A college's brand recognition plays a huge role in deciding the success of said team, especially when you look at attendance; when a school is popular and recognizable, ticket sales obviously go up. One of the biggest indicators for how big a school's brand is can be, you guessed it, merchandise sales, which is a department that Tech has been historically mediocre in. But just what exactly do t-shirt sales say about Georgia Tech as a school? The answer is relatively simple -- it is just average but with a lot of room for improvement. Tech ranks just ahead of ECU, Rutgers, and Montana (hardly good company for an ACC school with a fair amount of success of late) and just behind Colorado, Cincy, and UConn.
SB Nation College Football recently published an article which quickly became one of my favorites in recent months: 25 Maps That Explain College Football, a collection or maps and a detailed analysis of said maps that provides some very interesting insight into why college football is the way it is. Personally, my favorite map is the one that details what players look like (their ancestry); it is very cool to see how ethnicities and nationalities change as you move from state to state and region to region. If nothing else, that map at least confirms that Germany is taking over the United States. What other explanation would there be for so many players with German decent playing in the USA? #CFBConspiracy (end sarcasm)
Maryland has taken a step that few other schools have taken in this era of football-for-profit: it now offers lifetime scholarships to all of their students who come on athletic scholarships to the university. This is one of the positive aspects of the new-found autonomy for DI schools and, as the article suggests, it will be used very heavily for recruiting purposes as much as anything. Under current NCAA legislation, schools are only required to give one year scholarships on a renewable basis to their athletes, so lifetime scholarships will be extremely attractive to college athletes (particularly those who will become fringe NFL players that can't quite retire off of football).
Penn State and UCF are set to play their 2014 matchup across the Atlantic in Ireland for what should be a very interesting way to start the college football season; what go wrong? It's not like there is an active volcano currently in the process of erupting over there, right? In case you couldn't tell by my painfully awful rhetorical questions, there is a volcano erupting over in Iceland, and it has the potential to put the whole game on hold. Only in Iceland, folks. If the eruption is anything like the one that occurred at Mount Eyjafjallajakull (translation please, packerman) in 2010, then it could have a massive impact on flight around the world; over 10,000 flights to Europe were canceled when the 2010 eruption happened.
What do Tech's t-shirt sales reflect about the school? Should Tech take the dive and offer lifetime scholarships to athletes? What impact would that have on recruiting for the Jackets?
Have a great Thursday!