Thursday, July 24, 2014

Breaking: Former 5-star receiver to transfer to BG

His name is Robbie Rhodes, and ESPN is reporting that he is headed to BG.  This is a very big deal...there are clear question marks, but if it works out, he has the ability to be a dominant player in the MAC.

Not to put too fine a point on it...he was the #3 ranked WR prospect in the country.

Rhodes was at Baylor where he was dismissed...the following is from ESPN:

Rhodes, a sophomore, was dismissed from the Bears' program on June 23 after multiple drug-related incidents. He was arrested in May on marijuana possession charges, but the McLennan County District Attorney's office declined to prosecute.

Despite the charges being dropped, Rhodes was disciplined by the school and agreed to sanctions in order to remain in good standing with the program, but another undisclosed incident in June violated conditions of that agreement.

So, first, the Baylor connection is obvious to everyone.

Also, he's not even looking at BG if it isn't for the drug issues.

Now, I suspect this is going to be a concern for some people.  It certainly makes me a little uncomfortable.  I believe in second chances, (though this appears to be at least his third) and if Robbie Rhodes wants to turn his life around, I'm thrilled he chose to do it at BG.

I don't know the young man and Coach Babers does, so he's certainly in a better position to make a judgment than me.

If it goes wrong, however, we know who is accountable for it.  I don't believe you have to make compromises to win in the MAC, and I expect our program to win and to represent the University in a good light--not a perfect light, but a good light.

We've had an issue already this week--with a guy recruited by the former coach, to be fair, but it is still out there and nothing has been announced as it relates to him, either.

Until I see otherwise, I am going to assume that our administration and university leadership feel as I do, and I look forward with hope that this will be a great comeback story.

Falcon Verbal #11/#13

The Falcons have the second highly-ranked verbal commitment and it is yet another player on the defensive side of the ball.  His name is Rahn Bailey, and he is from Clear Falls HS which is in League City, Texas.  (This is between Houston and Galveston).  Information here comes from Hustle Belt, which is doing an excellent job on MAC recruiting and it appears actually spoke to him.


Rahn is a DE/LB in our system.  ESPN has him as a 3-star recruit and the #59 OLB in the country. Beyond that, ESPN reports he had offers from Kansas, Navy, Nevada, Wisconsin, and (wait for it), Wake Forest.

He's 6'2" and 226, which is really a nice size for a guy who plays on the edge.  He told Hustle Belt he will either rush or drop into coverage.  In the Clawson system, almost sounds like a rover, though I have no idea if we would have something like that now.

According to Hustle Belt, he has 53 total tackles, 12 sacks, five pass break-ups, two forced fumbles, and a interception as a junior.  No idea what level he was playing at, but clearly he was a productive playmaker.

This is a big get for the Falcons.  Rankings are projections, not reality, but this looks like a terrific player who clearly has the ability to be a huge contributor in the MAC.

As I have mentioned before, I am glad to see that we are not forgetting that we have to defend sometimes and that championship teams excel both ways.

Welcome to the Falcons, Rahn.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

MAC Media Poll Released--Falcons Favorite to Win it All

So here it is, Falcon fans.  We lived through the 2-10 season, survived that awful finale at the Doyt against WMU, won the MAC Championship last year and now...the Falcons begin the season as the favorite to win the conference again.

That's a great testament to the program Coach Clawson built and the excitement and confidence people have in the choice of Coach Babers.  We are 100% where we wanted to be when we were orange popsicles watching WMU taking a 27-0 halftime lead and beat us 41-7 on our own field.

So, let's enjoy it.  It is always a good time to be a Falcon fan, and that's really true now.

Being the favorite is not the same thing as winning and being the favorite carries its own burden, but let's enjoy it.  Going to be an exciting year.

The Media went with relatively conventional picks.  Like the bloggers, they have Ball State 3rd in the West.  They have UT and NIU essentially very close, though the media agrees with me that UT will win the West.  They take the part line on OU, while bloggers see them falling behind Buffalo.

Anyway, it is all conjecture, we will catch up later and see how it turned out.  There should be more coverage later today and if anyone says anything interesting (which is doubtful), I will pass it along.

Team (First Place Votes) Points

MAC East Division
1. Bowling Green (18) 144
2. Akron (3) 114
3. Ohio 107
4. Buffalo 87
5. Kent State 72
6. Miami 43
7. UMass 23

MAC West Division
1. Toledo (11) 114
2. Northern Illinois (8) 110
3. Ball State 82
4. Central Michigan (2) 67
5. Western Michigan 44
6. Eastern Michigan 24

2014 Marathon MAC Championship Game Winner: Bowling Green 11; Toledo 6; Central Michigan 2; Northern Illinois 1; Akron 1.

Update:  The MAC Bloggersphere is pointing out--rightly--that none of us picked CMU to finish first in the West.  These people should be revealed and shunned forever.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

MAC Bloggers Give Football Predictions and Falcon Love



So, Hustle Belt, the outstanding website that covers the MAC has rounded up the usual suspects and rallied the MAC Blogosphere to give our predictions for MAC football.  The media will meet tomorrow and let their thoughts fly, so we wanted to beat them by one day so we can accuse them of just copying us.

Eight of us voted:
Hustle Belt
Bull Run
Over The Pylon
Eagle Totem
Falcon Blog
Maroon Musket
The Rocket Nation
Chippewa Country

The results were very good for the Falcons.  BG is predicted to make it back to the MAC Championship game, this time to lose to the NIU Huskies.  Also, Matt Johnson is the odds-on pick to be MAC Player of the Year, under the expectation that he will produce play station numbers in the FalconFast attack.

The number in parenthesis is first place votes.

EAST:

  1. Bowling Green (6) 52 points
  2. Akron (1) 41 points
  3. Buffalo (1) 39 points
  4. Ohio 38 points
  5. Kent State 23 points
  6. Miami 19 points
  7. UMass 10 points

WEST:

  1. NIU (4) 42 points
  2. Toledo (2) 41 points
  3. Ball State (2) 33 points
  4. CMU 25 points
  5. WMU 15 points
  6. EMU 13 points


MAC Champion: NIU
Coach of the Year: Terry Bowden
Player of the Year: Matt Johnson

Just for the sake of accountability, here are my picks:

East

  1. BGSU
  2. Akron
  3. Buffalo
  4. Kent
  5. Ohio
  6. Miami
  7. UMass

West

  1. UT
  2. NIU
  3. CMU
  4. WMU
  5. BSU
  6. EMU

MAC POTY: Matt Johnson, BG
MAC COTY: Terry Bowden, AK
MAC Champ: BGSU

Some commentary on the differences.

I think Ohio is set for a down year, even in the East.  This team is just not as strong and deep as the other teams that Solich has had.  Kent, I think, is set for a small resurgence, though I easily could have flipped them.

In the West, it is my belief that UT has almost everyone back and wins this year and sets up a slobberknocker for the ages at Ford Field in December.  Obviously, the vote count between UT and NIU was very close, and you can't argue with that.

My biggest surprise is in the West, where I see Ball State struggling this year.  CMU has an experienced team with a lot of guys back and I see them climbing and I think that the talent WMU is assembling allows them to begin a slow climb, similar to what we saw from Akron last year.

Anyway, we are getting close to what I believe is setting up to be the most highly anticipated Fall in many, many years at the Doyt.  Media day is tomorrow, and can be watched on ESPN3 and probably other places.  I'll have a summary, though we don't really expect a lot of news...this is a lot of Coachspeak.

Unless we hear about spirographs or whether the toilet seat ended up being up or down.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Falcon RB Arrested

The Sentinel-Tribune is reporting this morning that Falcon RB William Houston has been arrested for attempted rape.  You can check out the Sentinel's story here...as with all legal issues, I'd encourage everyone not to jump to conclusions and to let the legal system go to work.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Football Verbal #10/#12


Another verbal, #10 or #12...

This is JC Bartok of Worthington Kilbourne HS.  He's a T/DE in HS, but is apparently projecting to OL in the BG system.  He's 6'5" and 260...which would seem to be a T in college as well, but that remains to be seen. He was special mention in his conference.

O-lineman are tough to find stuff on because they don't get stats and rarely end up in game stories....so, just this...welcome to the Falcons, JC!

Falcon Verbal #9/11

The summer chugs along, hope you are enjoying as we anxiously await the start of camp and then a new (truly) 2014-15 season.

BG football has a new verbal...#9 or #11, depending on how you count the guys from Australia, who are not listed on any of the recruiting sites--except this one.

This young man is Robert Jackson, Jr. of Bishop McNamara HS in Forestville, MD--a town just inside the DC beltway (and the home of Kevin Durant).

Not too much info on Jackson.  He is 5'10 and 161 pounds, and plays CB.  He was highly productive...averaging 10 tackles per game (5.1 of them solo), with 2 sacks, 1 INT and 1 FR.  Their team was 5-5 and 2-5 in their conference.   He was honorable mention all-conference in his league as a junior.    It would appear that we saw him at the OSU camp and went from there.  So far, 7 of our 9 (or 11) players are defensive players.

Welcome to the Falcons, Robert.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

MAC Unveils New Website...thumbs up!



It is July 1...time for new beginnings in collegiate athletics...Maryland and Rutgers are in the Big 10 and the MAC has a new website.  I'd encourage you to check it out... It has a much more visually appealing look with bigger and bolder photos...and a hub for social activity.  The thing that I think has the best potential to benefit the way I would use the page is an improved scoreboard function which would allow you to follow the entire conference...and a much stronger interface to the video streaming features, which are being used increasingly frequently by MAC fans.  Both the WatchESPN and the house feeds will be embedded.  For hard-core MAC fans, this has the potential to be a big advantage.

Anyway, good on them.  Check it out...

Monday, June 30, 2014

Two New Football Verbals

BG has netted two more verbal commits for football over the past couple of days.

The first has a name that is too perfect.  After four years of rooting for Boo Boo Gates, BG was looking at a name deficit...until NOW.  The first verbal is BoBo Jones....just take two letters out and you are ready to roll.  BoBo is also a safety (I know, right?) from Xenia, OH.

There isn't a huge amount of info about Mr. Jones...here is his stat line from his junior year.  I'm guessing BG saw him play at a camp and decided he had the stuff to be FalconFast.

The other is Brandon Harris of Cleveland Shaw.  BG is really working the Cleveland area hard...something that will be very popular with big parts of the fan base.  Harris is a WR/LB.  He's 6'3" and 205.  This article says he was recruited as an "athlete" to BGSU...which means he could go a number of places.  With that size, he'd be dangerous in any position.

Cleveland.com on his junior year:

Harris caught 39 passes for 468 yards and four touchdowns as a junior for the Cardinals.
Welcome to the Falcons, Brandon and BoBo.