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Old November 21st, 2007, 02:47 AM   #21
edsg25
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USC has been a national power for nearly a century, and Miami was a national power as an independent before joining the Big East and ACC. And if you look at the methods some of them used to become a power, especially Miami, I don't think Northwestern would want to follow that. All the private schools you mentioned have something Northwestern doesn't: football tradition (in terms of national championships and/or decades of success), and passionate fans. You need both to have a football rivalry with anybody, but especially the latter. You could pour tons of money into the program and get the tradition, but it won't guarantee getting the fans with as much competition as Northwestern has for fans/alumni.

Chicago's best chance at having a private football power was the University of Chicago, who if they didn't fold could possibly be like a USC today.
i cant' deny that attendance has been a problem. but interestingly, the football program is very well supported by the university. I have to disagree about interest among NU students in the Cats' it's there. You are right about the tradition; however, other schools (including private Miami) built up their program without a long standing tradtion.

NU has to work the Chicago market better. That's for sure. I do believe the potential is there. I also, as stated, believe that NU is committed to making it work.

As for the rah! rah! college crowd and the type of fanaticism that happens at other Big Ten schools, public or private are not the issue: Illinois has been more like NU in that regard than it has been like Iowa, Michigan, OSU, and Wisconsin (which at one point not all that far back was actually blase about Badger football).

Everyone is entitled to their opinion. You guys aren't wrong for your thoughts, but I myself do believe in NU's football future. Even, a stated, if I am alone in that respect here.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 02:54 AM   #22
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I don't know if I'm the odd guy out here (and I may well be), but I really do believe that NU has established itself as a real Big Ten school this last decade and should be a cherished member of the conference. i do get the idea I'm the only one who thinks that here though.
I guess this is true, but whether it's ture or not doesn't really matter if NU is not seen as a "traditional" Big 10 school by fans of other Big 10 teams.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 03:42 AM   #23
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i cant' deny that attendance has been a problem. but interestingly, the football program is very well supported by the university. I have to disagree about interest among NU students in the Cats' it's there. You are right about the tradition; however, other schools (including private Miami) built up their program without a long standing tradtion.

NU has to work the Chicago market better. That's for sure. I do believe the potential is there. I also, as stated, believe that NU is committed to making it work.

As for the rah! rah! college crowd and the type of fanaticism that happens at other Big Ten schools, public or private are not the issue: Illinois has been more like NU in that regard than it has been like Iowa, Michigan, OSU, and Wisconsin (which at one point not all that far back was actually blase about Badger football).

Everyone is entitled to their opinion. You guys aren't wrong for your thoughts, but I myself do believe in NU's football future. Even, a stated, if I am alone in that respect here.

Miami became a power by turning their program into one of the dirtiest and corrupt in the country. They were the UNLV of college football. If Northwestern has any respect for itself, it doesn't want to mirror Miami. They also had the advantage of being able to play anyone anywhere due to independent status, something Northwestern cannot do in the Big 10. But, Miami may be a good example of how tough it can be for a small private school to establish itself. Even with all of its National Championships and winning years over the past 25 seasons, their support is pathetic in average or losing years. Heck even during winning seasons they rarely sold out games in an historic stadium.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 04:35 AM   #24
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edsg I understand your point, but the matter of fact it many the point of NU being a private in the Big Ten is a problem. You mentioned USC and Stanford for Pac 10 but at least they are not the odd man out by themselves. ACC has Duke, BC, Miami, Wake Forest, and Cemson as private schools. SEC has Vandy and Auburn. Big East is like half private schools. The only one I can compare to is Big 12. I think maybe NU just hasnt hit the radar that recently. Other than in the Rose Bowl (and that was 10 years ago), Northwestern hasn't done anything good recently.

In the Big Ten consistency is all. Trust me, the interest of Illini basketball has gone down since they seem to be hurting a bit ever since the Championship game, but in football it has gone up. Now if the Illini went to four final fours or a few elite eights in the last six years trust me a lot of people will remain interested. In college sports you have to be consistent, and in the Big Ten, arguably the best conference, consistency is all, because big dogs like Ohio State, Wisconsin, Penn State, and Michigan will eat you up in football, and schools like Michigan State, Indiana, and Wisconsin will eat you up in basketball.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 05:38 AM   #25
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edsg I understand your point, but the matter of fact it many the point of NU being a private in the Big Ten is a problem. You mentioned USC and Stanford for Pac 10 but at least they are not the odd man out by themselves. ACC has Duke, BC, Miami, Wake Forest, and Cemson as private schools. SEC has Vandy and Auburn. Big East is like half private schools. The only one I can compare to is Big 12.
Clemson and Auburn are public schools. College athletics are just a whole different animal in the South. There aren't any private Division 1-A schools in the Big East, except Syracuse, and I don't know if that's even fully private. Even so, they have a pretty deep tradition in football. The rest of the public schools are good examples of how much easier it is to build up a program at a public vs. private school. UConn was a 1-AA school not too long ago, and South Florida wasn't even 1-AA until ten years ago, and moved to 1-A a few years later. Both schools were able to dump a ton of money into their programs and are doing pretty well. There's a reason the rest of the Big East schools are either 1-AA or don't have a football program at all.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 08:22 AM   #26
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Good lord, man, talk about a statement 180° degrees from the truth. The U of I is hugely loved state wide and throughout Chicagoland (which totally dominates its enrollment). Chicagoland students have been going out of state for years in drove to college. Why? They can't get into Illinois. The reasons go far beyond its difficult admission standards:

Illinois is the largest state in the Middle West. Unlike smaller states like Iowa, Indiana, and Michigan, it has only one flagship university. The result? There is no way that Champaign can accomodate all the qualified students who want to go there. For years, places like Madison, Iowa City, and Bloomington have been destinations for Chicagoland kids. They still are. And for some of these receiving institutions, such as UW, which are very much academic peers to the U of I, there are more slots for out-of-state students due to those states' smaller population. UW, for all its excellence, draws from a smaller pool than U of I and can find space for out-of-staters.

Anyone who doesn't realize how revered the University of Illinois is throughout the state and very much in its Chicago area enrollment base knows nothing about the institution or the state. We view the U of I as the gem that it is.
Actually, edsg25, the rationale I cited is accurate. The top 5 schools I named looked only at students who gained admission to both U of I and another school. These are academic studies that I wish I could find a link for at this moment. Students chose to matriculate out of state for whatever reason. I'm not denying the quality of education received at Illinois. I would put it behind only Michigan and Northwestern in the Big Ten--ahead of Wisconsin.

I also buy the population and single flagship school argument to some degree, but the fact is, a higher proportion of qualified students reject Illinois in favor of neighborhing schools, and I strongly suspect there are two reasons for this: 1-U of I is unfairly thought to be engineering heavy, so students who want nothing to do with engineering are turned off by that and 2-students repeatedly cite the fact that the campus life in Champaign doesn't hold a candle to Madison, Iowa City, and Bloomington, for example.

A couple of anecdotal examples for what its worth:

My firm would takes probably the top 10-15% of undergrads from good schools, predominantly from the Midwest. We recruit heavily from Illinois. Of the last 5 recruiting classes, off the top of my head, 1 out of 16 who grew up in Illinois went to Illinois. ND, Iowa, Washington U. and Indiana were each more represented--by Illinois natives who gained admittance to U of I.

I also did some active recruiting in college for my alma mater (WUSTL). I had a decent relationship with a couple of high schools I targeted (upper-middle class schools in DuPage county). WashU is looking for kids that would be presumptive accepts at U of I--top 5% of HS class, strong standardized score kids. Looking at where kids went to school (to see how well we were doing at drawing kids to WU), it was surprising to me to see how many were heading for Iowa, Purdue, Wisconsin, Indiana, etc. I can compare it to my HS experience (similar demographic, in Indiana), and if you were going Big Ten, you were going to Indiana or Purdue.

Illinois is an academic gem, but you're much more likely to find a born and bred "Michigan man", "Indiana man", etc in their respective states than you are to find an "Illinois man". And again, it's not an academic issue, it's a student perception issue.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 08:54 AM   #27
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Private schools playing big conference, I-A football...

Those with proximity to their rivals:
Stanford (Berkeley)
USC (UCLA)
Duke (N. Carolina)

Those who are de facto public schools due to lack of flagship publics in the area:

Syracuse-biggest publics in the NY state system are what SUNY-Buffalo and Binghamton??

Catholic schools, because Catholic high schools that feed these programs and football go together like peanut butter and jelly:
Boston College
Notre Dame

Those without cross-town rivals or other "unique" status.
Wake Forest
Vanderbilt
Miami
Northwestern

If Miami is the instructive example here, then no thank you. The other three are much more academically rigorous schools and all three are much smaller.

Miami is a 5 hr drive from its nearest big-school competitor (Florida) too, so in many ways S. Florida is a pretty captive recruiting ground. Florida St is next closest, then GA Tech (10 hrs away).

Schools within a 5 hour drive of Evanston:
Purdue, Michigan St., Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa.

Kentucky, Louisville, Ohio State, Minnesota, Missou are all within 7.

Kansas, Kansas State, Tennessee, and Nebraska are all within 9 or so.

An uphill, if not impossible battle given recruiting geography if the example is Miami here.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 12:40 PM   #28
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Northwestern can have trouble recruiting the middle west; then again, it actually looks at national recuitment more than other B10 schools because it is a private university.

I don't think there is a huge connection with enrollment and attendance, but clearly private schools are at a disadvantage. It is easier for the general public to embrace its state's public universities than to make an affiliation with a private school that doesn't have that connection. On the plus side, Northwestern is located in the 800 pound gorilla in B10 country: Chicagoland. Draw a 50 mile radius around Evanston (even if half of it makes up the fish in Lake Michigan) and you probably have a population base that exceeds the 50 miles radius of the other ten schools combined.

NU does have to tap that Chicagoland market better. I like the private schools that still play 1-A ball. As institutions, I believe they add to college sports in general. If we get to a point that big time college football is strictly the reserve of the large state universities, I think we become more and more like the NFL; in some ways, we're already there.

While having a second private university playing B10 football in the area might dilute NU's attendance, I have to wonder: if the old Northwestern-Chicago Big Ten rivalry had survived, what would the implications be for heightened interest at Northwestern with a brethern institution were still on the schedule. Even though in the Bay Area it is private vs. public, I am sure the existence of Cal and the Big Game accounts for a lot of Stanford's interest in football.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 12:43 PM   #29
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Nat admittedly brought up some good points on the U of I to counter what I said about its relationship with the state. I'm wondering if others of you agree or disagree with his assessment.

Even with what he said which was compelling, I have to feel the bond of the state (and Chicagoland itself) is very strong with the U of I. I would have to admit the athletic bond isn't as great as Milw-UW or Det-UM, but on all other counts, I would have pegged it the same. And my experience has always been that high school seniors (and their parents) are dying to get in to the U of I, a school they respect far more than its stellar engineering program.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 06:39 PM   #30
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Old November 21st, 2007, 08:21 PM   #31
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I think I'm gonna disagree with you that the U of I administration wants to do away with the "party school" reputation. It's so easy to get away with stuff down there (hell, I've seen kids smoking weed on the Quad in broad daylight, not 200 ft. from the Union on more than one occasion). They could crack down a lot more without putting forth much effort at all, but they don't. They turn a blind eye on purpose because, like it or not, the fact that there's lots of parties and tons of alcohol is very attractive to a lot of people.

Also, the distinction you make between "serious students" and "partiers" is more imaginary than real in a lot of cases. yes, there are some people who do not drink at all and study non-stop, and also some people who have terrible grades and pary all the time. But the vast majority of students there have no problem getting hammered on friday and saturday night (maybe the occasional thursday party), then working thier ass off all sunday and studying hard throughout the week. Must people take in the best of both worlds.

I often wonder too, if the administration at the University puts pressure on the City of Champaign to "play along." It's no coincidence that all the Frats and Bars are in Champaign, while the Urbana side of campus is often bone dry (except maybe the area just east of Lincoln Ave). Being drunk in Urbana is much more likely to get you a ticket than if you are in Champaign AND an Urbana drinking ticket will cost you about 3 times as much. The only time I've ever seen the Cops show up at a party is because some idiot pulled the fire alarm and so they had to show up. And that was on Halloween night. Even on Halloween night, one of the biggest party nights on campus, the police only show up becuase they have to.

And, finally, any big, centralized, public university is bound to be a party school to a certain degree, no matter what the administration wants.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 09:58 PM   #32
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Even with what he said which was compelling, I have to feel the bond of the state (and Chicagoland itself) is very strong with the U of I. I would have to admit the athletic bond isn't as great as Milw-UW or Det-UM, but on all other counts, I would have pegged it the same. And my experience has always been that high school seniors (and their parents) are dying to get in to the U of I, a school they respect far more than its stellar engineering program.
The more I think about this edsg, the more I am thinking that it's really a combination of what you're saying and what I'm saying.

The single flagship school concept definitely made it more difficult to get into U of I than other state schools in the region. If we were to go back 20 years ago, I do believe that it is fair to say people who couldn't get into U of I were the ones going trying their luck at other Big Ten schools.

A state like Indiana for example, has more room to accomodate more students at either Indiana or Purdue. In Indiana, kids are definitely less informed about other options among the Big Ten schools.

Engineering, agriculture, mathematics, aviation-->go to Purdue
Soft sciences, pre-law, public policy--> to to Indiana.

The last generation of Illinois kids who were forced to look outside of Illinois for college have been great marketing tools for this generation of kids who could get into U of I. There's always an older sibling/cousin/classmate who couldn't go to Urbana that really matured and blossomed at another school. The younger kids visit older friends at these universities, and the message gets filtered about the possibility of going elsewhere.

Writing/literature--->Someone had a great experience at Iowa and had exposure to the writer's workshop.

Public policy--->someone else knows someone else who loved Madison.

Hotel/hospitality management--->Illinois kids know about Michigan State's fine program.

It's not to say that Illinois is unattractive to its students. I just think the typical Illinois kid has more exposure to other states' offerings, so they're able to distinguish better between overall quality vs. individual program quality vs. campus quality of life. Whereas in a state like Wisconsin, Madison has historically captured more kids, so there isn't as much knowledge of out of state programs.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 11:03 PM   #33
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Old November 23rd, 2007, 08:44 AM   #34
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Wow Nat you made a good point. I always knew that if I wanted to do Journalism or Sociology the place to go was Wisconsin (Well for Journalism other than NU obvy). If I wanted to be a Vet, go to Purdue. business, IU or Iowa. I think Big Ten schools do really capitilize all of their attention to Chicago region. Honestly Illinois is what the 5th biggest in population for the states, and we manage to only have one flagship? I mean states that have far less in population have a better balance of flagships Iowa-Iowa State, IU-Purdue, Mich-MSU.

Also back to the rivalries, Pac-10 should not be mentioned, it is so prefectly setup for rivals. Each state has the flagship and then the 2nd flagship. Wash-Wash State. Oregon-Oregon State. Arizona-Arizona State. And more of nearness to each other Cal-Stanford. UCLA-USC. I think the Pac-10 rivals are just better when it comes to geography, they just make more sense. Yeah you got a perfect number of 10 schools 8 public 2 private, 2 per each state and in cali two in the north two in the south. Pac 10 rivalries are just so much easier to make sense of. Big Ten is not like that at all, instead you got a mix.
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Old November 23rd, 2007, 02:21 PM   #35
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Quote:
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The last generation of Illinois kids who were forced to look outside of Illinois for college have been great marketing tools for this generation of kids who could get into U of I. There's always an older sibling/cousin/classmate who couldn't go to Urbana that really matured and blossomed at another school. The younger kids visit older friends at these universities, and the message gets filtered about the possibility of going elsewhere.
nat, that is extremely observant on your part. you really nailed this one. there is no question that Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana, Purdue (as well as Kansas, Michigan, Michigan State, etc.) are part of the Chicagoland college culture.

So U of I in that sense goes into a larger mix in Chicagoland than what UW goes through in Milwaukee. And even with U of I eliminated from the picture, I defy you go go to any high powered, academically rigourous, competitvie Chicagoland high school and look at the shirts the kids are wearing and the schools the seniors will be going to and ask yourself this:

which shirts and positive responses to acceptance letters are you going to see:

UW, IU, Iowa

-or-

NIU, SIU, ISU

?

if you didn't put your money on Madison, Bloomington, and Iowa City, you may lose those very shirts I mentioned previously.
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Old November 23rd, 2007, 02:36 PM   #36
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one more observatoin on membership in the Big Ten. I do see the point some of you are making on differentiation in membership based on interest, success on and off the field, etc.

But I don't think that is based on the whole public/privaate issue nearly as much as some of you do.

I do, however, believe schools within a conference can be put in clusters based on their successes on and off the field.

For example, in football,

• Michigan and Ohio State are a world apart from the other Big Ten schools in tradition and success

• Penn State should be in this category but has not proven itself to be since joining the conference.

• Interest and passion will keep Wisconsin and Iowa hungry and allow usually one of them to be in the hunt (rarely both in the same season...their successes are too dependent on each other)

• The interest is there in East Lansing, but the strength of Michigan's program will always put a damper on MSU's successes. MSU is the only B10 school unlucky to share its state with the 800 pound gorilla. In essence, that puts Spartan football more at an NU level.

• Illinois has always been the leading "sleeping giant" in the Big Ten. State population should give the Illini some degree of equality with UM and OSU; of course, it never has earned that. Illinois is heading into a bright period, but too often it languishes in the lower levels of the conference and suffers from distance from Chicagoland and being located in b'ball rabid central IL. Four straight loses to NU before this season show that the Illini have no built in advantage over the Cats.

• In comparing Minnesota, Indiana, and Northwestern, it is hard to escape the fact that in this last decade (and more), the Cats have been a far more successful program than U of M and IU. Minnesota will benefit when their new stadium opens, but its capacity (along with an addition that will enlarge IU's stadium) is in the range of Ryan Field. Northwestern and Minnesota share the bond of sharing interest in their programs with the pro sports and other offerings that the Chicago and Twin Cities offer like no other B10 locations. IU's weak football traditon and second status in the sport to Purdue limits long term Hoosier success.

In other words, at least in football, Indiana and Minnesota have a lot more in common with Northwestern than they do with Michigan and Ohio State, are assured of many more interesting and competive games with NU than those other two schools, and have programs that are more structured like NU's than they are like OSU and Michigan's.

And if you go from Big Ten to Pac Ten, no school is in the league football wise as private, smaller, elite USC. There is nothing small time about Trojan football and the support it receives.
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