Wednesday, February 23, 2005


This blog will be on hiatus until March 7 or so. We are travelling overseas.


Ah, shit. We got stomped out there today. An absolutely pitiful performance when our offense when to sleep for several minutes at a time.

Case in point....We're up 19-8 with 9:51 left in the first half. We score 6 points the rest of the way, give up 24 (also a poor figure), and we're down 7.

Then, NIU jacks it up to 20 @ 49-29 (making the run a full 41-10 at that point). We fight back, though, and with about 5 left in the game, we had it to 4. Over the next 2 minutes, they scored 8 and we scored 1, and that's all she wrote.

This one hurts. It was winnable, and we didn't. We shot 39.7%, 14 Tos, but shot 23 of our 58 shots from 3--not good. Our three was 30.4%. I listened to the game, and it felt like Moon played about 30 minutes, not 16.

We will never speak of this game again.

Here are the updated standings....I don't pretend to understand MAC tiebreakers, but I know we aren't 7th because we have the tiebreaker against Kent. Game against Miami now a must-win.

1. (East Leader) Miami (11-4)
2. (West Leader) WMU (9-6)
3. Akron (10-5)
4: Buffalo (10-6)
5-7: Bowling Green(9-6)
Kent (9-6)
OU (9-6)
8. Toledo (8-6)
9: BSU (7-7)
10: NIU (6-10)
11: EMU(5-10)
12: CMU (3-13)
13: Marshall (2-13)

NIU game tonight...Must win

The more I hear, the more I think its a must-win in Dekalb tonight. Note these:

Northern Illinois’ bench continues to shrink. Versatile sophomore forward Paige Paulsen is out for the season due to lingering effects from a concussion suffered Feb. 6 at Kent State and will follow up with a specialist on Thursday to determine his availability for the rest of the season. Because of Paulsen’s injury, the Huskies are down to eight players, including sophomore center Bryson McKenzie, who averages just 3.4 minutes a game due to his rehabilitation from offseason knee surgery.

"With the indefinite status of Paige (Paulsen), we've added Shatone Powers to our roster," Judson said. "Shatone is an excellent athlete with a great attitude for this situation. Our players are familiar with him through playing a lot of pick-up games together during the off-season. We are grateful to Coach Novak for allowing Shatone to practice and help the team."

They are limping home, unhealthy and without much to play for. We need a road win. If we get it, I don't see us going less than 2-2 on the way home, and we're probably in the top 5 with that record. A top 5 gets us to the Gund.

We're the best road team in the MAC this season, and we need to prey on this wounded team.

Monday, February 21, 2005

What does .500 look like?

What does the post-season look like?

We can use the pythagorean method to answer these questions.

Last year, the Reds scored 750 runs, and had an ERA of 5.19. We're going to forget for the moment that the Reds were 11 games above their projected record last season, and just pretend like we are starting from even.

Let's say the Reds increase their offense by 6.7% and score 800 runs. Its not an unbelievable total, especially for this team, healthy. Six NL teams scored that many last year. We should at least get to that total.

Now, the defensive side of the equation. The NL ERA last year was 4.30, let's say we get there. If we do, the Reds would have shaved almost a run off the ERA. Maybe it can be done, especially since the bullpen ERA was as bad as it was and should get a lot better, and the starting ERA should get a little better. A 4.30 ERA with unearned runs added back at 4.5% (last year's rate), means giving up 728 runs.

800 runs for, 728 against equals 89 wins, which is three below last year's wildcard total.

More realistically, let's say we hit something between last year and the league average--a more reasonable advance at 4.70. That's 795 runs allowed, and a .500 season. Note this, its what we're going to track for the year. I think this is our path to .500.

Let's say the offense really goes crazy. Let's say everybody's healthy and hitting like mad dogs. Let's say we score 850 runs, which is about what the Cards scored last year.

850 runs with a 4.70 ERA---86 wins.
850 runs with a 4.30 ERA--93 wins. That's what it will take to get a serious look at the post-season.

Finally, what do we have to do to get our ERA to 4.79. Well, to begin with, here are the 2004 ERAs.

Starters: 5.23. (15th)
Relievers 5.12 (16th)

To get to 4.70, we need only to get to:

Starters: 4.88 (13th)
Relievers 4.50 (13th)

This is actually a doable number, don't you think?

To get to 4.3, we need something a little dramatic, and a lot more from the bullpen.

Starters: 4.52 (10th)
Relievers 4.00 (7th)

So, if we can have a middle of the pack bullpen and a slightly below average starting staff, and then score 850 runs like the Cardinals did last year, we're in the wild card hunt.

More likely is my .500 scenario. But let's watch.

John Reimold MAC West Player of the Week

Reimold and Almanson only players in DI averaging more than 18 PPG for the same team.

Killer Back again on Lions D

Says safety likely to come from free agency, draft possible at DE.

I'd trade down and take Davis from Georgia, or at least consider doing that, but that's just me. An established veteran would be nice, too.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Killer talks free-agent Lions

Killer surveys the Lions potential moves this year. If they keep Raiola, they might be able to sign Stockar, get a guard on the wires, which frees them up to go D in the draft. If they lose Raiola and Stockar, than the line becomes the top priority. This would point to FSU's Alex Barron as a first round pick.

Alas, it is spring...

And every team is still a contender. I don't think the Reds starting pitching will be signficantly improved over last year, but I do think that the bullpen will be better, and that's worth a couple games. Here, the Great One, Hal McCoy, writes on the new Reds Bullpen.

A couple of other

John Sickels, former ESPN dude, writes on Red Reporter about the top Reds Prospects.

Finally, nothing lends itself to blogging like spring training. Marc Lancaster of the Post is blogging from Plant City. Worth a look everyday,

Finally, some original content. The Reds brought in Joe Randa at 3b to fill a hole where we were clearly producing below the league average. Its all a fill-in until Edwin Encarnacion comes in next year (one hopes), but in the meantime, Randa is a minor step up, at best.

Randa (.341 OBP, .424 SLG, .765 OPS).
Freel (.375 OBP, .368 SLG, .743 OPS).
NL 3b (.338 OBP, .458 SLG, .791 OPS).

Both are below average, but in different ways and degrees. Randa is clearly the better offensive player, but Freel was a better lead-off role type guy, and maybe he was needed there. Its hard to tell. But when listing the things the Reds did to supposedly contend, let's not count on too much from Randa.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Falcons Beat Little Rock

Nice win, though typical. Perhaps best of all, there were some fans there, and they were loud and enthusiastic. We had about 3,000 in the house, and beat a quick and talented team in UALR.

With 5:24 left in the first half, we were up 32-12. Sadly, the Trojans went 9-2 to the break, and down 13 points is a lot better and probably gave them so momentum. Which they picked up on, gradually sinking the lead to under 10 (8 @ 12:16), and finally tying the game @ 7:40. What followed was perhaps four of the most bizarre minutes I've seen, where neither team could score, time after time. We finally broke the string at 3:51 with 2 FT's from Reimold, and went on a 10-1 run, and that was it. UALR never got it to one possession after that.

John Reimold was good--very good. He was 7/14 from the field--he posted and drove more than normal, and 3-8 from beyond the arc. And he hit 12 FT's in 12 tries, for 29 points, which is the team's high for the season. Josh chipped in his own 27, on 10-16 from the field, 3 treys in 5 tries, and four free throws. So, 56 of 74 points from two guys.

On the post-game, coach said nobody else was doing anything, so they stepped up and got the job done. They were great. Reimold, by the way, scored 26 points IN THE SECOND HALF. That's pretty dominant. Reimold also picked up his fourth foul with 9 left or so, and it was looking bleak. Coach related that Reimold grabbed him, told him he could trust him in the game, and he did, and he could.

Some basic points. We are 13-0 when we score 70 points. We only turned the ball over 11 times, which is good. We were 22-25 from the line--also very good, and a key to our success.

I hope this gives the team some confidence. The next game is on the road against NIU, and it would be a huge win. A win there and my guess is we've locked down a home spot. We're the only team with a winning record on the road in MAC games this year.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Well, it was a win

It was ugly at Anderson Arena tonight. Ugly, and the only positive thing was to walk out with the 70-69 win. A list of bitches and gripes follows:

1. Our first place team has 2,200 in attendence. Awful, and embarassing.

2. We enjoyed our typical final minutes collapse. With 2:53 left, we were up 5. We don't get another FG on the way home.

3. We catch a break when the Ball State shooter misses BOTH free throws, down 1 with :11 left. We fail to get the board (inexcusable). A virtual melee breaks out on the floor with John Reimold "blocking" a shot (per the BG game notes), and Steven Wright bouncing the ball off a Ball State player to final corral it. They were homered big time, and should have been back at the line. (I confirmed this watching the news highlights on Fox).

4. Time and time again, we are unable to get the ball in. Ball State is so much faster it is painful to watch.

5. Ball places absolute straitjacket D on us. We score 11 points over the last ten mintues, on TWO FGs.

6. We shoot only 47% but win. BSU shoots 53% and loses.

7. 23 of our 51 shots were from 3. Not our game plan. On top of that, we do it poorly, shooting 30%. Reimold is 3-11 from the arc.

8. The crowd was small, but it was quiet. The squeaking of sneakers was a common sound. If you see the students in their section talking to each other during play, its not unusual.

9. It was a boring game, anyway, until the final minute.

10. Having John Floyd guard you apparently makes you into Michael Jordan.

Now, there were some plusses. Not withstanding that we struggled bringing the ball up against pressure and against the trap, we only turned it over 10 times. Reimold had 28 points, and Almanson 20. We got 10 solid minutes from Austin Montgomery. With our guard situation, even 15 minutes next year would help. Vandermeer only played 16 minutes, and I don't understand why he wasn't in more later when they were running around us like pylons. He's supposed to help us against dribble penetration.

But hey, here's a plus. We won. We're in first, and we get a little break from MAC play until next week. Coach thinks we play better on the road then at home, so the NIU game should be a snap.

The MAC is completely unpredictable. Akron is not healthy, and OU is hot and at home, and Akron stomps them the night after WMU loses to CMU. The Gund is going to be an absolute circus.

Bye Standings Today

1. (East Leader) Miami (11-3)
2. (West Leader) Bowling Green (9-5)
3. Akron (9-5)
4-5: Buffalo & WMU (9-6)
6-8: Kent & Toledo & OU (8-6)
9: BSU (7-7)
10: EMU(5-9)
11: NIU (5-10)
12: CMU (3-12)
13: Marshall (2-12)

This is a big one tonight

Bye Standings Today

1. (East Leader) Miami (11-3)
2. (West Leader) Bowling Green (8-5)
3-4. Akron & Ohio (8-5)
5-6: Buffalo & WMU (9-6)
7-8: Kent & Toledo (8-6)
9: BSU (7-6)
10: NIU (5-9)
11: EMU (4-9)
12: CMU (3-12)
13: Marshall (2-12)

What this means is that going into the game, we are looking at a bye, and with a win we strengthen ourselves--a lot. In fact, with a winnable road game @ NIU, but then Miami and WMU, its a must win. With a loss, we are looking at falling into a tie for ninth. A team in bye position could easily end up on the road this Fall.

That's what a crazy year it is in this conference.

This is Fun

Cincinnati Reds survey on a Reds blog...covers the waterfront. You can even make your own lineup up. Results available on opening day.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Pitchers and Catchers Reporting

Well, the exciting news is that pitchers and catchers are reporting to Plant City to start workouts on Thursday. I've been compiling ideas on the coming season, and will have them shortly. Let's just say I'm cautiously pessimistic.

In the meantime, Jr. says he's feeling well and shocked at how the Reds worked this winter.

We might as well get used to it

The Lions are going to sign Jeff Garcia. Let's just get used to it. Mooch can't seem to help himself.

Here's a comment I posted on the Detroit Lions Weblog in response to the Valentine Romeo Crennel sent Jeff Garcia yesterday.
My reaction has been that signing Jeff Garcia is exactly the kind of day-late, dollar-short manuver that has been killing the Lions for years. Also, it smacks of a continuing effort to rebuild the dying years of the 49er dynasty in Detroit.

I also was just treated to the NFL pundits on the radio expousing the certainty that Garcia would end up in Detroit.

So, since it appears I may have to get used to the idea, my question is three-fold.

1. Was Garcia's high suck factor only due to a bad relationship with Butch Davis? In fact, he hasn't had a QB rating over 90 since 2001--the last three seasons were 85.6 (2002), 80.1 (2003), 76.7 (2004), a steady decline.

2. Will he push Joey to a higher level?

3. Are we ready for non-stop QB controversey everytime Joey overthrows a receiver?

Time will tell. Its apparent its likely to happen, so let's hope it has the desired effect. The best possible scenario, IMO, is it pushes Joey to the next level.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Vandelay Sports Rates MAC Recruits

All disclaimers apply....I think is probably a fair ranking....

Vandely on Football recruiting

Big Win for Falcons

The Falcons picked up a huge win at Kent State yesterday. Probably, the biggest win of the season for our team. Kent was #73 in Sagarin, with wins at Creighton and Florida State and nearly a win at Boston College. Furthermore, they have owned us during the Dakich years.

Yesterday was different. We jumped out to a fast lead. In fact, with 7:14 left in the first half, we had a 21-8 lead. They went on a little run from there, but we still led by 8 at halftime.

In the first five minutes of the second half, we were back to a 12 point lead at 43-31. Kent began to press, and we began to struggle, and a very fast 14-1 run gave them the lead (13:04 left). Good chance for a team to fold on the road, but the Falcons stayed with them and re-took the lead at 11:15. Kent led once more, but basically from there on in, we were maintaining a tight, close lead.

Josh Almanson was great. Besides becoming our 43rd 1,000 point scorer, he took over the game, scoring 10 or our 12 points after Kent had taken their final team with about 7 left. He finished with 23 points and 9 rebounds.

Steven Wright had a big day with 15 points and 7 assists, and Reimold added 19 points (and only one 3).

We shot 58% for the game, and that's a win for us. We haven't lost all season when we scored 70 points. We only had 13 turnovers, and shot more free throws on the road, which was also a big help. Kent took almost half their shots from beyond the arc (26 out of 54), and made 10 3s against our 3, so that helped to keep them in the game. Overall, Kent only shot 37%. We outrebounded our 8th straight opponent.

Great performance, with a tough road win down the stretch.

Courtesy BGSU, here are the MAC seedings if the season ended today.

1. Miami (10-3)
2. Western Michigan (9-5)
3. Ohio (8-5, 3-1 vs. other 9-5 teams)
4. Bowling Green (8-5, 3-2 vs. other 8-5 teams)
5. Toledo (8-5, 2-2 vs. other 8-5 teams)
6. Kent State (8-5, 0-3 vs. other 8-5 teams)
7. Akron (7-5)
8. Buffalo (8-6)
9. Ball State (7-6)
10. Northern Illinois (5-9)
11. Eastern Michigan (4-9)
12. Marshall (2-11)
13. Central Michigan (2-12)

Not bad. You're within one game of 2nd and 9th at the same time. Need every game coming home.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Rockets Beat Falcons

The Rockets and the Falcons played an ugly, 1950's style slugfest at Savage on Wednesday, one that left the Rockets with a home victory to avenge their defeat at Anderson, 58-50.

The game was dreadfully played. BG shot 50% in the first half, but only 29.6% in the second half, for a final total of 38.3%, a season-low. The Rockets played sticky D, but we also shot poorly, and turned it over 21 times...a sure recipie for defeat, especially on the road.

The first half was much like the first half at BG--in fact, until a last second run, we were even down by 17 again. And in the second half we bolted back (mainly by UT shooting 28.6%). After struggling for most of the half, we got the score to 5 at 3:45. We then missed three opportunities to get the lead to one score, and that was it. In fact, we didn't score until there was :46 left. Luckily for us, the Rockets were nearly as inept over the same period, scoring only 4 points.

Look at it this way. We scored 50 in the game at Savage, and 53 in the second half against the Rockets in AA.

Steven Wright had 23, and was clearly our leader, taking advantage of openings caused by strong defending of Almanson and Reimold. Vandermeer had one block and 7 boards in 19 minutes.

Onto Kent. The MAC is absolutely log-jammed, and many teams could still win the West or get the bye. Kent will be tough, but if we can shoot well, we always stand a chance, and the win would be huge.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Falcons back to MAC East

BG is on its way back to the MAC East. I'm not crazy about this. First, we had our best games for football set up at home this year, and now its all off. We could end up at Miami, for example, and there goes a shot at the MACC, based on how we play on the road. Second, I don't really think Kent draws any better than WMU.

But the biggest problem is the Toledo problem. When we were in the East before, we played Toledo every year as part of the deal. But in those days, games outside your division did not count. Now they do. UT has a consistently strong program, yet we will have to play them every year while others only play them in a rotation. That puts us at a significant disadvantage, year in and year out. We also can't afford to give up what amounts to a guaranteed sell-out every two years.

Same problem for basketball, except we currently play them twice, and they aren't as good. Still, its an issue, and we may have to go home and home in basketball, again giving up a key home date.

All things being equal, I'd rather we stay in the West.

On Norman Chow

Well, I guess Norman Chow was willing to leave USC. I can only draw two conclusions from this move--neither of which is good. Either he turned down the Lions, or Mooch feels safer with a guy he knows...even if he isn't breaking any molds. Don't know, and I'm not giving up on Tollner being the guy, but I don't see what we have to lose by rolling the dice on Chow.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

We needed that

We needed that win. We have tough road games at Toledo and Kent this week, and we're down two at the half on our floor...we had to have that win. And we got it, 78-63, going away, in fact. They key moment was when we bolted out to a 25-8 run in the first seven minutes of the second half. We came right out of the shoot with an old-school three by John Floyd, and that gave us the lead, and we raced home from there. We hardly missed during the run, while OU was something like 3-12 with 6 turnovers in the same period.

A few keys to the win. First, it was clear that the post-Fitch set up just wasn't working. Further, we are being embarassed with drives to the hoop off the dribble. Coach made a nice adjustment starting Scott Vandemeer, who played 21 minutes, grabbed 6 boards and tied the school record with 7 blocks. He really helps defend those drives, and I think he helps keep bodies off Josh inside. He made a real difference last night, and I hope we see him getting 20 minutes or so coming home.

As usual, when we win we get help from numerous guys. Soler with 8 boards. Reimold and Almanson with 18 points, as usual. Floyd throws in 16 and 8 assists (and 9 tos :-(). Even Austin popped a key three.

We shot 51% for the game, and 60% in the second half. We did turn it over 20 times, but good FG shooting, and FT shooting (95%) helped to make it up. Both teams shot 20 free throws, and we won on the boards 39-20. Finally, we scored 52 second half points...nice.

Also follows a trend I have been tracking and will write on soon...we score 70 and allow less than 70, we win. Finally, OU shot 41% from the field, which is a pretty important stat for our team.

We're 13-6 now, and 7-4 in the MAC. There's a huge pack racing for the third bye, and we're as much in it as anyone. But there are no easy games for us. We need to split the games this week, which will be tough, but it would help a lot. The most likely place for that split is at Savage against the inconsistent Rockets.

One more win also assures us of our first winning record since the McLeod/Matela/Pardon era ended.

Sunday, February 06, 2005


College Football News has the first ranking of MAC recruiting classes. We're sixth, which is probably fair, but CFN isn't always on the mark.

Falcons have typically started strong, finished weak in MAC

A like the month of March, the Falcons have tended to come into MAC play like a lion and go out like a lamb. If you're feeling a sense of deja vu, you're not wrong.

In fact, its something that has happened each year in the post-McCleod/Pardon/Matela era.

2002 We started 5-1, and then went 3-9 down the stretch.
2003 We started 4-2, and then went 4-8 down the stretch.
2004 We started 4-0, and have been 2-4 since then.

Is there something about our team that lets us start fast, but causes us to burn out? Or is it just chance that we have some easier games earlier? Or, do we get less healthy and have less depth as time goes along? (Certainly possible).

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Hot Stove Chat

Dan O'Brien chatted on recently. No real news. Says they aren't trading Kearns, there will be no team captain, and Claussen is out of options (ouch).

Lions Draft Part I

Draft speculation is a cottage industry for off-season NFL nuts. Books, internet sites, heck, it made Mel Kiper famous. Lionbacker has compiled the mock drafts that are out there and what they are showing for our guys.

A couple comments. I like Thomas Davis. I think he helps us the most, and the most right away. He's fast, he's a tackler...he fits SS for us perfectly. We might even be able to trade down and still get him.

I do not like Heath Miller. At all. I think the only reason he shows up on so many of these is that Kiper put it on his first mock draft, and everyone else just follows suit. We don't need Heath Miller, and he doesn't move the ball forward. Let's go for some defense and a need. I have said it before--to some mockery--the defense is close to being very successful. Let's fill in the pieces before we have to start over again.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Hardcourt Disaster...Fitch out, Akron wins 71-69

It was a tale of four quarters. Yes, I know basketball in college is in halfs, but check the story out in quarters for last night's Akron game.

1st Ten Minutes BG 18-10
2nd Ten Minutes AK 16-29
3rd Ten Minutes BG 19-7
4th Ten Minutes AK 25-16

That hurts. Obviously, we played half a game and they played half a game, and they won on the final play, and we lose. That's our fourth straight decided in the final minute. It was deja vu from our last trip to AA, when the Rockets had the same march down the floor to win the game.

Sadly, Akron didn't do what UT did--try a perimeter shot--but tried to dribble penetrate, and it resulted in an uncontested layup. Coach said afterward there were three objectives. Don't let them drive the middle, don't let Joyce go to his right, and don't get split. And the did all three. They basically farted around until it was :04, and then cleared out to put Joyce on Floyd. Joyce faked the corner and went to his right, past Floyd like a pylon. As he drove to the middle, he ran around Almanson, too, and had a wide open layup to win the game.

Hurting just as bad was when John Reimold overthrew a guy on a pass with 1:04 left and a tie game...overthrew him by 20 feet.

We shot about 48.8% for the game, which should be OK. We were hurt be our inability to consistently defend for more than ten minutes a half, and Akron is a decent team that is well coached and attacks the hoop. We made 12 first half TOs, and that let Akron back into the game and let them lead by 5 at the half. For the game, TOs were 19-10.

A few observations. Although Wright had a pretty good game, our guard play is slowly getting poorer. After his big defensive plays against CMU, I don't understand why Robinson isn't guarding Joyce, except that he was cold, but will all the stops, he could have been warmed sometime before that, I would think. Even so, while Floyd and Robinson are exceeding expectations, they are gradually hurting our team a little more each week, and Wright has been inconsistent and slumping. None of them seem to be defending well.

Finally, to conclude a week which saw us fall from first to third, Germaine Fitch will now miss the remainder of the season. The accident in the melee after the Toledo victory reinjured his ACL and will cause him to miss the rest of the season...again. The team will miss him, not in numbers, but in steady play, good defense and leadership. He certainly helps on the press and in the middle. Coach really respects Germaine, and I think it hits everyone's morale when he keeps having this bad luck.

OU game is as must-win as it gets. We simply have to have the win on Monday. We're in a tight bunch playing for home court now, and we have to win at home or its over.

Only about 2,200 in attendance, so a poor crowd.

Its depressing, but on it goes.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Groundhog Day, NLI Day

Well, the recruits are signed again, and the web is buzzing with uninformed opinions, not the least of which are coming from ratings services. They have typically not liked our classes, and I suspect they won't like this one either.

I have to say that my initial reaction was underwhelming--it seemed solid, but without a WOW factor as in other classes. After looking closely at each one, I have moved my opinion up a little bit, but there still seem to be some guys we wouldn't have taken before.

Couple points. First, lineman are less "WOW" than skill players. Fair enough. Second, things are tougher--UC is resurgent with their new coach and a BCS bid, and other MAC schools are picking up the pace (Akron, CMU, OU, Ball) and offering play time right out of the box, which we cannot. Staying on top is tough.

A lot fewer ATH type guys, but a lot more linemen. Let's take a look, but remember this. You judge a graduating class when they are standing next to their parents on Senior Day. Let's hope this group is wearing a MAC Championship ring (or more).


Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown (High School)
Luke Alexander + WR 6-0 170 Springfield, Ohio (South)

See, right away they make a liar out of me. All-state, already at BGSU, this kid will be a good one right away.

Freddie Barnes QB 6-2 185 Chicago Hts., Ill. (Homewood)

Our only QB. Was his team MVP (seemingly a minimum expectation) and was all-area and all-conference.

Cody Basler LB 6-3 225 Auburn, Mich. (Bay City Western)

Was on the Michigan Dream Team. We recruited more players from Michigan than normal. However, Michigan is not known as a great HS footall state.

Jarrett Buckosh OL 6-7 254 Elyria, Ohio (Clearview)

This young man is going to have to hit the weights. 6-7 is nice, 254 not so nice. Was all-NE Ohio, all-conference and all-county, but does not appear to be an especially decoated player.

Chris Bullock RB 5-11 220 Destrehan, La. (Destrehan)

After much hulabaloo, our only Louisiana player. 1,400 yards and 14/18 TDs his last two years. Was second team all-district.

Aaron Davis WR 6-2 182 Seffner, Fla. (Armwood)

Interesting player. Played for a real good (back to back state champs) on a team that NEVER passed. Could be a bargain.

Trevor Frericks DL 6-1 255 Quincy, Ill. (Quincy Notre Dame)

Now here's what I am talking about. All-State in Illinois. First team all-state. Reportedly had interest from Illinois before the regime change.

Jacob Hardwick DL 6-3 260 Virginia Beach, Va. (Ocean Lakes)

Two-time all-district. This is what I am talking about as a non-wow guy.

Thomas James DL 6-2 255 Goose Creek, S.C. (Goose Creek)

All-state and defensive player of the year. This is what I am talking about. Apparently a referral from Gary Blackney. Looks like a very good player.

Nick Lawrence LB 6-3 220 Brighton, Mich. (Brighton)

Top 50 Blue Chip list in Michigan.

Rhett Magner WR 5-10 165 Palmer, Alaska (Colony)

Cole's little brother. Most people had figured he would play CB here, but the school listed him as a WR. Go figure. Our lightest recruit.

Kevin Mahoney OL 6-6 295 Springfield, Ohio (North)

All-conference, all-area and all-county, but in Springfield. Big boy, that's for sure.

Brady Minturn DL 6-4 250 Loveland, Ohio (Loveland)

Was second-team all-state and made a couple all-star games. Was named one of the state's top 26 juniors. Could be a good one.

Phillip Pollard OL 6-3 270 Westerville, Ohio (Westerville South)

All-Ohio in 2004. Good size.

Michael Ream DL 6-3 235 Bluffton, Ohio (Bluffton)

All-conference and all-NWO, but at a small school. Hard to tell what this projects to. Was a TE, too, so is probably a DE.

Ruben Ruiz + TE 6-4 245 Oro Valley, Ariz. (Pueblo/Arizona Western)

Already in school. Could start on day one.

Jimmy Scheidler TE 6-4 240 Indianapolis, Ind. (Bishop Chatard)

Was on the Indy Star Super Team, for team that won two state titles. Father played for BSU. Might be OK.

Antonio Smith CB 5-10 175 Miami, Fla. (Miami Central)

Our only Flordia recruit. Having said that, an undistinguished HS career.

Richard Solak OL 6-4 280 Norristown, Pa. (Cardinal Mooney)

All-state in PA...and a good sized guy. Will look good with Pollard as a senior.

Shane Steffy OL 6-3 290 Oakmont, Pa. (Riverview)

Also all-state in PA, and a big boy.

Bobby Thomas DB 5-10 200 Warrensville Hts., Ohio (Warrensville Hts)

Big time HS RB, Conference MVP who we are showing as a DB. Assuming he is an athlete.

Cordelle Thompson LB 6-1 205 Middletown, Ohio (Middletown)

Was All-GMC and All-Middleton Journal. Again, an undistinguished HS career.

Stephon Thompson CB 6-0 175 Franklin, Mich. (Southfield-Lathrup)

Another top-50 Blue Chip Michigan kid. Twice his team's MVP. Two way QB and D-back, who we are showing in the backfield.

Calvin Wiley DB 5-11 185 Detroit, Mich. (Notre Dame)

Another top-50 Blue Chip Michigan kid.

Guy Williamson OL 6-4 300 Mahomet, Ill. (Mohomet-Seyomur)

Our largest unit. Was all-area, otherwise not a lot of accolades.

Chris Wright CB 5-10 175 Middletown, Ohio (Middletown)

Was first team all-state on offense, we are moving to defense. An excellent QB.

Kearns on the Block for a young pitcher?

The Pittsburgh Post Gazette is reporting that Austin Kearns might be tradable to Pittsburgh for some of their young pitching talent.

First, we can't WE have young pitching talent?

Second, it might not be a bad deal, if we get someone who is young and really strong, it might make a difference. And, you can't be sure what you have in Kearns. I lean against it, but something has to be done.

But why can't WE draft young pitching talent?