Mule Madness - Bracketology
Bracketology Reports provided by Mike Bruckner, vice president of public relations.
Mule Madness – Bracketology and the Crystal Ball
March 1, 2013
Who will be this year’s Cinderella team? Lehigh over Duke? This year’s George Mason? Can David actually take down Goliath? Let’s take a quick look at the rankings and look for trends.
For openers, it’s a great field. All eight teams have more than 57% with email addresses on file with the College. But, with a participation rate hovering around 12%, there is great room for improvement.
Top Seeds: A bit of a surprise here, because football, the big gorilla over the past several years, comes in third when it comes to percentage of alumni who give to the College. Quantity here, but the coaches are concerned about quality and depth.
Coming in on top for participation are the baseball and softball teams. A strong 15% combined giving rate. Strong and solid, but room for improvement and certainly not a giving dynasty. This is quite interesting. Both baseball and softball teams have had some coaching turnover in recent years, but both appear to be on the upward trajectory. Will the relative young coaches be able to retain the top spot?
Close behind the baseball and softball teams are the men’s and women’s basketball teams. The veteran hoop coaches bring back the alumni for the Scotty Wood Tournament and alumni games. Will those events and some recent success help the hoop teams take over the top spot?
The great unknown is the football contingent. Duke Donnelly picked up his 100th win and pounded Moravian in the regular season finale. Will those feats translate into alumni donations? Football brings in the big numbers for sure, but this competition is about percentage and the gridiron boys will have to rally the troops to overtake some of the smaller teams.
Sleeper: Cross country and track teams are the definitely sleepers. Ranked fourth in percentage giving, but this is a close-knit group and if they can get some groundswell support from all facets – throwers, jumpers, sprinters and distance runners – this group might be a force to be reckoned with.
Upset Alert: The soccer teams are the ones to watch out for. Veteran coaches. Successful programs. Strong nucleus to build on. And here’s my longshot. Just a hunch. The two tennis teams and the volleyball team are paired together. Fiery Alexa Keckler has the program heading in the right direction, and Linda Andrews remains in good contact with many of her alums. They are listed dead last in eighth place, but I am not sure being the cellar-dweller is a long-term proposition.
Coaches Corner: How will the veterans fare versus some of the newcomers? Will Coach Rohn will be “talking it up” to his alumni? Will Coach McClary put on a full court press; Does Coach Donnelly have to implement his blitz package? Is Coach Brian Burzynski willing to go to the mat for this program? Will Linda Andrews and Alexa Keckler have positive net results?
Final thought: Will championship teams come on strong or is this the year of the upstarts who want to see their programs flourish? Stay tuned. Mule Madness Bracketology and March Madness will return on a regular basis.