Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Football Verbal---Antonio Smith

There's another new football verbal...Antonio Smith, a  strong side DE from Westerville South, which of course is in the Columbus Area.  He's 6'4" and 213, and a 2-star recruit from 24/7.  They rank him as the #101 SDE in the country.

He's reported to have offers from Air Force and Georgetown, which tells you he's a good student.  Also, Buffalo, UT, Kent....and Youngstown State and a set of other FCS offers.

He was honorable mention all-conference as a junior.

We had another player named Antonio Smith,  famous for taking one of the most brutal hits in program history, but he was from Miami.

One thing this Antonio Smith had to know is that he's sliding into a position of needs, especially the DLine, but end in particular.

So, anyway, welcome to the Falcons, Antonio.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Former Falcon Enjoying Breakout Year in CFL

You will remember Kamar Jorden from the Clawson years.  He played for BG in 2010-11 after transferring from Hudson Valley Community College, and they were big years.  He was first-team All-MAC both years and ended up on the Top Ten in career receptions (at the time) despite playing only two seasons.

He's certainly paid his dues.  He bounced around the Arena League, two Vikings training camps and then a couple years as a deep reserve with the Calgary Stampeders, where his perseverance has been rewarded.

In last night's game against Winnipeg, he had 6 catches for 97 yards and a score.  As of this morning, he leads the CFL in receiving yards and TDs...though not all the teams have played the same number of games.  It doesn't matter.  He's having a great season for one of the top teams in the league and he's played on one Grey Cup title team and played in the title game last year as well.

Always a Falcon.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Football Updates

So, considering we are sitting here in the middle of the summer, there was some news from the football program today.  We will summarize.

First, an alert tweeter noted that in the bottom of this article about RB Davieon Hargrove from Trotwood-Madison, that BG is getting two Dayton area transfers from high-level FBS programs.

The first is Roland Walder, a LB from UK who is transferring following his redshirt season.  He was a 3-star recruit---also at Trotwood-Madison---and is 6'3" and 220.  247 had him ranked as the #57 LB in the country, and he's listed as an ILB.  He was part of an exodus of LBs--4 have left Big Blue.  He also had offers from Nebraska, Syracuse, Pitt and UC before heading to Lexington.  He comes in at a position of need for BG and while I am leery of transfers, you have to believe he's got a shot to be a contributor.

The other young man is Tyler Traylor from Centerville.  He was a star WR in HS who went unsigned on NLI day.  At 6'3" and 205, he has good height.  He went to UC and redshirted last year as well.  He was #54, which tells me that he was moved to LB, but who knows what position they envision him playing at BG.

Besides that, the roster is out with the freshmen now in the house.

I looked through the roster.  The only NLI freshman who is not listed now is TE Travis Koontz.  He could be a grey shirt, but would be an odd guy to do that with since he was a highly ranked recruit.  You may remember him as the guy who verballed to BG, then committed to UT and then ended up back with BG.  Anyway, I haven't been able to find anything about him online, let me know if you have anything.

Beyond that, o-lineman JC Bartok is no longer listed on the roster.  He had been with the program for two years and had yet to appear in a game.

Also. Calen Taylor is no longer listed on the roster.  He is a RB from Missouri who came to BG after a year the West Point prep school.  He was with BG for one year, red-shirting.

Finally, WR Tim Tupa is no longer listed.  He had appeared on the depth chart though he never appeared in a game and was out last year with an injury.  Yes, his Dad is Tom Tupa.

There appear to be three FR on the roster who are new to me.

The first is Denzel Norvell, a RB from Dayton Thurgood Marshall.  This one is a little harder to figure out.  BG lists him as a FR, but here you can see that he played two seasons at Mt. St. Joseph, which is a DIII school in Cincy.  Not sure how that all sorts out.  His second year he averaged 6 yards a carry.

There are two WRs.  Aidan O'Connor from Lima and Justin Sawmiller of Kenton.  Sawmiller's bio says he played one season at UC and is listed as a FR as well.

Anyway, that's a decent amount of news for early July.  Inside of two months to the opener!

Great Blade Story on Anthony Henderson

Welcome back to the grind.  A little Falcon goodness to kick off the day after the holiday.  We all remember Anthony Henderson, who played at Start HS and then was with the BG program for 5 seasons, where he adjusted his game to go from a scoring threat to a defensive specialist and a pro...they want him to score again.

Great Blade story, worth a read.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Football Verbal: Raveion Hargrove

There's a new verbal for BG, and it iss another highly recruited and rated player.  This is Raveion Hargrove, an all-purpose back from Trotwood-Madison, down in Dayton.  He's 5'7" (listed anywhere from 5'5" and 5'8z") and 162, so he might sort of be a Josh Cleveland type guy, which I think is the type of player that can be really dangerous if we're in some of our more spread sets.  He's a 2-star on 24/7 and 3-star composite.  They ranked him as the #60 player in Ohio and the #104 RB in the nation.

He had attracted a lot of attention on the recruiting trail.  He had offers from Akron, Ball State, EMU, Kent, Miami, OU, UT and Youngstown State and EKU in FCS.

He's an interesting player and he's highly productive.  He brings speed to the equation--this article on Scout says he is among the fastest players in Ohio and put up "video-game" numbers in HS.  As a sophomore, he rushed for 3,039 yards and 31 TDs.   Those were Dayton-Area records.  He ran for 1,700 yards as a junior with 21 TDs.  He's rushed for 300 yards in a game 4 times.

He was first-team all-state in Division III of Ohio as well as being first team all-district.

Also, Trotwood-Madison is one of the state HS football powers, making 6 straight state semis.

Obviously, most of the MAC was offering this young man and he is highly productive on the field, which I always like to see.  Nickname is "Shock."

Welcome to the Falcons, Raveion.

Happy Independence Day!!

Happy Independence Day to the Falcon Nation.

Celebrate Wisely.

Monday, July 03, 2017

Austin Valdez lands at Syracuse

So, the word is finally out on Austin Valdez.  To no one's surprise, Syracuse is the choice.  For obvious reasons, that was a likely choice, along with Notre Dame and Wake Forest based on the relationships.  Anyway, he's going to Syracuse.

Not sure what he is expectations were when he left, but LB is a position of strength for Syracuse.  He's expected to provide depth at the position, where the Orange have 3 seniors.  They also added a JUCO player, and Andrew Armstrong (a former BG commit) saw a number of snaps as a true FR.

Valdez was an all-MAC performer for BG in the 2015 Championship season and then battled injuries last year.

Best of luck to him for his final season of college football.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Pinegar DeCommits

Well, that was fast.  For the second time this month, a BG commit had been a BG commit for about a week or so and then de-committed.  Tommy Rush went to row the boat and this young man is just seeking his options.

(Thanks to the alert commenter who pointed this out to me).

Anyway,  no hard feelings.  Best of luck to all.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Matt Johnson to Coach at Syracuse

It appears that the playing career of Matt Johnson is over.  An all-time Falcon great, he was MAC Offensive Player of the Year, winner of the Vern Smith trophy, two-time MAC Champion, etc....Johnson will now be an offensive quality control assistant at Syracuse.

He had signed with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL, which I thought he had a reasonable shot at producing in.  He was injured early on in practice and released June 12.   If you read his statement linked above, it is clearly a very difficult decision for him to make.  However, he's always had a goal to be a coach and this is the first step.

He's always a Falcon and always a champion.  Best of luck, Matt.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Falcon Football With Another Verbal: James Lachey

Bowling Green football has another verbal...this one is a young man with a famous name.   James Lachey, whose Father, Jim, was a big star at OSU, played in the NFL, won a Super Bowl, and is apparently now a radio announcer for OSU.

Swear to god, until today his name was not familiar to me.

Anyway.  James Lachey plays DE and TE at Grandview Heights, which is in Franklin County.  It seems as if he's projected to play DE in college. He was first-team all-state and the district defensive player of the year in D-6, which is the second smallest classification in OHSAA.  Even so, he did all that as a junior.  I don't see any additional information on other offers or any stats.

He's 6'4" and 235 pounds, which is a good size for a high school junior.  Obviously, he's got football genes.

Welcome to the Falcons, James.

Update:  Had this additional information provided to me on twitter.  Peters was an all-MAC and All-Academic MAC offensive lineman for BG in 1994.  Here's a story on his big success as a coach.  Always a Falcon.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Falcon Football Verbal

Another verbal for the Falcons, this one is Brad Papez, the fraternal twin of BG TE Commit Jake Papez.  He plays both ways--OL and DE--and it is my understanding that he is expected to play DE at the college level.

He's from Missouri, and has a good number of FBS offers, including Army, UC, CMU, NIU and OU, along with a comparable number of FCS offers.   He was also a third-team All-State player as an o-lineman, and a first-team all conference selection.

Welcome to the Falcons, Brad.

(Update: alert commenter Perry Boise points out that Brad is 6'6" and 235, which is a pretty good sized young man for an 11th grader).

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

DeCommit: Tommy Rush

So, this is sometimes what happens when you recruit at the level we are recruiting at.  If you get guys who are really good, other guys want them, too.  Sometimes you keep them, sometimes you don't.  Anyway, Tommy Rush went to camp with The BoatRower and now he's flipped to Minnesota.

Best of luck to him.  It's his life and he should go where he wants.  Would have loved for that to be at BG...we have to find the Falcons out there, that's all.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

BG Lands Kicker Commit

So, more news in recruiting land...BG has a kicker committed.  His name is Jake Pinegar of Ankeny, IA, which is just north of Des Moines.  BG's current kicker is Jake Suder, who will be a JR when Pinegar arrives.  Suder appears to be improving after a slow start, but the internal competition will be good for everyone.

Pinegar isn't a kicker, he's a football player (and athlete) who happens to kick.  He has been an all-state defensive back and district MVP in Ankeney, which plays in the largest classification of Iowa HS football.  Also, he is an all-conference soccer player and a state champion hurdler.

Kohl's Kicking says he is the #13 ranked kicker in his class in the nation.  He has a good leg on kickoffs and is accurate, according to their report.

Given all this, I assume he's a scholarship recruit as opposed to a preferred walk-on, but time will tell.

Welcome to the Falcons, Jake.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

BG Lands Verbal from 3-star QB

So, big news on the recruiting front.  BG has received a verbal commitment from a highly-ranked QB from West Bloomfield....Bryce Veasley.  He is the first QB in the '18 commit pool and makes it clear that Coach Jinks is loading up for depth and competition at the most important position on the field.

Veasley is a 3-star recruit from 24/7, which reported that he had offers from EMU, CMU, UT and Buffalo.  There are probably more, as they did not report him having an offer from BG.

He has nice size...he's 6'4" and 230 pounds and is considered to be a pro-style QB, which is what these high paced offenses seem to want.  They have him ranked as the #67 QB in the nation and the #39 player in Michigan.

He was all-conference in the OAA Red and this Detroit News writer called him "remarkable" early in the season.  He's also a standout baseball and basketball player, accounting for strong athleticism as well.

Oh, and here's what he liked about BG....

"The biggest factor was the coaching staff and the offense there it's similar to what we do at West Bloomfield. My biggest goal is to take care of my academics and get a degree in my major and compete to get the starting spot at QB. I love the coaches and how they're all young guys. They're very energetic!"
So credit where credit is due, our young guys score!

Welcome to the Falcons, Bryce.

Tyrik Jones leaves BGSU Football Program

So, another setback for the BG defense, which has suffered significant losses since last season.  When the year ended, graduation losses were normal in scope...Bush, Lunsford, Greene, Mack, Watson. Since then, Valdez has transferred and now Tyrick Jones, who was slated on the spring depth chart to start at DE, has moved onto JUCO.

Tyrik was a preferred walk-on from Florida brought during the chaotic Babers/Jinks transition.  He had made a contribution, with 4.5 sacks as a true freshman and 2 against UT.

BG finished 7th in the MAC in scoring defense last year (conference games only).  Part of that was incurred while the coaches were still trying to make the offense and the defense into something they weren't, but some of the results were also generated late in the year playing against Kent and Akron, both of whom were using non QBs under C.

The secondary for BG remains very young (spring depth chart showed 3 true sophomores on the 1 line) and pressure up front on QBs is going to be vital.

Anyway, this will only make things more difficult, as they had high hopes for Jones on the edge.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Falcons have new football verbal

BG has another football verbal.  This one is Jake Papez, a TE/LB from Wentzville, MO, where he attends Timberland HS.  According to Rivals, he has offers from Ohio U., Missouri State, SW Missouri State and Eastern Kentucky. He's got excellent size, at 6'4" and  225 lbs.  He's listed as a TE on Rivals, and sometimes a guy has a couple positions he can play at.

He's doesn't show a bunch of stats from his junior year....13 catches, 4 TDs.  They only completed 80 passes as a team, so that might not be much of an indicator.  BG may have seen him at a camp, and I would assume that's how he ended up committing to BG.  And we might see his as a blocking TE or might have been underutilized.

Either way, welcome to the Falcons, Jake.

Friday, June 09, 2017

New Football Verbal

So, BG has its newest football verbal.  This one is an Ohio boy named Tommy (Thomas) Rush of Marysville, OH.  He is 6'3" and 205 pounds and is known as a RB in HS.  Some profiles talk about him playing FS as well and I have no idea where he projects in college.

He was first-team all-league and second-team all-district for a 3-7 Marysville team.  He was a productive runner.  He had 1,400 yards on 261 carries for a 5.4 yard average and 9 TDs.

24/7 has nothing on him.  Rivals has him as a 2-star player with offers from Brown, Davidson and Notre Dame of Ohio.

Welcome to the Falcons, Tommy.

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Falcon Football Recruiting....and the beat goes on...

The verbal train keeps pulling into the station...BG has landed its 3rd verbal for the 18 class and it is another 3-star player.  This young man had a lot of offers...if you measure recruiting based on beating other schools to the guy, this is a win.

His name is Devin Ruffin and he's a MLB with FBS offers from Minnesota, Iowa State, New Mexico, NIU, Syracuse, Toledo and WMU, according to 24/7, and a half-dozen or so other FCS offers.

He's from St. Louis Lutheran North High School and is 6'1" and 210 pounds.  24/7 ranks him as the number 41 ILB in the country.   FWIW, this local article suggests he might play SS in college.

He had big numbers as a junior.   He had 50 tackles overall, 6 for loss, recovered 2 fumbles and had 4 INT.  He also played on offense, scoring 2 TDs, a crazy 6 2-PT conversions, and having 17 overall receptions.

He was also on a good team.  They were 9-3 and made it to the District Final.

Welcome to the Falcons, Devin.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

MAC Football Schedule Update

So, the MAC gave fans a little more updated news on football, as it released a partial schedule and game times for the upcoming season.  Here it is for BG....I suspect something in this will infuriate people...having said that, here we go.

First, the September 9 game at 6 pm is good.  I like a later start when the weather is good.  It allows the tailgate environment to blossom.

The October 14 game is a 12-day selection, which means that game time and coverage will be announced 12 days before the actual game. (Update/Note, per Jason Knavel in the comments, the October 14 game WILL start at 3:30 but the actual network will be determined 12 days out.)

Also, BG does not have any super-early games in November.  Some years we start at 6 and that is a bear for fans with gainful employment, so at least 7 is better.

Hopefully, we will have a good crowd on 9/30.  The boys are going to need a win that night, in all likelihood.

Also, we play on Halloween this year...away, but still.  And that's a weeknight game at Kent.

This was already known, but BG's first four games are tough.  BG could easily leave those games 1-3.  I mean easily.  Hopefully, we will hold everyone under 70, but that is a daunting road.  A 6-6 record would be an accomplishment for this team.

Bowling Green
2 at Michigan State, Noon ET (ESPNU)
9 South Dakota, 6:00 pm ET (ESPN3)
16 at Northwestern
23 at Middle Tennessee
30 *Akron
7 *at Miami
14 *Ohio, 3:30 pm ET (12-day selection)
21 *NIU
31 *at Kent State, 7:30 pm ET or 8:00 pm ET (ESPN2/ESPNU)
7 *at Buffalo, 7:30 pm ET (ESPN2/ESPNU)
15 *Toledo, 7:00 pm ET or 8:00 pm ET (ESPN2/ESPNU/CBS Sports Network)
21 *at Eastern Michigan, 7:00 pm ET (ESPNU/ESPN3)

Wagner and Moosbrugger in Blade

Sunday's paper contained an interesting interview that John Wagner did with AD Bob Moosbrugger.

It is very interesting and worth a read.  Check it out and come on back here for my comments.

It was sobering.  People complain about it, but the decision to have a Fundraiser/AD can't be denied.  Money literally has to be on his mind every minute of every day.  The section where he does the math on where our finances would be if we sold every ticket to every home (hint, not much farther ahead) gives you an idea of the financial pressure on our department, which is near the bottom of everything we are involved in.

Most other MAC schools make it up with additional subsidy, something which he indicates is off the table, and that's something I support.  WMU, for example, was the highest spending school in the MAC, and they had a $26M subsidy, which is literally double what BG's was.  Most of those subsidies are found in student fees and students are paying enough for their education.

He says that BG is going to need to tap its alumni base to make it work.  That's going to be interesting.  First, most people I went to school with at BG reverted to OSU fans the day they left, if they were BG fans in the first place.  Many alumni went through their entire time at BG without attending one game.

As he points out, the University also needs donors for the non-athletic parts of the university, which are (obviously) what the school exists for.  Even with that, the portion that cares about athletics needs to be engaged in this effort and I suspect that will include everything from major gifts to smaller annual gifts.

Note also the section about what to expect as it relates to new facilities....90% private funding.

Anyway, excellent interview.   This is a very difficult time to be an AD at BG and the school's ability to continue the program we know today is not for sure.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Falcon Football has second '18 verbal

BG has picked up its second football verbal, and this one is a young man who should be familiar to Mike Jinks, since he plays at Steele HS in San Antonio, the program that launched Coach Jinks into the D1 coaching ranks.

This young man is WR Onyx Smith. He's 6'0" and 196 pounds and listed as 2-stars on 24/7.  He's clearly a good student with offers from Air Force and Navy, which were his only FBS offers.

He was second-team all-district last year.  (By the way, BG has Joshua Croslen coming from Steele in the '17 class and he was district defensive player of the year).

He had a very productive junior season, catching 50 passes for 801 yards and 8TDs, which seems pretty good for a HS team. The QB was Xavier Martin, who is going to Texas Tech and this article indicates that he was prone to take off and run.  Also, they played 16 games on their way to making the state finals in Texas.

He had the second most catches on the team.  They completed about 181 passes, so he was in the 30% range of their overall catches.  This article says that he may play QB at Steele this year.

Anyway, Coach has said that we need something like 8 playable WRs at all times, so that's going to be a non-stop need, day in and day out.

Welcome to the Falcons, Onyx.

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 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 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


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.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Men's Basketball Review

The most important thing you can say about the BG Falcons and their 2016-17 season is that Coach Michael Huger is coming back for a third season.  The program desperately needed some stability.  The second most important thing is that all the plays who were here during the Orr-Jans situation are gone, with the exception of Matt Fox.

For now, everything else is speculative.  I am cautiously optimistic, but it is speculative.

The Jans situation was a huge set back for the program.  I think we felt it at the time and I think you can see it now.  To be clear, had Jans been back for his second year it would have been a tough year, much like it was for Huger, but the program turmoil caused emergency recruiting for one year and left the program with kind of a split identity for a couple years.  There was talk at one point of literally everybody transferring, and while that didn't happen, I think it is one of those things...when once you have your toe out, it is hard to get all in again.

I base this partly on observation and partly on many comments from Coach Huger over the years, culminating in a very frustrating late-year press conference.

For 2017, BG was 13-19 and 7-11 with a first round loss in the MAC tournament on a 10 seed.  The year before BG was 16-18 with a 5-13 MAC record.  The schedules were rated almost exactly the same, which yields the conclusion that BG played poorly in the pre-season and then improved in MAC play.

From a kenpom ranking perspective, BG was a little worse, ranked 230 in year one and 249 this season.  I'll take the two-game conference improvement as meaningful, however.

The pre-season play was a little disappointing.  BG had finished Huger's first year with a little tournament run and you could sort of hope that the team might be jelling and coming together.  The team also went to Italy, creating extra practices and bonding time.

These hopes were pretty much dashed.  BG ended up 6-7 in non-conference play.  They lost their first four and then won 3 out of 4 coming home.

So here's the thing.   First, BG played a very soft schedule.  There were no P5 teams and only one team from a strong basketball conference--the UC Bearcats.  The three-game Bill Frack challenge was set up to give the Falcons 3 quality home games and they lost 2 out of 3.  That includes UMKC (219) and Green Bay (190), both games you'd have thought you would win (or at least split) coming off the end of the previous year.

BG did rally to beat Murray State--their best non-conference win (199).  Other than that, BG's wins were over Morgan State (324), Detroit (302), Alabama A&M (351--they don't get lower), Norfolk State (299) and a non D1-win.

Meanwhile, after the Frack games, the losses were to UC, @Evansville (154) and @San Jose State (213).  Both of those last two losses were by one point, with the Evansville game being probably the biggest miss opportunity of the schedule.  That would have been a quality road win.

In MAC play, there were positives.  First, BG beat UT in a thriller at the Stroh, making the MBB team the only high-profile sports team to beat the Rockets in way too long.  Also, BG beat Akron and snapped the ridiculous winning streak the Zips had over the Falcons.  Third, BG won @Kent, and Kent, as you are aware, won the MAC.

There were 3 road wins--Ball State, Miami and Kent.

Perhaps the worst element of the season is that BG lost 5 homes games in conference.  That just has to turn around.  Perhaps the darkest time was in mid-January when BG lost to EMU by 28  and NIU by 17 at the Stroh in consecutive games.  Other home losses were Buffalo, Kent and Ohio, good teams, but you still have to protect home court better than that.

BG had the numbers of a #10 seed.  Maybe worse.  The Falcons were #11 in offensive and defensive efficiency (MAC games only).  This is exactly where they were in Huger's first year.

BG's primary problem in scoring comes when they have to put the ball inside the cylinder.  That's a tough thing not to be good at.  BG was 11th in EFG.  That comes from being #9 in 3FG and #10 in 2FG.  BG took an average number of 3s (#8), but if you are going to have that kind of shot mix, you have to make your 2FGS.

Free throws were worse.  BG was #10 at getting to the line and last, dead last, in FT shooting.

They did a good job taking care of the ball (#5) and a decent job on the offensive boards (#7), but those are peripheral.  They have to shoot better.

On defense, the issue is pretty much the same, only in reverse.  BG was the easiest team to shoot against in the MAC.  Everything else was good...#2 in creating turnovers, #6 in protecting the boards, and #2 in keeping teams off the line.

When diagnosing it, the answer is pretty clear.  You have observed this at the games, too.  BG is #5 in defending the 3FG, which is decent.  However, the Falcons were last in defending the 2FG.  That's a result of BG's under-developed inside game.  For his spurts of effectiveness on the offensive end, Wiggins struggles to defend in the paint and Wes Alcegaire was playing out of position at 4.  Worrell had trouble getting onto the floor and BG had two inside players injured for the whole season.  They just gave up too many 2FGs and when you can't get stops you aren't going to win.

One last thing...BG's opponents were #9 in the MAC in shooting 3FG.  Teams knew they could pound it inside on us.

Zack Denny led BG in scoring with 12.7 PPG on 41% and 32% shooting.  So, an inefficient 12.7 PPG.  He also led the team in FT% and steals.

Wes Alcegaire scored 11.8 PPG on 42% and 34% shooting, so also inefficient.  Demajeo Wiggins scored 10 even on 49% shooting (even that should be higher) while leading the team with 7.8 RPG.

The BG freshmen were the most encouraging part.  Frye (MAC All-FR team) shot 44% and 40% (compare to Denny) and moved into the starting lineup.  Rodrick Caldwell made 12 starts and also looked to be a guy who can handle the point into the future, especially under the tutelage of Coach Huger.

So those top two scorers will not be back.  PG Ish Ali also graduated, and Malik Hluchoweckyj and Rasheed Worrell both left the team.

This all highlights the point that has plagued the Falcons since the last time they had a truly outstanding team, which was the year before WVU.  BG simply doesn't recruit enough quality players.  There have been a few here and there, but never the critical mass it takes to win in this conference.

The entire list is below.  You can scan it and see the point.

So, what is the state of the program?  I think we are on the way back, but I am only cautiously optimistic.

Here's the reason for optimism.

So, that's not an OFFICIAL ranking.  For much of the time, there were no such things.  Still, BG has an excellent recruiting class coming in.  Also, Uju and Turner will return after injury redshirts.  Add that to Caldwell, Frye, and Wiggins (and Lillard, who leveled off in SO year), and you can see where you are starting to get the players assembled.

So, why cautious?


First, recruiting rankings are recruiting rankings.  Wins are another thing.

Second, we have yet to see what Coach Huger can do with a team that isn't under-talented and half-in half-out.  That cuts both ways.  We don't know.  I feel like he will be good, but we have to see it first.  He hasn't had a fair test, yet.  And remember, if we are talking a MAC title, we're talking about better than Akron, better than Kent, better than OU, and consistently.

Now, the last year could be another struggle.  BG just has a very young's what they will show on the court when the season opens.
  1. Wiggins (Jr)
  2. Caldwell (So)
  3. Frye  (So)
  4. Turner (R-Fr)
  5. Lillard (Jr)
  6. Uju (r-Jr)
  7. Fox (Sr)
  8. Cummings
  9. Gaden
  10. Koch
  11. Plowden
  12. Kulackovskis
That's a really young team.  Seven players with essentially Zero D-1 playing experience.

Who knows?  But, I would say that patience will be required for one more year, in my view.

Falcon Hoops Recruiting Scorecard, Updated April 2017

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. Contributed at Cleveland State.

Chris Hobson, 28 games, 51 points, left program.
Austin Montgomery 56 games, 189 points, transferred.
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. Transferred, contributed at UIC where I think he ended up as a pretty good player.
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--Injury-plagued career ended with effective senior season.
Daryl Clements--Good contributing player, played strong D, stable presence, and probably underappreciated player.
Brian Moten--MAC sixth man of the year in junior season and all-MAC HM as a senior. Good player at this level, had game-changing shooting potential.
Martin Samarco--2nd team All-MAC, finished career.


Ryne Hamblett--Contributing player, but kicked off team prior to senior season.
Brandon Bland--Left the program.
Marc Larson--Averaged 17 minutes a game for his career.
Otis Polk--Productive starter.  Left as BG blocked shot leader and led MAC in offensive rebounding as a senior.  Career: 5.9 PPG and 4.8 RPG.
Ryan Sims--left team early in Junior year. Made little contribution.
Nate Miller--All-MAC First team. Great player, carried team into post-season.
Chris Knight--Transferred following two seasons at BG. (Technically, he was a Dakich recruit).

Joe Jakubowski--Four-year starter, among the program's career leaders in assists and steals.
Cameron Madlock--Transferred out.

Dee Brown--1,000 point scorer.
Scott Thomas--Third team All-MAC as senior. 1,000 point scorer. 10th in career assists, 10th in career rebounds, 6th in career 3-pointers.
Au'ston Calhoun--Two-time Second-team All-MAC, 19th all-time leading scorer @BGSU.
Adrion Graves--left before appearing as a Falcon.
Darion Goins--Played sparingly, left team in first season as a Falcon

Jordon Crawford--Honorable mention All-MAC.  1,000 pt scorer, 4th in career assists, 5th in steals.
James Erger--Averaged 10 minutes per game as a Senior.  Role player.
Luke Kraus--Started 25 games as a senior.  Scored 4 points per game.
DaVon Haynes---Left program without playing.  Averaged 12 points and 7 RPG for Ark-Pine Bluff.
Danny McElroy--Left program. Ran afoul of the law.

Anthony Henderson-Made 73 starts, scored 6.4 PPG for career.
Cam Black--Finished in Top 10 in program history in rebounds.  Also 3rd in blocked shots.
Torian Oglesby--Juco. Solid role player. Set NCAA record for most consecutive FGs.
Craig Sealey--Was a career role player at BG, injured in senior year.

Jehvon Clarke--Made 40 career starts, 7.7 PPG for career.
Chauncey Orr--Transferred following his father's dismissal.
Desmond Rorie--Left program without appearing in a game.

Richaun Holmes--All-time leader in blocked shots.  First-ream All-MAC, MAC Defensive POY, now in NBA.
Spencer Parker--1,000 point scorer.

Zach Denny...scored 1,000 points, 7th all-time in 3FG and #9 in steals.
JD Tisdale...Left program before his senior year
Garrett Mayleben..left program before senior year
Josh Gomez....Rarely used.  Left during senior season.

Delvin Dickerson.  Played 15 MPG for BG after JUCO transfer.  Fouled out 6 times.  Left when Jans did.
Jovan Austin:  Played 16+ MPG for BG after JUCO transfer. Had 87 assists in 33 games, which was 6+/40.  Left when Jans did.
Rasheed Worrell--Left program after R-SO year.
David Joseph--Made 59 starts for BG

Ish Ali--Graduated, 247 assists in 2 years.
Wes Alcegaire--Graduated, averaged 10.9 PPG for BG.
Antwon Lillard--7.9 PPG and 4.2 RPG as a SO.
Demajeo Wiggins--10 PPG and 7.89 RPG as a SO
Malik Hluchoweckyj--Left program after playing 21 games.

Dylan Frye--Made MAC All-FR team
Jeffrey Uju--JUCO transfer, injured, redshirt
Justin Turner--Injured, redshirt
Rod Caldwell--Made 12 starts as FR.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Briggs on Jinks

The Blade's Dave Briggs is in with a column today about Coach Jinks.  There's nothing really new here that Jinks didn't say to the Sentinel in late December.  Here's the basic idea.  Falcon fans fell in three camps on Jinks.  First is that he had to go.  Second that the cupboard was bare.  Third was that the team was overrated but the problems were made worse by the coaching staff, which was the position taken by me.

What Jinks is saying in both of these articles is that the third one has truth to it.  He says they were obstinate to change defenses when it wasn't working.  In the Sentinel article, he also acknowledged the youth of his coaching staff and that he shouldn't have spent time with Texas Tech before their bowl game.

Then and now, I give him credit for the candor.  Note that he has been talking this way since before he signed the big recruiting class.

He also said this to the Sentinel:

If you go lose by 70 in two out of the first four weeks, we’re lucky to still be coaching here." (emphasis added).
So he gets it, fans.

So, as I wrote in December, much as it was unnecessary to break in a newbie in college coaching, that's the path we are on.  I think we will be better but I think that overall it would be good to have reasonable expectations for this year.  The schedule is very tough and pointing to those three wins at the end of the year as progress is pretty tough to sell.  BG could be much better and go 6-6.  We won't really begin to get an answer about whether Jinks is a championship coach until year 3.

Monday, April 17, 2017

New Chris Jans Update

Well, earlier last week we thought we had located Chris Jans' location for the next season.  Today, it was learned that he is heading back into head coaching at New Mexico State.  Most of the commentary is the same as before....Jans is a proven winning coach at non-D1 schools and that is important to me.  And then, of course, every mid-major would take what the Shockers have going.  And he did a great job with the BG program during his one year at BG.  Now, on the other hand, I'm not sure that first recruiting class was going anywhere, so that probably counts in the opposite direction.  This is a pretty good opportunity for him.  The Aggies have been successful, winning the WAC in 5 of the last 6 years.  The job came open when the former coach was hired by arch-rival New Mexico.

As I said when he was just thought to be returning to the bench in Wichita, I am rooting for him and I do think he will be a successful coach at D1.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter to the Falcon Nation

Happy Easter to the Falcon Nation.  Regardless of your religious faith, we can all unite around the idea of committing ourselves to a new beginning, letting the mistakes of the past go and embracing the chance to be a better person in the future.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Update on Former BG Head MBB Coaches

Both of BG's last two MBB coaches are now back in of them in a surprising place and one in a predictable place.

Let's start with the easy one.  To no one's surprise, Chris Jans is back as the Associate Head Coach with Gregg Marshall at Wichita State.  That's where he came from before he came to BG and he had been working as a "consultant" for the Shockers for two years and was seen on the sideline by sharp-eyed Falcon fans during the NCAA tournament.  According to the article, he was promised the first open job, which has now happened.

I'm rooting for Jans.  What BG did was the right thing as it related to that incident, but one incident doesn't have to label someone for their entire life.  Even better, he seems to appreciate the second chance:

“I am indebted to Coach Marshall and the whole WSU administration for bringing me home,” Jans said. “They’ve been unbelievable to me and my family and we’re thankful and grateful for them believing in us and being there when we needed them most.”
The other is a little more interesting.  Patrick Ewing has hired Louis Orr to be on his staff at Georgetown.  This is very interesting.  First and foremost, those schools HATE each other and Orr was a lead player in the drama for the Orangemen. It would be similar to Chuck Ealey coaching the Falcons...or Bob Nichols...or Anthony Stacey being hired to coach for UT (wait...but wait, see what I mean?  That's how it feels).

It also might be the most NBA-experienced staff in college basketball history and depending on who else they hire might be the tallest staff in D1 history.

I wish Louis well, too.  I know it didn't work out at BG...that happens in life...but he is a man of integrity who always represented BG well.  I'll be rooting for him.

As a side note, Chauncey Orr finished his career with a lot of honors at the DII level.  You might remember that he transferred to Hawaii Pacific where he scored 19 PPG and 55% shooting.  He was all-conference, the tournament MVP and an honorable mention All-American.

Note:  Chris Jans is now going to be the Head Coach at New Mexico State.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Two Players Sign Football NLI

So, with the spring signing period, the Falcons inked two additional young men to national letters of intent.

One of them is Josh Crolsen, who we posted about recently.  The other is James Carolan, who we had written about back in late December.  To refresh, he is from the school Jinks coached at in Texas, he's very highly ranked and was committed to MinnesotaHe's the #3 long snapper in the country and would be slated to be long-term player at that position.

Welcome to the Falcons, Josh and James.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Falcons Sign Latvian to MBB

So, a while ago I noted that BG had picked up a verbal from Mattiss Kulackovskis, a Latvian F who was playing Prep ball in Philly.  He's 6'8" and a late bloomer and this one could be a significant pick up for us.

Well, today he signed.  The BGSU release notes that he will have four years of eligibility.  He played two years in prep ball, so I am interpreting that to mean that he has used his redshirt year.  Anyway, the release notes the importance a player like this--who scores inside and out and can guard against 2-4s--would make in the MAC.  Huger waxes poetic when describing his "soft, feathery stroke."


This past season, while serving as a team captain, the Latvian averaged 18.0 points, 9.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists for the Raiders. He also shot an impressive 40 percent from three-point range as a senior, while shooting 55 percent from the floor overall. In Kulackovskis' two seasons at Archbishop Ryan, the Raiders won 39 games, made two appearances in the Philadelphia Catholic League (PCL) semifinals, which are staged at the famous Palestra, while also making a run this past season to the PIAA Class 6A state semifinals.

Kulackovskis was named First Team All-PCL in 2016-17, and earned Second Team All-City honors, on top of being named to the All-Southeastern Pennsylvania Third Team. Archbishop Ryan finished the season with a 23-6 mark this season. In Kulackovskis' first season at Archbishop Ryan, the Raiders went 16-8.

So, right now, BG's team looks like this.  Players with * have not played any significant game time for the Falcons.

  1. Wiggins
  2. Caldwell
  3. Frye
  4. Turner*
  5. Lillard
  6. Uju*
  7. Fox
  8. Kulackovskis*
  9. Cummings*
  10. Gadson*
  11. Koch*
  12. Plowden*

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Spring Game Concluded

Made it down for most of the spring game today.  Actually some of the best weather for a spring game that I can recall.  Some years it is as cold as a November game, but today was actually pretty nice.

As always, scrimmages are hard to judge.  For instance, if I told you we didn't have anybody who could cover Scottie Miller, you'd think that could be a good thing, a bad thing, or both.

And we didn't have anyone who could cover Scottie Miller.

I think it was 100% clear that Doege is in position to be the backup QB.  He threw 2 TD passes including a dazzling throw to Guyton in the corner of the end zone.  He appears to be a natural born QB.  Loy did decently and Cunningham appeared to have a tougher day.

James Morgan, I am assuming, will end up starting.  He had the game's only turnover for completed his other 4 passes in limited action.

In general, it was a "clean" scrimmage.  The offense had some big plays--including a huge run by Cleveland--but in my view, the defense won more than their fair share of the possessions.  And, given that our bigger concerns are on that side of the ball, I'm OK with that.   Coach called out his JUCO transfers--Guyton and Garth--as making big contributions among new players, which given that they are not right out of HS is not surprising.

It seemed like we blitzed a little more from the edges than I remember seeing last year, and the guys did seem to get home.  D back play on the corners seemed strong to me, except when guarding Scottie Miller.

Having said that, Guyton and Miller have the potential to form a very strong WR duo, with other guys filling in the gaps.  If Morgan is improved over last year and keeps his turnovers down, the offense could be good.

For my frequent Jake Suder correspondents, yes, Jake had a big game hitting a 46 yarder and a 49 yarder, both longer than his longest last season.

After the game, in the video below, Coach noted that BG had played mostly base...which teams to because their Spring Game is shared.  However, he says you will see BG in some "10" per, which is 10 personnel, which is 1 RB and 4 WR, he seemed to indicate it might not be that common because BG was to "control the clock" to help the defense out, which is a big switch from what we heard a year ago.

So, again, just a scrimmage.  Great to be out at the Doyt.

Oh, and I didn't see anyone injured.  Which is perhaps most key.  In fact, I have not heard about any serious injuries.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Coaching Change At BGSU

The staff has been one of the big concerns--maybe the biggest--as it relates to how Coach Jinks has chosen to structure the program.  Unlike Coach Babers, he did not make big changes in the off-season.  However, the Sentinel reported one change today...Benny Morrison, the LB Coach, was relieved of his duties.  As noted here when he came to BG, Morrison might have been the least qualified on a staff that has a bunch of question marks.  He had been a graduate assistant for FOUR years, three of them with Eliano at UTSA.  I honestly didn't think you could do that.

Anyway, Ryan Downard is moving to an on-field position.  Downard was the Director of Football Operations (initially named as Chief of Staff).  Before that, he had been a defensive assistant (like an assistant to the assistants) for the Browns.  FWIW, I have heard good things about him.

He will coach safeties.  Matt Brock, who was coaching special teams and nickel backs, will now coach the LB.  The story doesn't say what will happen with special teams but Coach Jinks has talked a lot about having a special teams coordinator, something I am a fan of as well.

Update:  Brock will continue to coach special teams.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Falcons Land 3-star 2017 Texas DL

So recruiting was not over for the Bowling Green Falcons when signing day came, as they landed a non-April fool surprise when they landed DT Josh Croslen from Steele HS, which, I suspect you know, is the school where Coach Jinks made himself into what he is today.

Here's the story.  First, Steele was a good team last year, playing for Steele HS making it all the way to the Class 6A Division II State finals last year before losing.  They had 9 players go on to play some kind of post-HS football, but the local writer thinks Croslen might have been the best of them.

He was set to go to Minnesota...under the previous regime.  He apparently dropped his verbal during the bowl boycott scandal stuff.  Fleck would still have taken him, but he opted out.  Unfortunately, most of the teams interested in him didn't have a scholarship available, but Coach Jinks stayed with him and landed the young man.  He has signed.

This is one to put a pin in.  BG hasn't had a homewrecking DT since Chris Jones left and it just can't be described how much a guy like Jones would open stuff up for others AND cause carnage himself, even when double-teamed.

He is 6'1" and 280 pounds and was the San Antonio Express-News Defensive Player of the Year.  He had offers from Minnesota (obvi), Houston, Air Force, Navy, Colorado State, La-Monroe, North Texas State, SMU, Southern Miss, Texas State, and Texas-San Antonio.

Croslen registered 75 tackles, including 28 for loss, and 10 sacks as a senior.  Those are not misprints.  28 for loss.

And, he's an honor roll student, if you didn't get that from the service academy offers.

It would be ironic if this was Austin Valdez's scholarship.

Anyway, this was a big one.  Will say it again...we haven't seen if Coach Jinks has the full game to be a successful D1 coach but he clearly can recruit highly ranked players.

Not sure if Josh plays in year one, but it is possible, in my opinion.

Welcome to the Falcons, Josh.

Update:  Hey, one other thing I should have mentioned.  Josh is actually one of THREE 3-star DLs BG has in this class.  Caylon May, who comes in at 6'1" and 308 pounds and Jamari Rouse, who is smaller at 6'2" and 262.  BG investing in the front D-line, which I am for.  Nothing breaks down an offense faster than chaos on the line of scrimmage and when it comes from the middle, it opens the ends up and keeps one potential receiver in to block on pass plays.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Quick Update from football

Had a chance to watch Coach Jink's video from Friday about the scrimmage they had.  There were a couple of interesting takeaways.

The first and most newsworthy is that the team has a scholarship available and is out looking for a K, mostly likely coming as a graduate transfer.  (just to be clear, coach just said we were hoping to resolve the K position and I have inferred he is talking graduate transfer.  I guess it could be JUCO too.)

For the record, I'm for it.  Special teams are important and PK is probably the most important part of it.  Yes, he says we are working on the return game, including both returner positions...for PR we need somebody who will catch the ball...anyway, the PK isn't a prelude to points, he represents points.  We were OK last year, but some additional range would be huge.

The second part of the scrimmage was that James Morgan is playing really well, based on the comments.  Not that he'd talk about him playing poorly, but he did provide a lot of discussion that would suggest he's on board.  It is enough that if he gets another week like that out of Morgan he will allow the backups to work with some #1 reps to help see who the backup will be.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

MAC Men's Hoops Ends

And that's it.

And not with a bang, but with a whimper.  The Zips lost by 16 to Texas-Arlington in the NIT to finish 27-9.

It was not a great post-season for the MAC.  Kent got hot and won the MAC tournament but got a really poor seed due to its pre-hot performance and therefore a very tough assignment in the first round.

That's five straight opening round losses for the MAC.  The last team to get any wins was OU in 2012, when they made the Sweet 16.

MAC Basketball is pretty much stuck right in the middle of D1 right now.  There are 32 conferences and the kenpom ranking has the MAC #14.  That's behind the Southern and ahead of the Sun Belt and Summit.

We are pretty much in the middle where we have been over the past 15 years. MAC Basketball hit a low point in 2009 (the year BG won the regular season title) and did not begin to rebound until 2012, when the whole thing got on an upward track...which has regressed the last two years.

As currently constituted, there's a ceiling on how high the thing is going to go.  Simply put, it is a challenge for schools with our size and finances to maintain good football and basketball programs at the same time.  Of the teams that won byes to the tourney--Akron, OU, Buffalo and Ball State--only OU had a strong football team.  Similarly, the eventual champion and traditional not good at football.

On the flip side, NIU, BG and WMU have won the most football titles in recent years, and of them only WMU was even passably good in basketball.

Small sample, I know.  But I think it holds up.  Also, the top 4 seeds in the NCAA tournament are Kansas (lousy football), UNC (average football), Villanova (FCS football) and Gonzaga (no football).

Yes, I know the Big 10 does it.  No, I don't have an explanation for that.

Anyway, just an annual note that the MAC was once a "thinking man's" basketball conference, and now I just think we're average.

By the way, one thing is interesting.  For a LONG TIME people have said "it is hard to win on the road in the MAC."  And by people, I mean coaches who just lost a road game.  The home team won only 54% of the games this year in the conference, with was the 26th ranked winning percentage.  There were only 6 conferences where it was lower.

Monday, March 13, 2017

WTOL: Hluchoweckyj and Worrell to Leave Program

Well, some not great news from the men's basketball front, as reported by Jordan Strack of WTOL.

Hluchoweckyj is not a huge surprise.  He was hardly playing at all, made some starts following the suspension for the OU game.  Then, his minutes slowly dwindled until he did not play in 4 of the last 5 games.  He was the only Jans recruit who stayed with the program and he scored 39 career points.  He is from Nebraska.

Rasheed Worrell is a little more disappointing.  He red-shirted during the Jans year and then played during the Huger years.  He's 6'8" and gave the team important depth on the inside.  He started 28 games last year and then none this year, averaging 5.8 ppg and 4.2 RPG in 17 average minutes.  I always felt he had the ability to be, at least, a strong reserve for a team that is starved for inside players, but apparently it didn't work out.  He is from North Carolina.

Anyway, that leaves the men's basketball team with 5 returning scholarship players...Wiggins, Fox, Frye, Caldwell, and Lillard to go with the recruits and redshirts who are returning.  Fox will be the only senior.  Even before, next year was setting up to be a tough year and this will only make it more difficult.

There is time for Coach Huger to bring in even more new players or at least a player.  The key thing you would point to would be a graduate transfer, if available.  One of the reasons that this year's team was looking to be tough was that the recruiting had stopped kicking the can down the road with JUCO players.  Maybe that will change now.

Anyway, best to Rasheed and Malik.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

MAC Post-Season Line Up

Kent #14 playing UCLA in Sacramento.

This is a tough assignment.  Kent has the potential to be a tough out, but I think UCLA has a shot to win it all.  Kent has a good defense, but that's going to be a tough night but the Bruins are #3 in the nation in offensive efficiency and in the top 80 in defense.  Also, they have to go a long way to play that game.  To their benefit, the game will be the last one played in the first round.

Akron is a 7-seed in the NIT, playing @Houston (#2) on Wednesday.  Houston is ranked #49 in the country on kenpom and will be a big favorite on home floor against the Zips.  That said, Akron is a tough out.  Also, depends on how much each team feels like playing.

Ball State is going to keep playing.  They will play @IPFW on Wednesday in the CIT.   IPFW is #145 in and Ball State is in the 170s.  That's a good in-state matchup and remember that IPFW beat Indiana earlier this year.

UT is in the post-season.  They are playing in the CBI @ George Washington on Wednesday.  That could be a good matchup, with GW at #125 and UT at #129.  GW fired their coach during the season and is still working with an interim coach.

For their part, Buffalo has opted out of the post-season field.  I think it makes sense.  I hope the players weren't denied a chance to play together one last time if that's what they wanted, but these are incredibly minor events and that UB team is senior laden and so it isn't really a developmental opportunity.  If I recall correctly, this is not the first time Buffalo has done this.

Finally, the late report is that Ohio U. did not get an invite anywhere.  I suspect they did and chased it off, but I could be wrong.  Anyway, at this hour, it appears that OU's season is over.

List of Shame to 10

Now 49 elapsed years since BG has been in the NCAA tournament.  Northwestern has stepped off the list, bringing it down to 9, not including BG.  Here is the company we live with now.  Next year will be a half-century.

Columbia: Last appeared in 1968
Tennessee Tech: Last appeared in 1963
Maine: Division I since 1962
New Hampshire: Division I since 1962
Dartmouth: Last appeared in 1959
Army: Division I since 1948
Citadel: Division I since 1948
Northwestern: Division I since 1948
St. Francis (N.Y.): Division I since 1948
William & Mary: Division I since 1948

MAC Update

So, the season ended last night for MAC MBB, as Kent pulled the big "upset" and defeated Akron to win the MAC and head to the Big Dance.  I say "upset" because based on the last weeks of the season, it wasn't as shocking as the seeding might indicate.  After losing to BG and UT in mid-February and being 5-7, the Flashes won 9 of 10 coming home, beating Akron, Ohio and Buffalo twice each.  They were playing the best ball in the MAC.  Then, they won the tournament playing a bye game on Monday, which isn't "four games in four days." as the ESPN announcer was fond of saying, but was still impressive.

I guess you might think it isn't fair to win the regular season and not get the bid, but titles are decided on the field.  There's always a playoff.  I can't think of a sport that decides its title based on regular season standings (in the United States).  It is cruel, but Kent did also beat Akron 2 of 3 times.  (Oddly, BG also beat both teams, with 2 of 7 wins against the top teams in the  MAC).

Due to their previous struggles, they are set to be a #15 seed, based on Lunardi.  The last time a >4 seed won the tourney was in 2011 when Akron beat...Kent.

Anyway.  More tonight as the tournament pairings shake out as well as the other "minor" tourneys.  Seven MAC teams were .500 or above overall.

In the other news, John Cooper was fired at Miami, to no one's surprise.  They should hire carefully, because that program is a sleeping giant.  (John Groce?)  They are a historic MAC power and could get back there again.  This is a great job for the same reasons Chuck Martin thought it was a great job on the football side.

I'd guess that will be it.  His contract was up anyway, so it is more a non-renewal.  I actually thought Senderhof might be in trouble, but clearly not.  Others I wonder about would include Hawkins, Murphy and Montgomery, with no idea on their contract status.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Huger Rips Selfish Team, Inherited Guys

This video was posted by Jordan Strack at WTOL.  This is a pretty big WOW, if you ask me.

You should definitely take a couple of minutes and watch it.  Coach Huger gives a pretty bleak look at his program as it stands today.

  • Guys with one foot in and one foot out.
  • You question how tough your team is.  Mentally and physically.
  • We played selfish basketball.  Offensively and defensively.
  • Once it started to go bad, we couldn't stick together.
  • It's like it's the last go-round and you are going to show everybody what you can do and you show everybody what you can't do.
  • When you inherit guys, it is hard to get them to change.  It's hard to change a guy who has been doing it this way for so long and we're trying to change him and it's hard.
  • We had the same thing last year with the same issues, and now hopefully we can move forward.

Ouch.  Oh, and when he says now, he means that now that all of the players from previous regimes have moved through the program.  Those are the guys he inherited.  (It actually isn't quite true.  He also inherited Worrell and Fox).

Anyway, in yesterday's game, the only "inherited players" who played were Denny, Worrell and Fox.  The other seniors were Alcegaire and Ali, both of whom Huger recruited and were not "inherited."

So, I guess I understand what's being said.  Denny did shoot 3 of 7.  And, he played only 17 minutes.  (Worrell had 5 points and 4 rebounds in 20 minutes).

Ultimately, though, they can't possibly be all of the problem that we saw out there last night.  A significant part of the issue has to be guys who Huger didn't inherit, because that was who played most of the minutes and the whole team was getting skunked.

Anyway, it was a disappointing way to end the year.  BG was playing them relatively tough and with 15:42 left, BG was down only 4.  Over the next 8 minutes, BG was outscored 25-5 as UT blew the game wide open and never looked back.

I'm a supporter of Coach Huger and I definitely think he came into a difficult situation.  There will be a season review coming up, but in the meantime the team was a little better in conference play and about the same overall in year 2 when compared to year 1.  Next year is going to be rough, but starting with next year and extending onward, if guys are "one foot in and one foot out" then there's going to be no doubt where the accountability for it lies.

Erratum:  Mailk H. also was committed to BG before Huger took over.  We regret the error.

Monday, March 06, 2017

That's it. It's Over.

That's it.  There will be no run in the MAC tournament this year.  UT took a moderately close game at halftime and then blew BG off the hardwood in the second half, leading by more than 20 most of the way and walking to the win, 77-62, in a game that wasn't actually that close.

More to come on the game and the season.  BG finishes 13-19.  For now, the streak continues.  1968.

Denny and Frye Get MAC Honors

Nice honors for two Falcons today.

First, Zack Denny received honorable mention all-MAC honors as well as being named to the all-defensive team.  It is his first time to get an all-MAC honor.  His primary defensive stat is steals.  He averaged 2 steals a game, which was 3rd in the MAC and he was 2nd in steal%.

The other honoree was Dylan Frye on the all-freshman team.  For the year, he also shot 9.0 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.2 assists. His 40.0 three-point percentage ranks 10th in the conference. Frye is also shooting 44.8 percent from the field for the season.

The last Falcon to make All-Freshman was Joe Jakubowski in 2008, something made even weirder by the fact he and Frye could be twins.

Congrats to Zack and Dylan.  Great job!

Football depth chart for spring ball released

And so here it is. The football depth chart set for the start of spring football at BG.  This is always a good we get a chance to look ahead at what the program has to offer for the Fall.

A few observations.

There was some shuffling on the o-line but no huge surprises.  You have rock-solid Tim McAuliffe in the middle with Labus and Hunter at the tackles, as was probably expected.  Taborn, who played T last year due to injuries, is moving into G and Jack Kramer was a backup G and is now up to the starter.  Beyond that, we need to keep good hope for health.  BG has three backups who have never played a down and one (Lucke) who has played in only one game.  Clark Clancy is the one backup with any kind of playing experience.  So, BG needs to stay healthy and know that the line next year will be very young.

At QB, James Morgan is the starter, as expected.  The backups are undetermined. You have walk-on Loy, Elijah Cunningham who red-shirted and Jarrett Doege, who is a FR early enrollee.  It matters how this one sorts out.  Most teams need a backup QB at some point in a year.  I have a feeling it might end up being Doege in the 2-hole, but that's just a guess.

At WR, you have Redding, Zimmerman, Pough and Miller, which represents no surprise.  Also offers no real outside deep threat.  The backups include Matt Wilcox (early enrollee) and Darin Guyton, a transfer who was once at Oregon State.  Phoutavong and Folkerstma round out the WR Corps.  If I had to guess, I'd say Guyton will start to steal reps pretty quickly with his size and speed.

Lastly, Cleveland and Wilson will split time at RB.  Both are seniors.

On the defensive line, it is important to remember that this is all a rotation, so really the whole two-deep gets PT.  Dirion Hutchins and Nico Lautenan are moving into the rotation.  Lautenan has played some....9 games last year as a R-FR.  In general, defensive line is stable for us heading into Spring.

At LB....well, BG might never have lost two more key LBs in the same year as they did with Austin Valdez and Trent Greene.  Nate Locke will slide in at MLB.  He's got quite a bit of time under his belt with 39 games played.  Aaron Banks will take the other spot.  He's a R-SR who has played some but not much.  He made 3 tackles last year.  His backup is KY transfer Dorian Hendrix and the backup in the middle is Jerry Judd, a R-FR in his first game.  The other LB is stable, with Brandon Harris and Nillijah Ballew, both converted DBs.

Speaking of which, in the d-backfield BG has Cam Jeffries and Robert Jackson in the first spot at corner.  Both of those young men got some duress-laden reps at true freshmen last year.  Marcus Milton is one of the backups...he got a number of snaps last year...and then the other CB is Clint Stephens, who is coming back from injury and will be important if he can get healthy.

BG was decimated at S, between injuries and now graduation.  Jamari Bozeman and Jerry McBride will begin the spring as the starters...both of them also had a growing year during 2016.  The backups are Tavarous Wade and JUCO Fred Garth.  Missing from the depth chart are Antonyo Sotolango, who played quite a bit last year, as well as Ben Hale and Jack Walz, both of whom were injured but remain listed on the roster.  So, conceivably there is the possibility of additional depth as well.

The special teams come back pretty intact.  Jake Suder is the K.  I don't know if BG has any preferred walk-on kickers, but those would not show up until July.  Joe Davidson is back.  We have a new long snapper, this is Gabe Skrobot.  KRs appear to be pretty much the same.

So that's how things look.  BG needs a healthy offensive line and for the D-backs to continue to get begin with.  And, the offense needs some WRs to step up and become playmakers in order to get things in gear.  Spring ball is a comin'.