Where Are We? #3 & #4 Tradition & Stadium

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I spoke about the track around the field and our recent track record on the field.
I will look into the effect of competing with the Bills
Finally I'll look at the facilities and money spent on facilities.

THIRD ISSUE: How does our tradition stack up?

3a) When did the teams of the sample start playing football?

For all intents and purposes UB has a lot of tradition...(required reading). UB has played football for 98 seasons over the course of 117 years.

On average, the sampled schools played their first game in 1927. UMass started football the earliest in 1879, UB, Ohio and Temple tied as the sixth teams to start football in 1894.

The MAC conference schools started on average in the year 1900. The youngest team is Ball State who started play in 1924.

Amongst the new teams, 9 teams played their first game after 1950, 6 of those teams played their first game after 1997. The average start year is 1943.

If you polled the nation and asked where college football's Bulls played...I think South Florida would win the poll. In actuality we started playing football 103 years before USF. We have the tradition, we need to educate our fans, the community and the nation about our history.

3b) When did the teams start FBS level play.

This is complicated as divisions were spawned as the game progressed, but...

Overall, the teams in the sample started FBS play in 1972. 20 Teams were playing FBS football before Buffalo began play in 1999. 9 teams started FBS play before 1920, 4 more started between 1975 and 1987. 9 teams moved to FBS in the '90s, and 11 joined since 2000.

In the MAC, UB was the last team in conference to join FBS, UMass will be the new kid on the block in this fall. The average FBS start year for MAC schools is 1937.

Out of new teams, only 7 teams moved to FBS play before Buffalo. The average FBS start year of these teams is 2002.

When you see teams like UConn going to BCS bowls, you think that could be Buffalo. When you see Temple go Big East, you think that could be us. When South Florida starts playing football and jumps into the Big East and competes while we struggle to compete in the MAC, it hurts. However all these things have occurred despite our lengthly tradition.

Tradition seems to be a non-factor in success going forward. This hurts UB as new teams with less tradition enter FBS but have as good a chance as us to succeed. You don't want to see any of these new teams (UMass, South Alabama, Texas State, Georgia State, Texas San Antonio) passing over us in prestige. With 5 new teams jumping to FBS, it is a critical time for UB, the talent pool at the bottom just got thinner, and our tradition can't save us.

Tradition however is important to our campus, alumni and community. UB is playing it's 99th season this year, I'd hope the Athletic Department celebrates the 100th season of UB football in 2013 with all the fanfare that the accomplishment deserves.

FOURTH ISSUE: How does our stadium match up?

Based on date the facility was built, UB Stadium, built in 1993, is the 9th newest stadium in the sample (using UMass's on campus stadium, not Foxborough). The average build date is 1973, the oldest stadium built in 1926.

In the MAC, UB has 3rd newest stadium, the oldest in conference built in 1929, with an average build date of 1970.

Amongst new teams UB has the 7th newest stadium, the new teams average stadium build year is 1977.

The data would show that our stadium, build in 1993, should have had on average 20 years of advanced engineering over the other teams on this list, and 23 years on MAC schools.

However, we didn't see much of a competitive advantage, which could point to flaws in our stadium as a recruiting tool.

When looking at last time the stadium was remodeled...the problem is exacerbated. UB made significant structural changes in 1999 to meet MAC and FBS standards, but the teams in the sample have updated more recently.

The stadium that was updated longest ago was in 1990, the newest is the renovation for UMass's on-campus stadium scheduled for 2014.

Overall, the sample's stadiums were last updated on average 4 years after UB's last remodel. MAC stadiums a little older, last remodeled in 2002 on average, the new schools a little newer, with an average remodel date of 2004.

The remodel average shows that any advantage UB had was lost 3 years into their FBS campaign. The average MAC school and new program has a more updated stadium then UB.

Boise State is expanding their stadium and will be comparable to Oregon's. UTSA has plans to build an on campus football stadium. FAU, Akron and UCF have brand new stadia. UMass, Temple, UConn, UTSA, Georgia State and South Florida rent state of the art facilities, saving money to upgrade facilities without sacrificing the athlete or fan experience today.

Done properly, UB could have created a stadium that launched them into the national scene. 12 years later, we have done nothing to rectify our stadium and have fallen further behind. UB 2020 addresses facilities, but has no plan to make substantial changes to the stadium. It will be very hard for UB to compete without a plan to improve the stadium.

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