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What the 2015 MAC Championship means to me: Danny White's second chapter

Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

The 2015 MAC Championship was a coronation, not a revolution. In the words of Dennis Green, if you want to crown them, crown them, but UB Basketball is what we thought they were.

Don't get me wrong, I'm delighted that UB finally won the MAC, but UB Basketball didn't need the win to "arrive", outside of two seasons, they have been playing championship caliber basketball for a dozen years.

The basketball chart looks much better than the football one yet when UB brought in a basketball focused AD, the path was tragically predictable.

In 2005 UB hired an AD with a football background, three years later we had a football MAC championship. In 2012 UB hired an AD with a basketball background, three years later we had a basketball MAC championship. Yet, Warde's transformation of a two-win football team is more impressive than White's transformation of a good basketball team into a very good basketball team.

Every move White has made has been successful. Which makes his failure to act in 2012 even more tragic. On October 14, 2012, Quinn should have been let go following a pathetic 42 point loss to football powerhouse NIU. If UB brought in the caliber of coach they brought to basketball, we could be putting our 2015 MAC Basketball trophy next to our 2008, 2013 and 2014 MAC Football Championship trophies.

UB didn't need to win the MAC for UB, but they did need to win the MAC for White. The first two and a half years of the Danny White era were a dud (the 2013 football team was a mesh of talent, soft opponents and missed opportunity, that ultimately will go down as one of the most fun, but tragic years of UB football). UB fans waited for something to believe in, but the Bulls fell short, while non-sports controversies over coaches, contracts, logos and names fractured the fan base.

May 8, 2012 - Danny White hired

Nov 21, 2012 - Quinn 5 year extension announced

March 15, 2013 - Reggie Witherspoon fired

March 27, 2013 - Bobby Hurley hired

May 29, 2013 - NYBI Basketball Court revealed

Nov 29, 2013 - UB loses MAC East title game in football, some critical of loss of home field advantage in White's "Clash at the Ralph"

Dec 21, 2013 - UB loses the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

March 13, 2014 - UB loses to EMU in MAC Basketball Quarterfinals

October 11, 2014 - UB loses to EMU in football, falls to 3-4 on the season, Jeff Quinn fired.

In the past four months however, White has gambled on a championship football coach that has the demeanor to mend a fractured fanbase, and his biggest gamble to date, hiring Bobby Hurley delivered a championship and an unprecedented trip to the NCAA Tournament.

In football, UB has a senior QB and the weapons to make a run at the MAC East. Next year's basketball team returns most of their basketball weapons and will most likely be favored to repeat as MAC Champions.

At the time when it seemed everything White did was failing, the basketball team won the whole thing, and White looks like a genius. I often openly questioned how much fans can trust White's judgement, while Tim told me White's moves would pay dividends. Well, this MAC win shows Tim was right and White was as well. I imagine for the past week White has walked into his office in slow motion with "Damn It Feels Good to be a Gangster" playing in his head.

The 2003-2005 basketball Bulls proved that UB could compete in the MAC. The 2008 football Bulls proved that we could win in the MAC. I don't think we needed to prove anything in 2015.

UB needs to prove they can be consistently good. The 30 year old alumni crowd clings to the '05 team. The 25 year old alumni cling to the '08 team. The 20 year old current students now have the '15 team. It is great we all have our moments, but when they are few and far in between, these moments are less unifying.

Consistency is key. Part of the consistency is succession. If Coach Hurley moves on in the near future, we should do our best to promote Nate Oats to maintain the continuity.

Finally, I appreciate what Danny White and co. have done with attendance. When you plot attendance vs wins, UB did a bad job of filling the arena in 2007-2012. UB has been about average in 2013 and the current 2014-15 season, despite the schedule being unfriendly for attendance, and UB's hot streak coming late.

The lesson in the graph above yet again shows the importance of consistency. The 2003-04 team had horrible attendance early, good attendance late overall about average. The 2004-05 team built on the previous year and has the highest average attendance in the MAC era. 2005-06 team rode a two-year wave of winning to the second highest average attendance, but then the '06-07 team won 12 games, killing basketball fever for a whole generation of Bulls students. UB has to build upon this year, and cannot regress.

The 2015 win was a great payoff for a fanbase that has been close to a championship for 11 years. That said, one win is not enough, in the illustrious words of  Drew Brees UB has to win again, and again and again.That said the worst seems to be behind White, and all of UB should view this as just a preview of what is to come, the next big time athletic program in New York.