Saturday, July 31, 2010

Great Falcon Spot!

MadHouse productions did a fantastic job with the new football spot.  Suffice it to say that BG has NEVER had a spot like this to promote any athletic event...it gives me goosebumps.  The voice is Falcon lineback Champ Fells......

Note that they did an especially good job considering that they didn't use any game footage at all....

Friday, July 30, 2010

MAC Media Day....Annual Media Predictions

So, the MAC media has assembled in Ford Field for media day, and the teams have sent players and coaches to the meeting, loaded with cliches and bromides.  Keep in mind:  we just have to stay healthy and get better every week.

So there.

The MAC media does their predictions...last year, I schooled the collective minds of the MAC MSM, but who's counting.

BG was picked to be fourth, which I actually think shows a combination of faith in our coaching and a lack of faith in Miami, Buffalo and Akron.  I've been pointing to our back to back road games against OU and Temple, and as you can see here, those are going to be tough weeks.  Temple is the odds on favorite to win the conference title, and I would expect that is what I will predict as well.

In the West, NIU is picked to win the division, though it appears possible that the two best teams in the MAC might be in the East this year.

Anyway, more is coming from MAC  Media Day, and we'll be tracking it.  You can, of course, watch it live on the Internet.

Team (First Place Votes)   Points
East

1. Temple (17)                        137
2. Ohio (3)                              116
3. Kent State                            94
4. Bowling Green                     74
5. Miami                                   53
6. Buffalo                                  48
7. Akron                                    38
 
West
1. Northern Illinois (15)            115
2. Central Michigan (3)              83
3. Western Michigan (2)             77
4. Toledo                                    75
5. Ball State                                50
6. Eastern Michigan                    20
 
Marathon MAC Championship Game Winner
Temple 11, Northern Illinois 5, Ohio 1 (three voters did not choose a winner for MAC Championship)   

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Falcons Have Their Own Expansion Plan

The Blade has a little preview today of the Falcons heading into the Media Day, which is tomorrow at Ford Field.  Most of it is pretty predictable--losing and replacing key players.

Here was the most interesting paragraph:

Also, what a difference a year has made training in the Falcons system for a pair of sophomores; defensive tackle Jordon Roussos and Schilz. Roussos, who stands 6-foot-4, entered BGSU as a freshman weighing 255 pounds and has bulked up to 294 pounds. Schilz, who arrived at BGSU as an incoming freshman from California weighing 184 pounds, has gained 28 pounds in the past year and is up to 212 pounds.
This is interesting, especially for Roussos and the D-Line.  Our line was designed to be quick and small under previous regimes, and that lead to us getting pushed around a lot by the running game.  It is nice to see us adding some size along the line to help eat up some blocks and protect our linebackers.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Welcome to the Worldwide Leader, Dan Dakich....

A cottage industry here in the Falcon Nation is tracking our former Coaches.  We recently looked at Gregg Brandon landing a plum assignment coach TEs in the UFL.  We even explained what the UFL is.

Now, we have news from Dan Dakich.  For those who need a summary, after the interim deal at IU did not end well, DD did not return to coaching.  He got a job with a radio show in Indy during the afternoon....which was parlayed into work on the Big Ten Network which will be parlayed into time on ESPN doing game and studio work in the next season.

Dan is well suited for this.  I remember one time when Time Warner Cable did a tape delay Falcon football game, Dakich did the color and he was actually pretty good.  He was always plenty verbal, and has an excellent sense of humor.  The article linked above points out that you can get back into coaching from ESPN if you want (Steve Lavin, we're looking at you), but maybe he doesn't want that anymore.

I know that we had to make a change, but I always liked Dan and appreciated his efforts as our coach, and I am happy to see him succeeding in broadcasting.

And he was right about Armon Bassett.  I'm not sure any other interim coach in the US would have done that.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Experience Quantified

Like most people who are serious college football fans, I turn only to Phil Steele for my pre-season reading.  He has most analysis and facts than any other publication, and is the perfect place for the semi-obsessive minutiae wallowing fan to land.


I found some interesting information on experience in this year's publication, page 311, if you happen to have it.  A few of the highpoints:

  • BG is the least experienced team in the MAC and 118th out of 120 in the FBS.  Our experience points (a blended Steele formula), is 37, and OU, the next least experienced team, is 53.7.
  • We are returned on 21.2% of our offensive yards, the lowest amount in FBS.
  • We return only 43% of our tackles, lowest in the conference by 13%.
  • We have only 43 line starts returning.
As Falcon fans, this is the most serious thing facing the team as it enters this year.  It dominated the interview with Coach Clawson that we looked at yesterday, and it will dominate all the pre-season hype.

It does not have to be predictive, of course.  Young teams can surprise.   It helps to see how young we are, though.  Falcon fans, just like any other fans, are not known for patience.  This year, I think we should be ready for anything, and hopeful of a team that surprises us and comes around for the MAC season.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Clawson Talks to Jack Carle, Spills Guts

OK...maybe he didn't really spill his guts.  But the season is approaching...MAC media days are next week and Fall practice starts shortly after that.  You can listen to the interview here, but here is a summary.

  • This is a pivotal transitional year for the program.  The team has a lot of young players who are the future of the program, and the coaches need to get them ready to play.
  • While we are young, we do have our systems in place.  But, we became a young team very quickly.
  • Freshmen will play for this team---both true freshmen and redshirt freshmen.
  • As evidence of the transitional nature, many of the 1s and 2s are not set yet.
  • In some senses, the team is better.  Coach expects us to be quicker and more athletic.  
  • As an example, Nick Torresso moved from the d-line to the o-line, and he has a chance to start there.
  • The only injury right now is Chris Scheidt, (WR) who could miss the season.
  • Calvin Wiley was approved for a year 6 at WR.
  • He didn't know how many redshirts there would be in the current class, but he did not think there would be 20.
  • He cited Chris Jones and Jordan Roussos as players who could have break-out years (both on the D-line.)
  • In particular, he noted the freshmen will have to play at LB, S, and on the O-Line.  On the o-line alone he expects 2-3 freshmen on the two-deep.
  • As for QB, he said that Schilz left Spring ever so slightly ahead of everyone else.  He will take the first snap with the first team when practice starts.
  • As for a timetable, Coach noted that there is no way for 5 players to get reps with the #1 offense.  So, it needs to become a two-man race early in camp.
  • He is not a fan of playing 2 QBs and seems very much to want one guy to emerge as the top guy.  (As a note, Falcon fans can gird themselves for a year of uber-QB controversy.  If there is any struggling at all, people will be screaming for the fan's favorite on any football team...the backup QB.  In particular, because of the Browns ties, watch for Kellen Pagel to be the source of considerable QB controversy.)
  • Finally, he discussed our early schedule, which is very challenging.  His hope is that those games leave us prepared for the conference season in a way that allows us to compete.

So that's the state of the team.  I will be doing a lot more previews as we move forward, but there is every reason to expect a rebuilding year this season.  However, I am optimistic about the direction of our program, and I believe that we are moving in the right direction under the leadership of a Coach who has proven he knows how to build winning programs.

As fans, we may have to be patient this year.  Who knows, perhaps it will exceed expectations.  But we have a hole in our program from other recruiting classes that had a lot of attrition, and this year may be the price we need to pay.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Monday, July 19, 2010

Gregg Brandon Finds a Home

Since the Virginia situation blew up, we have been watching carefully to see where Gregg Brandon might land.  When he left BG, I think he had the reputation of a guy who was a very good offensive coordinator who might have struggled as Head Coach.  The Virginia thing was a debacle.  He was brought in by a coach trying to save his job, and tried to implement the spread with a skill set from the previous offense.  That was failing pretty badly and they switched back out of the spread in mid-season, and from there I think the fate was sealed.

He was rumored for some OC jobs, but they didn't materialize, and I started to worry that he might be damaged goods, to an extent.  Also, teams seem to be dialing back the spread parts of their offenses, and to the extent that he is seen as a spread coach, that might be hampering him.

Still, he was bought out at BG and Virginia, so I figured he might also be sitting out on his buy outs and waiting for something to materialize next season.

He does have a job, but not in college.  He is the TE Coach for the Las Vegas Locomotives of the UFL.  (Hat Tip, AZZ.com).

The UFL, in case you don't know (and I had to look it up), the UFL is a pro league that plays outdoors in the fall in five non-NFL towns.  Looks like they had a six-game season last year.

So it might be a lot like sitting out anyway....

Anyway, best of luck to Coach Brandon.  I actually do think he is an excellent offensive coach who could still be an effective coordinator at high levels of the FBS.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

WTOL Talks to Anthony Henderson

Falcon hoops recruit Anthony Henderson had a chance to talk to to Channel 11 about his first days as a Falcon....enjoy.  Like the part about winning championships...

Friday, July 16, 2010

Akron Beacon Journal Springs Forth Alliteration in Pankratz Profile

The Akron Beacon-Journal did a profile recently of BG QB Aaron Pankratz (titled "Pankratz Personifies Patience").  Pankratz is from Nordonia and is the only returning Falcon QB who has taken a D1 snap.  He was a Brandon recruit that Clawson was able to hold onto, and certainly has many qualities in the West Coastish offense we run.  He's 6'6", 221, and in the pure passer mode.

Here are some tidbits we learn from the story...

Pankratz started only one year at QB in HS, which means that the two-year apprenticeship he has served might have been the best thing for him.

Nordonia apparently has a reputation for never passing, (like, 7 passes a game).  Despite this, he threw for 2,200 yards and 27 TDs as a starter.

Here is what his HS coach has to say:

''I was surprised at the kind of numbers Aaron put up that year. Can you imagine he was the junior varsity quarterback his junior year?'' Huge said with a laugh. ''Aaron was a leader in the huddle; he has leadership and passion. He is obviously big and very smart. He has moxy; an awareness of what he needs to do. He is deceivingly elusive in the pocket. He was a great high school quarterback.''
Anyway, Pankratz is very much in the mix to start this year, even as fans have gravitated to Schilz and Pagel (perhaps out of Brown Slappiness).  This gives us a little better idea about who he is.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

MAC Blog Previews

I've answered a few questions for my fellow MAC bloggers about the Falcon football prospects, and eventually they are run....if you are curious, here is what Bull Run said to preview the Falcons, informed by yours truly.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Ask the AD

Just took a minute to listen to Ask the AD with Greg Christopher, which you can also listen to by clicking here.

Nothing too newsworthy in there.  The key thing is that I noticed is that he made a reference to things going on "behind the scenes" to resolve the "Temple issue."

Not sure what precisely that means.  They are growing into a legit MAC football contender.  I know a lot of fans would like to see them either in or out, but that's not likely to happen because they wouldn't want to pull basketball out of the A-10.

Anyway, something to keep an eye on.  For my money, I don't care if they are only in for football.  They make the conference better.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Good news for BGSU on the radio front

Some good news today on the radio front.  One of the weaknesses of our program recently has been that it is often very difficult for people to listen to Falcons sports in Bowling Green.  The network was effective in reaching into some larger markets, but people in town had trouble getting the games over the air.

BGSU (or Falcon Sports Properties) has reached an agreement with Cumulus to carry the games on 1470 The Ticket.  For football, all games will be carried and this will largely eliminate the issue for that sport.  Men's basketball will only be carried on a partial schedule, which doesn't help too much, because the problem right now is that you never know where to turn.  Even so, something is an improvement.  (And, not to be too negative, but given the attendance at men's basketball games, I'm not sure radio audiences would even reach four figures for road games.)

It is a 3-year deal.

I know that BGSU has been conscious of the issues with the radio network.  I'm happy to see that recognition borne out in this announcement.  I understand we want to cultivate fans from other places, but we can't forget our base, either.

Here is the text of the release:


ESPN 1470 THE TICKET WILL NOW BROADCAST FALCON SPORTS

Bowling Green University Sports

 Falcon Sports Properties (FSP), a property of Learfield Sports and the multimedia rights holder for Bowling Green State University Athletics, announced today that WLQR-AM is the newest addition to the Falcon Sports Network beginning this fall. 

             FSP secured a three year agreement with WLQR-AM 1470 The Ticket, Toledo’s ESPN Radio affiliate, to carry all Falcon football games, as well as a partial men’s basketball schedule.  The Ticket also will air daily shows, in addition to coaches’ shows for both sports.  Adding 1470 AM brings the total number of stations in the Falcon Sports Network to seven.

  “I am very excited that we have the radio station available to broadcast everything in sports that is the BG Falcons,” said Scott Meier, regional vice president for Cumulus Midwest and Market Manager.  “The Falcons deserve a voice in Toledo, and The Ticket is a great partner.”

 “We are thrilled to be working with 1470.  For our fans in the Toledo area who can’t make it to a game, this gives them the opportunity to follow the Falcons on the airwaves, as well as get a glimpse of our coaches and student-athletes through call-ins and daily shows,” said Mary Ellen Gillespie, BGSU associate athletic director for external affairs.  “The Toledo area is a large and active alumni/fan base for BGSU, and they are excited to tune in and hear about their Falcons.”

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Missed Falcon Minutae

Just a quick note from something I picked up on AZZ.com and then went back and confirmed in the Spring Prospectus.  Nick Torresso, a three year veteran of our D-Line (who actually played as a true freshman) has been moved to the O-Line.


He played all 13 games, 8 of them starts, and had 13 tackles.  He appeared to get a little less time when Chris Jones (then a true FR) began to emerge later in the season.

We rotate D-lineman so much that the best measure would be how many snaps a guy played, but we don't have access to that.

Anyway, he's 283 pounds, and is now set up to provide some depth on the O-Line for his senior season.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Otis to Play For Plymouth Raiders

The basketball career of Otis Polk will continue from the UK next season.  He has been signed to play for the Plymouth Raiders.  

I'm always really excited when our players get the opportunity to play overseas.  Sure, they get to play ball and make some cash, but they also get the experience of living in another country for a year or two, and that's pretty cool.

Plymouth is on the very Southern tip of England, on Plymouth Sound.

They finished in 10th last season, but hope to see a turnaround this year with their New American Center (Centre)