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OptimisticOwl Offline
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Post: #21
RE: 2021 football schedule unveiled
(01-29-2021 08:37 AM)Owl 69/70/75 Wrote:  
(01-29-2021 08:17 AM)OptimisticOwl Wrote:  Yes, that is why I advocate winning.
Now, the hard part - How?

I'll tell you how. You get rid of, "losing is okay as long as you have a good enough excuse," and, "if you don't know where you are going, the path of least resistance will get you there."

Several of us have mentioned Wayne Graham. How many times have you ever heard him say anything that sounded like either one of those? My over and under number is zero. Wayne had a vision and he implemented it. Quite frankly, Wayne was my choice for AD when Chris left, and if not then certainly when Ranger Rick left.

What we need is not a miracle coach or an EZF. We need a paradigm shift. And one of the things that needs to be part of that paradigm shift is an emphasis on revenues--and that's butts-in-seats revenues, not just donation revenues. And we need to jump start the process somewhere.

Yep - and IMO that is winning some games. That would be a good start toward putting butts in seats. Not just Rice butts, but Harris County butts.

BTW, you have never heard me say either of those two things, either.
Advocating winning at a high level consistently is not taking a path of least resistance. Not sure why you keep throwing them at me.
(This post was last modified: 01-29-2021 08:50 AM by OptimisticOwl.)
01-29-2021 08:49 AM
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ESE84 Offline
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Post: #22
RE: 2021 football schedule unveiled
(01-29-2021 08:49 AM)OptimisticOwl Wrote:  
(01-29-2021 08:37 AM)Owl 69/70/75 Wrote:  What we need is not a miracle coach or an EZF. We need a paradigm shift. And one of the things that needs to be part of that paradigm shift is an emphasis on revenues--and that's butts-in-seats revenues, not just donation revenues. And we need to jump start the process somewhere.

Yep - and IMO that is winning some games. That would be a good start toward putting butts in seats. Not just Rice butts, but Harris County butts.

BTW, you have never heard me say either of those two things, either.
Advocating winning at a high level consistently is not taking a path of least resistance. Not sure why you keep throwing them at me.

This is about as good as it gets for a butts in seat schedule. The Bayou Bucket and TSU’s Ocean of Soul band in September. Two October opponents in USM and UNT who deliver butts on the east side. And possibly top, television-worthy November opponents in WKU and LaTech. No excuses (provided we are past Covid) for Karlgaard not to put fans in Rice Stadium this fall.
01-29-2021 09:09 AM
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Owl 69/70/75 Online
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Post: #23
RE: 2021 football schedule unveiled
(01-29-2021 08:49 AM)OptimisticOwl Wrote:  Yep - and IMO that is winning some games. That would be a good start toward putting butts in seats. Not just Rice butts, but Harris County butts.

But you don't just win. You have to have things in place to support wining. Those things are hard (remember JFK), and we don't do them. Rice--not you--has consistently taken the easy way out for 50 years, and this is where that has gotten us.

Quote:BTW, you have never heard me say either of those two things, either.
Advocating winning at a high level consistently is not taking a path of least resistance. Not sure why you keep throwing them at me.

I'm not throwing them at you, I'm throwing them at the Rice athletics administration. My point is that until those things change, the winning that you want to see is not going to happen.
01-29-2021 09:24 AM
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Owl 69/70/75 Online
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Post: #24
RE: 2021 football schedule unveiled
(01-29-2021 09:09 AM)ESE84 Wrote:  This is about as good as it gets for a butts in seat schedule. The Bayou Bucket and TSU’s Ocean of Soul band in September. Two October opponents in USM and UNT who deliver butts on the east side. And possibly top, television-worthy November opponents in WKU and LaTech. No excuses (provided we are past Covid) for Karlgaard not to put fans in Rice Stadium this fall.

I agree. This should be the schedule formula every year. Two P5 schools on a 2-for-1 basis with the 1 being at Reliant, UH on a home-and-home basis, and either a like minded academic peer university (Stanford, Duke, Northwestern, Vanderbilt, Notre Dame) on a home-and-home or a local FCS team.

This would be the rota:
Year 1 - one of the P5s at Reliant, other P5 on the road, UH at home, academic peer on the road (6 home, 6 in Houston)
Year 2 - one of the P5s at Reliant, other P5 on the road, UH on the road, academic peer at home (6 home, 7 in Houston)
Year 3 - both P5s on the road, UH at home, local FCS at home (6 home)
Year 4 - like Year 2
Year 5 - like Year 1
Year 6 - both P5s on the road, UH on the road, local FCS at home (5 home, 6 in Houston)

5 of 6 years with 6 home games, 6th with 6 games in Houston, 2 of 6 with 7 games in Houston, 1 home game at Reliant in 4 of 6 years.

We can promise recruits an opportunity to get visibility with two P5 games a year, plus a chance to compete for conference title and go to a bowl every year. We can start putting enough butts in seats at home, plus guarantees for the P5 road games, to make a meaningful revenue increase, and we can spend that revenue upgrading the things that need to be upgraded (the list from the group of however many ex-football players from several years ago would be a good start).

And with that we would need to shed the losing is good enough mentality to get where OO wants to go.
01-29-2021 09:34 AM
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OptimisticOwl Offline
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Post: #25
RE: 2021 football schedule unveiled
(01-29-2021 09:24 AM)Owl 69/70/75 Wrote:  
(01-29-2021 08:49 AM)OptimisticOwl Wrote:  Yep - and IMO that is winning some games. That would be a good start toward putting butts in seats. Not just Rice butts, but Harris County butts.

But you don't just win. You have to have things in place to support wining. Those things are hard (remember JFK), and we don't do them. Rice--not you--has consistently taken the easy way out for 50 years, and this is where that has gotten us.

Things in place? Like what? I hear generic demands for support from the BOT,, which in my mind means $$$$$. So what are we going to buy with the money that will ,ake us desirable to higher conferences?

My problem is this is the complaint and solution since the 40's. We built HRS in 1950. How did having that nice new stadium prevent the slide? We have built this and that, and funded this and that, and have six wins to show for it the last three years. How is that going to get us into a better conference.

Yes, there is a money/winning spiral. Break it anywhere. I remember Boise State was in the WAC with us. How did they break the spiral? I do not want to continue the last 60 years.
01-29-2021 10:25 AM
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Pimpa Offline
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Post: #26
RE: 2021 football schedule unveiled
Nice schedule. This is a "Bowl or Bust" season for Bloomgren. Has to be. I see a path to that with this schedule. But I would think (hope?) that there is no more leeway if he fails to get the team over the hump this year. This will be season four of his program. Even with the 2020 COVID season, the 2021 season should be played by nothing but Bloom's players. We should know all we need to know about him - and the trajectory of the program under him - after this season.
01-29-2021 11:16 AM
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Post: #27
RE: 2021 football schedule unveiled
(01-29-2021 06:36 AM)Owl 69/70/75 Wrote:  
(01-28-2021 11:28 PM)OptimisticOwl Wrote:  so kind of like the situation we had when we hired Wayne Graham?
Building facilities has not pulled us out. We have, IIRC, one of the top budgets in CUSA.
Somehow, we have to find a way to win, instead of sitting around crying "poor me". By win, I don't mean 7-5 and the Tomato Bowl. I mean 10-11+, consistently, and including some big names as victims. Get Houston interested in us again. I'm tired of hearing "if only we spent more money".
we have to win. The other stuff follows winning.

One of the first things Graham did was to develop his own supporting revenue streams. And the Reckling upgrade so that we could host regionals and supers was a key step on the way to getting to Omaha as many times as we did. Graham has said that we don't win the national championship without Reckling.

The reason that we have one of the top athletic budgets in CUSA is because our scholarships cost more--a lot more. We are not outspending people, although my understanding is that we have upgraded football spending somewhat under Bloomgren. We are obviously doing more national recruiting, for example, and that costs bucks.

The problem is that we totally neglected the revenue side for almost 50 years. We never really looked at revenue enhancement or new revenue streams, so income has basically dried up. Winning is clearly one way to address that, and without winning consistently there are no long term solutions. But we need some seed money from somewhere to jump start the process. The BOT is not going to write blank checks, and we have beat on the same loyal but small group of alumni donors about as hard as we can. Chris understood this better than any other AD we have had, but Chris was more a bricks-and-mortar guy than a butts-in-seats guy. And facilities alone won't do it. Look at the trajectory of football since we built Patterson. The only options that I see in the short run are
1) Play moneybag football games with the likes of aTm, TexasU, and LSU. Those are the only three opponents from the "SWC days" that ever actually drew crowds, and one of them wasn't actually SWC.
2) Play UH every year in every sport and turn that into a significant cross-town rivalry. We have always acted like we were too good for them, but now we need them more than they need us, and we have to get a lot better before we can even make it competitive.

What would really help would be if we somehow got basketball going. Right now it is a deep hole into which we pour a huge bunch of money, and that does not work. We need to get good enough in basketball to attract some moneybag basketball games. Gonzaga was willing to play games at midnight to get on ESPN, and look where that got them. We can't even get our fans to drive to Reliant for a football game without complaining to high heaven. It's two different mindsets.

What we need is a complete paradigm shift in athletics. We need to get totally away from, "losing is okay if you have a good enough excuse," and, "if you don't know where you are going, the path of least resistance will get you there." We need to know where we are going--winning until we are dominating--and we need to know that the path of least resistance is not the way to get there. All the rest is details. We can't get there with the current low ceiling in football and lower ceiling in basketball that WRC correctly describes. We have to fight through those things, and that is not a path of least resistance.

Wayne Graham had a vision and was a strong enough leader to take us down the path of great resistance to get there in baseball. Can Joe do it? At this point I don't think so.

Which is what?

Isn't increasing monetary support a paradigm shift?

There are things money can't buy. Rice does need visionary leaders who can look past solving this in a traditional manner. Of course revenue generation and resources are important. But you also need efficiency that isn't being seen. The difference between success and failure at Rice is razor thin and the paradigm shift needed is moving the results to the positive side within the constraints that Rice inherently has.
01-29-2021 02:21 PM
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Tomball Owl Offline
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Post: #28
RE: 2021 football schedule unveiled
Open question to anyone willing to take a shot at it...

You wake up tomorrow and find yourself Rice University's Athletic Director. What are the first three concrete things you would do to improve the lot of Rice Athletics? Not looking for "create a panel to investigate how to XYZ" type actions. Looking for actions that actually change something being done or not done currently.

I'm not knowledgeable enough about the inner workings of Rice Athletics to answer this, but I suspect there are others here who are. If pressed to answer my own question, my first action would be to hire a certain former player as football HC and insist he add some other former players to his staff along with TX HS coaches for local recruiting. I'd probably then appoint another former player to replace me as AD when I resigned later that day.
01-29-2021 02:31 PM
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Owl 69/70/75 Online
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Post: #29
RE: 2021 football schedule unveiled
(01-29-2021 02:21 PM)ruowls Wrote:  Which is what?
Isn't increasing monetary support a paradigm shift?
There are things money can't buy. Rice does need visionary leaders who can look past solving this in a traditional manner. Of course revenue generation and resources are important. But you also need efficiency that isn't being seen. The difference between success and failure at Rice is razor thin and the paradigm shift needed is moving the results to the positive side within the constraints that Rice inherently has.

The paradigm shift that is needed is away from, "losing is okay as long as you have a good enough excuse," and, "if you don't know where you are going, the path of least resistance will get you there." The constraints imposed by those attitudes are greater than any of the inherent size and academic constraints. See Wayne Graham as an example of what can happen when you refuse to operate within that "Rice way" paradigm.
01-29-2021 02:47 PM
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Post: #30
RE: 2021 football schedule unveiled
Wayne was the most amazing person in Rice sports history, one notch above Jess. And what he did was a miracle. But to be brutally honest (and it is somewhat different now) college baseball was a minor sport relative to FB and BSKB when he was hired. But it was not the steep hill of fixing the big 2. Not sure that if Nick Saban or Bill Belichek (sp?) or Gregg Popovich had come to Rice as their first head coaching job could solve what we have dealt with in the last 50 years. But we continue to slide down the hill further and further. And as numbers states, we just never focused on revenues (better now but so late). Mike Pede told me one time that "they" cut the budget as we were thought to be spending too much instead of being focused on the net.
01-29-2021 05:23 PM
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Owl 69/70/75 Online
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Post: #31
RE: 2021 football schedule unveiled
(01-29-2021 05:23 PM)texowl2 Wrote:  Wayne was the most amazing person in Rice sports history, one notch above Jess. And what he did was a miracle. But to be brutally honest (and it is somewhat different now) college baseball was a minor sport relative to FB and BSKB when he was hired. But it was not the steep hill of fixing the big 2. Not sure that if Nick Saban or Bill Belichek (sp?) or Gregg Popovich had come to Rice as their first head coaching job could solve what we have dealt with in the last 50 years. But we continue to slide down the hill further and further. And as numbers states, we just never focused on revenues (better now but so late). Mike Pede told me one time that "they" cut the budget as we were thought to be spending too much instead of being focused on the net.

Football and basketball are clearly harder than baseball was, at least when Wayne first came to Rice. Someone once asked me how many games I thought Saban would win at Rice and my answer was zero, because there is no way that he would ever take the job and put up with the defeatist attitude around here. The lack of focus on revenues predates Pede by quite a bit, but I had several conversations with him and Steve Moniaci about it over the years. It's just incredibly frustrating to be around.
01-29-2021 10:53 PM
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Post: #32
RE: 2021 football schedule unveiled
This is a good schedule. I'm excited about it. The only reason I have a problem with WKU and Charlotte is because I don't feel like we benefit from playing any non- regional school unless they are ranked, or have a national following.
I'm even looking forward to TSU. I hope they have a competitive team and a lot of fans.
This is the season that the talent finally overcomes the deficiency in scheme. Bailiff had seasons like this. We have good coaches, but the man in charge is in the way. This is the year that none of it really matters. There's talent all over the field. All these players are his, and they're upperclassmen now.
(This post was last modified: 01-30-2021 01:17 AM by Ourland.)
01-29-2021 11:48 PM
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Post: #33
RE: 2021 football schedule unveiled
Frankly I don't care if we do it with money, or coaches or players, as long as we do it - and 'it" is winning.

Anything much beyond a bowl this year is dreaming - but making a bowl is just a good intermediate step.

Whatever it takes, let's just win.

The only thing off the table for me is cheating. We had one of those coaches, and some still revere his 7-6 record, but I won't go that far. I want us to win and build the program within the rules.
01-30-2021 10:14 AM
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Post: #34
RE: 2021 football schedule unveiled
After 1-3 non-conference, it would take 5-3 in conference just to get to 6-6. I believe that 3-5 (4-8) or perhaps 4-4 (5-7) is more likely. Good enough for an extension?
01-30-2021 11:55 AM
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Owl 69/70/75 Online
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Post: #35
RE: 2021 football schedule unveiled
(01-30-2021 10:14 AM)OptimisticOwl Wrote:  Frankly I don't care if we do it with money, or coaches or players, as long as we do it - and 'it" is winning.
Anything much beyond a bowl this year is dreaming - but making a bowl is just a good intermediate step.
Whatever it takes, let's just win.
The only thing off the table for me is cheating. We had one of those coaches, and some still revere his 7-6 record, but I won't go that far. I want us to win and build the program within the rules.

Winning takes two things:
1) A shift in attitude from "losing is okay as long as you have a good enough excuse," and
2) Sufficient resources to support winning, which requires a shift from, "if you don't know where you are going, the path of least resistance will get you there." The path of least resistance will not get you the resources you need to win.

Winning is hard. But it's worth it.
(This post was last modified: 01-30-2021 01:09 PM by Owl 69/70/75.)
01-30-2021 01:07 PM
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OptimisticOwl Offline
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Post: #36
RE: 2021 football schedule unveiled
(01-30-2021 01:07 PM)Owl 69/70/75 Wrote:  
(01-30-2021 10:14 AM)OptimisticOwl Wrote:  Frankly I don't care if we do it with money, or coaches or players, as long as we do it - and 'it" is winning.
Anything much beyond a bowl this year is dreaming - but making a bowl is just a good intermediate step.
Whatever it takes, let's just win.
The only thing off the table for me is cheating. We had one of those coaches, and some still revere his 7-6 record, but I won't go that far. I want us to win and build the program within the rules.

Winning takes two things:
1) A shift in attitude from "losing is okay as long as you have a good enough excuse," and
2) Sufficient resources to support winning, which requires a shift from, "if you don't know where you are going, the path of least resistance will get you there." The path of least resistance will not get you the resources you need to win.

Winning is hard. But it's worth it.

I just do not think we have any player or coach who thinks losing is OK, good excuse or not. And they are the ones playing the games.
01-30-2021 05:50 PM
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Owl 69/70/75 Online
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Post: #37
RE: 2021 football schedule unveiled
(01-30-2021 05:50 PM)OptimisticOwl Wrote:  
(01-30-2021 01:07 PM)Owl 69/70/75 Wrote:  
(01-30-2021 10:14 AM)OptimisticOwl Wrote:  Frankly I don't care if we do it with money, or coaches or players, as long as we do it - and 'it" is winning.
Anything much beyond a bowl this year is dreaming - but making a bowl is just a good intermediate step.
Whatever it takes, let's just win.
The only thing off the table for me is cheating. We had one of those coaches, and some still revere his 7-6 record, but I won't go that far. I want us to win and build the program within the rules.
Winning takes two things:
1) A shift in attitude from "losing is okay as long as you have a good enough excuse," and
2) Sufficient resources to support winning, which requires a shift from, "if you don't know where you are going, the path of least resistance will get you there." The path of least resistance will not get you the resources you need to win.
Winning is hard. But it's worth it.
I just do not think we have any player or coach who thinks losing is OK, good excuse or not. And they are the ones playing the games.

In a micro sense, I agree. I don't think any coach or player takes the field/court/whatever wanting to lose. But the tone at the top is to accept mediocrity rather than to demand excellence. And that takes a toll over time.

As I've said before, I've been asked how many games Nick Saban would win at Rice, and my answer is zero because he wouldn't put himself into this defeatist environment.
01-30-2021 09:13 PM
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OptimisticOwl Offline
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Post: #38
RE: 2021 football schedule unveiled
(01-30-2021 09:13 PM)Owl 69/70/75 Wrote:  
(01-30-2021 05:50 PM)OptimisticOwl Wrote:  
(01-30-2021 01:07 PM)Owl 69/70/75 Wrote:  
(01-30-2021 10:14 AM)OptimisticOwl Wrote:  Frankly I don't care if we do it with money, or coaches or players, as long as we do it - and 'it" is winning.
Anything much beyond a bowl this year is dreaming - but making a bowl is just a good intermediate step.
Whatever it takes, let's just win.
The only thing off the table for me is cheating. We had one of those coaches, and some still revere his 7-6 record, but I won't go that far. I want us to win and build the program within the rules.
Winning takes two things:
1) A shift in attitude from "losing is okay as long as you have a good enough excuse," and
2) Sufficient resources to support winning, which requires a shift from, "if you don't know where you are going, the path of least resistance will get you there." The path of least resistance will not get you the resources you need to win.
Winning is hard. But it's worth it.
I just do not think we have any player or coach who thinks losing is OK, good excuse or not. And they are the ones playing the games.

In a micro sense, I agree. I don't think any coach or player takes the field/court/whatever wanting to lose. But the tone at the top is to accept mediocrity rather than to demand excellence. And that takes a toll over time.

As I've said before, I've been asked how many games Nick Saban would win at Rice, and my answer is zero because he wouldn't put himself into this defeatist environment.
Tone at the top? By top, I presume you mean somewhere above head coach?
01-30-2021 09:36 PM
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Owl 69/70/75 Online
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Post: #39
RE: 2021 football schedule unveiled
(01-30-2021 09:36 PM)OptimisticOwl Wrote:  Tone at the top? By top, I presume you mean somewhere above head coach?

Indeed I do.
01-30-2021 09:36 PM
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Post: #40
RE: 2021 football schedule unveiled
(01-30-2021 09:36 PM)Owl 69/70/75 Wrote:  
(01-30-2021 09:36 PM)OptimisticOwl Wrote:  Tone at the top? By top, I presume you mean somewhere above head coach?

Indeed I do.

I guess by withholding resources, they are are giving excuses to those below them.
01-30-2021 09:42 PM
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