Once again, college football is in full swing and all is right with the world. It is funny that most people in Buffalo still seem to care very little about the UB Bulls program. Despite the lack of general interest and fan support, DI college football lives in Western New York. However, it has yet to find a way to thrive.
The Bulls haven’t really done much to help their cause. Outside of the Tuner Gill era, this has been a program mired in mediocrity that has often inched towards downright pathetic. The early years were obviously thin as was expected when trying to make the jump. But it seems unfortunate that the team never gained momentum from their MAC Championship and bowl appearance. Perhaps the blame lies outside of the stadium walls.
Buffalo has always prided itself on being a football town. Yet the Bills seem to be the only team that fans have any interest in. The Buffalo News is fighting the good fight for this team and providing adequate coverage. However, the paper seems to be the only media outlet giving much attention to the team.
It is understandable that the battle between a college football program, the whiner line and candy drafts is a difficult one. At the end of the day I would imagine D1 football finishes a distant third from those two radio programming staples.
What would appear to be the biggest problem is two-fold. The team struggles to hit the .500 mark in most seasons while battling major perception issues from fans and area media alike.
The first issue is strictly fact. Aside from the success Turner Gill built, the Bulls have been quite average for their entire time playing with the big boys. Of course, that isn’t for lack of trying. They schedule big name teams for those early season pay days with hopes of constructing the framework to build the program on. However, it would seem as if there is also a perpetual state of recycling happening here. At some point the program will need to take the next, necessary step forward. Until they do, finding their rightful footing (truthfully they should slot in right behind the Bills and Sabres) in the Buffalo sports landscape will be a battle.
The second issue is simply a misconception of the football being played by UB. Just look at their MAC Championship season. They were ultra-competitive in the MAC and even managed a few upsets along the way. That first bowl berth was a great step to take, even if the end results pushed Turner Gill to a job with a more respectable school. Playing in the MAC is a big part of the issue for me. As someone who likes just about any form of college football, I’m cool with it. Mid-major conferences produce great competition and the occasional stud prospect. For bandwagon fans, however, it just doesn’t register. Continue reading