The last time Buffalo was selected for a Bowl game the UB faithful were asked to travel a few hours down the Queen Elizabeth Way from Buffalo to Toronto. The new found success of the program, the historic nature of the invite, the first accepted by UB, and the way in which Buffalo dispatched #12 Ball State in the process helped set an International Bowl Attendance record.
Now UB going to their second Bowl but this time it is as far from the Alumni base as you can get. There are foreign Nations with more UB Alumni than Idaho has. The season also ended with a loss at home which cost UB a spot in the MAC Championship game. It was a deflating game on the back of a very exciting season.
As Conrad likes to say "Eight Wins Is Enough".... Except that sometimes it's not.
Toledo is sitting home this Bowl Season as is Central Michigan. The Sun Belt has five of seven bowl eligible teams at home. Bowl Selection is not about putting the best teams on the field. Sure the Quality of team is a factor but it is not the only factor and certainly not the pivotal one.
Ohio got in over Toledo because the good folks running the Beef 'O' Brady's bowl believed that the Bobcats fans base will travel better than the Rockets would have. They are certainly not in the post season based on getteing trashed by every MAC Bowl Eligible they faced.
The Sun Belt offered up 8-4 Western Kentucky and a stack of cash to the Pizza Bowl but the Bowl went with 6-6 Pitt. I'm sure a lot of that decision had to do with the Bowls record low attendance the previous season. The Detroit Bowl averages about 40,000 people a year last season only 23,000 turned out to see WKU take on Central Michigan and by the looks of it most of those in attendance were Chips fans.
So the moral of the story is this... Fan bases who travel get picked nearly every time they are eligible, fan bases that do not travel have to cross their fingers when bowl selection time comes. This years good showing at the "Spud Bowl" leads to next years Florida invite.
So with that in mind here is what Director White sent out to the UB fan base this afternoon.
If you don't feel like reading the whole thing here is the skinny
- If getting out west is not feasible, there are other ways to support our program. We urge you to consider purchasing bowl game tickets and donating them to UB students or local, underprivileged families in the Boise area who want to go to the game.
- If you are interested in making the trip to Boise UB is taking reservations for a fan charter. The trip will include a roundtrip flight, two-night hotel stay, ground transportation and game tickets. The cost is estimated at $1,500 per person.
As I am sure you all are aware by now, yesterday while we were celebrating our seniors at our 2013 Football Banquet, our Bulls received an invitation to attend The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in Boise, Idaho. The game is against San Diego State University and it will take place on Saturday, December 21st. This invitation is monumental for our athletic program and is a great way to close out a record-breaking season for our football team. We could not be more proud of our student-athletes and look forward to seeing them compete on ESPN’s flagship channel in over 100 million households across the country. Our goal is to be in this position every year as we work to build "America’s next big-time college athletics brand."
There are only 35 potential bowl games for teams to compete in. As we have stressed before, simply being "bowl eligible" is unfortunately not a guarantee that we will be selected for one of these games. We feel that the momentum our team has had this season coupled with the hard work and dedication of the University and UB community to build our brand nationally gave our Bulls the competitive edge we needed. We want to thank you all for your support this season and for helping create a "12th man advantage" at UB Stadium.
That being said, there is still work to be done. In order to continue competing in December at one of these bowl games, we need to have a strong showing in Boise next week. Our fate with future bowls is predicated on not just our record, but our ability to put fans in the seats and eyes on the game during this nationally televised bowl. We understand that Boise presents a challenge for our fans wanting to travel out to the game, but we encourage you all to do your best to make the trip. If getting out west is not feasible, there are other ways to support our program. We urge you to consider purchasing bowl game tickets and donating them to UB students or local, underprivileged families in the Boise area who want to go to the game.
For those of you interested in making the trip to Boise we are currently taking reservations for a fan charter. The trip will include a roundtrip flight, two-night hotel stay, ground transportation and game tickets. The cost is estimated at $1,500 per person – once we get a minimum of 150 reservations, we will confirm cost based on charter plane quotes. Additionally, we will be releasing information on several "watch parties" to bring the UB Family together to watch the game on ESPN. For other ways to contribute and for all bowl game information (including charter reservations), please visit www.UBBulls.com.
We need you all to help UB make a statement in our second-ever bowl game appearance.
Daniel J. White
Director of Athletics
Not the usual swagger we've come to expect from White but this is a chance for the Bulls to prove we can travel to Idaho or Toronto.