Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Increased competition

Most of us reading this blog are MLS fans - at least that's my assumption. Probably, our preoccupation in MLS ranges from a strong interest to an outright passion.

We're getting to the time of year, though, where our zeal will be tested. College football gets underway this weekend.

Now, I won't lie to you and tell you that part of my mind on Saturday won't be at the Coliseum, where USC will kick the crap out of Idaho. Still, my support for USC won't keep me from HDC - even if it is Real Salt Lake paying a visit - but it might keep some away.

Really, it's impossible to know how many fans will not be in attendance across MLS stadiums this weekend because USC or Rice or Ohio State or some other college football team will be playing this weekend.

MLS brass has said in the past that their attendance has traditionally remained strong in the fall, when college football and the NFL entices millions to drop money on their sport. Still, those sports inspire their own unique brand of passion and will detract attention from MLS; just how much remains to be seen.

Here's a short list of college football games that will compete directly with MLS games this weekend.

Galaxy-RSL: USC-Idaho
Dynamo-Kansas City: Rice-Nicholls State

Crew-Rapids: Ohio State-Youngstown State (9/1)

Also, SMU hosts Texas Tech on Monday as FC Dallas plays DC United on Saturday. And the Texas Longhorns play Saturday as well which might detract from FC Dallas and Houston home games. This list also doesn't include smaller schools and smaller divisions and I may have left out other schools as well.

Anyway, There are probably some MLS fans who couldn't care less about the pointy kind of football. And there are probably some MLS fans who are far more passionate about college football than MLS. Again, it's pretty much impossible to know that.

In terms of coverage, MLS may get bumped by some outlets by college football. Instead of a front-page sports story, MLS may be somewhere on page 6 or 8, if it's not there already.

I wanted to get some input from our readers.

Will the allure of the Pac-10/Big Ten/SEC/etc. be enough to keep you away from MLS, either by not attending a match or by not watching a match? How do you think college football affects Major League Soccer?


Nathan said...

Count me as one of the MLS fans who doesn't really care about college football. In fact, I don't really care about any other sports. Unless it involves Oakland, CA teams. Fell in love with that damn city when I lived there and I'll root for the Warriors, A's and even the, shudder, Raiders til the day I die.

Oh wait! How could I forget? I grew up on Tobacco Road so I'm a die-hard ACC basketball fan and a Duke fan within the conference.

So basically my sports world consists of futbol, March Madness, and the occassional Oakland team game.

Pointy ball is right up there with golf in the sports that bore me to death.

I'm sure all this will annoy other sports fans, but that's okay. Go ahead and flame away. I'm wearing asbestos underwear today.

Kevin C said...

Well I can't speak for everybody but here's my priority list.

1) USMNT Qualifying
2) Cal football
3) USMNT Exhibition
4) MLS

And I should've known that you were a USC fan, Luis. I guess even great journalists have 1 flaw or another.

artnsue said...

I am looking forward to college soccer which just started! Being a NorCal guy originally, UCLA soccer and the Galaxy have been the only SoCal teams I have ever supported.

pate said...

Okay, here's my list:

1T) BYU PDL action
3) MLS
4) USL
5) NFL
X) Poking my own eyes out with knitting needles
X+1) watching college football

Anonymous said...

Luis, trust me when I tell you that almost no one will miss a Dynamo game to watch Rice play. UT or A&M on TV could be a conflict, but Rice?

East River said...

Well many MLS fans maybe college football fans. I would assume most of us are not going to go to a college football game we leave that to the current students and diehard alum associations. I assume most of us would watch it these colleges on TV and if you have to choose b/w MLS games and your favorite college football team something is going to be tivoed. You could ask this split loyality question regarding the start of the NFL season or college soccer season (which some ACC games outdrew MLS games).

briguy said...

As East River said, something's getting tivoed, and that something, 9 .9 times out of 10, will be MLS for me.

I graduated from the University of Oregon, so nothing is more important to me, sports-viewing-wise, than Ducks football and basketball games. For example, any MLS games that might be on from 12:30 to 3:30 this Saturday will be ignored in favor of my beloved Ducks taking Houston out to the woodshed.

That being said, if it ain't Oregon playing, I pretty much don't care, and would rather watch any MLS game. I'll add my own list of sporting events reflecting my viewing priorities:

1-World Cup. Simply nothing compares to the king of all sporting competitions.

2-March Madness. I usually take at least two days off of work every year so I can watch as many games on as many tv's as possible. One day soon I'm going to go to Vegas for the first round, and revel in an orgy of games on giant screens in the biggest, baddest sportsbook I can find.

3-Duck Football. Doesn't matter who they're playing, or where (though bonus points are added for games at Autzen stadium).

4-Duck Basketball. Tournament appearances are a given. See #2 above.

5-Duck Football Bowl games. Because they happen pretty much every year...

6-Champions League Quarters and above.

7-USMNT tournaments (Gold Cup, et al).

8-College football National Championship game

9-MLS. Bonus if RBNY is playing, or if it's a televised game at BMO.

10-Other college football. Bowls or regular season.

11-Other college basketball (regular season).

12-Super Bowl.

13-NFL playoffs.

14-NFL regular season.

15-World Series.

16-MLB Playoffs.

17-MLB regular season.

18-Do they still play hockey?

Addendum: if women's college volleyball or women's beach volleyball happens to be on, there's a strong likelihood that the above list becomes seriously re-prioritized.

Nice topic, Luis. USC? Bandwagon...

Matt L said...

All you have to do is make sure the DVR has its instructions!

My sporting interests are as follows:

1. College basketball
2. Prem soccer
3. MLS soccer
4. NFL football
5. College football


Anonymous said...

The SEC (South Eastern Conferance) is the most passionately followed College Football conference. They have the largest crowds and the most money. There are no MLS teams anywhere in the Southeast. Coincidence?

Anonymous said...

This will be my first season of them going up against each other. I think I will go back and forth depending on the game.

I wish the galaxy were better then it would be a moot point.

Anonymous said...

Once the NFL season starts I pretty much tune out the MLS.

Anonymous said...

I've been a college football fan for as long as I can remember, so I'm definitely among the crowd that this question is aimed at. I've only recently started following the round variety of football, so it's no surprise that CFB comes first (although soccer is making a serious run at my 2nd place slot).

If my alma mater is playing at the time, I won't be watching or attending any soccer matches...but like east river said, Tivo makes the TV conflict a non-issue

I wouldn't mind missing a marquee CFB game to attend an MLS match though

Dan said...

Alabama reporting in.

For me, it's dependent on the teams involved. I will watch a Dynamo game over anything except an Alabama football game. In the past it would be more of a sacrifice. Today, I will either Tivo the Dynamo match, or catch it on a streaming replay if it's on MLSlive.

Logically, it should be the other way around, as you can really condense a football game, not so much a soccer match. However, my original allegiance to Alabama will probably never be broken.

It's also easier to not hear about a Dynamo result in Alabama, because it's not in the paper or local TV anyway.
If it's a Big10 or Pac10 game, I'd either switch between an MLS game and that or stick with MLS and watch highlights later.

Having said that, I'm picking US/Brazil over NFL opening weekend.

Edward said...

I'm also a fan of both soccer and college football (Auburn wins the National Championship, mark it down folks). Since I go to school in the South, it really comes down to what's on TV. Because I don't get any of the channels that show soccer (minus ESPN2), it's pretty much college football for me; I'll still follow MLS like I always do on the internet though.

Anonymous said...

The only college football team around here that gets any real press is Rutgers, and as a Seton Haller, I say screw 'em. If their football team keeps some Rutgers students and alums from RBNY games, so be it. ;)

East River said...

Just a question here if your university college soccer team were on TV versus your college football or MLS team, how many of you would actually watch your college soccer team Tivoed, live or otherwise?

Brant said...

I'll watch my NC State Wolfpack play a college game before I watch just about anything else. That said, next in line are Newcastle, and the Crew. Whenever possible, I try to get at least one soccer game in on FSC on Saturdays before flipping over to college football later in the day. I typically watch 1-2 non-Crew MLS games during the week, but I try to follow Fox's weekend wrap-up show whenever I can to catch the highlights/comments.

This Saturday, tho, I'm on the road back from vacation and will miss everything I can't tune in on XM.

Anonymous said...

east river: if Seton Hall's soccer games were on TV, I'd watch/record them. Usually, though, I'll try to go to campus and watch them (a habit that begun when I heard there was a kid named Kljestan playing pretty well there).

A.C. said...

UCLA is my college team, though I have a cousin attending USC now. I try to be polite about it, but it was hard last season.

Soccer trumps the other sports in my book, though.