Still getting feedback about the recent Card Game fan poll in which we asked which team fans would like to be added to Big East Conference football. What was really surprising is that East Carolina dominated the voting. Their fans arrived in droves, apparently eager to ensure their collective voice was heard on an  issue which is important to them.

East Carolina may not have the name or a grandiose tradition, but the Pirates have an intensely loyal fan base.

A total of 1,326 people participated in the poll, East Carolina dominating with 63.1% of the vote. Central Florida was second at 20.9%, Memphis was third at 12.7%, and Villanova picked up only 3.2% of the votes cast. Since they participated in such numbers, we give a commenter named Chris the soapbox, with a little editing, as to why East Carolina should be the Big East choice:

Chris, on East Carolina:

East Carolina – Being located in a relatively weak market area, East Carolina doesn’t exactly have cash cow potential. On the other hand, they are very close to the Raleigh market and I see quite a bit of exposure all the way up the east coast to DC. If their fans are as spread out as I think they are, then they add fierce BE competition to the NC region while eventually catapulting their market to right size. The history is outstanding here as well. They have a great bowl history with a win in the peach bowl, and 11 or 12 wins overall. They also have played BCS-level competition for years , and have won against them. They hurt for a period due to a poor coach and AD situation, yet look to have bounced back even stronger. There are many more reasons why I’d like to add ECU to our conference, but those spell it out clearly. Good luck Pirates, I hope your future is bright.

Central Florida – Florida is a hot bed for recruits, yet already has the Big East presence needed for the market to be sold on the conference. USF is our new darling, and need not compete when we can expand to another state. UCF is a puppy in the D1 game, and needs years to push their program to where it can show consistency and history. They haven’t ever won a bowl game, and need to beat more BCS teams on a regular basis to prove eligible to enter a BCS conference.

Memphis – While having a stellar basketball program that can compete with the best, Memphis is lacking a BCS argument with its football team. The market is solid, and presents a great argument for a revenue dynamo in the conference. The big downside is the history behind the program. Having gone 3-2 in bowl games in its history against lackluster teams, Memphis is lacking a football team who knows how to compete. It’s obvious they have no consistency and pay much more attention to basketball than football.

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By Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

8 thoughts on “East Carolina Dominates Poll”
  1. I am an ECU fan, so I completely agree with Chris.

    One thing I dont agree with is the main article saying we “may not have the name or the tradition”. We have the tradition, we’ve had it for years, just like Chris pointed out. And also, arent UCF and USF directional schools also. We have more tradition and history than UCF, and we have owned them head to head. Same with Memphis.

  2. Based on Brian’s comment, maybe the better description is lack of national respect, rather than tradition.

  3. National respect? Ask all the ACC teams we beat yearin and year out. Better yet ask Butch Davis who got his butt whipped with multiple top ten teams by us when he was at Miami….maybe ignorance is a better choice Charlie?

  4. As seen from the poll ECU’s fan base is far reaching. I think their marketability is much like Virginia Tech’s was. Alot is said of potential given UCF’s or Memphis’ market but I find it hard to believe that there’s much weight in that argument if you have the market the size of Orlando and you still barely outseat ECU. People aren’t interested in seeing UCF in Florida. In their own market they are behind UF, FSU, UM and most likely USF. People aren’t interested in going to see Memphis in football even in years when they were respectable. ECU on the other hand has a rabid fan base in the market and comparing population to ticket sales ECU is far and way a greater demand ticket that either UCF or Memphis. I think ECU has a much better chance of having a better regional or even national viewing that either UCF or Memphis. I think the argument of market potential if poor for UCF and Memphis. If demand for their product is low (respectively speaking) even when times are good or you are low in the pecking order for other college teams then you essentially have another Temple on your hands. ECU football can holds it’s own on TV in it’s own market and in others such as Raleigh, even with NC State and UNC right there.

  5. Ain’t no doubt…ECU is an athletic program on the rise. Stadium holds 43,000…one of the best college baseball parks in the country, very good softball and swimming facilities….it all looks terrific. Great program. Great fan base, too……EXCEPT…Hello? Uh…… Basketball?

    It’s the BIG EAST…(dictionary definition: “basketball conference that usually has at least 4 or 5 Top Ten teams every year by law with at least 7 or 8 in Top 25. What the SEC is to football the Big East is to basketball thereby exposing the ACC as a myth. Also a BCS football conference with at least 2 teams in Top 15 each year”.)

    Guys….Hello? Men’s Basketball? Eleven wins last year?…Conference USA? Williams Arena?

    Don’t get me wrong…I might not be up to speed on ECU but unless I missed something and you just started building a 20,000 seat arena last Tuesday, just recruited half a dozen five-star players and recently hired Pat Riley….I’m not sure you guys are ready for the abuse that South Florida has taken (and is probably destined to continue to take for a long time). You might want to reconsider just for the time being.

    I don’t see the problem as any of the things mentioned in the above comments. The way I see it…do just two things then c’mon and join us in the Big East. I’ll be the first to welcome you.

    First – get your football team in the Top 25 for a couple of years. I definitely think that is possible. As the kids say, “doable”.

    Second – then go get a couple of 7-footers and put together a Final Four team that will help you raise enough Alumni donations to build a place for the kids to play where a whole lot of people can watch them. Something that the “other Carolinas” will envy.
    P.S. – weboth know the state of NC ain’t EVER going to give you the money.

    Do those two things, and as I said, I’ll be the first to welcome you. I have no doubt that you’ll be a great asset to the conference. Oh, and win those first two games on the upcoming football schedule ( with you-know-who and you-know-who-else) and the football part of it will be done!

  6. I like your comments Tom. What you say about basketball in the Big East is true. What you say about the large lack of ECU basketball success is true. But we were never trying to get an all sports inclusion into the Big East, it was just football only. We can play with the majority of Big East football right now (WV), and thats before BCS $$$ and recruiting.

    What you say is true, about BE hoops and ECU hoops. But Pirate football is getting back to its great days of success- hopefully we show that in the first two weeks like you mentioned.

  7. I like Brian’s comment on UCF and USF being directional schools, why bring that up when your school is a directional school as well? I guess East is no longer a direction in the Carolinas…

  8. “arent UCF and USF directional schools also”. Doesnt that mean they are directional schools along with ECU?

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