Monday, December 07, 2009

Final 2009 Weber State University Football Season Wrap-up, Etc.

Neck-snapping segue: WSU is also taking care of business off the football field

Due the the increasingly annoying pre-holiday interlude in Emerald City red-meat news, we'll take this opportunity to do a final 2009 Weber State University football season wrap-up. Ron McBride's 2009 WSU football program finished the season 7-5, and qualified for its second consecutive FCS tournament. Not a bad finish for a squad, which prior to Coach Mac's advent, was a consistent Big Sky Conference cellar dweller. Here are a couple of morning northern Utah print media articles to fittingly put a final cap on the season:

In this Deseret News story, reporter Andrew Aragon takes this season's serendipitous adversity into account, and congratulates WSU for a "solid season":
Weber State football: Wildcats overcome adversity to have solid season
And this morning Standard-Examiner story presents a nice glimpse into post-season team introspection:
Plenty of ups and downs to WSU's '09 football campaign
Yes, Coach Mac will be back next season, and he's already diagnosed what's needed for next year:
Obviously we're proud of what we've done here, but we're a long way from being done with what our goals are," McBride said. "I think we have to become a more physical team on offense to take pressure off the quarterback and our run game has to be able to match the throw game and be fundamentally more sound. Defensively it's a matter of being better fundamentally.
We offer our thanks to Coach Mac and his 2009 player for an exciting and successful season, and we're proudly looking forward to offering our WSU Game Day Threads in 2010.

And while we're patting WSU on the back, we'll launch another neck-snapping segue, and invite our readers to check this out. Seems to us that WSU is also taking care of business off the football field. In a recent Forbes Magazine survey, Weber State was reportedly ranked as the 43rd-best public institution to attend nationally:
Forbes: Weber State a top public school
Not a bad finish at all, in a field of no less than 615 U.S. public 4-year institutions; and a far cry from the days when the Emerald City Gondolists were rabidly arguing that it would take a gondola and a WSU hotel management/hospitality program to put WSU on the national map.

Go Wildcats. We're proud of ya's, both on and off the gridiron.

That's it for now.

Who will be the first to comment?

3 comments:

Milt said...

If Ogden City is ever to get on the national map (which it already has), it'll be through the efforts of our primary and wonderful 120-year old Ogden institution, Weber State, and neither the result of downtown Rec Center money pits, nor the efforts of developers to install "designer golf courses and hotels" in our foothills.

That's my opinion, and I'm sticking to it.

(Anyone who disagrees with me on this is scum.)

Curmudgeon said...

Milt:

Well, I'm not sure what "get on the national map" means outside of a Chamber of Commerce booster talk. But in the sense that I think you mean it, I also think you're wrong, or at least only partially right.

WSU's mission, mandated by the legislature, is to be primarily and fundamentally a teaching university. It is not, and likely will never be, a Research I institution, and those are the public universities that generally garner national renown for new patents, etc. [Think UT-Austin, or Berkeley for example.]

What WSU can provide, though, and does, in spades, is a strong undergraduate education in a good selection of fields, and that not only serves its largely commuter student body well, it serves the Ogden business community well, because a good local college or university is very often an important factor businesses look at when deciding to move to an area, or to stay in one, or not. Both because that university or college can provide expertise that can be tapped by the business involved, and because having a good university with a wide range of programs available is something key personnel in a company think is important in deciding to remain with that company in that location. Lots of documentation on this.

Another key factor in the latter is good public schools. I know of an instance [in another state] at which a small city pitched a large company looking to relocate to come there. It has much to offer. An in-town university. A skilled labor force in the area. Access to an underused airport [important to the company involved]. Public subsidy to cover the cost of relocation. The company heads liked the location, and the deal was all but signed, when the CEO called back to say they weren't coming. Why? The public schools in the city [which were poor.] The CEO told the city's Business Development people "my key people won't move there because of the schools. And I cannot afford to lose them." So no move, because the local public schools were poor.

Municipal support for education, then, broadly considered [elementary, secondary and collegiate] are among the wisest investments a community can make to make itself more business-friendly as the cliche goes.

That said, having a variety of recreational activities also matters in drawing businesses, and people, to mid-sized cities. What would make Ogden particularly competitive in that regard is the combination of unparalleled outdoor activities and strong educational institutions. If our leaders are smart enough to understand that and take sound advantage of it consistently and wisely.

[Full disclosure: I am an adjunct --- that means part time --- professor at WSU.]

Curmudgeon said...

Comment bumped to front page

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