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Friday football tidbits

December 9, 2011

Between pre-Thanksgiving technical difficulties, the holiday itself, and then a lingering cold that’s sapped my energy, I just haven’t been able to get my act together for a regular posting schedule. (Don’t worry, it’ll return eventually.) But over the last couple days I came across several interesting football items that I wanted to share.

First, and most trivial, is Hustle Belt’s guess at the fate of each current MAC football head coach.

EMU: Ron English is the next to go. One more winning season and he’s outta here in 2012.

I continue to see speculation about English being considered at AQ programs this year (first he was a “long shot” for Ohio State, more recently he’s been mentioned for Arizona State), and that will only intensify if he can put together a winning season next year.

Next, Crystal Ball Run gives Ron English the “How the hell did he do that?” Award for succeeding in one of “the toughest jobs in America.”

I proffer a question: What if you were a head coach at a school where winning was not expected? Where there were zero expectations? A job whose placeholders had received zero financial commitment? One of those jobs – have your pick – is in the discussion of “toughest job in America.” Welcome to Ypsilanti, Michigan; population of 19,000, a small and quiet town known for being the birthplace of Domino’s Pizza. If you are in Ypsilanti and you walk six miles east beyond the town limits, do you know where you will be? Ann Arbor, Michigan; the home of the beloved Michigan Wolverines…There, in Ypsilanti, lies one of “the toughest jobs in America,” a position currently held by Ron English, a coach who is underappreciated for what he has accomplished in Ypsilanti.

Finally, Teddy Cahill of the Ball State Daily News has an outstanding article about the NCAA attendance requirement, including how it came to be, how it is enforced, and some of the ways schools deal with it. Of course, EMU is mentioned.

Eastern Michigan, another MAC school, gets even more creative than that. The school wrote a provision into its distribution contract with Pepsi requiring the company to buy $150,000 worth of tickets every year. Eastern Michigan’s tickets are listed at $10, meaning Pepsi can buy about 45,000 tickets, the equivalent of three games of meeting the attendance standard.

A member of a rival athletic department also noted Eastern Michigan schedules the NCAA minimum of five home games every other year. That reduces the total number of tickets the school must sell in a year to 75,000, making Pepsi’s guaranteed tickets go even further to reaching the minimum.

This is an excellent look at what is often an unfamiliar aspect of the NCAA (not unfamiliar to Eagle Totem readers, though) as well as an example of top-notch student journalism.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Kenneth Barna permalink
    December 10, 2011 10:37 am

    Dear cmadler,
    What will keep a coach at Eastern, if he is successful? I’m looking at Boise State as an example, and for the time being am not declaring that Eastern will be the next Boise State, or Texas Christian University. As those school’s programs got better and better, why weren’t their coaches picked off by what are considered to be bigger programs? Did the coaches salaries go up dramatically? What kept them at those schools?
    In other words, they seem to be totally satisfied with the school they are involved. What could make Eastern a destination school, instead of a jumping off point for successful coaches? There have been destination coaches at other MAC schools. Doyt Perry comes to mind from Bowling Green.

    • December 10, 2011 12:15 pm

      I started to write a reply, but it just got longer and longer, so now it’s going to be a post of it’s own.

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