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PostPosted: Sat Nov 27, 2004 3:33 pm 
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I was looking at the attendance thread and I noticed that almost every week the MAC game involving Buffalo fell well below the 15K attendence minimum.

It lead me to think, "Is it a bad idea for Buffalo to be in the MAC?"

From the MAC perspective:
Buffalo does not have a history with the MAC teams, so every game with Buffalo is going to be a very hard sell for the MAC teams. Buffalo is not going to travel their fans very well as they are outside the footprint. The winter weather also affects that. In essence the presence of Buffalo on the MAC schedules may be a significant contributor, this year (ie. @Akron =7.1K att.) and in the future, to many MAC teams' drops into the attendance danger zone.

From Buffalo's perspective:
They have the same problems with lack of history and no travelling fans. Adding to that is the fact that snow kills their attendence for end of season games. In a conference, a schedule is laid out so no team gets a significant advantage by having their conference games later or more (or less) games at home later in the season.

Possible solution
I think it might be beneficial for Buffalo and the MAC to change their relationship. I think Buffalo should seriously consider playing football as an independent. If both parties thought about it and made some acceptions, both could profit from this. The MAC could guarantee Buffalo 3 home games in September (and 1-2 away games) when it is warm enough to draw well and have actually have people commute to see the games. That would have the MAC only sticking 2 teams a year with hosting Buffalo home games. In exchange The MAC would not charge Buffalo for leaving the conference in football.

Buffalo could probably get series going with eastern independents Army, Navy, and Temple (all would profit from more visibility in NY and adding another winable division 1 game) fairly easily and they would likely draw better for those games than MAC opponents. They have a series with UConn and Syracuse. They might be able to get a series going with Boston College if Big East teams decide they don't want to play BC. Same thing with Marshall and the MAC. That is a full schedule with better competition in terms of marketing and, really, competition.

If possible Buffalo should talk to Syracuse about doing all of the Syracuse/Buffalo games in the Carrier dome as home games when possible. If they can get credit for them as a home game on a remote site (ala idaho/WSU and UL-Monroe/Arkansas) for the next 5 years or so, that would help a lot. Buffalo drew 29K for Syracuse in September in Buffalo, but the game would probably draw at least 10K more in Syracuse and the Carrier dome does give more protection vs. excessive snowfall depressing attendance.

Buffalo's 3 pre-snow homegames against the MAC teams might average 12-20 K. The Syracuse game would be a guaranteed 30-40K. The other games 2 games can't do worse attendence wise than a snowbound game with W. Michigan in November, so Buffalo should easily clear 15K ave. for the season.

Buffalo could remain in the MAC for all other sports.

I think this plan would do a LOT to reverse Buffalo's fortunes. They might beable to climb up to Big east level in 10 years or so vs. being on the fast train out of division 1 like they currently are. What do you think?


Last edited by finitemanworks on Sat Nov 27, 2004 3:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 27, 2004 4:19 pm 
If UB's problem with I-A is the lack of historical connections, rivalries, etc., I fail to see how playing an independent schedule would alleviate the current situation. Who would they be able to schedule for I-A home games? The MAC schools and Temple? Also, I don't know of an arrangement that allows a visiting team to claim a home game on an opponent's primary home field with the exception of Idaho-Washington State. Arkansas-ULM is slated for Little Rock...maybe if UB were to play multiple home games in Syracuse every year, they would be able to count a UB-Syracuse game in the Carrier Dome as a "home" game...


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 27, 2004 5:42 pm 
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Doesn't Arkansas play a portion of their home games in Little Rock? Like 2 a year?

Concerning who they would play, I think I laid it out pretty well. Opening with 4-5 MAC games, then Marshall/BC/UCF, Army, Navy, and Temple with UCONN and Syracuse to finish for example... That is a nice 11 game schedule.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 27, 2004 5:51 pm 
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Quote:
If UB's problem with I-A is the lack of historical connections, rivalries, etc., I fail to see how playing an independent schedule would alleviate the current situation.


By providing games more marketable to NYers' tastes. Buffalo v. Army is a ton more marketable in Buffalo than Buffalo v. Akron.


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...Also, I don't know of an arrangement that allows a visiting team to claim a home game on an opponent's PRIMARY home field with the exception of Idaho-Washington State....


That is the only example on an opponent's primary feild. I don't know why that is allowed, but it would certainly make sense to see if they could put together a similar deal with Syracuse.

It would be sad to see the Buffalo program never take off in Division 1 because of the same thing that has crippled Penn St. Football---playing outside of the footprint.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 27, 2004 6:36 pm 
Why do you expect that UB would be able to dictate an independent schedule (ala Notre Dame)? Also note that the campuses of Idaho and Washington State are located relatively close to each other (eight miles?) and that for the last five-six seasons, Idaho has played several home games in Pullman, WA (against teams other than Washington State) due to concerns regarding the capacity of their home field in correspondence with I-A restrictions...


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 27, 2004 11:29 pm 
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Last time I checked Buffalo has a pro football stadium in it. Why go to Syracuse to play when you can play at Ralph Wilson Stadium.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 27, 2004 11:42 pm 
Buffalo's attendance most likely won't hold up over the long haul to mantain their 1-A status.

It's too bad the other 3 major SUNY campuses couldn't be in a conference with them.

U at Albany (SUNY)
SUNY at Binghamton
Stony Brook U (SUNY)

Its too bad there wasn't stronger college football followings outside of Syracuse (and perhaps Army) in the state of NY. If all 4 major SUNY campuses were good enough in college football, and they all had 30k-50k attendance, they could all be members of the Big East. But that's a pipe dream.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2004 10:41 am 
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Apparently, the reason Idaho can claim a game in Martin as a home game is because they are claiming Martin as a "co-home" stadium, and have arranged to play at least two games a year in Martin. Guaranteed that they'll play Boise State in Martin, but even when they played in Kibbie in November, they couldn't sell out the dome. Heck, the roads you take to get from Boise to the Palouse are treacherous when they're DRY.

Keep in mind, 8 miles. I haven't driven Buffalo to Syracuse... and not nearly enough would if it came to that. That's not worth the discussion. Nor is the amount of rent that would be charged at Ralph Wilson.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2004 4:03 pm 
Syracuse is in central New York, up by Albany, the state capital. Buffalo is in western new York, close to Toronto, Ontario. That is a huge distance between those schools!


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2004 4:03 pm 
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Buffalo sadly needs the MAC more than the MAC needs Buffalo...despite the chance of teams downgrading to I-AA.

The onyl chance Buffalo would have would be to go independant and be creative with their scheduling.

Teams would gladly play Buffalo. They are a weaker program, an easy win, but they are I-A. Teams would pick Buffalo over most Atlantic 10 I-AA teams.

Buffalo would have to find a way to get 5 home games though. Not an easy feat. They'd have to do 2:1 or 3:1 and have to be creative enough to get them done and get 5 home games per year. Good teams aren't going to schedule a weak OOC team like Buffalo and have to go ont he road to play them for a 1:1 schedule.

They need the MAC just to get the games they need.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2004 6:21 pm 

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It would be sad to see the Buffalo program never take off in Division 1 because of the same thing that has crippled Penn St. Football---playing outside of the footprint.


This is nonsense! Penn State does not have an attendance problem. They draw right behind Michigan and would probably draw more if Beaver Stadium was even larger.
Yes, Penn State is having a few losing seasons in recent times. The pendulum would have swung at Penn State, Big 10 or not. Maybe some recruiting was impacted by Penn State moving to the Big 10, but certainly not enough to seriously question their decision. They have had some stagnant coaching, and an offensive line and special teams that have performed sub-par the past couple of years.
Alabama and Nebraska didn't change conferences, and have had troubles during the recent past. It wasn't but a few years ago, the top ranked team, Southern Cal, was stuggling. Kansas State, after a remarkable stretch, is down this year. Washington? No conference change there.
You may be assured, Penn State will make a comeback, and possibly in a big way, and remain Big 10. That second half of the last game with Michigan State, looked like the old Penn State. Though Penn State had another losing season, their defense was respectable, and kept many of their games close.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2004 8:59 pm 
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Quote:
Why do you expect that UB would be able to dictate an independent schedule (ala Notre Dame)?


Dictate??? If the MAC played ball and buffalo continued their current OOC series, they would only need to add a few games. With Temple, Army, and Navy going independent, I see a reasonable opportunity. Those three schools are not going independent to "dictate" a cherry picked schedule like Notre Dame. Short travel distances and an opportunity to have a decent shot at winning would be a sufficient lure for those 3 schools. I could see BC also going for an OOC series with Buffalo as their in-conference travel expenses will be enormous.


Quote:
Also note that the campuses of Idaho and Washington State are located relatively close to each other (eight miles?) and that for the last five-six seasons, Idaho has played several home games in Pullman, WA (against teams other than Washington State) due to concerns regarding the capacity of their home field in correspondence with I-A restrictions...


Again this doesn't address the Arkansas/ULR situation. I can acknowledge that this idea might not work, but you will need to tell me why a Buffalo/Syracuse game in Syracuse is any different from the Arkansas/ULR situation.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2004 9:03 pm 
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Quote:
Last time I checked Buffalo has a pro football stadium in it. Why go to Syracuse to play when you can play at Ralph Wilson Stadium.


My thoughts when I proposed it is the same reason that Idaho and ULR do it---the opposing team draws better. Buffalo at its best in good weather draws about 22-29K. Syracuse will draw 10K more than that and is in a dome, offering some protection vs. being snowed out.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2004 9:40 pm 
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Quote:
Buffalo sadly needs the MAC more than the MAC needs Buffalo...despite the chance of teams downgrading to I-AA.


I think that statement is only true if you look at who needs who LESS. Buffalo will not make it under the current rules if the stay in the MAC, so beyond short term, being in the MAC essentially does nothing for them. On the other hand Buffalo being in the MAC potentially will cause 1-3 MAC schools to miss the 15K minimum ANNUALLY. So yes, I think that would be true, but not perhaps in the way you meant it.

If I read your post correctly, we agree that Buffalo's only chance is as an independant by being creative with their scheduling. You hit on the reasons most Northestern teams would want to play them. I personally think they might find a few teams who would be willing to go 1:1 with them.

Army and Navy left CUSA presumably for travel reasons, competitive reasons, and the loss in stature by CUSA. Buffalo is close and both teams would be competitive. I think Temple would also agree for the same reasons. All 3 schools are in the same boat as Buffalo with regards to limited local opponents.

BC and Marshall are good schools who I can see considering this type of arrangement as well. Both have left conferences and might have problems scheduling inexpensive (nearby) OOC games.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2004 9:52 pm 
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Quote:
This is nonsense! Penn State does not have an attendance problem. They draw right behind Michigan and would probably draw more if Beaver Stadium was even larger....


I can see where you would have thought I meant they "would have an attendance problems like Penn St.", but that is not what I meant.

Penn St. dominated their region---the Northeast. They were the undisputed #1 recruiter in the NE. They joined the Big 10 and lost stature in the Northeast. They do not recruit like they used to in the Northeast and as such they have not been similarly competitive in the Big 10.

Their attendance wasn't hurt by a move to the Big 10, but only because they used to be one of the nationally knowns regional giants for decades.

Buffalo doesn't have that. For Buffalo to have any success in the MAC they have to recruit well. Being outside of their conference's footprint, they will not be able to pull the MAC recruits like their competition. So from a competitive standpoint they are in the same boat as Penn St....and now BC and TCU.


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