Monday, June 27, 2011

Falcons get QB verbal

James Knapke of Fort Wayne Indiana has verballed to BG.  He is a 6'3" QB described as a gunslinger in the local media.  Various paywalled sources indicate that he was rocking the summer camp circuit, and has a very strong arm.  He threw for over 2,000 yards and 30 TDs/9 ints in his junior year in Fort Wayne.

I know you like highlights, so here you go.

Coach has said that he wants to recruit one QB a year to avoid what happened last year and yet keep the program competitive, and this is clearly part of that plan.  Matt Johnson was last season, and Knapke is this year.

Welcome to the Falcons, James.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Phil Steele on the Falcons

So, there's been some time to begin to digest the Phil Steele College Football Preview ("Jampacked with information") and I'd like to review some of the items as it relates to the Falcons.

In general, Phil likes our direction.  In fact, he thinks we might be better this year than we were in 2009.  He seems to think that might not show up in the final record because we play a very tough schedule...we don't play Akron, and our cross-over games are against WMU and UT and NIU, which he thinks will be the top 3 teams in the West.  He thinks we might be dogs in every MAC game.


So, let's look at the particulars.  I will do a preview later on in the summer, but I think that Falcon fans do need to have careful expectations.  It is certainly possible that we could pull a Miami, but the odds are certainly against it.  I do think there is room to grow between what Steele sees and what we could have.

Of course, at 2-10, there is only one direction to go.  We lost a lot of close games, so it might not be as bad as it looks, but there is really one way to go.

And I do think we are on the right track.  We just may need enough track to get to next season.

Anyway, let's look.

At QB, for example, he thinks we will be vastly improved over last year, and still tied with 4 other teams for the bottom of the conference.

He thinks our RBs will be better (we could hardly produce less on the rush), but still 12th in the MAC.

He thinks our O-line will be "one of the most improved in the country" but still 10th in the conference.

At WR, he expects us to be 5th in the MAC.

On defense...

On the defensive line, we should be "much improved" but 12th in the MAC.
LB looks "much stronger and are picked for 4th
DB, more experienced, better front 7, 7th in the MAC.

Special teams...improved if we can get a kicker...he projects us for 8th.

Here's the thing.  I can see where he is going with all that.  But, as bad as it was, it is hard to imagine our O-line being among the most improved units in the country and only getting to 10th in the MAC.  Similarly, with better protection and blocking it is hard to imagine that they aren't higher than 10th and 12th.  That' what I mean when I say there is room for us to grow here....if these things DO all come together, starting up front, I can't imagine we don't at least reach the middle of the pack in the conference.

On defense, I think its pretty important that the D-line be better than 12th.  And, as Steele notes, that potential exists.  If the line can keep blockers off the LB, we could be effective and if there could be some pressure on the QB, that helps everyone.  Again, I can see how we could get to the middle of the pack on defense, if we get anywhere near Steele expects.

From the Steele preview, I think the team is building and getting better.  I think that if we really are as improved as we think, we will be better than his final ratings.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

2012 Football Verbal....

We have news of the first verbal commitment in football (that I am aware of).  Jacob Bennett is 6'6" and 275, plays OT, and goes to Lebanon HS.  (As seen first on  Here's what his coach says about him...

“Jacob is a young man who has continued to work to improve his football skills and it’s paid off for him,” Lebanon head football coach Shawn Lamb said. “He has the ability to do some things that a lot of kids don’t because of his size and he has taken advantage of what God has given him. Bowling Green is getting a great young man who has a lot of upside. I know that’s something that they were excited about with Jacob. He has the ability to put on weight because of his frame and has the potential to be an impact player in the Mid-American Conference.”

So, the Falcons quest to upgrade to a more athletic o-line continues.  He will probably redshirt and put some weight onto that tall body.  If he does, he looks like he has the potential to be a very good player.

Welcome to the Falcons, Jacob.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Big 33 report....OH smokes PA like Virginia Ham

So, it was a blistering butt kicking as Ohio drilled PA in the Big 33 game.  Normally, of course, that would be a good thing, but the only future Falcon in the game is QB Matt Johnson, and he plays for PA, which means he was on the losing side of the whole thing.

Johnson ended up 9 of 20 for 164 yards with a TD and one INT.  It sounds like he never had a shot, as the Ohio defensive line swarmed past the PA o-line and into the backfield.  To wit, Johnson had -38 yards rushing.

In the words of Eric Eppler of PennLive:

They dominated and kind of suffocated us," said PA quarterback Matt Johnson, who presumably will get better protection at Bowling Green in the fall.
Presumably...presumably indeed.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Cavallini Scores, indelibly printed on our minds

This is probably the single most thrilling experience sports has ever given me.  The first two minutes are all you need to watch...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Football Times Announced...Mostly.

2011 BGSU Football Schedule

Sept. 1 - at Idaho, 9 p.m.
Sept. 10 - MORGAN STATE, 7 p.m.
Sept. 17 - WYOMING, TBA
Sept. 24 - at Miami, 1 p.m.
Oct. 1 - at West Virginia, TBA
Oct. 8 - at Western Michigan, 2 p.m.
Oct. 15 - TOLEDO, Noon (ESPN Regional)
Oct. 22 - TEMPLE, 3:30 p.m.
Oct. 29 - at Kent State, 1 p.m.
Nov. 16 - OHIO, 8 p.m. (ESPN2/ESPNU)
Nov. 25 - at Buffalo, TBA

The Athletic Department came up with the game times for the football schedule and announced most of them today.  This always provokes howls of outrage in the Nation, and I predict the same today...and I would have predicted it before I even saw them.  Just how it rolls.

So, let's try to take a look.

The biggest thing that I find difficult, in general, is when the weeknight games are too early.  For me, a 5 or 6 pm kickoff on a weeknight is inconvenient, and I believe it is for many people.  We seem to have avoided that.  In fact, our November home games are all at 8 pm.  +1.

Now, it might be a little c-c-c-c-c-old by 11:30 on a November night at the Doyt, but that's what long underwear is for.  (TMI?) And, I'm not sure it will be that much colder at 11:30 than it would have been at 10:00.

Moving on....

  • I completely agree with keeping Wyoming in the dark about the start time.  Who do they think they are anyway?
  • Morgan State at night is a good time.  If the weather is good, we could have a nice crowd for that one.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Phil Steele #2--Experience Score

You know that I am all totally OMG! for Phil Steele.  So, in these, the long dog days of summer, I'm spending some time looking at some of the metrics he has developed, and how it impacts our team and the conference.

Today, we look at Phil's experience score.  Below I've posted the text for how these rankings are determined....and then the rankings for MAC teams.

I then devised a formula that factors all 5 into the total points equation and then turned the point total into a number from 100 to 0. A 100 would be a team with 25 seniors (NCAA scholarship limit) in the two deep and every yard and tackle returning and 120+ career starts on the offensive line. A 0 would be a team with no experience and 0 seniors in the two deep. Just as in years past the first number is where each team ranks in the NCAA.

Phil Steele Experience Rankings for MAC
4Ball State75.7

So analysis:

  • Keywords for Bowling Green this year:  tempered expectations.
  • Despite this, Steele thinks OU can win the East.  Gotta look into that.
  • UT has rebuilt themselves very quickly...which puts pressure on our program.
  • Miami's new Coach has walked into a very good situation for a first time head coach.
  • Another long year in Akron....the team in the East BG does not play.

Any other thoughts?  We'll continue looking at these kinds of things as we march slowly toward the start of Fall camp.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Coach Orr Confirms Chauncey Orr...

From the Sentinel, Coach Orr has confirmed that his son, Chauncey, an all-state player at Bowling Green High School, will attend BG on an athletic scholarship.

This second part is the actual news here.  We'd heard a while ago that he was going to play at BGSU, but there were people wondering whether he would be on an athletic scholarship or whether he would use the tuition waiver his father gets through University employment.  So, for fans who compulsively count scholarships, there is your answer.

(I think it makes sense.  Tuition waivers cover tuition, which is only part of the college paying experience.  Athletic Scholarships cost more.  Also, should Coach Orr leave BG, Chauncey could stay here on scholarship, pending the approval of the new Coach.)

Anyway, Coach Orr has a dry sense of humor as it relates to Chauncey.  I heard it on an interview last winter, and note it here as well.

"He told his high school coach (Von Graffin) and his mom before I heard," Louis Orr said. "I was excited and I was glad that it was his choice. It was his decision that he made that this is where he wanted to be.
That was something Coach made clear in the radio interview. As far as he was concerned, Chauncey was free to go to any non-MAC school.

Here is how Jack Carle describes Orr's HS career.
Chauncey Orr was a four-year standout for Bowling Green High School, who finished as the all-time leading scorer in school history with 1,385 points. This past season, the 6-foot-4 Orr averaged 21.5 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game. He was first-team all-county, all-league, the Division I district player of the year, and a first-team All-Ohio selection.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Steinbrecher Gets Two More Years

MAC Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher has been given a two-year contract extension, meaning he is legally obligated to the be MAC Commissioner under the 2015-16 season.

Here's where they say why:

During his current two-year term as MAC Commissioner, Steinbrecher has expanded bowl opportunities for the conference and stabilized conference membership in football, increased national and regional television exposure, renegotiated the conference marketing rights agreement with ISP/IMG College and enhanced neutral site conference championships in basketball and volleyball.

Basically, this translates to more bowl games, adding UMASS, not losing any teams, the STO contract, getting a new deal to hold the hoops tourney at the Q, siting the volleyball tourney in Geneva, OH, and getting (I would expect) a better deal with ISP/IMG merged.

All of which are good things.  Especially with the financial situation today, anything that brings in revenue is important.  And, if you can't bring in revenue, than bringing in exposure is important, because the thinking is that exposure brings students, which brings revenue.

So, obviously the Presidents are happy with him.

My own two cents worth...

  • Even though it hasn't shown results yet, I am in favor of his basketball reforms.
  • I do think that at some point the conference should be worried about the level of competition.  Revenue sports are struggling at the gate, and if you want to enhance revenue, you need to improve the level of play.  Or maybe not.  Maybe all that costs more than it provides...but, as a fan, I'd like to see it.
  • In fairness, the competitive slide began long before he arrived.
  • He should put an "H" in his first name.
  • I want him to make clear that we will never have a team nicknamed "Trojans" in the MAC
  • Challenge the Presidents to a foot race...100 yards, best man or woman wins.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Phil Steele....#1

First of all, it is ghastly hot.  The heat is oppressive.  Hard to think football and basketball in this kind of torpor...still, I was shocked to see that this is my first post in June.

Anyway, despite the heat, despite the calendar, this is a big day in college football's annual passing of the seasons.  NO, not because it is the day after Terelle Pryor left OSU (he swore he was coming back, of course, that was to a guy who didn't come back).

It is because the Phil Steele football book comes out today.  Ohhhh yes.  Sweet deliverance.  Wallow in the minutiae.  Mmmm.  No one...I'm saying NO ONE, covers college football for the fan with a diagnosable disorder as well as Phil.

He has been popping a couple of blog posts up that I wanted to repost and comment on.

One of the things that he has found over time is that there are certain metrics which help you predict success, and those tend to be pretty reliable.  Today, we will look at one that has actually been written about in the NY Times, Wall Street Journal, etc....that is returning starts on the offensive line.

The theory is simple.  Teams with experienced lines are more likely to be competitive than teams with young offensive lines.  Obviously, this is not perfect...there is always the Eastern Michigan problem (getting 40 starts on their O-line might or might not indicate that you are a good player...somebody has to start), and there are also players who might have gotten some reps but not starts, and you'd like to consider that, but that solution doesn't scale.

Last year, BG was 99th with 41 starts returning.  And, with a couple injuries, the offensive line did melt down, through no fault of the guys who were down there doing everything they could.  The situation is much better this year...BG has 63 returning starts,  which is 65th in the country (or somewhere just south of the median for FBS).

I think that reflects what I expect to see happen--an improvement, but let's not get crazy.  There is still work to do.  There are unknowns, including two JUCO players who don't have D1 starts, but might be able to make a general, though, I'd say that is a fair assessment and maybe even on the high side of fair.

Our conference competition is fairly strong...we are 9th in the MAC in returning O-line starts.

  1. NIU  116
  2. Temple 111
  3. Miami 98
  4. Ball 96
  5. Kent 89
  6. UT  85
  7. CMU 69
  8. EMU 64
  9. BGSU 63
  10. Buffalo 58
  11. WMU 50
  12. Akron 49
  13. OU  39

Random thoughts...

I think OU's style is tough to play this way.
Another long year for Akron?
WMU has to rebuild this year?
NIU?  Dang.