts, huge 100,000 seat stadiums and big dollar tickets.

TU isn't either of those programs, but unlike them, we need every "branding" dollar we can get. Its money for our school. So IMO, TU needs a better brand. The "Golden Hurricane" needs to go the way of the OSU Aggie and ORU Titan - the trash dump.

Now of course there always is pushback when something like this is suggested, but those two "examples" (OSU - ORU) I mentioned above occurred and there wasn't that much criticism if my memory is correct. As a matter of fact, I think most fans would love to have a mascot that they wouldn't have to explain or a nickname they wouldn't have to spend 10 minutes giving the history of - a history that makes virtually no logical sense to begin with.

BTW, we used to have a poster on these boards named "Tallgrass" who basically was saying the same thing. I'm not sure if he still visits, but IMO he was right all along. TU's nickname is a disadvantage to fans, makes no sense and won't raise money for the programs. Change it for the better and all those negatives will vanish.

Its all about the money in the end.
(This post was last modified: 07-20-2015 05:40 PM by rabidTU2.)
06-30-2015 11:18 AM
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rabidTU2 Offline
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RE: What Do I/We Not Like?
The local sports media is always a mystery to me - in the way they cover sports teams. Let me focus on our local newspapaer, the Tulsa World.

A little history - Tulsa used to have two newspapers - the Tulsa World and Tulsa Tribune. The World was the morning paper and the Tribune was delivered in the afternoon/evening. The Tribune is no longer in business. Now that should mean that the TW, being the only printed paper in town, should have become dominant, and it did for a short time, but now is struggling. I looked at the readership stats of the TW and they are really going down hill as has the quality of the paper. The TW had about 270,000 subscription readers in 2008, but as of 2014 only 180,000) I think a lot of it has to do with those in charge of the sports dept. (I won't go into politics here, but that is also a component of its decline imo). I'll stick to the sports writing.

Here is my view. The TW should cover TU and even ORU in a more dominant way. Thats right! TU/ORU are "underserved" and I'm going to use "some" logic to prove it.

Also, I "bumped" my thread from a couple years ago giving the daily numbers of articles written on each of the local schools in the TW.

Right now, TU takes a bit of a back seat to OU/OSU in the sports section in both space and volume of coverage. I did a "study" a couple years ago and counted the articles written in the paper about OU, OSU and TU. I found that OU and then OSU received preferential space over TU. Now the prevailing wisdom is OU and OSU have more alumni and are in one of the P5 leagues so they should get the extra space. That on face makes sense, but is completely wrong from making the TW a successful newspaper imo.

Lets start with how many Tulsans really go to the games. Now OU has a 80,000 seat stadium and OSU has a 60,000 seat stadium. TU with a 30,000 seat venue lags behind those two by a lot. But again, who goes where? TU averages about 20,000 per football game and OU is pretty much sold out and OSU averages around 50-55,000. So using those stats, there is just no comparison. But wait. OU and OSU have a bunch more students than TU - around 25,000 more to be exact. But of course not all their students go to the games, just like not all TU students attend TU games. And besides, students don't do two things that should count. They don't spend much to attend a game and they don't tend to buy newspapers or watch news/sports programming in general. That should matter to the TW and any other sports media entity.

But going back to the TW specifically, do their subscribers mostly attend and OU game or an OSU game instead of TU? I think not. Are there 20,000 Tulsans traveling to Norman every week? To Stillwater? Of the 20,000 or more fans that consisitently attend a TU FB game, its pretty much assured that the vast majority of them are in the Tulsa area and are more likely to buy a TW newspaper and watch primarily Tulsa news. But the typical OU/OSU fans are not Tulsans. Again who reads the TW, a person that tends to "trip" to Norman or Stillwater or someone who will go to midtown Tulsa and attend a local event?

So what should the TW do? Well, my solution is to concentrate more on local sports just like they tend to do promoting local city events. That means more TU and even ORU in the same way they do OU/OSU. I don't advocate cutting OU/OSU out by any means, just add TU/ORU coverage. Make it equal.
(This post was last modified: 07-06-2015 11:52 AM by rabidTU2.)
07-06-2015 11:41 AM
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rabidTU2 Offline
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RE: What Do I/We Not Like?
I bumped the thread from a couple years ago when i counted the numbers each day during FB season for OU/OSU/TU. Its on the TU FB site. Its a point of reference.
07-06-2015 11:57 AM
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RE: What Do I/We Not Like?
One of my dislikes also has to do with scheduling. We really have no control over schedules inside the league, so that is a non issue. But outside the conference we have total control and is where a very good AD is valuable - an AD that understands the school, its history and what I call "scheduling for advantage". I really like to have athletic directors who know the school instead of ADs that arrive from outside the area and have no idea what makes us tick.

Some might disagree, but I thought Bubba was that "outlier" who would come and quickly go using TU as a bullet point on his resume' and that's about what happened. I will say he did one thing right and that was to hire and keep TG as FB coach as long as he could, but in the end, thats not enough. And the jury is certainly still out on DG who I think made a good hire in PM as FB coach - if he actually was the enabler on that or not. I'm not so sure about Haith who had an experienced NCAA team and some "peculiar" losses last year.

But back to schedules. I believe the non conference schedules should be based on 3 components. (1) To get butts in seats - both our fans and theirs, and (2) assure a good chance at 6 wins and a bowl and lastly, (3) a team that will sign "fair" contracts (none of those 3 for one contracts please!).

First, the idea of scheduling CFB teams from the MAC will do absolutely nothing to enhance attendance. Noone cares about some jerkwater team from Ohio or Illinois that goes to the Humanitarian bowl every 8 years. No, I'd much rather schedule a team we have a history with and the fans identify with from the old WAC or CUSA and yes, even a DI-AA team from the Valley like Missouri St who is close enough to bring fans. Any school that will put those rear ends in seats is OK with me. But we have the biggest footprint with the CUSA and our old rivals from that conf like UTEP, Rice, North Texas, La Tech. I can easily drive to Denton and Ruston for two of those games in one day and the other two in a short weekend. I'd also take a Sun Belt team over a MAC school because they will bring fans - an example of that was our game against Texas St last year. And a SB school is in our recruiting footprint as well.

IMO scheduling (hiring is second) is the one key component a fan can judge the strength or weakness of an AD. Its all on him and if he fails at that, maybe its time to interview a better candidate for that important job. Raising money and hiring coaches sometimes becomes the perview of the college president, but i can't think of a single president that puts a CFB or MBB schedule together.
(This post was last modified: 07-20-2015 12:25 PM by rabidTU2.)
07-20-2015 12:20 PM
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