Sunday, December 30, 2007

News from Camp Falcon

Some good, some bad, from The Blade.

On the good side, Corey Partridge is going to be back. He can't catch the ball, but we're going to play him in the d-backfield! Nice. He will play safety as we deploy nickel and dime sets to attempt to combat Tulsa's attack. He played the position in high school, and I think will answer the call.

Let me be clear about this: Corey Partridge is a Falcon warrior! An absolute warrior!

Meanwhile, All-MAC D-end Diryal Briggs will not play due to violating team rules. Lineman Shane Steffy broke his leg, he's out, too. A couple of other guys are apparently academically ineligible.

More previews coming.

Golden Hurricanes--Is it the stupidest nickname in IA Football? Get Real!!

Might be. Ranks right up there with the LA Lakers. Hurricanes in Tulsa? GET REAL!

Of course, there's a story......I would think in Oklahoma, they should have stuck with the Golden Tornadoes.

It is better than:

  • Kendallites
(Tulsa was originally Henry Kendall College. And who was Henry Kendall? He was the first general secretary of the Home Missions Board of the Presbyterian Church. You probably already knew that but I had to look it up.)
  • Presbyterians
  • Orange and Black

Who are some famous Golden Hurricanes??

  • Mary Kay Place...NICE!
  • Steve Largent....right wing kook
  • Sen Jim Inhofe....right wing kook
  • Rue McClanahan....just a kook
  • Nancy Lopez (Married Ray Knight, who is a kook)

And, I swear to God, the most famous Golden Hurricane....

Get Real! Go Falcons.

The only worst thing would have been to lose

The Falcons hoops teams gutted out a victory yesterday at Anderson Arena, and it was a win the team needed. But it wasn't pretty. We're not picky right now, after four straight losses. We'll take the win.

It was a small crowd of about 1,000, and we were playing one of D1's worst teams---a team with no D1 wins this year (or even NCAA wins), and we held on to win. We shot lousy (29%), we missed a ton of free throws (15), let EIU get it to within one possession.

But, as Coach Orr said in the post game, we contested the three that could have tied it, and gutted out the win. As Coach said, "There's nothing like a win."

Nate had 17 points and 14 boards, and Joe Jakubowski had 10 boards (??). EIU shot 29% too, so there were lots of rebounds available!

Moten got the start in place of Chris Knight, who continues his freshmen blues. Most of the other plays continued to struggle.

Well, Duquesne is next, at AA on Wednesday, and then we start the conference schedule.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

We are back

Back in the saddle again. Hope everyone had a Falcon great holiday. Hoops today.....we're playing Eastern Illinois, one of the ten worst teams in D1 hoops, according to Sagarin. They have no D1 wins this year. I hope we can pull up a win--the team needs it.

Feeling badly for Central Michigan, as reports are they will lose another football coach as Butch Jones is said to be bolting for WVU. Certainly, you can't blame him for it.....still, it has to be frustrating. The two-time MAC champs certainly have put some talent into the coaching seat.

I thought the Chips did a fine job representing the conference at the Motor City Bowl. Its a shame a couple things didn't bounce differently, but they rallied back into the game.

More bowl preview stuff is on its way for the Falcons.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas to the Falcon Nation

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone in the Falcon Nation. We'll be back on the 29th or so after some holiday travels to begin to ramp up our bowl game hype. Enjoy.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Falcons Lose to Sycamores

The Falcons journey of renewal and self-discovery went on in Terre Haute yesterday, where we lost to Indiana State 62-57.

The game flow went more of less like this. We played poorly in the first half, making 10 turnovers and trailing by 7 at the break. ISU came out hot in the second half and stretched the lead, and was up 11 with 4:36 left.

The Falcons showed some guts and character and stayed with it. We scored the next eight points, and had it to 3 with 3:04 left. ISU had the ball, we fouled, and they hit a couple free throws and the game was never back within one possession again.

A few points:

  • 17 turnovers was too many to win on this day.
  • We were 3-9 from the line. Tough to win like that.
  • We committed 22 fouls. They committed 14. Tough to win like that.
  • We have improved on the boards. We outrebounded them.
  • We also held them to 43% shooting, which isn't too bad.
  • Coach praised Otis Polk for his energy. He had 7 boards, 2 blocks and 5 points in 25 minutes. He was 1-6 from the line....ugh.
  • We featured a balanced attack, with four players in double figures.
  • Daryl Clements appears to be coming into his own.

The Falcons hit the holiday break, and it is probably a relief to them. This was always going to be tough, but with Marschall out and Hamblet gone, a team that didn't lose much to graduation now finds itself without three of last year's top four scorers and major minute contributors.

Hang with 'em. Eastern Illinois is in town on the 29th.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Falcon Recruits

Every Falcon fan is aware of the Five Blocks of Granite, who are playing their final game in Mobile. I noted earlier that not only were they great players, but also All-MAC academic. Ryan in the Blade has a story on the next generation of players coming up the pipeline. Very exciting news. Our line has been consistently strong for years, and these guys look to be able to continue the tradition.

Following the bowl game, we will begin to track recruiting with a slightly more obsessive flair. We are looking at a small class, anyway.

Read this....cue double fist pump.

Walker, a massive 6-foot-5, 315-pound left tackle, will be joined at BG by high school teammate Chip Robinson, who is even more massive at 6-7, 340. Walker and Robinson chose BG over Illinois, which is significant because the Illini will represent the Big Ten in the Rose Bowl next month and because Illinois coach Ron Zook is considered one of the nation's top recruiters.
"I felt I had a better chance of starting [at BG], and it was closer to home, so my parents could see a lot of my games," said Walker, who also had offers from West Virginia and Michigan State. "Plus, it's just a great school."

Friday, December 21, 2007

Blade Reports Hamblet Dismissed from Program

Ryan at The Blade has this disappointing news to report:

Ryan Hamblet is academically ineligible and has been dismissed from the BG men’s basketball team.

His analysis follows, which you can see on the link, including that he was our only senior, one of our better scorers, and we are now down to nine scholarship players. It is indeed looking like a rough year for the hoopsters.

One minor quibble on Ryan's analysis of Hamblet as not a "punk." I don't like to sum people up in one word, but there had been some problems, such as this post I blogged on New Year's Day, 2007, when Coach Dakich suspended Hamblet for throwing a punch against Wisconsin Green Bay, which Dakich saw on film.

Hamblet was a JUCO player, and represented an attempt to get a quick fix into our program to fill in gaps left by highly unproductive recruiting as detailed below. JUCO players are always tough. Other MAC teams have used them effectively, and we did get Martin Samarco through that route, but if they aren't the right guys, they can just be the last gasp of a program that is sucking wind.

Ryan's blog does have some good recruiting news, which we report below:

I spoke today with Gary Teasley, the coach of BG recruit Austin Calhoun. Teasley said Austin is beginning to understand his strengths, while adding that Austin can be “unstoppable” and that “everyone knows BG got a diamond in the rough.” In a recent win over a rival opponent, Austin scored 21 points and grabbed 22 rebounds (perhaps those numbers should be flip-flopped; I can’t recall with certainty). A few weeks ago Calhoun’s team squared off against Country Day, led by future Falcon Dee Brown. Brown hit a game-winning 3-pointer as time expired. Teasley said when Brown brought the ball up the court he just knew Brown wasn’t going to pass the ball. Brown seemed so focused, so determined, according to Teasley.

More for archival purposes, here is the sad tale of the recruiting scoreboard, just to remind us how we got to where we are today.

Falcon Hoops Recruiting Scorecard, Updated December, 2007

Stephen Wright--Productive player, left prior to his senior season.
Ron Lewis--Two productive seasons, no junior year. Prominent Big 10 player.
Raheem Moss--26 games, two starts, 66 career points, left program. Contributing at Cleveland State.

Chris Hobson, 28 games, 51 points, left program.
Austin Montgomery 56 games, 189 points, transfered.
Reggie Harwell--Nada.
Matt Lefeld--A contributing senior and a true warrior. Academic All-American
Isaac Rosefelt--24 minutes, two points. Left Program for stellar DIII career.
John Floyd--Played 59 games averaging 8.4 ppg. 247 career assists. Left program.


Scott Vandermeer, 60 points and 40 fouls. Transfered.
Moon Robinson, Left program after sophomore season. Transferred.
Mawel Soler, completed eligibility. Effective player, even good in spots.


Jeremy Holland--left program after one practice
Nick Wilson--left program without playing a game.
Lionel Sullivan--Sayonara. 30 minutes, 6 points.
Dusan--Minor contributions. Left program prior to Junior Season.
Erik Marschall--appears to be legit.
Daryl Clements--Inconsistent, but appears ready to be a role player at worst.
Brian Moten--high credentials, came on strong at end of sophomore season.
Martin Samarco--2nd team All-MAC, legit D1 player. Finished career.


Ryne Hamblett--Contributing player, left program during senior year.
Brandon Bland--Left the program.
Marc Larson--Getting some minutes.
Otis Polk--huge man, huge upside.
Ryan Sims--has big potential, is contributing, though he fell off the radar.
Nate Miller--All-MAC honorable mention. Great get for the program.

07-08 (Too soon to tell)
Chris Knight
Joe Jakubowski
Cameron Madlock

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The sight that makes my blood rush

A cold winter's day. A brisk, bracing walk from the car.....then you turn the corner. Warmth races from inside the arena, and you catch a quick glimpse onto the floor, and you can see the players warming up and you can feel the claustrophobia and sense the electricity of the crowd. You open the door, and you hear the band, and a wall of noise blasts into you....the place is literally shaking. You feel the adrenaline rise, the intensity, the passion. Your blood begins to race, and you're ready to scream "De-FENSE" when the team needs a stop.

That's how it makes me feel.

(Photo Courtesy of Grant, AZZ Webmaster.)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Football Bowl Game Press Conference

The Falcons held a media day on the GMAC Bowl, and there's a couple of reports.

Jack Carle of the Sentinel has this account. Good stuff on what it means to be in a bowl game and what the practice regimen is like given the late bowl game (second to last on the schedule), which you can see clicking here.

For those interested in the nitty gritty for handicapping the game, here's the injury report:

INJURIES: Brandon said linebacker John Haneline (foot) and safety Jerett Sanderson (deep thigh bruise) would not be available for the game.
Freshman Glen Stanley has played well in Haneline’s spot and P.J. Mahone has made the most of his opportunity to play full-time at safety. Stanley has 44 tackles and Mahone has seven interceptions and 80 tackles.
Wide receiver Corey Partridge (broken thumb) could be ready to play.

The fact that we still moved the ball with Partridge out, and the emergence of Glen Stanley and Mahone give me considerable confidence for us next season.

Meanwhile, Ryan at the Blade blogs the same event in advance of his story that ran today.

The blog provides a lighthearded look at Tyler Sheehan's facial hair, Kory Lichstensteiger's tardiness, the Freddie Barnes outlook on life, and Sean O'Drobinak, class clown.

Here's the actual story.
Note that the extension probably won't be done until after the game.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Hoops Skid Continues, Updated

The hoops team continued to slide, losing to what might be a decent Illinois State team at AA, 69-58. The combined poor record of our team, and the poor weather brought us the lowest attendance I can remember--659. Ouch. On the radio, sounded like a high school game.

We fell 13 points behind at halftime due to shooting 30%, and then couldn't get over the top. We rallied nicely in the second half, tying the game 8 minutes into the half. But, from there ISU slowly pulled away into the double digit victory.

Darryl Clements had a great night with 18 points and Chris Knight had 14. We even won the battle of the boards.

On the other hand, we had 20 fouls and they had 10, we made 16 turnovers and they made 10, we got little production out of Miller and Larson on the inside, and Otis played 22 minutes with 4 points, 2 boards and 3 fouls.

We shot really poorly in the first half (30.8% and 11.1% from 3), and pretty much put ourselves in a hole we couldn't dig out of.

We're 4-5 now, and given that we started out 2-1, we've gone 2-4 since that opening weekend.

I don't think there are any mysteries here. We were a bad team last year, and we have essentially the same talent back this year. We are learning a new system. This wasn't going to get fixed quickly.

Things got a little tougher when our only senior did not play--Ryne Hamblet is suspended indefinitely for violating team rules.

We have troubles scoring, and still commit a lot of fouls on defense. I have confidence Coach Orr is going to turn this around, but we have to be patient. Right now, the results are a repeat of last year. Let's hope there is progress beneath the surface.

Updated: Ryan's blog at The Blade echoes these thoughts. Note his pessimism on the quick return of Hamblet.

It looks like BG will be without Ryne Hamblet for what could be a long time. Orr suspended BG’s only senior for violating a team rule. I hate to speculate, so I won’t. But it doesn’t look good. “It’s something that’s going to take some time to see how things work out,” Orr said. “It’s unfortunate, but we’re trying to lay the foundation and we need everybody on the same page.”

Winter Storm Hits

The area has been socked by a winter storm. I'll be listening on the radio (sigh).

Be careful if you are heading to the game.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Do it in the name of O-H-I-O

So, you're a Buckeye fan in New Orleans for the BCS Title game. Your choices are to spend some time in the French Quarter drinking copious amounts of alcohol, trading beads for a look at the boobies, and visiting the nation's most legendary strip clubs.

BGSU would like to respectfully submit that you might enjoy a little trip down the road to Mobile, AL on Sunday night, to watch BGSU and Tulsa play.

I mean hey, you're a college football fan, right, or you wouldn't be there. And this is a bowl game, and its right near by....makes perfect sense.

If not for the boobies.

I'm not making this up....BG has formally appealed to Buckeye fans to forego the debauchery of the French Quarter and watch two unranked teams play in Alabama....

Here's why:

It seems Bowling Green is struggling to sell its allotted 7,500 tickets. Three years ago, the school sold only 1,300, meaning it had to pay the GMAC folks nearly $280,000 for unsold tickets ($45 a pop).

This is alarming to me, and demonstrates, again, what a cesspool of cash-infused pay-to-play nastiness the bowl system is. And in case anyone wonders (though it has been said many times), there are benefits to playing in minor bowls, cash ain't one of them.

But the idea of us paying back $280,000K because we could only get 1,300 people to travel to the bottom of the country a few days before Christmas is a joke. But it is what it is.

Don't count on too many of the Scarlet and Grey faithful to make the trip. They are college football snobs of the first order. It pains me we even had to ask.

Update: Just a quick note, some posters have come onto to say they are going to do just this, and to them we say thanks. Pardon my skepticism.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A couple Hoops notes from Ryan at the Blade

Two things.

First, Ryan had a great talk on his blog with John Floyd, who has graduated and is out in the working world. He talks about playing for Coach Dakich, and in what I found to be a realistic way but not a bitter way. He seems to be talking honestly, not settling scores. He talks about the 6AM had to be a tough way to go.

As far as X’s and O’s I think coach is one of the most intelligent people I’ve been around, but there’s not too many guys who can take his motivational tactics day in and day out.

Today in the newspaper, Ryan has a really nice profile of LaMonta Stone, our assistant coach who stayed over when Coach Dakich left. He was a very successful HS coach in Michigan, and those contacts come in handy. In addition, he appears to be a good teacher, too. Here's a nice profile of a man most Falcon fans were thrilled to see stay with the program.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Three Falcon Lineman All-Academic

As you can see from this blog, fans expect the team to win. What sets us apart, I think, is that we don't want to win at all costs. We expect us to win AND graduate players at an acceptable rate, and to have our athletes perform well in the classroom.

Five years ago, we brought in five freshmen lineman, called the Blocks of Granite. One left due to a health problem, and three of them went on to be starters and anchors of what was an outstanding offensive line. Yesterday, three of them received another honor--Academic All-Conference.

Whatever you want to say about the stereotypes of O-lineman, these guys have done great, and have earned the everlasting admiration of the Falcon Nation. Great players and great students, with great futures ahead of them.

Kevin Huelsman, Kory Lichtensteiger and Drew Nystrom----we salute you.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Nice post on Anderson Arena

Papa Cass, a BG Alum who blogs from Cleveland, has a nice post on the end of an era at Anderson Arena. Must read for the Falcon Nation.

Anderson Arena has been Northwest Ohio's answer to Boston Garden, Chicago Stadium and any other old, dark house of the masses that has since been consigned to history in favor of the bigger and, supposedly, the better. It is small, cramped and musty in places. Layers of flaking paint have turned some of the handrails and bleachers into a mosaic of orange, black, and in places, green.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Friday, December 07, 2007

Falcons lose at Northern Colorado

We went out to Northern Colorado and got the L last night. I was out of town and didn't even hear the game, so I'm just going to link to the Blade story.

We made 24 turnovers. Ouch.

We now have a break for finals before we play Illinois State at home next Sunday.

New Blog on Blade

We had lots of fun when Maureen was Moblogging, and now the Blade's Ryan Autullo is on board with his new blog.

In which he demurs when thinking about rating the food at this establishment, lest he end up in this one.

And, has a nice little piece on the BG-UND women's hoops game.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Falcons Year-end Honors

At the football banquet, the Falcons gave out their year-end awards. Candidly, I don't know what some of these mean, but I commented on a couple as well.

President's Award - Kevin Huelsman
Captain's Award - Loren Hargrove, Antonio Smith, Kory Lichtensteiger, Corey Partridge, Sean O'Drobinak

Coaches' Award - Pete Winovich

Winovich clearly deserves this award. A highly touted Fr. from PA who was a QB and LB, he came to BG and gave up a year for a few plays on special teams, then bounced around from LB to TE to FB. He contributed to this year's team nearly anonymously, blocking for running plays and protecting the QB, and making a few plays, like the fake FG against UT. He was a selfless player who put team before self.

Carlos Jackson Award - Loren Hargrove

Doyt Perry Award - VAN & TRACY WRIGHT

Glenn Sharp Award - CAL BOWERS

Ken Schoeni Award - Pat Watson

Orange Helmet Award - Sean O'Drobinak

Another player who put team over self, O-Drob switched positions before his senior season from TE to DT, played hurt most of the season, and for it all was promoted to captain during the season. A true Falcon.

Future Award - Willie Geter / Sinisa Vrvilo

Willie Geter is going to be a great player. He is tough, and fast. Garrett Wolfe-like. If he can stay healthy, he will rack on yards on top of yards.

Vrvilo stepped in and had one of the best seasons a kicker at BG has ever had.

Top Defensive Lineman - Diyral Briggs

Top Linebacker - Erique Dozier

Top Defensive Back - P. J. MAHONE

Top Offensive Lineman - Drew Nystrom

Top Receiver - Freddie Barnes

Top Offensive Back - Tyler Sheehan

Special Teams - Antonio Smith

Of the players above, only one is a senior. Just sayin'.

MVP - Kory Lichtensteiger

Well-deserved, and glad to see the linemen get the credit for being the best player on our team. A great career, Kory. See you on Sunday.

Aaron Richardson - Garth Hartung

Top Victory Club Performers - John Haneline, Sean O'Drobinak, Kory Lichtensteiger, Pete Winovich

Scout Team Players of the Year
DEFENSE - Gary Wright

Top Student-Athlete - Shane Steffy

FInal Regular Season Blogpoll

Damn Bucks climb to the summit, again.....

1Ohio State
5Southern Cal
8West Virginia
9Virginia Tech
10Arizona State
12Boston College
23Texas Tech
24Brigham Young

Sunday, December 02, 2007

First on Falcons and the Hurricanes

Apparently, some Tulsa fans on the Internets view GMAC as a comedown, BG as an inferior opponent, the MAC as beneath them.

You can see for yourself here.

When I stop laughing.

No conference suffers from delusions of granduer more than Conference USA, a collection of half-assed, redneck wannabes talking in single syllables.

Don't get me wrong. I love college football, and I love mid-major college sports. Its about being an athlete and competing, and its as wonderful and sacred in the NAIA, DIII, DII, or the MAC.

Its not right when people from the Big Ten or SEC think their brand of intercollegiate competition is superior.

When C-USA does it, its laughable.

According to this season's Sagarin rankings, they are the 13th ranked conference in college football.

That's behind the Sun Belt.

And the Colonial Conference. That's I-AA, if you're scoring.

We #80. They're #83.

They have a good team, a good quarterback, and they score points by the bushel, even if they think they're something they aren't.

I look forward to the game.

Quick Note on Mick McCall...

Offensive Coordinator Mick McCall is mentioned as potential OC in Wyoming....

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Falcons Lose to Oakland

We traveled up to north Detroit to play Oakland University, where BG Grad Greg Kampe has been at the helm for the past 24 flipping years. And Oakland, always a well coached team with a lot of transfers and quality players, beat us by 10, 90-80.

For the second straight game, after playing an even first half,, a team came out against us and shot 66.7% in the second half, outscored us by 13, and won the game.

We actually did our best to match them most of the way (we shot 60% in the second half ourselves), and with 6:10 left, we had a 65-64 lead. However, from there until 1:31 was left, we had exactly one basket, and Oakland scored 12, and that was all she wrote.

I'm sure Coach Orr continues to worry about a couple things. First, we continue to have spotty defense against the field goal. And second, my observation is that we continue to really struggle against the zone, although frankly, I expected that to show up in the game numbers more than it did. Finally, we were crushed on the boards, 35-24. Ouch.

We had 18 turnovers and 23 fouls (it seemed like we fouled even more than that). Oakland made 28 FTS and we made 11. Our three point shooting finally came around a little as we went 5-13 from 38.5%

Chris Knight was back to his scoring self, with 23 points, although he isn't in double-double territory anymore (3 boards). Nate Miller continues to be our best player (21/5), and Darryl Clements had his best game of the season with 13 points. Hamblet also had 11 points.

We basically rotated six guys--Knight, Miller, Clements and Hamblet, along with Larson and Jakubowski. Otis played eight minutes in which he committed four fouls.

We are now 4-3, with a game against a very poor N. Colorado team next week, though it is on the road. I'm not terribly surprised. Maybe that opening tourney in Cincy raised our hopes a little, but this team really struggled last year to win games, and this year's team is going to have some time like this.

I like some things I am seeing. We do get some transition hoops. Coach says he wants to play inside out, and I just don't get the sense that we have the inside horses to make that work.


Just saw on ESPN Bottom Line, its GMAC. Ball State to Toronto, CMU to Motor City.

We're playing Tulsa, the nation's highest scoring offensive team. Watched them play some today...more later.

Great just to see it in writing

Congrats to CMU

Two time MAC Champion. Today, they were simply much better than a Miami team that could not move the ball at all. Congrats to them, its impressive.

It was not a great showcase of MAC football. Pretty poorly played game in a conference that is simply not strong this year. This was not a defensive duel---Miami had many opportunities that were spoiled by badly overthrown footballs.

LeFevour won this game more or less on his own.

Now we can on bowl watch. Miami will be watching the games on television. Expect GMAC bowl invite in the next 24 hours.

Other notes:

The Les Miles saga is a clusterf**k. Check here to keep yourself updated.

I'm watching the C-USA final. Both teams look better than the teams in the MAC Championship.

A Couple Quick Updates

I'm watching the MAC Championship Game, and its been pretty disappointing. Miami has missed numerous opportunities in the first half, and CMU has failed to put them away. I think if they get that TD late in the 2nd, its off to the races.

Now, according to a post from a Mobile resident on, the Mobile Press-Register has this to say about the GMAC Bowl:

The Press-Register has learned that Bowling Green, 8-4 and winners of four straight, will likely be the representative from the Mid-American Conference in the Jan. 6 game. The Falcons' opponent is expected to be the loser of today's Conference USA championship game between Central Florida and Tulsa.

FWIW, Central Florida is leading Tulsa (10-7) in what is amounting to a home game for UCF.

Also, you can't look anywhere without seeing the news that Les Miles is headed to UM. Just a quick note to remember that our beloved Falcon, Greg Studrawa is the O-line coach down there. It will be interesting to see if he a) comes to Michigan, b) goes to Nebraska with Bo Pellini or c) stays with the new coach at LSU.

University announces Convocation Center

The Board of Trustees is meeting this weekend, and they announced that a $150 million capital project list involving the entire campus. To sports fans, the key elements are renovations to the Ice Arena and, perhaps most importantly, a new convocation center that will be home to the Falcon hoops team.

From the University release:

The convocation center, a $36 million project, will serve as a venue for men's and women's basketball, volleyball, commencement ceremonies, student concerts and other student-related events. The center, which will be built on the east side of campus near the athletic complex, will be funded by a combination of private donations and bonded debt. Construction is expected to begin in early 2010.

Renovation of the Ice Arena will begin with infrastructure and exterior building improvements during spring semester 2009. Additional funds provided by private gifts will focus on team and fan amenities.

Note: we not talking tomorrow. We'll be playing in Anderson Arena probably until the end of the 2010-2011 season. If construction starts in early 2010, then the arena could be ready for an opening in November 2011.

I have said this before. I love Anderson Arena. Nothing makes me happier than to be there, and when its rocking, there's no better environment in sports, anywhere.

To me, its like Tiger Stadium. For all its fault, you knew the new place wouldn't be as good as the old place. It would have all the amenities, but it wouldn't be the same. And, in my opinion, that was right. And as much as we talk about how we will try to capture the Anderson ambiance in the new place, it won't be the same.

But I understand. Things have to change. People loved taking the train across country--the symbol of a better age. But, the airplane took over. Change is inevitable, and you might as well not wish for it not to happen, and remember what you had.

It will, by the way, be a long good bye.