On September 5, 1906 History was made when Saint Louis University Head Coach Eddie Cochems pioneered the use of the quarterback pass against Carroll College, it was 20-yard touchdown pass which the Billiken won 22-0. The year the team finished 11-0 and outscored its opponent 407-11. Sadly, the University dropped their program in 1949 and by 1966 many Jesuit Colleges cut their football program because of the increase maintenance cost. That was some 50 years ago, now College Football is the 2nd biggest sporting event in America and is the biggest revenue producer among all colligate sports bringing in, “an average of $31.9 million per school per year,” according to the financial website Zacks.com reported. The number of colleges and universities from all NCAA division, the NAIA and independents stands at an historical number of 774 and more schools are planning to launch their football programs in the next couple of years.
It’s been 6 years since the Rams moved back to Los Angeles and yes, the XFL Is coming back to St. Louis in February 2023, but think about the money the University and the city could generate if they would bring back the Football program. Schools that either brought back or added Football, from 2008-21 have combined for 4 national championships, 81 conference titles and 109 postseason appearances. And some schools that added football to their programs have had players that’s been drafted by an NFL team or have made the 53-man roster on an NFL team. Last Friday night on ESPN, I witness Old Dominion University Monarchs Football team pull a stunning upset victory over traditionally powerhouse football program Virginia Tech 20-17. Old Dominion started their football program in 2009 and played in the Division 1 Football Championship Subdivision. In their first season they finished 9-2 and during their short time they compiled a 26-7 record and earned a berth in the 2011 FCS playoffs. Since then the school have played in 2 Bowl games, winning one in 2016 against Eastern Michigan and losing one against Tulsa in 2021. Then there’s the success of the University of Texas San Antonio Roadrunners Football team. The School launched its Football program in 2011 as a member of the NCAA Division 1 Football Bowl Subdivision start-up and finished 4-6. Last season the school posted a 12-2 record and won the Conference USA title. East Tennessee State University and Kennesaw State both launched their football programs in 2015 and have since saw great success at the Football Championship Subdivision which they both qualified for the playoffs in 2021.
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley will launch their Football program in the Football Championship Subdivision in 2025 while The University of New Orleans is among the schools seriously adding a football program in the future. Saint Louis University currently has nine women’s sports and seven men’s sports. Geographically a SLU football program would be an ideal potential rivalry against Lindenwood University that recently moved up to the NCAA Division 1 FCS along with Southern Illinois, Missouri State, Southeast Missouri State, Western Illinois, Illinois State and Eastern Illinois. Or start in the NCAA Division 1 Football Bowl Sub-division and be a part of Mid-American Conference in a few years and eventually develop a nice rivalry against North Illinois, Bowling Green or Ball State. What would really be fun, is if they got to start real big-time rivalry against either Mizzou or University of Illinois and play at the Dome of America and generate money for ticket sales for a national television game on ESPN. It’s good that Billiken are alway competitive in Collegiate soccer and basketball but it’s not enough. Adding Football at Saint Louis University during the fall and the return of the XFL in St. Louis in the Spring is something that would be unique and worth having that would truly help the cities image.