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The "Confidence Factor"

RossBjorkConfidence

Earlier today I saw a note about this historical fundraising results at the University of Mississippi and something about the numbers caught my eye.

First, have a look at the raw numbers. Note, these are overall fundraising number for the entire university. Athletics would be just a subset of these numbers.

2004 

$59 million 

2005 

$61 million 

2006 

$68 million 

2007 

$65 million 

2008

$80 million

2009

$78 million

2010

$69 million

2011

$68 million

2012

$123 million

2013

$115 million

2014

$118 million

The two things that caught my eye were the step ups in 2008 and then again in 2012. Well, hmmm, what could have led to those increases? 

Now look at the same numbers with the annual results and notes from football added.

2004 

$59 million 

4-7

2005 

$61 million 

3-8

2006 

$68 million 

4-8

2007 

$65 million 

3-9 (Ed Oregron's final season as HC)

2008

$80 million

9-4 (Houston Nutt's first season as HC)

2009

$78 million

9-4

2010

$69 million

4-8

2011

$68 million

2-10 (Houston Nutt's final season as HC)

2012

$123 million

7-6 (Hugh Freeze's first season as HC)

2013

$115 million

8-5

2014

$118 million

 

It is clear to me that making a change in football (typically a university's most visible team), and seeing a positive change, rejuvenates the base and provides excellent momentum upon which smart schools capitalize. Clearly, Ole Miss has done an excellent job capitalizing on their recent momentum in athletics.

This afternoon I called Ole Miss director of athletics Ross Bjork to get his take on the numbers and he had a great take on this. Listen to Ross describe the "Confidence Factor":