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Game 6: ODU @ FAU
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MonGNARch Offline
1st String

Posts: 1,912
Joined: Jan 2015
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I Root For: The Ol' Dirty
Location: VA/DC
Post: #161
RE: Game 6: ODU @ FAU
(10-08-2018 10:56 AM)ODUalum78 Wrote:  
(10-08-2018 10:41 AM)Cyniclone Wrote:  
(10-08-2018 09:38 AM)MonGNARch Wrote:  
(10-08-2018 07:37 AM)odu09 Wrote:  Gnar - you are a recent graduate, right? What's your take on how the students feel about cusa teams? Are there any that will draw attendance no matter how bad we are? Or is there a general ambivalence to all conference opponents in football especially when we are struggling to win?

I graduated in 09 (might be obvious, might not) and I would think WKU and Marshall would be a good draw, maybe MTSU too, but admittedly I have no clue how students feel.

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Yes, I attended ODU between 2009-2015. I was there for the end of the CAA days and the beginning of the CUSA days. Obviously, there was history and familiarity with the CAA schools that carried over from year to year with students, but once we moved up it felt different. While causal college football fans may have heard of Marshall (especially because of the movie), WKU and MTSU are different. WKU and Marshall have attracted some great student turnouts for basketball, but MTSU is a toss-up. We had a great football crowd for the infamous MTSU white-out game, but I don't know how engaged the students are with them as whole, especially after I graduated. To me, our 5-25 year followed up by a change in conference really killed student interest for CUSA because not many showed up to basketball games that following year, and football always had terrible student engagement especially after Heinicke left. I'm sure if ODU had been dominating the last few years and have had winning records in football it would be different, but we'll see how it turns out. I feel like the casual ODU student doesn't really follow or keep up with ODU sports or CUSA like students from other schools do. I was talking to a friend a couple of years ago and he thought ODU basketball was doing terrible while they were killing it. Maybe that has changed, maybe it hasn't. I just think students at ODU don't really care for sports as much as they used to.

EDIT: Being on these boards sometimes makes me feel like ODU fans are engaged with all things ODU sports but I realize that we are the die-hards that follow the team even into the depths of hell. There are some people that think ODU is D2 out there. When we went to the NIT a few years ago, people were shocked when I said ODU basketball won 27 games that year. It is encouraging seeing student run accounts like Old Row ODU and ODU Barstool post weekly about our football team and opponents but I don't think that is the rule, rather the exception

That's something that doesn't get talked about much on these boards, but I wonder if the student disengagement issue is something you can observe across the board. Football attendance has dropped pretty much everywhere, and while they're only a fraction of that, it may just be that today's students don't care as much about college sports in general, or at least care about live-event attendance. Too many options competing for limited time (see also network TV ratings -- The Big Bang Theory was the top show in the 2016-17 season at 11.5, but 20 years prior those numbers barely get you in the top 20, and 30 years ago they wouldn't even be in sniffing distance of the top 30).

Student attendance has been declining since 2009 in Div 1 football.
Nick Saban went off on that subject at Alabama recently.
It is a huge concern as apathetic students could become disengaged alumni, and donors or lack thereof.

From this year:

From 2014:

While I don't disagree, every Saturday I turn on my TV and see so many games where the stadium is packed to the gills, student section included. Familiarity of opponents has a lot to do with it, as I'm sure many ODU students before the move hadn't heard of a lot of CUSA schools (and probably still don't when they come in). When I was a freshman I knew at least half of the CAA schools, partially due to many of them being in VA or MD. But when middle-to-bottom of the pack P5 schools (maybe this is where the separation comes from) pack their stadiums with everyone including students color coordinating, saying chants in unison, etc, I always wonder why we are struggling to do the same in a stadium that is less than half or even a third of their size.

Also, wasn't the Alabama game in question against Louisiana Lafayette? I could see why students didn't feel the need to go to that game... That isn't an excuse, but still. I doubt they don't show up for an SEC game lol
10-08-2018 03:30 PM
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