Tuesday, November 3, 2009

TCU attendance, Part II

In reply to the Wimple's analysis of attendance among the BCS's top 25, re-ranked by percentage of enrollment, come two counterarguments. The first: hypocrisy. If TCU wants to be treated like a Big Boy in college football, it had better fill its stadium like... like the Big Boys do.

Rebuttal: Hypocrisy? What is hypocritical about TCU saying, (loudly, one wishes), 'We out-draw Boise, Cincy, and in relation to the size of our school, every other successful program in the BCS except Notre Lame. We're not just doing the best we can, we're at the top of the heap!' Rather than hypocrisy, that would pour truth into the debate, which (as lamented regularly) would be novel indeed.

The second counterargument: if TCU wants to compare favorable with big programs, it can't rely on its small size as an excuse for low attendance.

Rebuttal: TCU isn't (or shouldn't be) arguing that it carries the same media sway, TV ratings, or fanbase as the big programs. What TCU is arguing is that the debate ought to be about the quality of the product on the field. TCU presents the best case argument that college football ought to be about... (hold on to your hats!) college football, not about TV ad revenue, rich contributors, and big fan bases bringing loads of money to a bowl city for a weekend.

But, alas; we all know that the actual games are just a footnote in the maelstrom that is college football in its macroeconomic fullness. So while ESPN lusts after Ohio State, no matter how dismal the Buckeyes actually play, fans of the game-- of the blocking and tackling happening between the whistles-- will continue to scour channel lineups for Versus, or the radio dial for KTCU. The Rose Bowl ain't letting in a genuinely good-- but small-- school this year.

C'est la vie. How's that #1 defense, Frogs? What? It's your fourth in the last decade? Who knew?

1 comment:

T. Wimple said...

From TCU's Daily Skiff:
New attendance rankings use enrollment numbers
By: Josh Davis
Posted: 11/13/09
By most accounts, TCU's attendance has been nothing to write home about. However, one Horned Frog blogger thinks a more fair method of looking at attendance should be considered.

The Purple Wimple, author of the TCU blog of the same name (wimplefrogs.blogspot.com), devised a ranking system comparing average football attendance to the schools' enrollment for the BCS Top 25 ranked teams on Nov. 2. The Frogs finished second, only behind Notre Dame.

"(Attendance rankings) are something I've paid attention to for a few years," Wimple said. "The attendance discussion comes up every now and then, and nobody ever points out that the size of the schools they're comparing are so disparate."

Wimple, who preferred not to be identified by his real name, said his rankings provide an additional way to consider programs that are inherently unequal.

Some students have taken issues with the rankings.

"I'm a football fan, and obviously I want to see the best football game played," said junior pre-major Tom Ryan. "So I don't think (those) statistics really should be relevant in determining who goes to a BCS bowl and who doesn't."

The rankings showed TCU's attendance to be 392 percent of the school's enrollment. Notre Dame has the highest with 708 percent, and the Frogs were followed by Alabama, Miami and Oklahoma. The only other Texas teams in the BCS Top 25 that week were the University of Texas with 204 percent and University of Houston, which finished last with 72 percent.

Other students were happy to see the football team's attendance shown in a positive light.

"After the beating ESPN has given us on SportsCenter and whatnot about our attendance it was good to see," said junior economics major Tanner Ward. "I'm not sure those numbers tell you much though."

Ward said the poll did not account for demand, and that the other stadiums were full and if they were larger, the numbers might be closer.

Wimple said his goal with the rankings was to point out that national media should "throw around attendance statistics a little more carefully."

He said that the NCAA lists statistics for attendance and stadium size, but said they should consider enrollment.

The blogger hopes to see Horned Frog football attendance continue to rise this year and into the next. However, he didn't have any ideas for administration to boost numbers year-round.

"I'll be curious to see what happens when (ESPN's) GameDay is not here," Wimple said. "New Mexico (Nov. 28) will be an interesting barometer game. I'm sure (administration) is scratching their heads … But there is nothing to compare with winning, and the program is taking care of that for them."