Blog Entry

Podcast: The future of Big East football

Posted on: April 13, 2011 10:56 am
Edited on: May 25, 2011 9:21 am
Iliana Limon, the Orlando Sentinel's UCF Beat Writer, joined Adam Aizer and J. Darin Darst to discuss the Big East's recent delay of a vote to add Villanova as a football school. Does this open the door for UCF? And what does it mean for the future of the Big East? Also, we tell you why there are better candidates for the Big East than Villanova.

Listen now:

Since: Oct 9, 2007
Posted on: May 23, 2011 7:49 pm

Podcast: The future of Big East football

Just to fact check myself on the attendance thing, I referenced this document.  Interesting overall stuff.. especially for Pirates.  We were 8th in the NCAA in attendance increase over the previous season proving that stadium expansion was a good idea.

ECU drew 297,000 fans or 49,700 per game (6 home games)

UCF drew around 278,000 or 39,800 per game (7 home games)

Again, probably doesn't factor heavily into the expansion decision but interesting data nonetheless.

Since: Oct 9, 2007
Posted on: May 23, 2011 7:40 pm

Podcast: The future of Big East football

Yeah, ECU's stadium is a little larger and the games are better attended than UCF but the thing that kills ECU when being looked at by larger conferences aren't the natural rivalries, it's the TV market where the real $$ is made.  Unfortunately for us, the Greenville TV market doesn't compare with Orlando.

Except for this year when we seemingly played 9 guys on defense for the majority of the season we have been competitive with ACC teams and WVU, arguably the cream of the Big East.  I'm afraid we'll never find out how we would stack up week to week anywhere but C-USA though.

Since: Nov 2, 2007
Posted on: May 23, 2011 4:55 pm

Podcast: The future of Big East football

bigdaddyqh, ECUs stadium is now 50,000 seats not 43,000

Since: Dec 15, 2009
Posted on: May 23, 2011 2:49 pm

Podcast: The future of Big East football

Last Season ECU expanded their endzone so that Dowdy Ficklin Stadium now holds 50,000.  Every game was a sell out except for SMU on Thanksgiving weekend, and that one was probably 40,000.  I was at all of them last year and many of the away games.  That is why we were an average attendance of just over 48,000.  This year we play UNC, VT, UCF, USM all at home.  Care to wager if we sell out our stadium this year.  Even during the Thompson years we averaged 30,000 fand for a two year stretch that had us 3-20.  We are currently working on Pirate Club contributions to expand with an upper deck and new press box that will allow for 60,000+ fans.  All of our sports complexes come from Pirate Club contributions, with no help from BCS money.  With that said, I agree that UCF and ECU should both go to the BE if the expansion occurs.  Both bring great new markets and recruiting bases.  Both bring good attendances and teams to the BE (two things that are desperately needed).  ECU would have ranked 4th in the BE in ave. game attendance last year.  What would the future hold with BE schools on the calendar?

Since: Jun 25, 2008
Posted on: May 23, 2011 2:48 pm

Podcast: The future of Big East football

When I origionally heard of BE expansion they had several teams that would be interesting additions, and they wanted a Texas market ( filled by TCU ) and a Philidelphia market. I say Villanova and Temple are better canidates than either UCF or ECU, if the Big East is not going for a Philidelphia market, and with the Big 12 crumbling, I would like to see possibly Baylor or Houston (from con USA) come over, also Memphis is an interesting basketball school with football, which ever way the Big East decides to go I think the future of the Big East is rapidly improving.

Since: Nov 19, 2006
Posted on: May 23, 2011 9:55 am

Podcast: The future of Big East football

Let's try to be honest about this.  First, for your ECU homers, you stadium is smaller than UCF's, so do not try and sell me on getting 50,000 per game in a 43,000 seat stadium.   The truth is that both teams would be attractive also-rans in the Big East.  Neither team shows a lot of consistancy when it comes to playing legitimate teams.  Unfortunately for the Big East, they opted to take TCU, a move that made no sense at all to both TCU and the Big East.  Because of that, the Big East can take only one of the above two mentioned schools.  And the winner is.................................

..UCF.  The reason is simple.  UCF has a natural opponent right next door in USF.  East Carolina does not have that.  Maybe if the Big East expands to 12 teams, they will add on ECU and Villanova, but until then, ECU will have to wait.

Since: Nov 28, 2010
Posted on: April 20, 2011 8:09 pm

Podcast: The future of Big East football

Being a standout homer, I think UCf should get the nod. However, if not us, I think it is clear that ECU is a great choice. If you look at ECU and what they have done without AQ money it is astounding. Also, considering that their schedule is not an exciting lineup of ringers, they continue to draw a crowd in a relatively small market. If not UCF, then ECU. No other school deserves it as much as ECU (other then my Knights of course).

Since: Jan 16, 2010
Posted on: April 15, 2011 8:21 am

Podcast: The future of Big East football

UC: I mean no ill will to UCF I totally agree that the potential does exists with any of these programs if you infuse them with cash that would come with an invite. Your biggest problem is not with us but USF who wants no part of you in the Big East. I do not wish to get into a P--ssing contest with you. Our school just completed its stadium expansion that allows us to be the leader in attendence in CUSA and 2nd in the country for all non AQs, BYU is the leader.

We have just redone the baseball, softball, soccer, and track facilities and expansion of the baskeball is underway. I think its clear that both programs are trying to get to the same place. I think its fair to say that all schools are maxed out without a BCS invite you just cant compete without the revenue stream provided by BCS membership. 

I will give your AD a great deal of credit he has been out front proclaiming UCF is the answer to what the Big East needs. Our AD is Terry Holland who does not want to offend anyone and blows a gasket if anyone boos at an athletic event. Clearly a nice man but you know what they say about nice guys.  
IMO this is not a time to be a nice guy as the future of your athletic department is on the line.

I think the Big East needs to take a look at what it is they need and where do they see themselves in 10 years. The BCS comes up again in 2 years and I think the league was on its way to loosing its AQ status.  They were forced to add TCU because they needed their football record for the prior 2 seasons to count twords their BCS status. Im sure they wanted nothing to do with the rest of TCU athletics due to its location half way across the country to play womens tennis. TCU was lucky and was able to leverage their way below average basketball program to a top conference.

The problem the Big East has is that they have too many teams for basketball and not enough for football. Im sure your AD expects to be added as a full member but the last thing they need is another average basketball team in a 20 team league. I think anyones best shot for membership would be for football only until they can get rid of some of the schools like Depaul who was no an original member to begin with. If one of these schools are accepted as a football only member where do the rest of your teams compete because Im sure CUSA would kick them to the curb.

There was talk about adding Villanova an original BE member but I would think this would add another below average football team that does not draw and will take years to build the program with the hope of catching up to others.

This is a tough issue for all parties on our end if you take the money for football only what then becomes of the rest of your athletic teams. On the Big East side can they afford to add another team that will take years to build their program to where they can win and put people in the stands and in Novas case they dont have stands. 

Since: Nov 28, 2010
Posted on: April 14, 2011 1:48 pm

Podcast: The future of Big East football

Oh, and I am sorry to hurt your school's self image, but when we beat ECU we do not consider that a "signature win." Most people in Florida do not even know who ECU is. That being said, I do respect your team and what you accomplish without the resources of an AQ school. Both of our programs deserve more. If I had it my way, UCF and ECU would be the two schools moving into an AQ conference. Actually, if it were my way, I would give the AQ tag to CUSA because I sincerely believe that CUSA is a more competitive conference than the Big LEast. I think that UCF, ECU, Tulsa, Houston, and SMU can beat anything that the Big East puts together these days.

Since: Nov 28, 2010
Posted on: April 14, 2011 1:40 pm

Podcast: The future of Big East football

Look I don't like to bask ECU. In fact, I pull for ECU anytime they play an AQ team. I admit that ECU's history is more rich than UCF's and they put butts in seats. Heck ECU is a more storied program and has a very strong record against UCF. However, ECU's potential is maxed out. UCF on the otherhand, has a much larger upside than ECU and has limitless potential as an AQ: recruiting in Florida (the best in the nation), in a city with over 2million people, over 100,000 alums in Orlando alone, over 50,000 student body, and a sincere monetary dedication to greatness.  

Since Hitt became president, UCF has spent some $1.23 billion on resources in academics, research, student life and athletics, totaling 234 separate projects. Since 2004, UCF has spent more than $200 million on athletics facility upgrades. That includes a total of $64.5 million on a new on-campus football stadium and $142.5 million on a new basketball arena, surrounding quad and shopping area. Another $70 million have been pledged to either build or upgrade more facilities, including an academics center for athletes. When you walk around UCF, you will be absolutely amazed at how awesome that campus is. Recruits see this as well; all we need is an AQ tag.

Yes, ECU puts more butts in seats right now, but imagine if UCF were playing teams like WVU, Pitt, and USF every weekend instead of Rice, Tulane, and UAB. UCF will have butts in seats. By the way, USF and UCF will be just as nasty a rivalry as the other FL teams that play each other. For those of you who do not know, these teams absolutely hate each other. Those games will sell out every time.

Marcus Jordan and the basketball team also were ranked for the first time in school history earlier this season after a 14-0 start, making UCF one of a handful of schools to have its football and men’s basketball programs ranked in the top 25. Yes they finished poorly but their best players were sitting on the bench because they become eligible next year. Their successes came on the heels of a first-ever ranking for the men’s soccer program, and a top-25 ranking for women’s soccer as well, and currently their baseball team is ranked as well.

UCF will keep growing and with an AQ tag our potential is limitless. 

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