Thursday, May 25, 2017

Big Changes coming in MAC MBB

There may be no year in MAC Men's BB in recent memory with more uncertainty coming up than this year.  Check this out below....of the 15 players on the All-MAC teams, only 3 are going to be returning to play next year.  Even more interesting is that Thompson and Wilder explored the NBA draft as well, but opted to withdraw.  That's got to be relatively unusual.

Keene declared for the draft and stayed in.  Simmons withdrew but is headed for UM.  Marin withdrew but is headed to DePaul.

Tayler Persons has already transferred once...so he was more likely to be back.

Add to that...your FR of the year is transferring to Oklahoma State and your most successful coach left as well.

Going to be a wide open year in the MAC.

2016-17 Men’s Basketball All-MAC First Team
Isaiah Johnson, C, Akron, Senior
Marcus Keene, G, Central Michigan, Junior
Jimmy Hall, F, Kent State, Senior
Jaaron Simmons, G, Ohio, Junior
Thomas Wilder, G, Western Michigan, Junior

2016-17 Men’s Basketball All-MAC Second Team
Kwan Cheatham Jr., F, Akron, Senior
Tayler Persons, G, Ball State, Sophomore
Blake Hamilton, Wing, Buffalo, Senior
James Thompson IV, F, Eastern Michigan, Sophomore
Steve Taylor Jr., F, Toledo, Senior

2016-17 Men’s Basketball All-MAC Third Team
Franko House, F, Ball State, Senior
Braylon Rayson, G, Central Michigan, Senior
Marin Maric, C, Northern Illinois, Senior
Jon Williams, G, Toledo, Senior
Tucker Haymond, F, Western Michigan, Senior

Sunday, May 21, 2017

David Briggs on MAC Football Scheduling and my two cents

So, there's no bigger issue to get MAC Football fans revved up then the #maction scheduling in November.  As noted earlier this year, the MAC has gone all the way in--there will now be absolutely zero weekend November games.

So, the MAC hears all this.  And they are trying to do some things to better educate the public.  That included a recent exercise where they invited the media in to do some mock scheduling.  The Blade's David Briggs was one of those people, and he had an excellent story in today's Blade.  Not going to steal the thunder, click here and check it out and then come back here and I'll have some comments.

OK.  As I said, the story was excellent.  He did a very good analysis and I agree 100% with his conclusion.

The MAC did get done what they wanted.  Sold.  There's more to it than I thought.  Teams can protect a home day and an away day.  And there are rules about consecutive road games, etc.  You saw it.  That's a much tougher job and I can actually see how completely getting rid of Saturday games makes the pacing of the weekday games easier to manage.

The point is (and this is where Briggs lands his best thoughts) all this complication is in support of something that just doesn't make sense.  The numbers you see for those BG games...the 0 ratings, the five-figure viewership...those are shocking.  We're playing in front of tiny crowds, freezing our season ticket holders (the only reliable asset the programs have) and we're doing it for a "national" audience that would, if all flown to BG, only fill the stadium a couple more times.

Not exactly what we're told by the MAC.  Coach Jinks talks glowingly ("everybody loves football") of the #maction deal and its impact on recruiting.  Which would have to mean a significant number of that minuscule audience are three-star recruits with nothing else to do on a Tuesday.

Well, then, the money.  It has to be for the money.  Briggs reports that MAC gets $10M per year for all this nonsense...the 0.0 rating of the financial world.  That doesn't cover the subsidy any university provides to cover the deficit at one MAC school.  In fact, according to USA Today, the collective MAC subsidy for athletics was around $243.8M annually.

So, that $10M?  Yeah.

Here, Briggs says it and I can't say it any better.

At some point, the MAC needs to remember why its money-bleeding programs exist in the first place.

Is it to provide cheap national programming for ESPN? Or is it because of its special local connection with our campuses and communities?
I would just add one more, which is to provide "talkings points" to athletic directors and commissioners when their head hunting buddies call to get them jobs at bigger schools.

Anyway, the emperor has no clothes.  The MAC has built up this entire scheduling mythology to justify something that makes no sense.  That whole thing--the PR initiative, the mock scheduling workshop, the protected dates, the five-day turnarounds, all the gymnastics--could be eliminated simply by going back to Saturday games with no meaningful impact on the finances of the league.

Yeah, I get it.  Crowds in November wouldn't be great on Saturday either.  I am really sad to think about our athletic directors spending sleepless nights worrying about when Ohio State and Michigan are playing, but if November's going to be bad either way, why not play the game on Saturday and try to nurture your "local connection with our campuses and communities."

One last thing.  Have you had a chance to see what's up at ESPN?  Yes, there are a lot of new venues to get coverage but there aren't a lot of new advertisers hanging around and that mother's milk of subscription fees is getting snipped with the cord.  How sustainable is even the $10M?  And if that goes away and #maction is on Twitter and your hard-core fans have found something else to do...

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Calvin Clater has Hops...


Of course, we are in the quiet time of year, stretching from the spring game to the start of football camp.  There are still the occasional news flashes.

This one comes from Texas, where the state's high school track and field championships were held recently.

Calvin Clater, a BG signee coming in to play WR, won the state's high jump title with a jump of 6'11", one full inch over the second competitor.  He was in the 5A classification, which is the second highest classification in Texas, which I believe you know is a fairly large state.

I think we can all agree that kind of athleticism will look very good in orange and brown.

I looked it up, the MAC record is in the 7'4" range, so you get an idea where that might stand.  Looking forward to seeing that leaping ability being put to work against a d-back.  Too bad he can't be a two-sport star as a high jumper at BG.


Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Falcon Football Players Charged With Forgery--Updated

The Sentinel is reporting that two players on the football team have been charged with forgery.  The players are Malik Brown and Brian Jennings.  They were arrested on Friday.

BGSU told the Sentinel that they are aware of the situation and they are gathering more information before determining what the next steps might be.  Usual disclaimers exist...an accusation by the government does not make you guilty.

Both players are linked to Babers.  A HS 3-star prospect, Brown transferred from Tennessee during Dino's first year and played in 11 games last year with 6 tackles and a forced fumble.  He is listed as a R-Sr.

Brian Jennings II played for Babers at EIU then transferred to BGSU.  He has appeared in one game with the Falcons.

FWIW, I think Coach Jinks has been shown to be effective at handling issues like this.  He does seem to understand that we want to win the right way at BGSU and he does understand that it is part of his job to protect the dignity of the institution.  Not sure about his predecessor.

Update:  The Sentinel has further details on the allegations.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

MAC Draft, BGSU UDFA


So, the NFL draft is in the books.  It was a busy three days for the MAC, who had 11 players drafted, tying their all-time high.  It started early, with Corey Davis going #5 to the Titans.  This is great for the MAC and for Corey, who was an all-time MAC great and the MAC offensive POTY.

Overall, UT had 3 players drafted, as WMU did.  OU had 2, and Buffalo, NIU and EMU had 1.

As a Lions fan and despite being a Toledo hater, I think the Roberts pick was great.  He was also picked while Jake Butt was still available.  The Lions also pick Kenny Golladay in round 3 to considerable abuse from the draft wonks.  We'll see.  Honestly, other than Davis, Hunt and Roberts have chances to be really good NFL players, as do Moten and Bashem, at a minimum.

1st round, 5th overall WR Corey Davis (Western Michigan) by the Tennessee Titans
2nd round, 64th overall OL Taylor Moton (Western Michigan) by the Carolina Panthers
3rd round, 80th overall DE Tarell Basham (Ohio) by the Indianapolis Colts
3rd round, 86th overall RB Kareem Hunt (Toledo) by the Kansas City Chiefs
3rd round, 96th overall WR Kenny Golladay (Northern Illinois) by the Detroit Lions
4th round, 127th overall TE Michael Roberts (Toledo) by the Detroit Lions
5th round, 148th overall LB Blair Brown (Ohio) by the Jacksonville Jaguars
7th round, 244th overall DT Treyvon Hester (Toledo) by the Oakland Raiders
7th round, 248th overall LB Keion Adams (Western Michigan) by the Pittsburgh Steelers
7th round, 250th overall DL Pat O'Connor (Eastern Michigan) by the Detroit Lions
7th round, 251st overall TE Mason Schreck (Buffalo) by the Cincinnati Bengals

On the UDFA front, we are seeing that Ronnie Moore has signed a UDFA with Cleveland and Izzah Lunsford with Green Bay.  Look, Roger Lewis was an UDFA and he stuck with the Giants for the year and will be back next year.  If you are in the camp, you have a shot.  Also, both players are two-time MAC Champions and Falcons forever, whether the play a down in the NFL or not.

Also, Greg Hohenstein has a camp invite with the LA Chargers as a long snapper.  No idea what the situation is there, but he was a totally solid long snapper for BG and I'd have to think he'd have a shot.

Note:  there are now two ways this can move forward.  UDFA invites are the preferred role.  Most mini-camp invites will last about a week and you don't even "release" those guys if they don't make it.  Having said that, a chance is a chance.

On the UDFA front, I suspect Hustle Belt is your source for info on this still developing topic.  A few interesting tidbits:

Franko House, a Falcon killer as a basketball player at BSU, will get a TE tryout with the Bears.
Cooper Rush will UDFA with the Cowboys.
Zach Terrell will get a shot with the Ravens.

If we hear any more about BG players Sunday, I'll put an additional post up.

Matt Johnson Signs with Tiger-Cats


Good news for All-Time Falcon Great Matt Johnson, who has signed with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.  I think there's a good chance his abilities are a good match for the CFL style of play.  Beyond that, Hamilton is very much a blue-collar town, and if Matt gets to playing, I think they will love his grit and competitiveness.  Good luck to Matt, a two-time champion and a MAC Player of the Year.  We're rooting for you!

Their cheer is:

Oskee Wee Wee
Whiskey Wa Wa
Holy Mackinaw
Tigers....Eat 'em RAW

Get used to it.  Learn it.  It is the Ay Ziggy Zoomba of Canada.  And don't ask how I know this.

Not to go #maction on you, but Hamilton has experience with MAC QBs.  Rocket Great Chuck Ealey was their QB after he left UT.  He led the Ti-Cats to the Grey Cup and was the Most Oustanding Player in the Grey Cup, passing for 291 yards on 29 attempts.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Falcons Have First '18 FB Verbal



So, the recruiting season is upon us.  The Falcons are back to work with an early commit for the '18 class.  This one continues in the '17 class tradition of being a 3-star player.

His name is Patrick Lupro of Belleville, MI, which is up in the Ann Arbor and Ypsi area.  He's 5'8 and 184 and apparently projects to be a corner, though he also played RB in HS. 

24/7 ranks him as the #20 player in Michigan and the #72 CB in the nation.  He had offers from Syracuse (yup), Toledo, (yup), UC, Buffalo and EMU.  Beyond that, if you google him you see him excelling at a bunch of camps and being on the lists for MSU.  He's not terribly tall, but maybe that's what you need to guard the slot WR and he claims to have a big vert.  He also was in track and field.

Welcome to the Falcons, Patrick.