Independent student content

BG Falcon Media

Independent student content

BG Falcon Media

Independent student content

BG Falcon Media

The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

Follow us on social
  • Repairing the Family
    By Jay Grummel Earlier this month I wrote about fond families, however the holidays are made up of many different types of families. Some will be hostile and dysfunctional or some will be loving and understanding. Whatever your family looks like this season, it’s always nice to read about ones other than your own. So, […]
  • Review of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes
    Let’s time-travel to the year 2012 and the world is raving about none other than Katniss Everdeen. I remember being in elementary school, begging my mother to let me dress up as her for my birthday. Now it’s over ten years later and I’m still just as excited for the new movie as I was […]

Missouri’s football success great for program as well as student body

COLUMBIA, Mo. – There’s a cry of “We’re No. 1” on campus, and it has nothing to do with Missouri’s renowned journalism school.

A football team reduced to mediocrity for decades now flirts with a chance at the national title. The success on the field seems contagious.

The admissions office reports a 20 percent increase in undergraduate applications. Development officers find donors more receptive to opening their wallets. The alumni association hears from forgotten graduates eager to reconnect with their alma mater.

“This is uncharted territory,” said Barbara Rupp, admissions director at a school still referred to by many in the state by its regional designation, the University of Missouri-Columbia.

This football designation is downright startling. Missouri has an 11-1 record and is No. 1 in both The Associated Press and BCS polls after defeating archrival Kansas last week to win the Big 12 North and earn a trip to the conference championship game in San Antonio on Saturday.

A victory over No. 9 Oklahoma, the only team to beat Missouri this season, would earn the Tigers a trip to the BCS championship game on Jan. 7 in New Orleans.

Rupp cautioned that it’s difficult to determine whether the surge in interest by high school seniors is tied to the football team.

Admissions officers, economists and other researchers have wondered about that question since at least 1984. That’s when Doug Flutie’s desperation heave sent Boston College to a riveting victory over Miami a day after Thanksgiving.

The dramatics supposedly led to a large increase in applications at Boston College the next year, but the long-term influence on other aspects of college life – coined the Flutie effect – is still debated.

Still, there’s no doubt the Missouri campus is reveling over its moment in the spotlight. There has not been this kind of success since coaching great Dan Devine roamed the sidelines four decades ago.

Across the country, alumni in far-flung cities such as Miami, Phoenix, Seattle and Los Angeles gathered en masse to watch the 36-28 defeat of Kansas – then ranked No. 2 – in one of college football’s oldest rivalries.

More than 300 Tiger faithful attended the Los Angeles watch party, with an additional 100-plus cheering in Phoenix, said Todd McCubbin, executive director of the Missouri Alumni Association.

“We’re hearing that wave across the country,” he said. “It’s happened throughout the season, but now it’s really building to a crescendo.”

Campus fundraisers are also taking advantage of Missouri’s newfound football prowess. While it’s still too early to directly link any hefty donations to the surprising season, administrators say the winning climate certainly helps cultivate donors.

“Being No. 1 in football is great for fundraising,” said Beth Hammock, the school’s director of development external relations. “Everybody’s excited when they hear a Mizzou person on the phone.”

School spokesman Christian Basi put it more bluntly: “When people feel happy, they send money.”

Yesterday, the campus buzz surrounded the release of this week’s Sports Illustrated, featuring quarterback and Heisman Trophy contender Chase Daniel on the cover.

Students snapped up the magazine from the campus bookstore, which ordered 1,200 copies – more than 100 times its typical weekly allotment. The big order even eclipsed the store’s usual best-seller, Cosmopolitan magazine, which sells 500 copies each week.

At the journalism school, the nation’s oldest and approaching its 100th anniversary, faculty have long been accustomed to interest from students and professionals across the country and the world.

Yet when Brian Brooks, associate dean and professor, fields calls from prospective students and their parents these days, football invariably becomes part of the discussion. After 33 years on the faculty, that’s a first, he said.

“This year, none of those conversations end without the football team coming up,” he said. “And I’m not the one bringing it up.”

Rupp, the admissions director, said football allows academic recruiters to “get a foot in the door” and sell the university’s other attributes. Even before this year, campus enrollment at the 28,000-student school has steadily increased at a clip of 2 percent to 5 percent annually.

She added that Missouri’s success at attracting “high-ability” students – those scoring 30 or higher on the ACT college entrance exam – extends well beyond any perceived spillover from sports. This year, applications from that coveted demographic have increased 90 percent, Rupp said.

Leave a Comment
Donate to BG Falcon Media

Your donation will support the student journalists of Bowling Green State University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to BG Falcon Media

Comments (0)

All BG Falcon Media Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *