Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Development Machine Whirrs On

Bill Frack of Findlay, a longtime supporter of Falcon basketball, has donated a staggering $2M to the University for the Stroh Center, the new basketball facility for the Falcon hoops team. In return--and appropriately--the court will be known as Bill Frack Court. According to this in the Blade, he has a pretty good recall for basketball games that occurred 60 years ago, so I'd say he's a pretty good fan.

In the Blade Photo above, Mr. Frack appears to be providing Daryl Clements with fatherly advice.

Thank you, Mr. Frack, for your support of the program.

Monday, April 28, 2008


Kory Lichtensteiger was drafted in the fourth round by the Denver Broncos on Sunday. Congratulations to him. I'm just thrilled. Denver has a tradition of outstanding offensive linemen, and I think Kory has as good a chance to develop there as he would anywhere. He was the third center and the 109th pick overall. After a couple years of watching Falcon players fall lower than we hoped, it was great to be surprised to see him pop up in the fourth.

Here are some links:

First, the official Denver Broncos write up.

One of the most fundamentally sound trap blockers in college football

Ryan at The Blade has a report on how Kory and the UT draftees spent their draft day. Hint: Kory played corn hole and did not watch on TV. Kory also shared some insight on the Broncos...

"Their offensive line play pretty much matches up with BG's zone blocking scheme and cut blocking," Lichtensteiger said. "I was a little nervous about adjusting to the NFL if the team discouraged [cut blocking]."

Finally, the official BGSU release, which reminds us that being a fourth rounder is significant for our program.

Lichtensteiger is also the highest BGSU draft pick since Charlie Williams was taken by Dallas in the third round of the 1994 draft.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Draft to date

Part way through round 3, so far Jason Jones of EMU and Rocket John Greco have been drafted from the MAC......

Friday, April 25, 2008

NFL Draft Upcoming

The buzz, by and large, is pretty good on Kory Lichtensteiger, our all-everything center from the past four years. I think he's probably an early pick on Day 2. Lots of good buzz in the draft sites, and there seems to be an idea he will be a starter in the NFL, which is very exciting. Best wishes to Kory in the draft. He certainly is among the best players we have had in my time watching Falcon football.

Update: MAC Report Online has some good stuff on potential MAC draftees tomorrow and Sunday. Says Kory could start by his second year in the league.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Potential Fourth Bowl

Time was when the MAC had to fight to be in one bowl. Now, we're locked into three, and apparently, talks are on for what could easily be a fourth. MAC Report online says that the Congressional Bowl has a contingent MAC tie in. The idea is that the ACC will play a bowl-eligible service academy--a real service academy, not Air Force--with the ACC's 9th Bowl Eligible team. The ACC has never had that many bowl eligible teams, which mean the MAC is the back-up, if we have a fourth bowl eligible team.

Here is what Commissioner Chryst said about our bowl situation....

According to Chryst, the MAC's currently in-place bowl alliances remain on solid ground, including the conference's spot in the GMAC Bowl. "We have a very good relationship with the GMAC Bowl and have had a lot of success there," said Chryst. "We just need to re-engage our competitiveness from the last couple of years." The MAC is 5-2 against Conference USA in the Mobile, AL based bowl but has lost the last two games, including a 63-7 loss by Bowling Green to Tulsa in the most recent edition of the game, after winning the first five in the series.

"The International Bowl continues to grow and we couldn't be happier with the progress they have made in bringing NCAA and MAC football to Canada in only two short years," added Chryst when discussing the MAC's relationship with the only bowl game north of the border.

You know I was thrilled when we got a second tie-in, and a third is cool, too. I just wish that wouldn't have meant sending a 6-6 OU Bobcat team out into post-season play last season. Let's remember that our bowl games has gone up in part because there are simply more games than before.

I guess I wonder why college football needs three more bowl games. There must be some kind of finances behind this--I think ESPN sponsors them as essentially made for TV movies. It gets to be a little much--even for a college football nut like me. On the other hand, I love bowl season. Its always interesting, especially when you are in a bowl pool.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Second Hand Spring Game Report

OK, as I mentioned, I couldn't make the spring game due to youth baseball commitments, but Ryan of The Blade did, and he blogged about it.

I can predict a few reactions from the Falcon Nation:

  • Oh my god, the world has ended.
  • What is Brandon doing?
  • He must be fired now.

Just kidding. The problem with these scrimmages is if the defense dominates, than you wonder, did the offense suck, or did the defense really play well. And its especially true when the final score is 7-3.

We have identified since the beginning that the biggest challenge for this year's team is the offensive line. Here is what Ryan says:

For starters, the line is not blocking well. Anyone who thinks you can replace Lichtensteiger, Nystrom and Huelsman without any problems is delusional. It’s going to take some time, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a couple of the “New Blocks” find their way onto the two-deep in the fall.

Delusional. One of my favorite words. Coach went on to say that the squad was split, and that hurt the cohesiveness he has tried to build. Either way, Diryal Briggs and Micheal Ream ate our O-line for lunch Saturday.

The line got all kinds of pressure on the quarterback, the linebackers didn’t miss many tackles, and the secondary didn’t give the receivers much room to operate. Diyral Briggs (five sacks) and Michael Ream (three sacks) were outstanding.

By the way, I'm OK with that. I believe we will move the ball, but the defense simply must perform for us to win the MAC.

Oh and Vrvilo missed two field goals. Cue the hand wringing.

If you look at the numbers here, Sheehan (who QB'd both teams) had a decent day, and he's coming off a serious injury, so that's not too bad. We did not run too effectively, but I also believe that will happen, so long as the line comes around.

So, now they pack the stuff away, and we'll see them next in August. Let's hope we have our line ready to go when the MAC season kicks off.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Intersesting fact on sports

Ok, there's an ongoing discussion in the Falcon Nation. The discussion is about whether a University of our size can support I-A football, men's basketball and ice hockey and be competitive in all 3, and whether by trying, we give up the chance to be competitive in any. Add in our putrid performance recently in the MAC all-sport standings, and you can add to the case.

If you think the answer to those questions is yes (and I'm not saying I do), then you start talking about dropping hockey. We should be able to be like the MVC and have hoops be the main sport, but we're simply not dropping football or going to I-AA. And you're not dropping basketball.

Just to illustrate, I found a list of teams that have I-A football and ice hockey.

What do we see? Two service academies, where budgets and the whole concept of athletic competition are completely different. And eight BCS schools, where money is far more plentiful.

And three teams are left. Miami, WMU and BG. Miami has a much richer athletic program and alumni base, so they might be able to pull it off. Really, BG and WMU are the only two non-BCS teams trying to do all three sports at once.

And that should give us pause. Doesn't mean we can't do it. But, it makes it a lot harder, and we should probably keep that in mind when things don't happen as fast as we hope.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Ryan on BG and musical chairs

Ryan has some updates on the Falcons, and the peg to the story is the "musical chairs" we seem to play every spring. This drives some Falcon fans to absolute distraction. I think they look at the depth chart and they see certain things lining up, and then they don't work out and people get moved and it looks unsettled. Plus, it looks like we have holes in our recruiting, especially at LB.

Just to say this. We have had some success with this approach. We have moved guys from position to position effectively. Not every time, but we have had some success with it. So, I'm inclined to watch for the results. I thought moving O'Drob to DT was crazy, but it seems like he did OK.

There's another issue, and that's size. We're moving Jacob Hardwick, a good DE, inside to DT, where he is certainly undersized by most standards. Here's what Ryan wrote about the state of the O-line:

Yesterday's practice was Hardwick's' third at defensive tackle where he moved in a couple feet from the end. Hardwick, a junior, is paired on the inside with Michael Ream, who began the spring on the second-team. Angelo Magnone has replaced Hardwick at end, meaning Diyral Briggs is the lone starting defensive lineman whose role hasn't changed in some capacity over the last month.

And on the key question of size, Coach Brandon says this:

"People will say we're small and undersized, but for our league we're not - and that's who we have to beat," Brandon said. "Early on [in non conference] people are going to look at us and say, whoa, we don't match up. And we probably don't. But for one afternoon we'll be fired up and ready to play."

I agree 100%. This is a year where we should win the MAC. No doubt. We are as good as anyone in our conference, and it has been too long since we won a MAC title. Let's make this the year. So, I could care less about Minnesota, Pitt, Wyoming and Boise. Let's beat Toledo and NIU and Miami and OU and the other MAC teams on our slate, and go to Ford Field and bring home the MAC Championship.

Finally, the article notes that Willie Geter has passed Anthony Turner on the depth chart. There have been smoke signals coming out on this throughout spring practice, and Geter is a really talented player, so I'm not surprised. Turner really bailed us out last year when we were having trouble moving the ball, but it sounded like he was having a bad spring.

A couple thoughts. Geter is little, and I worry about his durability. Depth is really important at the position, which we have. And, I hope we don't forget the slash-like threat we get with Turner in the game...even if he has to step into the slot once in a while. Just seems to me like when we line up with him in the slot, then he drops into the backfield before the snap, we're giving the defense a lot to contend with.

Spring game is tomorrow. Sadly, I won't be there due to youth baseball conflicts, but I'll be watching the reports carefully and chronicle them here.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Brandon Ranked #11 Mid Major Coach and given sense of destiny

The Sporting News says Gregg Brandon is the #11 mid-major coach and the top in the MAC--ahead of Got Frank! And, the articles says he is "destined" to be a BCS Coach.

And I hope he is. Because that means, probably, we have won a championship or two.

Local University Fan Gets All Medieval on Dan Dakich

Here, in the Blog, "Hey look a Monkey," J Dog, a BGSU fan, is driven to distraction by these two words: "Dan Dakich."

After all the problems we decided to hit the town, we caught up with a couple of radio guys and had a good time. While sitting there I hear one of the radio guys mention he sees Dan Dakich. Poor radio guy, he did not know I'm an angry Bowling Green fan that is willing to make a fool out of himself. I taunted Dakich with everything but the kitchen sink; you suck, how many players left you, you destroyed our program, good job at Indiana, I think I even started screaming Ay Ziggy Zoomba.

Things apparently ended without arrest from there. I have two things for J Dog....

First, thanks for being a Falcon fan. The nation needs more people who will stand up and scream Ay Ziggy Zoomba, for heaven's sake. Personally, I'd let the past be the past....I mean, would you react that way to Gary Blackney? And you know, harassing a guy in public--even one who disappointed us, at least with the results--that's not cool.

Second, we so totally agree on this: Monkeys are Funny.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Sad News in the Falcon Nation

...Keith McLeod arrested.....let's hope this works out for the best.

Update (found on AZZ.COM). Here, Keith says all the right things...

Keith D. McLeod issued this written statement through his attorney, Bradley Iams, after appearing in court this morning:

"On April 13, 2008, as a result of engaging in clearly inappropriate behavior, I was arrested by the Stark County Sheriff's Department. I am deeply sorry and embarrassed by my conduct. It is my intention to take responsibility for my actions and to take steps to ensure that I never find myself in this position again.

"While I wish to apologize to my family, friends and teammates for the pain and concern this incident may have caused them, I am most concerned with any potential impact that these events may have on the young people of this community who have looked up to me as a role model. Although I realize that I can't change what happened, I pledge to do my utmost to use this experience in my efforts to help others, particularly those young people, in making better decisions."

Monday, April 14, 2008

Basketball Statistical Review

OK, we're ready to do the basketball statistical, let's do what they call in the business a "teaser."

Without looking.....

  1. How many major team categories did BGSU finish LAST in?
  2. What was Bowling Green's top statistical category?
  3. What was our top ranked player in an individual category?
  4. Who had a higher PPG scoring average? Bowling Green or Toledo?
We'll have answers for you in a couple days.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Ryan Blogs Spring Practice

Ryan Autullo has the news of what has been a tough spring out at the Doyt.

Here are some highlights:

Corey Partridge is injured again...out for the Spring. Corey just gets bad break after bad break.

We noted earlier that Glen Stanley has been kicked off the program for academic reasons. Now QB/LB super-recruit Nate Brown is out for the spring, also for academic reasons. Note to Falcons fans: when we get one of these recruits that it seems like we shouldn't have gotten...maybe we might wonder if this why others shied away. Remember the legendary Virgil Robinson?

The offense from the scrimmage sounds like the same offense that showed up for the GMAC Bowl.

The defense sounds like it looks good...but who call tell. All I know is this....we have the talent to win the MAC, and everything that doesn't seem like it went right makes me worry, worry, worry.

Six days to the spring game.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Darkness brings out the best in Falcons

So, the Falcons had a nighttime scrimmage Friday, which apparently got the guys all jacked up, based on this story from Jack Carle in the Sentinel Tribune.

The biggest story here, in my opinion, is the emergence of Eugene Fells at LB. He has dealt with some injury issues (including a car accident), but is getting after it. It can't be stated how important this is to us. He was second team all-state at Falcon recruiting hotbed Palatka, FL, and was a tackling machine in HS. We need him and John Haneline to be healthy and productive, because we are thin at LB.

Tyler Sheehan seems to be bouncing back from the injury he received in the GMAC Bowl.

Spring game in 13 days.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

What can we tell about MAC basketball from Jim Christian?

Once upon a time, a job in the MAC was considered a stepping stone to a job in a major conference.

Jim Christian, who never won less than 20 games at Kent, is going to TCU in the Mountain West Conference.

Combine those two things, and what do you get? Apparently, the MAC is now TWO steps from a big time job. In fact, it doesn't even get you a job in the Missouri Valley Conference anymore. TCU is a bigger school and I'm sure Christian is making a lot more money. But, its not a basketball school (at all) or, really, a basketball state.

It just seems like 20 wins in the MAC every freaking season doesn't get you what it used to, here in one-bid land. MAC basketball has declined in the past ten years--a lot. The teams that have passed us are not supporting football, too.....which is also in decline in the MAC.

I love football. But, you have to wonder if our conference is stretching its resources too thin with I-A football and Basketball. And, is trying to do it all the silent killer to our programs on a national scale?

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Sentinel Spring Football Article

Jack Carle of the Sentinel has a spring football article which contains some quality nuggets of information.

Most of it concerns linebacker. This has been a trouble spot for sometime, and the depth is especially weak. John Haneline is still not back, so this spring we are really short on bodies.

The article contains the disappointing news that Glen Stanley is no longer with the team. He was showing himself to be a real playmaker during his true freshmen season, but apparently could not swing the academic side of college football. I guess that's an idea of how we get an all-Florida player like him.

To compensate, we are following our normal trend of moving safeties in to LB. With the emergence of PJ Mahone last year, Jarrett Sanderson is moving into LB to get them both on the field. Also, Calvin Marshall, another reserve safety, will play OLB too. Here's what Jack wrote.

Of last season’s starting outside linebackers, Loren Hargrove has completed his eligibility, John Haneline continues to recover from a knee injury, and Glen Stanley is no longer with the team because of academic difficulties. Aaron Davis, who started in Stanley’s spot in the GMAC Bowl, has moved to inside linebacker along with Erique Dozier, who led the team with 112 tackles last season. Cody Basler, who also started in the bowl game, has experience, both inside and outside.

Moving d-backs in leaves us with what amounts to a small linebacking corps. Hopefully, small but quick, but reliant on the D-line to swallow up some blocks so they can move freely. This has been our style, but our defense has not always been great, especially against the run. This is a year we should challenge for a title, and it would be a shame if we didn't have enough bodies on defense to make a run. If Haneline can stay healthy, that would make a major difference.

The team is also emphasizing the need to replace three O-lineman, and the article notes that there is still a lot of shifting and uncertainty there as the coaches look for the right combination. This is also a priority for challenging for a title.

Final good news....Diryal Briggs is back with the team, after he was suspended for the GMAC Bowl.

Spring game in 18 days--no April Fool joke there.