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Full Version: Tulane does need to enhance its non-conference schedule
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I am one of a growing list of long time Tulane supporters that feel it is time to once again play the Texas, Georgia, Alabama, Florida State,etc, well you get my drift, of the world.

Now it appears that we will be playing 12 games a year, even at 11, will leave us with 3 or 4 games to play the upper tier programs in Division 1-A. I would bet the farm the shrinking fan base attending the games will start back to the dome.

And another point, why not switch our games back to a 7:00PM kickoff. In South Louisiana more people either work on Saturday or have too many things to do. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Big Grin]" src="biggrin.gif" />
We'll be playing 8 C-USA games from here on out. As far as non-conference games, you're getting what you want this year with TU playing Texas. Let's see how this one goes first before we tell ourselves that this is the type of thing we'd like to see happen more often. Texas is loaded at almost every position.

Should TU necessarily play some opponent because they're a name team and so on that would bring the fans in? Very tricky business. If the fans come in large numbers because TU is playing some name nonconference opponent that's nice but what really makes a difference to the athletic department is whether the fans keep on coming for *all* the games, especially the C-USA games, even if, say, Texas beats the stuffing out of the Wave. IMHO if some fans who aren't regulars come one time and the game turns out to be a blowout loss than they likely won't be coming back. Bottom line is that TU has to win. Also, I don't care for scheduling someone and making deals that aren't on a home-and-home basis because that's a formula that makes it much harder to win, and I believe Rick Dickson feels the same way.

Yes, I'd much rather have night games myself.
well we play Texas this year and next. We open 2003 in the Dome against Mississippi State and play the Bulldogs 5 more times. I know we turned down Oregon to keep Southern this year. A series with Georgia Tech and Vandy would be nice in my book as well. I'd love to play Ole Miss but only 1-1.
Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, Ga. Tech, SMU, and Rice are all regional non-C-USA teams that TU has played a lot of times and would be good to have on the schedule frequently.
Don't really need to see SMU and Rice. These teams don't draw fans or anything else. At lest with Vandy we can say hey look we keep beating this SEC team every year.
Look, we are not getting large fan support for teams like Army, Navy, SMU, UAB, Cincy, Rice, etc. We need name teams to get the CASUAL Tulane fan interested again. We have no history with most CUSA teams, and in fact most people frankly don't care about CUSA teams. I work with plenty of Tulane fans who canceled their tickets because we don't play "name" teams anymore. Winning is nice, but dammit I'd like to see us play teams I've heard of.
If Tulane fans won't come for the games against the C-USA opponents then that's trouble. That's our conference. That should be what matters the most to the fans. At LSU and all of the SEC schools it's the SEC games that matter the most. At Texas it's their Big 12 games that matter, and so on. Non-conference games are gravy. If the Tulane fans don't want to get interested in C-USA that's a major problem. That really makes me feel like saying something like "We have met the enemy and the enemy is us." If the fans want Tulane to have success at this level then they've got to be there and help carry the load.
we're in C-USA and thats that. We'll have to deal with it. We need to build a fan base by winning. The worst thing that could have happened was going 3-8 after going 12-0.

If we are competing for the C-USA title every year and regularly going to bowl games we'll draw 25,000 at least for all games and then more for bigger games.
This talk about LSU and nonconference games seems to indicate just what the poster was saying about fan attitudes. Fans say that they won't come to Tulane games because Tulane doesn't play name teams or familiar teams and I feel like that's something that isn't good. That's not a healthy situation for TU sports. The healthy situation IMHO is fans lining up to come every game no matter whom you play. I'd want to tell these fans who seem to be hesitant about buying tickets unless the opponent is some name team like Texas or UGa. or Alabama they'd want to see that it's very unlikely that the series with LSU is going to go back to being like it was, and C-USA is our conference and they, as fans, need to deal with it.

I'd like to think that winning will turn people on and motivate them to come to games, but for the numbers to be what I gather they need to be for the department to break even, around 35,000-40,000 a game, Tulane has to get to being pretty consistent on the field. People have to think winning is going to be more than just a short-lived event.
25,000 fans attending a Tulane game will not cut it. Yes, 35,000-40,000 is more like it. If you when Tulane was an independent back in the 70's and early 80's tulane was drawing in the range of 35,000. Why every year we had home and home contracts with Ole Miss, Miss. State, Georgia Tech, LSU, Vanderbilt, with limited contracts 1&1 with the likes of Florida State, Clemson, Alabama, Georgia, etc..
And guess what folk, our winning records weren't any better than it is today, just think what the attendance would have been if we would have had winning records each year. Example: 1979, TUlane goes 9-3, with a trip to the Liberty Bowl against Penn State, TUlane led the nation with the largest increase in attendance in Division 1-A with an average home attendance of 44,000. Yes and the that year, a week before the LSU game, against Ole Miss, on a bitter cold, wet Satutday AFTERNOON, 52,000 fans packed the dome.

One more issue, upgrading your schedule certainly helps recruiting the type of athletes needed to have a winning, sucessful program.
In a perfect world, 35-45000 Tulane fans would show up to watch us play UAB. However, this is not going to happen. A majority of Tulane fans remember the independent days and remember the old rivalries, of which UAB, ECU etc are not a part of. I know that we are in CUSA and that's that, but unless we make use of the OOC schedule to get fans back in the dome, it's not going to happen.
The point I wanted to stress is that there really, really need to be 35,000-40,000 fans for all of these conference games like UAB, Cincinnati, TCU, etc., that are going to be the majority of the games we're going to be playing. C-USA is our conference; that's what we have to deal with. These games against teams like Texas are probably only going to account for maybe one home game a year out of 6 or 7. What happens for the other 5 or 6 home games on the schedule besides the particular one against the name non-CUSA opponent is what makes the most difference. Everyone needs to just get their season tickets and to be there to support Tulane just because it's Tulane playing, regardless of the opponent. If the fans don't want to adopt such a mindset, the future for this program may be a grim one indeed.
What you say is correct, we do need 35K-40K for the conference games and I do believe this will happen. However, there is no reason why we can't play not one Texas but two Texas caliber teams instead of playing two division 2-a teams (like we are this year, Southern & U.L.Monroe). Defeating teams like these does nothing to prove the invinceability of the Tulane football program in the eyes of the public.

What has been a huge turn off to the Tulane faithful over the past 16 years began with Mack Brown, everyone knew this coach was here to have one or two quick winning years and the move onward and upward. That is just what he did. to accomplish this he had to dismantle the schedule to a more attainable one. SO he and his administration (Wright Waters & Co.) shed the tough opponents and replaced them with powder puffs. Ever since then not only the coaches but the ADs continued this (execpt Buddy Teevens). All they wanted to do is enhance their resume's at Tulane's expense.

So like it or not, that is what ALL of my friends who supported Tulane with season tickets for many years and dropped them have told me. In regards to myself I have held 4 football season tickets since 1975 and have the same for baseball for the past three and will continue. I do not look upon my friends who have relinquished their tickets as some sort of traitor, rather I see the reason in their actions.
Remember, we play 8 C-USA games every year (4 conference home games). If Tulane could somehow schedule, say, both Texas and UGa., only one of those would likely be a home game in a given season. The reason being, that if Tulane could somehow manage to get both of those teams to come to N.O. this year, then that would mean that next year Tulane has to go on the road to both, and I don't think that's what they'd like to do. So, if Tulane schedules the 'attractive' home opponent, like Texas this season, and the fans come out, sure that helps a little. But if you're a good Tulane supporter, why only come because of the opponent? Why not get season tickets or at least come when you can manage it, and show support precisely because it's Tulane that's playing. You know the LSU fans will be there to support their team whether the opponent is The Citadel or Miami-OH or it's Florida or Arkansas. Why can't Tulane fans be like that? I can't understand that. I'd like to stress to people that the program needs their unconditional support above all.
Look at the good state schools in our conference. UL only averages 38,000 a game, Southern Miss only 25,000. We really can't expect much more. Miami averaged 30,000 in their "down" years. Heck even Georgia Tech only average 40,000 and they are a state school in the ACC that is a very good team.
Also, La.-Monroe is Div. 1A not Div. 1AA like Southern.
</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by FW:
Look at the good state schools in our conference. UL only averages 38,000 a game, Southern Miss only 25,000. We really can't expect much more. Miami averaged 30,000 in their "down" years. Heck even Georgia Tech only average 40,000 and they are a state school in the ACC that is a very good team.</font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I've always heard that number (~35,000) as the magic number whereby the athletic dept. as a whole can break even. Southern Miss is in exactly the same predicament that we are. Both schools are trying to get things done on a shoestring budget. Very hard to do. That's why when I hear about certain fans only wanting to come to games if the opponent is someone with which they're familiar, that doesn't really sit too well. The school needs fans' unconditional support, period.

<small>[ September 07, 2002, 11:53 PM: Message edited by: Fogelmaniac ]</small>
I don't have too much sympathy for USM. They are the largest state school in Mississippi and still can barely outdraw us. I know it was raining today but they only had 22,000 against the defending Big 10 champions. They also have it a lot easier on the recruiting front without the academic restrictions we have.
I believe Mississippi St. is actually larger (~16,000 enrollment).
USM is the biggest state school in MS, but few people grow up as USM fans. Ole Miss and State are still the big boys in the area. I live less than 30 minutes from Hattiesburg, but I know very few USM fans that will actually go to the games.

The reason why? "We play in sh***y CUSA".

Case Closed.
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