June 6, 2013

Does Notre Dame think the Midwest is doomed?

Notre Dame Fighting Irish
(I know this looks like I made
it up, but this logo is one of the
more valuable pieces of
intellectual property in the US)
I realize that American college sports are a baffling topic for my foreign readers who make up a big fraction of my overnight audience. American college sports conferences are thus a particularly arcane subject, but they are actually of interest from a demographic / real estate investing perspective regarding which regions are likely long-term winners or losers.

Thus, this comment from long time reader "Drunk Idiot" about what he was told about why the University of Notre Dame is aligning itself with the Atlantic Coast Conference, which is centered in the South Atlantic states (e.g., the ACC's most recent football champion is Florida State, 920 miles southeast of Notre Dame), is of broader interest.

It's related to the firing of the president of Ohio State I noted earlier this week, but also says a lot about a Catholic institution with an impressive track record of betting right's view of very long term trends in the U.S.

Background: Notre Dame has been the most legendary football college in the U.S. since the days of Knute Rockne and George Gipp (played by an insolent Ronald Reagan in this video), with Roman Catholic fans all around the country. Interestingly, it has used its football fame to raise its academic standards high enough that it has had trouble over the last quarter of a century competing at the very highest level. The word is that if today the football coach brought in the application of the quarterback who led ND to its last national championship in 1988, the Admissions Office would "set it on fire."

On the other hand, there are hints that college football might be able to support one or two academically upscale programs like Duke in basketball, with Notre Dame and Stanford vying for that role. Notre Dame went undefeated in last year's regular season, but was shown up as an overachiever in the national championship game by the usual suspects from the Southeastern Conference.

Notre Dame is located in South Bend, an old, small industrial city in rural northern Indiana just south of the Michigan border. It's 95 highway miles east of downtown Chicago.
Here's a synopsis of the notoriously loquacious Notre Dame gadfly's argument:  
The Big Ten is a Midwestern league, and Notre Dame views itself as an "East Coast" institution that just happens to be located in the Midwest. Notre Dame wants to maximize its East Coast visibility, and sees membership in the newly expanded ACC (Syracuse and Pittsburgh are new members) as the best way to accomplish that. 
What's more, Notre Dame views the Midwest as a dying region that will suffer massive depopulation throughout the next century. And ethnic Catholic whites are one of the main demographic groups that are high tailing it out of the Midwest the fastest. But Catholics are among the fastest growing demographic groups in the Southeast: states like Florida, Georgia and North Carolina either now have, or will soon have, more Catholics than historically heavily Catholic Ohio and Michigan.  
So Notre Dame thinks that disassociating itself from the sinking "Rust Belt" is a necessity if it intends to remain relevant for the next 100 years (which it definitely does intend to do). The university is so convinced that the Northeastern-Southeastern theater is the way forward that it's even willing to ditch decades-long football commitments with some of its most storied, traditional rivals (and wouldn't you know it, after Notre Dame announced that it was joining the ACC, the Irish backed out of future games with historic football rivals Michigan and Michigan St.).  
But despite Notre Dame's now less-than-advantageous Midwestern location, the university has an enormous national following -- particularly in the New York market -- and is uniquely positioned to ditch its old ties, and to start anew in the the increasingly dynamic (and real estate intensive) Boston-to-New York-to-Washington, D.C.-to-Miami I-95 corridor.  
Chicago stands alone as the only Midwestern market with which Notre Dame wishes to maintain ties. It's the nation's third largest city and media market, and the Chicagoland region is the only heavily Catholic region in the Midwest that's not undergoing a long term demographic collapse.  
Indeed, even as Notre Dame thinks of itself as an "East Coast" school that happens to be located in the Midwest, it also thinks of itself as a "Chicago" school (which it sort of almost is).  
So Notre Dame sees Chicago as its home base and main media market, followed by New York, California, and increasingly (it hopes), the Southeast. But although the school's decision makers think the Irish need to play two California teams per year in football to maintain their California visibility (which explains why, after they joined the ACC, Notre Dame dropped Michigan and Michigan State from the football schedule but kept USC and Stanford), they think they "own" Chicago so thoroughly that there's no need to play local teams ... note, however, that after they joined the ACC, the Irish signed a deal to play a series with Northwestern. So maybe they were a little bit more nervous about continuing to "own" Chicago than the gadfly Irish ambassador was letting on. 
Interestingly, not only did that conversation go down before Notre Dame announced that it would join the ACC, it went down before the Big Ten added Maryland and Rutgers. If anything, the Big Ten's subsequent East Coast expansion probably indicates that the Jim Delaney and the decision makers in Park Ridge (Big Ten headquarters) are trying to react to the same emerging demographic trends that Notre Dame officials are.

The opinions of the Inner Party at Notre Dame are not to be lightly dismissed.

Still, I wonder whether they are stuck with a 20th Century model of a heating v. air conditioning dichotomy. Heating homes was invented first, so cold northern regions prospered earlier. Fans more or less required electricity, and air conditioning was a 20th Century invention. Much of Florida, for example, was more or less uninhabited until electric fans and, especially, air conditioning came along.

Will this trend continue in the 21st Century? Or is the Southeast more vulnerable than the North Central to demographic trends that aren't conducive to a high cost high brow institution like Notre Dame wants to be? Perhaps being, as Daniel Patrick Moynihan observed, being closer to the Canadian Border will have its advantages?

73 comments:

PNW said...

Isn't Northwestern a better regional example of athletics attempting to support a decent (or above-average) educational program? Sorry, I've no dog in this fight but ND still seems to me like s lunkhead farm school in character, however much their U.S. News & World Rep-certified "high standards" a la Duke, Georgetown, USC, UNC, etc. may nowadays be credited.

Steve Sailer said...

Northwestern's quarterback who threw for 3,430 yards in 2009 was named Kafka.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Kafka

Not surprisingly, he's more or less with the Patriots now.

Mitch Ryder said...

Mr. Idiot does open a can of worms here, namely, how's the endgame look for U. Mich. Ann Arbor, what with having the shame of the nation next door. Perhaps they'll accept a buyout from Bloomington.

Anonymous said...

@Mitch Rider:

U-M has much higher ranked professional schools than ND and every year accepts more and more OOS students, driving up UG academic profile. Not a UM alum (i dislike them to be honest) but UM will be fine.

As for ND, they aligned themselves with ACC because Big 10 would not allow them to stay independent in football. The ACC on the other hand is more than willing to have ND for other sports but is in real danger before the decade in losing at-least one of UVA, UNC, or GA Tech to Big 10.

Make no mistake, college football (i despise the sport) is what drives the TV dollars into conference cable networks (BTN) and therefore the singular force in conference re-alignment.

I think there is a greater chance that the big 10 fills out to 16 with two acc teams (UVA and one of UNC/GA Tech/Duke) and in the era of four 16-team super conferences and expanded football playoffs, I can see ND looking back a couple decades from now and regretting not taking up a Big 10 offer.

The ACC does not have a long term future financially when compared to the Big 10.

eah said...

Huh?

Firstly, Notre Dame is primarily a football school -- it's national reputation was made via football. Judging by the way things are now (I cannot predict the future), it's just plain stupid of Notre Dame, as a football school, to give the cold shoulder to the Big 10-Or-Whatever-Number-It-Is-Now in order to join the ACC, since the Big 10-" is a lot more prestigious and economically powerful than the ACC, and arguably second in that only to the SEC (close behind the Big 10-" is the PAC 10-"), especially considering that the Big 12-" is losing out -- eg Texas A&M joined the SEC, Nebraska left for the Big 10-".

Also, the fact that ND hired Charlie Weis and is still paying him shows the people at ND are not that bright:

Charlie Weis made almost twice as much from Notre Dame in 2011 as current coach Brian Kelly

And BTW, I hate the BCS. You know something is wrong in America when schools like Toledo and Marshall are playing in bowl games.

Orthodox said...

If we're talking on timescales that long: global cooling. That plus energy demand from rising India and China. Winters may become mighty long and expensive in the Northeast and Upper Midwest.

The Red Sox will hope they never make it to the post season if we get another little ice age.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Notre Dame expects to be the literal East Coast after sea level rises wipe out the I-95 corridor over the next century.

Anonymous said...

Notre Dame is a shockingly beautiful university in a shockingly ugly city. While the campus is stunning, the university would be wise to invest in some major redevelopment projects in South Bend.

The town/gown contrast is unlike anything I have seen anywhere else.

Anonymous said...

With regard to the future of the Midwest, it's not depopulation that concerns me. It's re-population.

Proximity to the Canadian border is not protecting rural Minnesota from a steady influx of Mexican immigrants. What happened to agriculture in California decades ago is happening here now. The massive meat and poultry processing industries are the main attractions.

For the time being, nice parts of the Midwest are affordable places to live. However, those are exactly the kinds of places to which immigrants are naturally drawn. They don't stay nice for long.

The Midwest (like Texas) is extremely vulnerable to the devastating effects of large-scale immigration because of its affordability.

Of course, the Inner Party at Notre Dame probably have that figured out.

dearieme said...

Thanks for the Reagan clip - now, at last, I know how to pronounce Gipper.

guest007 said...

Look for the simpler answer: Notre Dame only wants to be party of a super conference as long as it can keep its special status. The ACC has enough school who do not have a large fan base who are willing to give Notre Dame whatever it wants. the Big 10 is smart enough to know to not pander to Notre Dame and give them special treatment.

Notre Dame would really like to be in the Big Ten but cannot get the Big 10 to give it preferential treatment.

guest007 said...

Anyone who talks about other schools leaving the ACC needs to remember that all of the schools (except Notre Dame) has given up their media rights to the conference. http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/9200081/acc-media-rights-deal-lock-schools-okd-presidents

There is no way any school other than Notre Dame can afford to leave the ACC in the near future.

irishman said...

I don't understand why serious universities like Yale and Notre Dame are located in small towns rather than big cities. This seems like a bizarre American thing not replicated elsewhere in the world. What's going on? Most of the places were built in the days before good schools and diversity so I assume it's not that.

John Mansfield said...

All the conferences are increasing their TV market footprint and becoming as non-regional as they can. Remember, not only did Notre Dame join ACC, but also ACC added a school in Indiana that's followed in Chicago. From my perspective it makes following my school's conference less interesting.

sunbeam said...

The integration of college football is why Notre Dame wants to be in the ACC.

Ok, this is going to be kind of long.

I don't think it is any secret the Midwest has been losing population for a while. Someone else can analyze the census data, but I think it has a lot more to do with the hollowing out of the industry than the weather. My take of course.

But that is not why Notre Dame would probably rather be associated with the ACC.

I guess it is no secret that the SEC has won seven straight college football national championships, and 8 of the last 10.

It's also no secret that Minnesota was once a powerhouse program, one as dominating as any, particularly in the 30's.

So what happened? My personal answer is integration. It changed the map of college football power.

If blacks didn't exist or play college football, the powerhouse programs would probably be from California, Texas, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Or somewhere where they could plausibly recruit those states.

But the widescale integration of blacks into college football has changed this.

Here is a table from an LSU fan board (http://www.tigerdroppings.com/rant/p/33291757/Top-States-that-produce-NFL-players-per-capita.aspx).

The table the guy made is an image so I am not reproducing it here. Also the date of the post is 5/4/12 so things may have changed a little.

But to throw out some numbers, there is one NFL player for every 49,817 people in Louisian. There is one for every 147,410 from California.

Now this is just a proxy, using NFL player's points of origin to determine how much talent a state produces, but it is a pretty sound one.

You can find some more things about this out there, but some things I'd like to put out:

1) California isn't really very good per capita. They have a big population, so they produce a lot of Div I players.

2) Texas is the same way. Actually if you removed the area of Texas that has a lot of blacks from consideration (kind of a Houston-Port Arthur-Dallas triangle) Texas wouldn't be very good at all, even with those $50,000,000 high school stadiums.

3) Hispanics are SLOW. At least the Mexican ones. There have been some players, but they are never going to be a big noise in football, they lack the foot speed.

5) Southern Catholics generally could care less about Notre Dame. At least from a religious standpoint. Any attraction that school has for them is pretty much due to them recruiting nationally, and all the media coverage Notre Dame gets to keep their name in the news.

Any appeal to Catholics on another level is pretty much confined to what used to be called "ethnic catholics" in the Midwest. And the Northeast, but we'll get to that.

I think this post is going to be long, so I am going to cut it short, and continue it in another section.

sunbeam said...

Okay, let's look at things from Notre Dame's standpoint, and particularly with regards to football.

"It's not X's and O's, it's Jimmy and Joes."

Recruiting is the lifeblood of your football team. To be a national power you have to have the recruiting grounds, ones you have a competitive advantage in.

Indiana isn't squat really from this standpoint, and historically Notre Dame got players from across the Midwest anyway.

So they recruit regionally and nationally. There are some problems with this. Ohio is a hotbed due to high population. But most of the Big 10 schools recruit that state hard. Ohio State and to a lesser extent Michigan are built on those players. Pennsylvania is a little farther away but same story, and different schools. I might add that Chicago is good at putting out talent and it is a Notre Dame town. It is no Atlanta though. I wouldn't be surprised if Atlanta puts out three times as many Div I players in a given year as Chicago.

So you pretty much have to recruit nationally as Notre Dame. You have some problems though. There are a lot of schools that recruit nationally. And they want the same players you do. So where is your edge? The players you are pitching don't have the slightest idea who George Gipp, Knute Rockne, Johnny Lujack, or Paul Hornung were. Nor will they particularly care.

So where will they get players? The kind of kid you sell academics to, and who has potential to be a star Div I player is kind of rare. They are out there.

But other schools are better positioned to take advantage of this.

Notre Dame doesn't hold a candle to Stanford in this regard. Not even close. Vandy has been making moves recently doing this, and a degree from Vandy is just as useful as Notre Dame. They are a lot closer to where most of the players come from too.

Some other schools could plausibly recruit by selling the value of a degree. And I think they could do it better than Notre Dame, which is pretty much aimed at producing four year grads, and is not a major research institution. Heck Michigan could do that better than Notre Dame.

So where do your players come from?

Drunken Irishman said...

eah, you are spot on! This move to the ACC isn't some brilliant Notre Dame touchdown pass. It's a mad scramble from the pocket, chased by the 275 lb. lineman named Conference Realignment, toward the nearest sideline, the ACC. The move to these superconferences puts pressure on football schedules, demands for 9-game conference schedules would have left an independent Notre Dame out in the cold. Who in their right mind (e.g. LSU) would want to play a 9-game SEC schedule against Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, etc. then go to South Bend to play ND? So ND was about to get dropped by the likes of LSU, USC, etc. NBC will only go for so many ND/Army games at that price point. Thus, ND scrambled from the pocket to the ACC sideline.

BTW, the midwest has been the world's most valuable farmland for 3 centuries. Where else do you have the capacity to grow food for a billion people then float it down a river to market? Less the subsidies, it's the cheapest calorie on the planet.

sunbeam said...

College football has changed. Notre Dame still gets good ratings for games in some markets, but that sweetheart deal from NBC is kind of anomalous. I've heard speculation that they pretty much got it because they had a Notre Dame grad in a key position.

There has been a move to mega conferences recently. This means several things. One is that teams, the marquee ones, play a lot of conference games, and there is a move to have them play even more in conference. So less schools have interest in scheduling Notre Dame. I'm sure they will always keep Southern Cal, but I have to wonder how many other schools would have wanted them on the schedule if they had to play nine conference games.

So you need attractive games for that TV contract, which in total isn't what the mega conferences are going to get anyway.

You also need a home for all the other non-revenue sports. Particularly basketball where independents are dead in the water.

Now Notre Dame doesn't see itself as a dumpy Midwestern school. It thinks it has more in common with schools like Virginia, Duke, and North Carolina than schools like Indiana and Illinois. Michigan is cool and all, but not too many other Big 10 schools can say that. And Notre Dame's student body comes from all over the country and internationally as well.

The ACC is just the best fit for them. Plus it positions them to play games in big tv markets and hopefully increase their fan share.

I also didn't discuss the Northeast recruiting wise, Jersey hits above it's weight when putting out players. The Northeast is one of the last sections of the country where Notre Dame can recruit with Catholic cachet.

Plus they will get games with some southern teams, and hopefully increase their exposure there.

It's all about football and recruiting in my mind.

But college football is the SEC's world. The rest of you just happen to play games there.

Anonymous said...

Meh. They just don't wanna lose to Ohio State every year.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Steve. Noticed that Ann Coulter retweeted your TakiMag article on the paki grooming gangs! Great exposure. Is this the first time she's retweeted you?

Camlost said...

Blacks are moving back to the South in greater numbers, to places like Charlotte or Atlanta or Orlando.

This is part of the reason that the SEC is now dominating college football.

Camlost said...

I think there is a greater chance that the big 10 fills out to 16 with two acc teams (UVA and one of UNC/GA Tech/Duke)

You're out of your mind.

UNC gets its every wish in the ACC, and cares very little about football. Plus, their Alumni association is southern to the core. They'd never consider the Big 10, not in a million years.

Simon in London said...

"Will this trend continue in the 21st Century? Or is the Southeast more vulnerable than the North Central to demographic trends that aren't conducive to a high cost high brow institution like Notre Dame wants to be? Perhaps being, as Daniel Patrick Moynihan observed, being closer to the Canadian Border will have its advantages?"

Maybe they can detect the imminent approach of the next Ice Age amid all the Global Warming hysteria?

I don't know, but re immigration: When I visited California in 2005/6 it felt oppressive, little islands of white enclaves in a vast sea of Mestizos. When I visited Tennessee in 2011 the demographic changes since my first visit in 2006 were very apparent, but there was not the same oppressive feeling, because land is still cheap and population density is still low. Also redneck culture can accommodate Mexicans as in Texas, where SWPL-California culture cannot. So I suspect you won't see the same immigration-driven White Flight from the SEC as you see in California. In fact it looks as if Yankees and Mexicans are continuing to head for the south-east.

Anonymous said...

It's odd to me that U. of Michigan is as high-ranking as it is. Mainly because the state of Michigan has so little going for it. It's largest city is in shambles and none of the rest of the state has any areas that are growing. Georgia and North Carolina are about to surpass it in population (if they haven't already). And why does UM consistently rank higher than U. of Illinois, the flagship university in a much larger state, with no formidable other in-state schools to compete with for students? I'd be curious as to what percent of UM's student body is out-of-state and international, and perhaps that helps its ranking (the similarly high-ranking U. of Virginia gets about a third of its students from the Northeast and overseas).

Another puzzlement in the rankings is why the U. of North Carolina always ranks much higher than the U. of Texas. UNC is required to accept at least 80% of its students from in-state, so they don't get much of an advantage from international and out-of state. And UT-Austin, in addition to being the flagship university in the nation's 2nd largest state, also has an endowment second only to Harvard.

Anonymous said...

UVA, UNC, etc probably aren't going anywere anytime soon.

The ACC recently approved a grant-of-rights that was aimed at preventing departures until 2027. Per ESPN:

"That means the conference now owns its 15 current and future members' television rights for the duration of that period, effectively blocking those schools from joining another conference (because what conference would add a school if it can't cash in on its television revenue)? The Big 12's own six-year Grant of Rights agreement reached in October 2011 (and since extended through 2025) greatly stabilized that then-tenuous conference, allowing it to add TCU and West Virginia and ink an eventual long-term deal with ESPN and FOX. "

I've heard this GOR was the wedding ring ESPN was looking for before they would talk about renegotiating TV contracts with the ACC (which have historically underperformed some other conferences).

anony-mouse said...

I'm puzzled by the link between Notre Dame and the Irish when everything about its founding (name, location, early leadership) yells 'French'.

'Gipp' and 'Rockne' don't sound Irish either.

Drunk Idiot said...

The locus of conference expansion talk in the blogosphere is the "Frank the Tank" blog, which is run by a corporate attorney in Chicago who also happens to be an old friend.

Back in April, Frank explained how the ACC had taken action that would likely fend off further raiding voyages by the Big Ten (or any other conference, for that matter):

"[The ACC is] a conference with strong brand names and good-to-great academics in arguably the most demographically desirable geographic footprint of any league in the country. So, it wasn’t a surprise to me that the ACC finally solidified its position to the outside world with its members unanimously agreeing to a grant of media rights to the conference through 2026-27. For the uninitiated, the “Grant of Rights” is a key tool in protecting a conference’s membership since each school individually grants its media rights to its league for a set period of time, which applies even if such school ends up defecting. For example, if an ACC school now attempted to leave for the Big Ten, SEC or Big 12, the ACC would still own that school’s media rights until 2026-27. That effectively makes ACC schools worthless from a raiding conference’s standpoint since they either can’t get access to those media rights or would have to pay a large buyout to the ACC to obtain them."

After Maryland left for the Big Ten, there was apparently some real concern at ACC headquarters that the Big Ten might be coming for more schools. And there were persistent rumors that North Carolina and Duke were considering a package deal with the SEC, in the event of a Big Ten induced ACC implosion.

But that's all been more or less put to rest.

Incidentally, the Big Ten just added Johns Hopkins as a Lacrosse-only member (Hopkins competes in NCAA Division I Lacrosse, but competes in Division III for all other sports).

That further advances the Big Ten's march into the East Coast, but it also completely blows apart the league's previously ironclad requirement that its member institutions be be 100% committed to the conference in all sports.

And if the door is now open for Johns Hopkins to be Big Ten member in one sport, but not in others, what's to say that the Big Ten might not hypothetically be more willing to loosen the reins even more, and entertain the possibility of allowing other schools to enter into similar arrangements.

Anonymous said...

Boy, what an appropriate name for the commentator, "Drunk Idiot".

Notre Dame's decision to play ACC for all sports, except Football and Fencing (which is irrelevant to any analysis), somehow stems from ND's projection that the Midwest is doomed? This might be remotely plausible had ND Football gone ACC, which really would have been a "betting the farm" moment, but it hasn't (and won't--it's much too powerful and valuable as a stand-alone brand), so ND's decision tells us nothing about what ND's "inner circle" think about demographic trends or anything else other than that ND wants its non-major athletics out of the dying and collapsing Big East (along with many other schools) and into the more stable ACC. Where's the flood for "idiot" conclusions about the Catholic brain trust's projection of a demographic nightmare for the the Northeast?

ND is a midwest school. Here's the geographic makeup of ND's 2011 freshman class: 41% Midwest, 23 Northeast, 18 West and Southwest, 13 Southeast, and 5 international. It's alumni, donor base, etc. are predominantly midwest. These people do not care about any ND sport other than Football. They do not want ND in what was once the Midwest Big 10 because ND Football would be second tier among Ohio State, Michigan, Nebraska, etc.

In terms of national import, ND can no more compete for the allegiance of NY elites (for whom college sports means very little--you won't see the Ivy League heavily represented in the BCS or Final Four any time soon) than the much more prestigious Northwestern, Washington U in St Louis, or even Stanford.

Demographically, given that most of it is still quite white and and especially with energy prices continuing to skyrocket, the Midwest has a very bright future.

Bud Fox said...

I went to Boston College and asked the president about this a few years ago when they left their northeastern and Catholic rivals in the Big East for an ill fitting ACC and he said the demographics are quite dramatic with many fewer grade school kids in the northeast and many more down south. They are trying to keep the applications coming in. It seems to have worked fairly well so far. Notre Dame has a much more famous program but is in a colder grimmer place. There are a lot of schools in depopulating places in America that could be in trouble in the future. Kids (I have 5 hoping to go to college eventually) seem to be looking south and more urban.

Anonymous said...

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/michael_jackson_daughter_rushed_8IUYaqwfjTVbqr0a3Bi6SM

Dahinda said...

I agree with the Anonymous commentor above. It is not depopulation but repopulation that is happening in the Midwest. Lets just say that soon it will officially be called "El Oeste Medio!"

Cail Corishev said...

Southern Catholics generally could care less about Notre Dame.

And Notre Dame couldn't care less about them. People (maybe non-Catholics especially) overstate the Catholicity of the Notre Dame fan base. Yes, there are Catholics all around the country who casually support ND if they happen to show up on TV, but there are plenty of non-Catholics who do the same, simply because they're well-known and have a lot of past success. But being Catholic itself doesn't make you a ND fan today much more than owning cows makes you a Dallas Cowboys fan. ND hasn't been a "Catholic institution" for a long time.

If they're trying to move their influence south because they think Catholic Mexicans will flock to the games, they're going to be as disappointed as Republicans who Hispander like crazy and lose with 25% of the Mexican vote. Personally, I doubt they're as stupid or win-averse as John McCain.

Anonymous said...

Notre Dame doesn't hold a candle to Stanford in this regard. Not even close. Vandy has been making moves recently doing this, and a degree from Vandy is just as useful as Notre Dame. They are a lot closer to where most of the players come from too.

Not sure where you are going here, Stanford, Notre Dame, and Vanderbilt are not going for the players recruited by Alabama, LSU, Florida, and the like are. Besides most of the guys that go to those schools could never hack it at Stanford and Notre Dame. Those schools don't cheat and don't create nonsense classes for their athletes to take. Michigan although it is an excellent research institution does accommodate dumb jocks. Jim Harbaugh, current 49ers coach and former Stanford coach and Michigan player as said as much. Notre Dame's problem is that it won't gut it's academic standards like schools in the SEC will ( excepting Vanderbilt of course ) and will therefore get beaten up by the semi-pro teams of the SEC full of guys who are great athletes who shouldn't be in college.

Anonymous said...

"I don't understand why serious universities like Yale and Notre Dame are located in small towns rather than big cities. This seems like a bizarre American thing not replicated elsewhere in the world."

Oxford, Cambridge, Heidelberg, Salamanca?

Anonymous said...

hat's more, Notre Dame views the Midwest as a dying region that will suffer massive depopulation throughout the next century. And ethnic Catholic whites are one of the main demographic groups that are high tailing it out of the Midwest the fastest. But Catholics are among the fastest growing demographic groups in the Southeast: states like Florida, Georgia and North Carolina either now have, or will soon have, more Catholics than historically heavily Catholic Ohio and Michigan. Some places in the South people are moving to like South Carolina are not doing much better. People should tough it out and stay away from the Carolina or Georgia which economically are not doing that much better.

Stuff Black People Don't Like said...

Why would Maryland go to the Big Ten then?

pat said...

More evidence that college football isn't dying out. Damn!

In my vision of a better world colleges would evolve to be places for scholars. Football in college just seems like an abuse to me. The average institution of higher learning in the US has lots of white kids in the humanities. Lots of Asians in Computer Science and a mostly black football team who look and behave like professional athletes not sdudents.

Why should Harvard have a pro ball club? That makes no more sense that if they also ran a tractor repair service or manufactured plastic sheeting. Football has nothing to do with academics. We could have intramural football for real students but we shouldn't import pros.

I used to follow real pro football but I never could understand anyone following college ball. There were simply too many teams and too many players. I knew a good deal about Joe Montana and Jerry Rice at one time but who could know the players on the dozens or hundreds of college teams?

We should institute something like the baseball minor leagues for football. Get the best high school players and put them in a football minor league. Don't send these often stupid players into college where you have to corrupt the institution to be keep them eligible.

Albertosaurus

Anonymous said...

"I'd be curious as to what percent of UM's student body is out-of-state and international, and perhaps that helps its ranking (the similarly high-ranking U. of Virginia gets about a third of its students from the Northeast and overseas)."

UM takes 40+% out of state.

As for Texas endowment being second to harvard, that is System wide. I.E. spanning 9 schools and 6 medical facilities, not just UT-Austin.

Anonymous said...

And if the door is now open for Johns Hopkins to be Big Ten member in one sport, but not in others, what's to say that the Big Ten might not hypothetically be more willing to loosen the reins even more, and entertain the possibility of allowing other schools to enter into similar arrangements.

Big 10 still technically can say all of their members are 'all-in' because ALL of JHU's D1 level sports are affiliated with Big 10 now. That is, every sport that Hopkins offers at the Big 10 level, is affiliated with the Big 10.

The Hopkins situation is unique. I can't think of many schools that are D3 with one or two D1 programs.

countenance said...

But Catholics are among the fastest growing demographic groups in the Southeast: states like Florida, Georgia and North Carolina either now have, or will soon have, more Catholics than historically heavily Catholic Ohio and Michigan.

Hispanic immigration.

David said...

I lived in the Southeast for 40 years. Got nothing but negative opinions about it. It has been a good source of cheap labor (and Mexicans have been swarming in on top of that), but to the extent that the area has any social structures, they're, well, Byzantine. Or more strongly stated: to get on there, you have to be connected like Afghans are connected. They don't really marry their cousins, but the mindset is about as insular as that. A good book on the Southeast was written by the late homegrown leftist Joe Baegant: Deer Hunting with Jesus. It's extraordinarily angry but so well-observed that you can see he has a right to be angry. Reading this book is the quickest shortcut to knowing the truth about the area (as opposed to the Chamber of Commerce or Potemkin village impression). My two cents.

Anonymous said...

Notre Dame an "East coast" university? It has single gender dorms and parietals (opposite sex out after a certain hour). The Vaginal monologues enjoyed a short stormy history before being banned on campus. A watered down university controlled gay student group was finally allowed after years of lobbying. The student and staff health plans don't pay for oral contraceptives or abortion. The ROTC program is the largest in the nation at a private university. Hardly

Dahlia said...

On demographics...

Though Florida isn't Deep South, I'll tell you that central Florida has been turning increasingly into Las Vegas writ large. It's been on-going for decades, but like a rolling stone...
They've tried to attract tech jobs and what-not, but the only thing they've seemed to be successful with is the medical industrial complex. I suspect this is due to the large elderly population.
It's a place where the "good times roll" and the drug problem is huge. Crackers and minorities, the majority, have been hugely hit.
This is why Florida has its own Fark tag.

Section 8: I heard about a fellow teacher and friend of my sister-in-law that they are shipping Blacks out to counties surrounding Cuyahoga county (Cleveland, Ohio). She's in Portage county. This is a new experience for her and she just got her first students sometime during the year.
I have no idea if this is a brand new development or how long it's been going on.
I always thought they could only move them within county... SHUDDER!
On the bright side, she only got a couple students and, knowing which apartment complexes receive them, said it wasn't that many.

Anonymous said...

I am not a Catholic (at all), but Notre Dame deserves a lot of credit for making at least an attempt to integrate Christianity and serious liberal-arts learning, which is a big contrast with the overwhelmingly leftist domination in the rest of academia (i.e. White Privilege Conference), to say the least.

Outside of Notre Dame, there's Baylor, then there are small colleges like Hillsdale, Wheaton and Calvin, and... not a lot beyond that.

Consider the work of people like Mark Noll and Brad Gregory.

http://history.nd.edu/faculty/directory/mark-a-noll/

http://www.indwes.edu/News/2012/Notre-Dame-Scholar-Receives-Aldersgate-Prize-for-Christian-Scholarship/

http://history.nd.edu/faculty/directory/brad-s-gregory/

Anonymous said...

Weather and the familiar surroundings count. I know two top flight prospects, both from CA and courted by, among other football notables, both Notre Dame and Stanford, who chose Stanford after visiting South Bend. (They weren't offered full rides by USC as USC has its own home-grown high schoolers who wish to stay in the area.)

The ACC gets its own too as Southern kids seem to have a very difficult time surviving the culture shock of the life on the coasts.

Anonymous said...

A large source of current Catholic demographic strength is from Hispanics.

Does ND attract Hispanic Catholic fans the way it attracts Irish and other white Catholic fans?

It seems to me that the appeal of ND is at least as much ethnic as it is religious. I can't imagine Hispanics in the southeast or elsewhere ever feeling about ND the way Irish-Americans do.

art history said...

OK, now let's talk from a consumer perspective. The country's a banana republic now anyway, right? So, why not have some fun and let, say, Oregon adopt an explicitly outlaw profile, and try to out-SEC the SEC schools. Oregon should be the new ND, the independent everyone wants to play to see how low your GPA's have to go to in order to win a game.

Steve Sailer said...

"Does ND attract Hispanic Catholic fans the way it attracts Irish and other white Catholic fans?"

Back in 1973 at Notre Dame HS in Sherman Oaks, CA, the best football player was middle linebacker Gordy Ceresino, a Hispanic. He won a scholarship to South Bend and had an effective career for the Fighting Irish.

It was a different time, though.

Bambino said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sunbeam said...

Anonymous said:

"Not sure where you are going here, Stanford, Notre Dame, and Vanderbilt are not going for the players recruited by Alabama, LSU, Florida, and the like are. Besides most of the guys that go to those schools could never hack it at Stanford and Notre Dame. Those schools don't cheat and don't create nonsense classes for their athletes to take. Michigan although it is an excellent research institution does accommodate dumb jocks. Jim Harbaugh, current 49ers coach and former Stanford coach and Michigan player as said as much. Notre Dame's problem is that it won't gut it's academic standards like schools in the SEC will ( excepting Vanderbilt of course ) and will therefore get beaten up by the semi-pro teams of the SEC full of guys who are great athletes who shouldn't be in college."

Simply that there is a niche for a school to sell academics and the value of a degree. Not all football players are guys who want to major in a major that won't take up too much of their time.

There are a small fraction of players out there that can do the academics, are interested in it, and have the ability to be star on the field.

This isn't a large fraction though, and you have to recruit nationally to do it.

This niche is probably available to only two or three schools nationally, in the sense they can do well on the field using it. Which two or three is a debate question.

Of course the same guys these schools would target would also be targeted by the Alabamas of the world.

But what kid who had a head on his shoulders would go to Alabama over Stanford? Unless he just wanted to stay home or he prays to his statue of Bear Bryant every night.

Or he just doesn't care about academics and what the degree itself could do for you.

Jeff W. said...

The Inner Party decided long ago that the Midwest's manufacturing should move to China. That's what killed the Midwest. Chicago continues to do well as a banking center, transportation hub, and corporate headquarters city.

My impression is that average IQ has dropped in Michigan and Ohio has dropped about five points since 1980.

Without its manufacturing, the formerly industrial Midwest has no role and no future in today's world.

Anonymous said...

ND (who I despise) hired Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw to build their golf course - The Warren Course. Most of the course was built on a field that was a parking lot for football..

The course is great. I would play it five times before I would play Medina #3. The greens have theusual C and C movement.

It is also a tremendous bargain. $35 bucks to walk.

jody said...

indiana is a basketball state, so football recruiting won't be as good there. it won't be as good even if it were because there are only 6 million people in IN. but yes, notre dame is a football college trapped in a basketball state. almost all of the largest high school basketball arenas in america are in indiana. we're talking like 12,000 seat arenas for high school hoops.

IU and butler have no problem recruiting effective DI players in the state. greg oden and josh mcroberts went out of state, but they were there for the recruiting. gordon hayward stayed in state. football is different. more players, need a wider recruiting base.

south bend is a ghetto. there is literally a wall around notre dame keeping south bend out. terra haute, muncie, gary, south bend, evansville, those places are all on their way down. indiana itself is urbanizing. people are leaving the countryside, leaving farming behind, and moving to indianapolis. the only other places growing are bloomington and lafayette. because that's where indiana and purdue are. i lived in indiana from 2006 to 2009.

michigan is in terminal decline. ohio is in decline and is becoming slightly more african all the time - people don't realize how african most of the cities in ohio actually are, because they are never in the news. we don't talk about toledo, dayton, akron, cincinnati, cleveland on here. but get enough africans in the city core and those places all flip permanently democrat, which slowly flips the state. i wonder if even illinois is in decline statewise. places like rockford and peoria strike me as emptying out.

jody said...

"It's odd to me that U. of Michigan is as high-ranking as it is. Mainly because the state of Michigan has so little going for it."

it's one of the best state universities. it got that way when michigan was a good state. the center of america's auto industy, which dominated the world for decades. now michigan is in decline, but good things created by previous generations can stay good for a while in an environment of decline. this is how california still has lots of good things going for it, even as the state crashes. the previous inhabitants built a lot of high quality institutions there before the downfall began.

"Another puzzlement in the rankings is why the U. of North Carolina always ranks much higher than the U. of Texas."

must be prestige. who knows how US news computes their numbers. using the system which shanghai ranking employs, which takes into account only a university's academic output, texas is 27, UNC is 30.

http://tinyurl.com/lx8l7w7

"And UT-Austin, in addition to being the flagship university in the nation's 2nd largest state, also has an endowment second only to Harvard."

that's oil money. according to wikipedia yale is 2, texas is 3, but they are only 1 billion apart. texas will pass yale in a year or two, especially now with the oil shale boom at eagle ford. texas by itself will be producing 2 million barrels of oil per day. princeton and stanford are battling it out for number 4.

http://tinyurl.com/quw7cy

sort by 2012

jody said...

i agree with pat that minor league football is the way to go to take all these obvious non-students out of NCAA football, while at the same time sending them on their way towards professional play. but NCAA football is the second largest spectator league in the US. it's bigger than MLB. a move towards minor league football would be move towards what baseball has had for 100 years. pro prospects went directly to minor league baseball, and were never on television, nor did they participate in NCAA baseball.

demoting NCAA football to where NCAA baseball is, and locking all the 20 year old up and coming future pros into minor league play which is never on television, is the last thing these guys would do. think they'd do that? give up all the money that comes with having the second largest spectator league in the US? never. so, obvious IQ 80 mouth breathers will be playing football for america's prestigious universities for the foreseeable future.

NBA has made some moves to mitigate some of these issues, by trying to develop a minor league, NBDL, but it's been only a minor success. almost all pro prospects still go to NCAA instead of NBDL out of high school. NBDL has turned into a minor league for players fresh out of NCAA and not quite good enough for NBA, rather than becoming the NBA development league it was intended to be. although it is used for that as well, like minor league baseball, when NBA teams send players down to NBDL for a couple months.

ScarletNumber said...

Notre Dame is BY FAR the most popular college football team in the NYC DMA.

biff said...

Aside from one Spencer novel, I never saw a comparison of that drunk Irish boxing stance and Taekwando. Yet, many drunk Irish were in the US Army 1950-53.

Anonymous said...

Extrapolating from ND's scramble for TV bucks to the 100-year prospect of a whole region seems a bit high-fallutin' mebbe?

A hundred years is a long time. Look, "the South" looks to have the current advantage, but that's only because until recently it's the last region to have the appearance of the old all-U.S. bi-racial (white/black) make-up combined with right-to-work laws.

But no longer. Ever mid-size city in NC and GA (Macon, Wilmington, etc.) now has a Little Mexico. Every motel in Mississippi is infested with bedbugs, and run by Gujaratis. Oh, and the Great Migration of 1915-1960? It's now kicking into reverse.

Meanwhile states like Wisconsin and Michigan, especially outside of the the dying centers of Milwaukee and Detroit, have vast exurban and rural belts that are still very white, new international markets for their agriculture, and those factories? They can be rehabbed for advanced manufacturing. The cold weather itself may act as a natural 'snowbreak' to immigration patterns from hotter-climed natives, and put a ceiling on it.

It's odd to me that U. of Michigan is as high-ranking as it is. Mainly because the state of Michigan has so little going for it. It's largest city is in shambles and none of the rest of the state has any areas that are growing.

The Grand Rapids area, the secondary metro area of Michigan, (nearly all-white Dutch by the way) is going great guns.

Even if one admits the facile truism that "Michigan is in a death spiral"--the smart investor knows that's when it's time to buy the hell out of that stock.

McGillicuddy said...

Perhaps many of the commenters here are working off of anecdotal evidence suggesting that the traditional flocking of the talented toward the coasts has accelerated, but here are some facts for perspective:

The Midwest is growing faster than the Northeast.

This growth is not concentrated in Chicago; Illinois, after Michigan and Ohio, is the slowest growing state in the Midwest, though it is growing faster than New York.

Chicagoland (my home town) is one of the slowest growing metro areas in the Midwest; it’s not inflating the Midwest’s numbers.

The Midwest is 78% white vs 68 % for the Northeast, 60% for the South (includes Texas), and 52% for the West.

The Midwest is 7.1% Hispanic, the Northeast, the next lowest, is over 13%.

The Midwest has the highest labor force participation rate, and is tied with the Northeast for the lowest unemployment.

The Midwest has the second lowest poverty rate.

The Midwest is best.

Truth said...

Gordy Ceresino went to Stanford.

Anonymous said...

Plus the commenter is right that Catholic anglos in the New South don't care about Notre Dame. Even Catholic anglos in the midwest increasingly don't care.

Sure, the cultural, 'cafeteria' Catholics still lap up the legend, but the ones who actually keep the parishes going, and, more importantly, the ones having the children, know the Dome lost any Catholic pretensions it had left when they feted Obama a couple years back. But it had been losing those pretensions as far back as the Hesburgh years.

Two predictions: by 2035 the vast majority of observant English-speaking Catholics in the territories known today as the US will have no sentiment for ND. And by that year ND will be like Marist College in NY, still having a nominally Catholic name, but no longer tied to the Roman Church either de facto or de jure.

Anonymous said...

Here is the reason you do not want to be in the big 10: http://espn.go.com/college-sports/football/recruiting/playerrankings I counted only 9 of last year's top 150 recruits were from big 10 states. Most were ACC/ SEC states with a few from CA. Who you play and your conference determines which recruits you are exposed to. Playing Big 10 teams does not help your exposure.

Anonymous said...

It's easier to find high achieving athletes for basketball; there's a 13 scholarship limit. Football has an 85 scholarship limit which makes it hard to fill that with any significant portion of high achievers. In basketball, schools like kentucky practice "one and done" which leaves the brighter kids more readily available for schools like Duke.

Steve Sailer said...

Truth said...
Gordy Ceresino went to Stanford.

Yes, my mistake, thanks.

David said...

>Even if one admits the facile truism that "Michigan is in a death spiral"--the smart investor knows that's when it's time to buy the hell out of that stock.<

I have some Confederate dollars I'd like to sell you.

Drunk Idiot said...

To those who been critical of the concept that Notre Dame would move to the ACC in order to reposition itself so as to gain maximum exposure in the media-heavy Northeast and the booming Southeast, remember that I was only relaying a then-hypothetical argument for a move to the ACC that was presented by a notoriously loquacious gadfly who, in addition to his media work, acts as something of an ambassador to the public for Notre Dame athletics.

The crux of his argument was that all the demographic markers point to the Southeast being the center of growth for the the next several decades, and and that the Midwest is in a demographic death spiral that it likely won't be able to dig out of -- hence the move to bolster Notre Dame's ties to the Northeast-Southeast.

The comments were made months before Notre Dame went public with its decision to move to the ACC.

And the gadfly Notre Dame ambassador never said that they would be moving to the ACC, just that, in his opinion, such a move would be more attractive than a move to any other league (but it was a clear "heads up" to anyone within earshot that things were brewing).

Steve Sailer said...

Rudy?

Drunk Idiot said...

No, not Rudy. Glad it wasn't too easy to guess the source's identity. Rudy's a good guess though, and it hits close to home, since I've known members of his extended family for a long time.

From what I understand, though, Dan "Rudy" Ruettiger has been involved in some shady dealings as of late, and come to think of it, hasn't had much of a public presence since getting caught up in the bad stuff. Notre Dame seems to have quietly disassociated themselves from him. You don't even hear about the film Rudy anymore, not even when Notre Dame football tradition/lore is being discussed.

Re: the Irish gadfly, if you look closely at the second paragraph in my last comment, you might be able to spot a few clues. I ripped off a cliche from the comment above mine to make the imagery work. The hints are awfully subtle, but they're there.

Drunk Idiot said...

PNW said...

"Isn't Northwestern a better regional example of athletics attempting to support a decent (or above-average) educational program? Sorry, I've no dog in this fight but ND still seems to me like s lunkhead farm school in character, however much their U.S. News & World Rep-certified "high standards" a la Duke, Georgetown, USC, UNC, etc. may nowadays be credited."

It's the other way around: Northwestern is a school with high academic standards (and higher academic standards for athletes than it's Big Ten peers, and most other NCAA Division I programs) attempting to support a decent (or above average) athletic program.

Drunk Idiot said...

Typos in previous comment: "To those who been critical" should have been "To those who have been critical." The "who've" got cut off, resulting in what looks, in print, like some pretty bad grammar.

Also, in the original comment that served as the basis for this post, a typo resulted in Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delaney being referred to as "the Jim Delaney."

Delaney is regarded in college sports circles as one of the shrewdest guys around, and something of an evil genius. So maybe he should be known as "The Jim Delaney," like "The Donald."

He definitely ate ESPN executive (and notorious shark) Mark Shapiro's lunch, which is why the Big Ten has its cash cow, the Rupert Murdoch/Fox-affiliated Big Ten Network.

Drunk Idiot said...

Probably shouldn't mention this, but it's apropos of the subject matter: there are some basketball-focused Midwestern schools in one of college basketball's top mid major conferences that are secretly poking around in hopes of jumping from their Midwestern league to new conference homes on the East Coast (in spite of their current conference's solid basketball tradition, stellar reputation and consistently good conference RPI).

These schools aren't college sports powerhouses, like Notre Dame. But they're fine mid major basketball schools. And they want to follow the lead of similar schools, Butler and Saint Louis University, and head east (Butler and SLU recently left Midwestern leagues for the Atlantic 10 Conference, and this year, Butler will begin playing in the Big East).

Right now, this stuff is top secret. But administrators at these very Midwestern schools increasingly view the Midwest as an albatross on the schools' respective "branding."

In many cases, the demographics of the Northeast aren't much better than those of the Midwest -- as some commenters here have noted. But the Northeast has Connecticut based ESPN and the national media (which really just means the New York media).

New Jersey and New York state may well be facing demographic decline, but increasingly, the game's about getting exposure in the nation's wealth/prestige center: the NYC to Washington, DC, corridor.

Rochester and Watertown may be dying in upstate New York, but the NYC area keeps gaining wealth and prestige. And if you hadn't noticed, America's one true growth sector is the public sector. And as a result, the Washington, DC area is booming.

Jerry said...

"My impression is that average IQ has dropped in Michigan and Ohio has dropped about five points since 1980."

There were three intelligent kids in my graduating class at Cranbrook (Romney's old high school) some 20 years ago. One is a lawyer with CS&Moore in NY (dropped out of a history doctoral program at Harvard, smart move) one is a prof. at Singapore NU (quit a tenured job at UM for it) and one is in Hong Kong. We're talking SAT's in the 1560+ range for all three.

Out of the next ten (two Jews who went to Harvard, plus other Ivies, Duke, Brown, etc.) all of them are now on the East Coast, in Florida, or in Texas. The class a year ahead of me, the only interesting fellow who stayed in Michigan went into his father's local-centered real estate business.

All the same, I miss Michigan for its European weather and foliage, and Ann Arbor is the most enchanting college town in America. Hong Kong is beyond the pale.

Simon in London said...

Seems relevant re decline of the Midwest:
http://www.thinkinghousewife.com/wp/2013/06/last-department-store-in-st-louis-closes/#more-55432