- Jul 18, 2012
- Reaction score
Replying thanks to the reminder from Stark.If you've paid attention to the news lately, you've seen that my alma mater, the University of Akron, is having some budget issues. They cut 215 jobs, the baseball program, and more in a sweeping $40 M budget cut. Part of the issue is the brand-new football stadium drawing critically low attendance figures.
Here's why I think it's difficult for people to care.
Let's say the Zips have a magical year. Beyond magical even - let's say they go undefeated. They beat Oklahoma, they beat Pitt again, they dominate the MAC, and they go 13-0.
As MAC Champions, they would look to stay undefeated in a Bowl Game. They could potentially find themselves in a major bowl game, but more than likely they'd be headed to the Bahamas Bowl. They would not be considered for the College Football Playoff.
Let me repeat that - the ultimate prize if literally everything goes right and they have the best season in program history is the Bahamas Bowl.
That, my fellow Zips fans, is why it's difficult for the average fan in Akron to get excited about the football team. Nobody cares about the Bahamas Bowl.
Like all but 20-25 D1 teams, the Akron Zips football team has been eliminated from contention for the 2015-2016 National Championship before the season has even started.
In comparison, a great season by Zips soccer will place them in the NCAA Tournament. Same goes for men's basketball. While they'd have to fight (likely) crappy seeding and might have odds stacked against them (mostly in basketball), they'd have a chance to win a National Championship.
That's why I'm not opposed to Division II. They'd save by having less scholarship to pay out. Playing to have a shot at the D2 National Title is better than the Bahamas Bowl. And hey, it might even add a little excitement along the way and increase attendance.
Thoughts from fellow Zips fans and/or fans of other mid-major programs?
You couldn't be more wrong given the ultimate prize. No matter what, the top ranked G5 program is guaranteed a spot in a BCS bowl. Wins over Oklahoma and Pitt along with going undefeated would certainly give the Zips that edge. You must have forgotten that Northen Illinois was in a BCS game vs FSU just a few seasons ago. NIU had a loss to Iowa and their best win was against a MAC school and they still made it. That MAC school also happened to be our neighbor in Kent State, who themselves would have had the auto BCS bid if they won that game vs NIU. Kent St has every bit of a shitty football track record as Akron. Not to mention, with the playoff, there are additional chances to get into a BCS game now(or whatever they call them).
They may have no realistic shot at the national championship today, but I think that will change in the future as the championship continues to expand.
There is nothing exciting about playing for a d2 national championship. There is nothing exciting about having to hire new coaches after they and all of our players leave after dropping divisions. The stadium is there. Everybody needs to get over it and the U needs to learn to make the most out of it. Even if the Zips were to drop to FCS (I don't have the data in front of me, but can look it up if need be), and joined whatever league YSU is in. Akron would lose all of its TV money with ESPN and bowl share revenue that the conference gets as well as having more expensive travel costs as Ohio isn't exactly nearly as abundant in FCS programs as it is MAC programs. Any costs in scholarships saved by dropping would be more than negated in cost/quality in basically every other facet of the program.
And on that note, Go fucking Zips! I've enjoyed watching Bowden improve the program and am a big believer in him. I've started following when I came to colleg during the Ianello years and the program has gotten better since, even though it hasn't necessarily showed up in the W/L column. We have had great showing against P5 programs. Tennessee was close for 3 quarters back when the team was still in the gutter. We came 1 yard away from beating Michigan a few years ago. Played Penn State close last season and even knocked off Pitt. I expect them to make a decent game out of it today (similar to WMU and MSU last night). Certainly shouldnt be completely one sided, especially with Big Game Bob on the opposing sideline.