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A Modest Proposal on SEC Membership

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Albert_Camus
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A Modest Proposal on SEC Membership

Postby Albert_Camus » Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:58 pm

There have been certain tectonic changes in conditions that have damaged the life support system for Vandy football.

As has been noted in here, Nashville has become a tourist destination that creates a ready market for re-selling tickets to opposing fans. It seems like a no-risk proposition to get season tickets and re-sell enough of them to finance the purchase to fans on their Pickin and Pigskin weekends. This creates something akin to urban gentrification where the locals are being displaced by outsiders. It has gotten downright absurd.

Also, Vandy has become a national ...even international university in a way it never was. What the heck does a kid from Poughkeepsie or Poland care about SEC football? And is that kid at all likely to stay in Nashville to pursue a career? The fan base is inarguably aging. New blood is not entering, and we have reached the point of fan base collapse.

We have been propped up with SEC money and fielded respectable teams. However, as the support system degrades, it will over time become even more difficult to attract players. It is a rare breed of recruit that both has academic chops and is willing to play in houses constantly dominated by opposing fans.

Having thought about this a bit, I have concluded that we should consider leaving the SEC in football only. We more than hold our own in other sports. As a founding member, we ought to be able to arrange a solution where we drop football but remain in the conference in every other sport as we are now. Our infrastructure for basketball and baseball is more than sufficient.

D day would be a sad day to be sure but ending the charade would eliminate an enormous distraction to the university. It would also get us onto a level playing field in all of what we do.

What I don't know is the extent that football money cross-subsidizes other sports. I would bet that basketball and baseball money is probably self-sustaining at current levels. Olympic sports would certainly need to be reduced.


Albert

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Re: A Modest Proposal on SEC Membership

Postby Goldmember » Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:03 pm

Albert,

What do you suggest? Drop down to FCS in football or stay as FBS but move to another Power 5 conference

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Re: A Modest Proposal on SEC Membership

Postby Albert_Camus » Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:05 pm

Drop football altogether under the go big or go home theory.
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Re: A Modest Proposal on SEC Membership

Postby LawoftheWest » Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:16 pm

Albert,
I believe that if your proposal occurs, then many of our other sports will drop down to being club sports. The television revenue from football supports those other sports.
After reading your messages for many years, I have decided that you love to be contrarian and controversial. In your most recent proposal, I think you have gone over the edge. Won't happen. Too much lost revenue.

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Re: A Modest Proposal on SEC Membership

Postby Albert_Camus » Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:49 pm

LawoftheWest wrote:Albert,
I believe that if your proposal occurs, then many of our other sports will drop down to being club sports. The television revenue from football supports those other sports



Maybe. I would like to see the actual figures. There are plenty of big-time basketball schools that support a program without the aid of football money.
Albert

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Re: A Modest Proposal on SEC Membership

Postby LawoftheWest » Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:51 pm

Albert_Camus wrote:
LawoftheWest wrote:Albert,
I believe that if your proposal occurs, then many of our other sports will drop down to being club sports. The television revenue from football supports those other sports



Maybe. I would like to see the actual figures. There are plenty of big-time basketball schools that support a program without the aid of football money.



What basketball programs do you have in mind. Louisville, Kentucky, North Carolina?

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Re: A Modest Proposal on SEC Membership

Postby Albert_Camus » Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:54 pm

The entire Big East comes to mind.
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Re: A Modest Proposal on SEC Membership

Postby charlestonalum » Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:10 am

Albert,
We would not be allowed to do this any more than any SEC member would be allowed to drop a sport like basketball because for whatever reason they are not winning. Vanderbilt needs to make a commitment to football like Duke, Standford, even Tulane and get on with being competitive and winning. It can be done and we just have to have an administration that wants to do it.

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Re: A Modest Proposal on SEC Membership

Postby FayetteDore » Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:01 am

Since you're thinking outside the box, how about engineering an exchange with the ACC: Say Vanderbilt moves to the ACC and to keep the number of football schools at 14, get Florida State or Miami or Clemson or Va Tech to move to the SEC. There are 5 private universities in the ACC (including non-football member Notre Dame) plus highly selective UVa.

Generally speaking, ACC fan bases are not quite as big as SEC fanbases (with some exceptions) and generally speaking are more sophisticated and less likely to be enthralled by Music City's attractions -- especially after they've made the trip once or twice and seen the faux honky Tonks and couldn't get into the Blue Bird after standing in line for hours.

But before we try Mr. Camus' approach, or my alternative, let's try one final time to see whether a professional and comprehensive Vanderbilt football marketing campaign -- tied with efforts to screen ticket sales to the states of Alabama and Georgia and East Tennessee -- might actually work. With emphasis on the professional and the comprehensive.

Albert is right though: it's time for some kind of drastic action.
Last edited by FayetteDore on Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A Modest Proposal on SEC Membership

Postby AuricGoldfinger » Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:17 am

Albert_Camus wrote:
As has been noted in here, Nashville has become a tourist destination that creates a ready market for re-selling tickets to opposing fans. It seems like a no-risk proposition to get season tickets and re-sell enough of them to finance the purchase to fans on their Pickin and Pigskin weekends. This creates something akin to urban gentrification where the locals are being displaced by outsiders.


This post was worth reading for that analogy alone.
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Re: A Modest Proposal on SEC Membership

Postby Albert_Camus » Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:45 am

charlestonalum wrote:Albert,
We would not be allowed to do this any more than any SEC member would be allowed to drop a sport like basketball because for whatever reason they are not winning. Vanderbilt needs to make a commitment to football like Duke, Standford, even Tulane and get on with being competitive and winning. It can be done and we just have to have an administration that wants to do it.



Honestly, I am persuaded by Brexit and the election of a carnival barker as president that literally anything is possible.
Albert

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Re: A Modest Proposal on SEC Membership

Postby Johnmn555 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:30 am

Not happening. SEC money and opposing fans pay for our program and none of the alternatives would. ACC pays less and would get less money from traveling fans. Besides, we'd get pasted in the ACC as badly as we do in the SEC East. Growth and increased cache of Nashville actually is leading to more grads staying in the area, but they are not big football fans.

Historically, things are not nearly as bad for us in the SEC as they often have been. We only won a small handful of SEC games in the entire decade of the 60s. We went winless from 1976 to mid 1981. Watson won three or four league games in five years. Woody and Bobby combined for a 20-odd game league losing streak.
Last edited by Johnmn555 on Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: A Modest Proposal on SEC Membership

Postby FayetteDore » Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:47 am

Johnmn555 wrote:Not happening. SEC money and opposing fans pay for our program and none of the alternatives would. ACC pays less and would get less money from traveling fans. Besides, we'd get pasted in the ACC as badly as we do in the SEC East. Growth and increased cache of Nashville actually is leading to more grads staying in the area, but they are not big football fans.

Historically, things are nearly as bad for us in the SEC as they often have been. We only won a small handful of SEC games in the entire decade of the 60s. We went winless from 1976 to mid 1981. Watson won three or four league games in five years. Woody and Bobby combined for a 20-odd game league losing streak.


That's true in terms of Ws and Ls. But the difference is that Vanderbilt Stadium was almost always filled to capacity and almost always Vanderbilt fans were the majority. Even Tennessee in those days did not have more than half of the stadium. Vanderbilt was the ONLY game in town, the city's population was more provincial and the numbers of sidewalk VU vans were far greater.

If I understand what Albert is saying, the dominance of opposing SEC fans in Vanderbilt Stadium is eventually going to lead to a death spiral in that no quality athlete will want to play in that kind of environment.

As for the first part of your post, yeah, the SEC money would continue to flow -- but at the cost of a program that wins its three cupcake OOC games and loses the SEC slate and its Power 5 OOC opponent. The question then becomes: do you take the money or do you take your self respect.
Last edited by FayetteDore on Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:50 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: A Modest Proposal on SEC Membership

Postby Commodoredave » Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:49 am

I'm just hoping the SEC doesn't ask us to leave at some point. To voluntarily leave the league would be a death blow to football and severely compromise the quality of athletics in general. Football pays the bills, even at Vanderbilt. We are competing for national championships in tennis, golf, baseball, and I believe basketball (both)is on the verge of a major leap forward. We need SEC TV money to fund these, and if we aren't playing SEC football, the money goes away.

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Re: A Modest Proposal on SEC Membership

Postby AuricGoldfinger » Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:01 am

Commodoredave wrote:I'm just hoping the SEC doesn't ask us to leave at some point. To voluntarily leave the league would be a death blow to football and severely compromise the quality of athletics in general. Football pays the bills, even at Vanderbilt. We are competing for national championships in tennis, golf, baseball, and I believe basketball (both)is on the verge of a major leap forward. We need SEC TV money to fund these, and if we aren't playing SEC football, the money goes away.


My doomsday scenario is not that Vandy is asked to leave, but that the SEC and other major conferences blow up on their own. This happens when Alabama, Ohio State, Texas, and a relative few other traditional football (and ratings) powerhouses are individually offered a deal they can't refuse from a Netflix, an Amazon, or a digital-only ESPN, but with the caveat they have to play each other each week. No more games against Little Sisters of the Poor. Then Vandy, Ole Miss, etc. are all left to fight for the scraps or drop football entirely.
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Re: A Modest Proposal on SEC Membership

Postby OldDude » Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:12 am

AuricGoldfinger wrote:
Commodoredave wrote:I'm just hoping the SEC doesn't ask us to leave at some point. To voluntarily leave the league would be a death blow to football and severely compromise the quality of athletics in general. Football pays the bills, even at Vanderbilt. We are competing for national championships in tennis, golf, baseball, and I believe basketball (both)is on the verge of a major leap forward. We need SEC TV money to fund these, and if we aren't playing SEC football, the money goes away.


My doomsday scenario is not that Vandy is asked to leave, but that the SEC and other major conferences blow up on their own. This happens when Alabama, Ohio State, Texas, and a relative few other traditional football (and ratings) powerhouses are individually offered a deal they can't refuse from a Netflix, an Amazon, or a digital-only ESPN, but with the caveat they have to play each other each week. No more games against Little Sisters of the Poor. Then Vandy, Ole Miss, etc. are all left to fight for the scraps or drop football entirely.



You mean you think that TV money could actually control college football ????

Thanks, Auric. Very good post.

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Re: A Modest Proposal on SEC Membership

Postby abvandy » Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:26 am

Has anyone heard from "Magnolia League" Lately ... ??

CONQUER!!...., and PREVAIL!!!

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Re: A Modest Proposal on SEC Membership

Postby Johnmn555 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:31 am

[/b][/quote] That's true in terms of Ws and Ls. But the difference is that Vanderbilt Stadium was almost always filled to capacity and almost always Vanderbilt fans were the majority. Even Tennessee in those days did not have more than half of the stadium. Vanderbilt was the ONLY game in town, the city's population was more provincial and the numbers of sidewalk VU vans were far greater.[/quote]

Before 1981, the 34,000 seat hulk of a stadium very rarely sold out and crowds in the teens were more the norm. There was a honeymoon period of about five years with the new stadium starting in 1981. They played to close to capacity with the majority of fans rooting for the home team. That gradually dissipated, and the current status quo has been in place for close to 30 years. In any event, I don't think you can focus on a limited five year period with a new stadium over 30 years ago as a base line. It's not.

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Re: A Modest Proposal on SEC Membership

Postby Doreknox » Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:13 am

We have a joke of an AD who does not fundraise and has no idea how to market an SEC program. Before we resign from the SEC, how about we get a competent AD who can hire a better coach, improve our facilities and figure out a way to increase ticket sales to VU fans.

I recall crowds at Dudley being quite good until the late 1990s, then the Oilers/Titans moved to town and the Preds started up. Pro sports and more televised college football games have really hurt our ticket sales. Our 25 straight losing seasons from 82-2007 didn't help much, either. Why not cut ticket prices to 1980s/90s prices to make games more affordable and attractive to newly arrived locals and families?
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Re: A Modest Proposal on SEC Membership

Postby Goldmember » Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:20 am

Never happen. Vanderbilt gives something to the SEC to brag about when it comes to APR graduation rates and all around academic story to tell.

Missouri would be asked to leave the SEC before Vanderbilt is.


Commodoredave wrote:I'm just hoping the SEC doesn't ask us to leave at some point. To voluntarily leave the league would be a death blow to football and severely compromise the quality of athletics in general. Football pays the bills, even at Vanderbilt. We are competing for national championships in tennis, golf, baseball, and I believe basketball (both)is on the verge of a major leap forward. We need SEC TV money to fund these, and if we aren't playing SEC football, the money goes away.






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