Originally Posted by wolfboy
I want to be respectful about this, but your argument is just silly. In recent years, the WVU and UL games were held at PBS and drew almost double what the draw for an average game at Nippert. Our closest geographic rival in this new conference is nearly 500 miles away. Louisville was under 100; WVU was ~150; and, Pitt was 280 (still only 4 hours). Geography aside, those are three teams that have been fairly consistently ranked and have a great football tradition. The notion that UC isn't somehow harmed when the competition drops from those three to Tulane, ECU, and Memphis is crazy. You are right that they have to be relevant on the national stage to draw well; however, that completely misses the point that it's near impossible to be relevant at any level when your biggest conference game on the schedule is UCF.
Despite proximity did anyone view Pitt as a rival? UC played Pitt in a primetime game to kick off the season last year and it wasn't a sellout, in fact UC drew more of a crowd for the victory bell game vs Miami. In 2010 UC played Pitt on senior night and drew their smallest home crowd of the year, behind stalwarts like Indiana State and Miami.
Louisville and WVU were obviously better draws but how many people would show up to those games if UC were a .500 team? Probably not many and certainly not as many as if a team like Oklahoma, Florida or OSU came to town.
They need to win (a lot) to stay relevant but then again they'd have needed to do that even if they were playing Louisville, Pitt et al.