5.12.08

PROFITING BY SELLING WINS. Over the years I've had some fun with the [State] University of [New York at] Buffalo's efforts to achieve prominence in Division I football. Tonight, however, I recognize their success. David Letterman's favorite BCS team, Ball State, was on the way to a score that might have put the Mid-American title game away in the third quarter. Two long fumble returns for touchdowns later, Buffalo were in control, with head coach Turner Gill, a veteran of the Packer front office, being being the object of speculation by the broadcasters as a possible head coach in a more visible conference. Buffalo will play a January game in the International Bowl.
The bowl bid is the second in Buffalo’s 94 years of collegiate football, but will mark the first invitation that is accepted. The 1958 Bulls were initially invited to play in the Tangerine Bowl against Florida State, but later turned down the bowl bid when it was learned that two of Buffalo’s African-American players would not be allowed to compete against white players at the game site.
Buffalo's cheering section had a difficult ride to Detroit, but when they got there, they made themselves heard, using some of the same routines we use at Northern Illinois.

In one of those posts about Buffalo's football aspirations, I noted,
On the other hand, some pretty good economists are at Buffalo. New York's stinginess might have prevented them from getting more. Northern Illinois has received some favorable publicity and perhaps a few enrollments because of football success, although the True North capital campaign reflects the reality that there were plenty of positive things happening elsewhere long before anybody noticed those wins.
We are still capitalizing on the recognition our 2003 run at the Bowl Championship Series games brought us. Buffalo's football success will generate some buzz. Their administration's proposal to play to their academic strengths becomes accordingly more interesting: can a state university offer a persuasive alternative to the increasingly threadbare traditional havens for the valedictocracy?

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