Matthew Severino: As difficult as it might be to swallow, the UConn football team needs to be moved down from the FBS to the FCS. The truth is that nobody likes losing and the football team has become really good at it. The team is in no way competitive and gets blown out on a weekly basis. The question is no longer “will we win?” but “how much will we lose by?” Interest is at an all-time low; making the move to FCS football an obvious move. Not only would the team have a realistic chance at competing on a weekly basis, but it would also begin to repair the program’s image. FCS schools play high-level football and even have players drafted into the NFL. UConn has never been a football school. Basketball has and always will reign supreme in Storrs. With the university’s move to the Big East just months away, it is time for the football program to begin its next chapter.
Jorge Eckardt: It’s time for UConn fans to listen to the wise words of one Joel Embiid and trust the process. In 1997, UConn football made the jump from Division I-AA to Division I-A, and sure, there have been a lot of ups and downs throughout the ensuing 21 seasons of what is now known as FBS football, but it still pushed the program into national prominence. Are we really ready to give that up? You don’t have to tell me that it’s been a rough couple of years for the Huskies, but it’s just Randy Edsall’s third year back with the program after spending some time at Maryland. You have to give the man some time. In Edsall’s first stint as head coach, it took until the end of his sixth season to finally make a bowl game. After that, UConn appeared in a bowl game in four of the six following years, up until Edsall’s departure. The program collapsed in his absence, and now that he’s back he’s doing the best he can to build it back up to what it once was, but as I said before, you just have to give it time.
Waiting won’t change how people feel about the program. College football simply does not have the roots in New England as it does elsewhere throughout the country. Convincing fans to travel to Hartford for games was difficult when the team was winning and having its best seasons. The monetary issue the program and university face is by far the most urgent matter on hand. In 2018, the football program lost over $8.7 million. That figure would have been higher if it wasn’t for outside funding being used to eliminate some of the costs. This outrageous amount was due to a lack of ticket sales, a lackluster conference television deal and having to fly to nearly every away game on the schedule. Moving to the FCS level is the school’s best chance to turn the financial situation around. Not only would the games be more competitive and therefore possibly draw more fans, but also the team would not have to fly to play their away games. There are plenty of positive things the university could do with millions of dollars, making it time to re-evaluate the football program.
Jorge Eckardt: Basketball may reign supreme in Storrs, but football is where the money lies. Yes, it is true that the UConn football program has lost a substantial amount of money over the past few years, but that’s where we have to circle back to the waiting game. According to a Forbes article from less than a month ago, the top-20 most profitable college football teams raked in an average of at least $40 million in profit over the past three years, with the top programs coming in over $80 million and a few even eclipsing the $90 million mark. What was the top college basketball program you ask? Well, according to a Forbes article from March 2019, Louisville, with a three-year average profit of $30.4 million. Even they are well above the No. 2 school, with Kentucky clocking in nearly $8 million below. I know it doesn’t seem like it right now, it’s only a matter of time before UConn football becomes competitive again in the FBS, and we shouldn’t bail to FCS just because of a couple of down years.
Jorge Eckardt is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at Jorge.firstname.lastname@example.org. He tweets @jorge_eckardt31
Matt Severino is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at email@example.com. He tweets @matt_seve.