Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Bubbling Up

One of the great personal joys I've experienced ever since President Lee Bollinger made the great move of bringing in Athletic Director Peter Pilling is the fact that the news and information coming out of Columbia Athletics has been so much better and more frequent that my long-held desire to back off needing to update the fans daily has been realized.

The best example has been the repeated reporting and video updates on the historic building of the Columbia practice bubble at the Baker Athletic Complex.

This short interview with Head Coach Al Bagnoli really captures the immense important of the project.

But it's really hard to put into words what a strong physical piece of evidence the new bubble is that the administration is really serious about boosting the football program and athletics at Columbia in general.

The recruiting disadvantage Columbia has faced for years because of the 15-minute bus ride from campus to Baker was always thought of as something that could only be solved by making the trip easier or building a practice facility on campus for football.

We had it wrong.

It turns out the best way to beat that disadvantage was to make Baker more of a place to want to get to no matter what. The bubble makes Baker a hip and cool destination; not a faraway place to practice in drudgery.

In the coming weeks and months, we'll go back to analyzing the Lions position by position, shoring up the final list for incoming recruits, and looking back at what we learned from the 2016 season.

And we all know the push to improve athletics will never be complete until we see championships in football and basketball.

BUT, we have to look around us right now and see the very real, (and expensive... please don't forget to donate more!), improvements.


Mark Lufkin said...

Do not forget the addition of the Campbell Sports Center:-) Baker is definitely much more of a destination now than ever before.

florida lion said...

We're definitely on the upswing at CU. BTW, I did contribute to the bubble.

As to our new recruits, it's hard to know what to make of the national rankings and ratings. Regarding newcomers, 247sports has shown a total of 14 for about a month, whereas our list shows 30. So 247sports is missing at least half. And I wonder about ratings. For example, Dwayne Warren isn't starred (by them). Yet he seems like a great prospect with offers from Army, Cornell, Princeton, etc.

I thought I'd check last year. 247sports' final list for CU showed 17 commitments. Of the 17, Trey Page evidently went to Brown and Jared West disappeared, so 15 are on the roster. Oren Milstein (no stars) is one of them. Of the 40 freshmen on the roster, 25 (including Ron Smith, Dan DeLorenzi and other significant first year contributors) weren't picked up by 247 at all.

I'll put my faith in the coaching staff.

Chen1982 said...

Feels to me that looking at the caliber of the.schools who made offers to our commits is a better indication of potential than a starred rating system. More thought and coaching acumen used rather than stats and hype...imho