AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) – The University at Buffalo is well known in Western New York, but recent exposure has put UB in the national spotlight.
During the first home game of the season Friday night, fans were fired up to see the UB Bulls take on the Baylor Bears at UB Stadium.
But there is a different atmosphere on campus for this year’s game, which was televised live on ESPN.
UB fan Dean Ohren said, “It’s absolutely huge. You’re playing a top 10 team in the nation and the whole nation is watching.”
And, for the first time, UB cracked the top 50 public universities in the country, according to U.S. World and Report, up three spots from 2014. Among both private and public national university, UB ranked 106 – an increase of six positions from last year.
The university was also ranked number one for students with the least amount of debt amongst public colleges and 8th among public and private institutions.
Not to mention, former UB linebacker Khalil Mack was the fifth overall pick in the NFL draft, and he signed a four-year contract worth $18,677,002 with the Oakland Raiders.
UB grad student Brianna Harris said, “[Mack] getting drafted should make more football players want to come to Buffalo. It’s a good school, too, so they should want to.”
UB senior Ben Lantz added, “That was big for us, seeing a guy go top five in the NFL draft was really big for the entire school.”
And that exposure is having an influence on a younger generation. They want to come to play for UB, but not just for football – it’s also a great school.
Rich Bianco from Falconer said, “They want to do both, realistically. A lot of the kids from our area won’t go on to play college football. It’s good to have these dreams and aspirations and this is a place where they could potentially end up.”