Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Falcons Round Out Football Coaching Staff

The Football team
now has a full coaching staff. Here are the additions:

Vernon Hargreaves, Linebackers

Falcon Nation is freaking gaga over this dude. A Coach for six-years at the University of Miami, he comes direct from FIU. His Hurricane pedigree has the fans of our team positively salivating. For good or ill, this guy has a lot of hopes riding on him.

Stephen Bird, Wide Receivers

Bird joins the Falcons after spending the last two seasons at his alma mater Eastern Kentucky. Better than that, he was the WR and passing game coordinator coach at WVU before that. I don't know, in fact, how a guy goes from WVU to get the same job @ Eastern Kentucky, but he looks like he's probably good enough for the girls we date.

Doug Phillips, Defensive Line

Was defensive quality control coach at OSU. Gotta like that pedigree, and that is a good stepping stone to being a position coach in the MAC.

Thus ends a season which which nearly the entire coaching staff is either in a new job, or gone:

Bird, Hargreaves, and Phillips will join fellow first year coaches Adam Gonzaga (defensive backs) and Matt Campbell (offensive line) on the Falcon staff. Long time staffers Mick McCall (quarterbacks) and Mike Ward (defensive line) were promoted to offensive and defensive coordinator respectively. Recruiting coordinator/tight ends coach Troy Rothenbuhler is back for his fifth season at BGSU and John Hunter enters his second year as the running backs coach.

Welcome to our new coaches.

On scheduling notes, the chaos continues. Without summarizing the chaos too much, it now looks like we are going to open @ Minnesota and @ MSU, and then play Boise at BG (after much confusion. We will also travel to Boston College later in the year. We give up a home game to get MSU, but if we kept Boise, it is worth it.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Marschall Done for the Year

Moblogging brings home the news, Erik Marschall is done for the season after he popped his knee against Akron last week.

I don't know how seriously he was hurt, but I do know this: there is no percentage at all in risking further injury this season. Marschall has struggled to be healthy since his broken foot early in the season, and I don't think was ever 100% healthy. Take the time to get him 100% healthy, and bring him back next season, when we need his ability to score.

Maureen says:

The Falcons will need him to be the second-leading scorer next year.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Falcons Fight good fight, lose #16

Bowling Green fought really hard tonight, and were in the game in the last couple of minutes. It was a tough nice to be the road team. With more than 5,000 people at the JAR, where the seniors celebrating their last game had only lost six times in four seasons, it was a tough road environment. And they were jacked up.

We fell down by 17 early in the second half, and it started to look like we were dead meat. Morde. Based on what happened against OU the other night, that is exactly what I expected. Rather, in fact, our guys fought back. We eventually tied the game, and were it not for two unforced turnovers in the last couple minutes, we had a shot to win the game.

We have to shoot well to compete, and (obviously, based on the score) we had 12 3's (MAC season high for us), and we shot 49%.

Still, it was a loss. We will have a losing season. We have now lost 17 of our last 19 MAC games, and that is our 13th straight road loss (this streak will continue into next season, since our road year is done in the MAC. Yes, we were 0-for-the-road).

You know, there's always the next game. It is part of what makes sports so addicting. If you want this line of thinking, this team battled back and competed in a very tough venue. Kent is in BG on Thursday. If we can compete @ Akron, we should be able to beat Kent at AA.

Of course, Kent won @ OU today. And, since they are in a dogfight for the East title, they will bring every single thing they have.

Tonight, we committed a mind boggling 34 fouls, and Akron shot 54 (I shit you not) Free Throws. Luckily, they failed to hit 60%--keeping us in the game. On the offensive side, Martin had 25 points, but he's almost gone. The best thing was Hamblet with 20 and Miller with 18. They'll both be back next year. Todd Walker said that Hamblet has shot better since he moved off the point, and that's good, because next year's team will need a scorer.

Moten and Clements also gave us good minutes.

(Update: I see in The Blade this am that Erik Marschall didn't play after early in the game due to a knee injury, so that limited our available post people. Romeo Travis had 37 points and 11 boards, including 10-13 shooting from the field and a ridiculous 16 free throws.)

So, on to Kent. Tonight's loss was not especially discouraging, but we have grown largely immune to the defeats in the 2007 part of the schedule.

Three hours from our date with Akron

It is senior day for Romeo Travis and Dru Joyce...the JAR will be rocking. They smoked us at our place. To win tonight would be on the most surprising wins in recent memory, perhaps dating back to a win at Kent a couple years ago.

And I hope it happens. But the mountain is high.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Hoopsters 12-15, Triple losing season almost here

We're now 12-15 with three games left. We would have to win out (Akron, Kent, Miami) to finish .500. So, that's looking unlikely.

Which means only the second time ever our football, men's basketball, and hockey team were all below .500 in the same season--a sour note to mark the first year of the post-Krebs era. The other season was 97-98.

I blogged on this late last year.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

OU Blows Falcons Out 88-63

So much for a resurgence in our two game "winning streak."


Coach on post-game:

  • Embarrassment
  • Men against boys
  • Awful
  • I can't let up on these guys at all. If I'm not a raving maniac this is the performance we get.
  • We worked for two days on the zone, and we looked like we had never seen one before.
  • Terrible
  • It's about as disappointed as I have ever been in a game
  • I didn't think we were guarding them and I didn't think we ever got a handle on them
Pretty much sums it up. You don't expect to lose by 25 at home. Note--if the MAC Tourney started today, this is the team we would have played. On a neutral floor.

I don't mean to pile on. But this is an outright shame. I still think this team has some young talent on it, but right now, we are just terrible.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

2002 Recruit Review

With all the recruiting talk, we keep saying you can't really assess a class until five years later--when they have completed their eligibility. What did this class bring to the Falcon program. With that in mind, let's look at our 2002 class....the one that this fall finally completed five long years.

I am going to categorize them in the following categories:

STAR--ALL MAC, top flight starter and producer, etc.
Starter--player in starting lineup consistently at some point in career.
Role Player--Corn McGrady type. #4 WR or special teams player. You get the idea.
Finished, no footprints. Completed eligibility without doing much.
Washed out--Did not finish career.

This was the second UM class (and the last). In summary, I think in our history, anytime we found Omar Jacobs and PJ Pope in the same recruiting class--well, that'd be a pretty good class. In fact, the class included two other All-MAC performers, and 9 other players who contributed as starters.

In all, 14 of the 25 players (with Steve Navarro removed) ended up contributing at least as starters. Time will tell how this bears out over time, but it seems like this class has a pretty reasonable record of success.

Star (5)
Omar Jacobs (I know he didn't finish here, but he didn't wash out, either, did he? He is as much a star as we ever recruited).
P.J. Pope
Derrick Markray (All-MAC 2nd Jr. Year)
Terrill Mayberry (All-MAC 2nd Jr. Year)
Ted Piepkow (Tweener. Never All-MAC, but a top flight player)

Starter (9)
Kenneth Brantley II
Monty Cooley
Jamien Johnson
Jelani Jordan (He's a tweener who I almost put in the top category due to big senior year for INTs, but I think he belongs here).
John Lanning
Vardan Mkhitarian
Jeff Runnells
Brad Williams
Jesus Yanez

Role Player (2)
Tim Arnold
Van Johnson

No Footprints (2)

Brandon Jones (I realize he left the team during his senior year, but this is based on a body of work prior to that).
Will Myles

Washed Out (7)
Jay Cochran
Reggie Corner (good player for Akron, though)
Jason Hollingsworth
Jason Kaminski (played at Marshall)
Matt Leininger
Raishaun Stover
Dexter Wallace

No Fault
Steve Navarro

Monday, February 19, 2007

Hoops Mop Up

First, a final epilogue on the Buffalo Debacle. In her blog, Maureen Fulton had this from the Dayton Daily news that I believe sums up the whole situation--with no winners.

Know how we look down on third-world countries and say about them, “Aw, look how cute they are, trying to be grown-up nations”? It’s incidents like that that make people feel the same way about the MAC and other mid-major conferences. Can you imagine this same thing happening in the Big Ten or the Big East?

Could this have happened at Assembly Hall? Don't think so.

Finally, if you want a clear cut, story over wrap up to this situation, the Buffalo News has it. This is a must read.

Step back from the fiasco at the end of Tuesday's Bowling Green-University at Buffalo game and look at the bigger picture. Look past the foolish mistakes made by the three officials, the silliness of the Falcons running to the locker room without shaking hands and the bratty antics of UB coach Reggie Witherspoon.

The whole thing reeks of a conference that once had a lot of nationwide buzz and now has none. The talent level in the Mid-American Conference has dropped precipitously, and the officiating is downright laughable. Clips of Tuesday's slapstick act made it to "SportsCenter." That's the only way this league deserves to get on ESPN.

On the Bracket Buster, the MAC went 6-6. On analysis, it is as much of a wash as it would appear. Kent winning at George Mason is a downright nice win, as was Miami winning at Indiana State. The WMU win over Valpo was a good one, but one you should win at home. The Akron game was kind of a mismatch, and the BG and EMU wins were meh.

As for the losses, we had three teams lose at home. NIU was probably overmatched, but a UT win would have been nice for the conference, and Buffalo was hosting a pretty average team. CMU, Ball State and OU had really tough assignments, especially given OU's travel requirement.

Below are my bracket buster ranking. 2 points for something really good or bad, 1 point for something that happened as it should have. Numbers are Sagarin rankings.

Miami (124) beat Indiana State (121) on the road. +2
EMU (227) beat Manhattan (243) at home. +1
Kent (86) beat George Mason (106) on the road +2 (best team we beat)
Akron (67) beat Austin Peay (153) at home +1
BG (234) beat Morehand (272) on the road +1
WMU (136) beat Valpo (147) at home. +1
Detroit (177) beat Buffalo (209) on the road -1
Wisconsin Green Bay (144) beat NIU (260) on the road -1
UIC (124) beat CMU at home (98) -1
Illinois State (98) beat Ball (206) at home -1
Old Dominion (71) beat UT (96) on the road. (-2)
New Mexico State (80) beat Ohio (114) at home (-1)

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Falcons Win Bracket Buster

In a game that looked much like out pre-MAC schedule, the Falcons routed a really bad Morehead State team, shooting the lights out in the gym, executing, only committing 21 fouls...you get the idea. Everyone on the team is deservedly relieved and they have earned a win, no doubt. The fact that it is sort of two wins in a row could lead to some optimism. More on that in a minute.

In the meantime, to look quickly at the game. We were up 11 6:30 in, and it never got close again. In fact, it dipped in single digits only once, and we lead by as much as 31 at one point.

Martin had 22 points, shooting well (8/16 and 4/9) as he did throughout the pre-MAC season. Nate had 19 and Marshall had 18 (and they are the future of the program), Ryan Sims gave 24 good minutes, Moten had 7 points in 12 minutes, etc.

But, just as I did in December, I urge fans to temper their expectations from this game. Based on Sagarin, Morehead is the 272nd ranked team in the nation. (BG is 234). They were the worst team, on this measure, playing the MAC in the bracket buster. The only worse teams we played this year were Central Arkansas (who beat us), and Northern Colorado (who we beat).

Now--it was on the road, and we didn't lose and we blew them out--all positives. I'm just saying that we need to be careful of the conclusions we draw.

Coach said post-game that the team is improving. I hope he is right. There is a chance for what they call in the NBA a "message game" this week. We play OU on Wednesday at AA.

OU had a decent pre-MAC season, and is ranked #114 in the country. They also decimated us at the Convo in January. However, lately they are playing more poorly. They are 7-5 in MAC, lost to Ball State and at home to NIU, were destroyed by Akron, etc. If this team is getting better, let us see it in this game--a hard game, but a winnable game. If Marschall is healthy again, let us see him and Nate produce on the inside. You get the idea.

The problem with playing weak teams is that you never really know what you are seeing. But we can send a message with a win on Wednesday.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Falcon Tidbits

A few Falcon tidbits....

Coach Dakich says in The Blade that the team is rebounding well from the debacle in Buffalo. On the bus ride home....

After the game, Dakich said, "we handled it just like a win," watching movies on the bus as is post-game protocol after a road victory.

(I wonder if they watched "And Justice for All." I keep thinking of Pacino's line--"You hold me in contempt. I hold the whole system in contempt! I hold you in contempt! And you!")

Former Falcon D-Coordinator Tim Beckman left OSU (where he coached defensive backs) and is now the defensive coordinator at Oklahoma State. Congratulations to him. Tim is a great guy and someone you like to see succeed. When he left, I noted that while there was debate about how good a coach he was while he was here (surprise, surprise), it is unlikely Jim Tressel hires any guys who can't coach football. Ditto Oklahoma State.

The system is blinking red on MAC football scheduling. Oddly enough, the news is coming out of Boise, but here is what it says:

"The Mid-American Conference is working on some different variations related to Boise," Bowling Green athletic director Greg Christopher said.

Bowling Green dropped last year's game with Boise State at the MAC's request because of another scheduling conflict. That led to Boise State playing at Utah.

Bowling Green played at Boise State in 2005 and is scheduled to return here in 2008. Christopher said he isn't sure if the 2008 game will be played, either.

He said he'd be disappointed to miss a chance to bring the Fiesta Bowl-champion Broncos to Ohio, but he can't afford to be picky. The MAC adds Temple this year, which creates a seven-team division and a six-team division. That unbalance has created scheduling headaches.

The MAC office, Christopher said, is "heavily involved" in the Falcons' scheduling.

"Right now we're trying to find a schedule that fits," Christopher said. "Who it ends up being is second almost to something that fits with the broader schedule we're trying to put together."

Here is the difficulty. Temple is a MAC member this year, in the East. There are now (as mentioned above) seven MAC teams in one division and six in the West. We already know the MAC office is full of lawyers and apologists, but apparently they need someone versed in quantum mechanics to figure out how to get an eight game MAC schedule with full in-division coverage and cross over games.

Add to that the lost flexibility that is caused by existing out of conference contracts, and you have a clusterf*** of the first order.

First thing you do, of course, is start breaking those contracts. Of course, that makes the MAC member who had that game mad. So, you try to make it up to them, which often involves moving another team and then this domino effect begins. (Every sitcom ever written has used this plot).

At one point, we thought BG had Boise and Navy coming here, and we would play @Minn and @BC. Well, the Boise game is on life support, and Navy has released its schedule and they ain't playing us. Rumors are that we may not even be able to add a I-AA team at this date, and may have to play a seventh road game...major disappointment for our fans.

The other rumor is that the MAC may go to a seven-game conference schedule, compounding the problems with OOC scheduling and increasing the liklihood that the MAC will play conference teams in games that don't count in the standings. (OU and CMU have already announced OOC schedules of four games--I assume to protect themselves from the MAC office screwing with their schedule).

I don't fully understand what is going on. But it doesn't look good. I fear that we will have as bad a schedule as last year--let's hope we play on Saturday at least once.

I am going to wait to see how it pans out before I pass judgment. Perhaps it will work out. One thing is clear...any difficulty at having a 13th team could have been anticipated. I understand we wanted WKU or MTSU, but, sadly, the Sun Belt appears to have won that battle.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Special Teams Review...."The Horror"

Yeah, it was. More than any other part of our game, this segment was an absolute embarrassment...virtually without redeeming qualities. Let us look at the facts..

We were last in the MAC in kickoff coverage. That's a bad fact, on its own. But, it hides the true picture--how last we really were. Obviously, we gave up the most yards per return (23.6). We also gave up 3 TDs in 40 returns. The utter futility of this number is that the rest of the MAC--yes, the entire conference--allowed only 2 TDs in 418. Ouch. No stats are available for touchbacks, but you can be sure we didn't get too many of them.

We were last in the MAC in punting. We gained only 29.4 yards each time we punted. Now, that's a net number. The actual punt--the distance the kick traveled--yeah, that was last, too. Our goofy punt formation (which we are sticking to like grim death), is supposed to prevent returns, but our 3.8 return was 7th in the MAC, so not such a big advantage, in fact. Our punter, Mr. Rojas, supposedly the #1 punter in the country in HS, has left the program.

We were 11th in the MAC in kickoff returns. Candidly, I could care less about the five yards between us and the top in this category, I'd just prefer to see us never fumble.

We were 10th in FGs and 10th (tied) in Xps. Again, that may not tell the real story. The true story is we went and got a scholarship kicker (a rarity) all the way from Florida, and we still only had the confidence to try nine FGs and were among the league leaders in going for it on 4th down. Only Kent made fewer FGs (2). Most MAC teams were in the mid-teens. Even one more FG would have given us a 5th win. At 90%, our Xps were also subpar. The kicker who produced those numbers has left the program.

The MAC doesn't keep blocked punt stats, but we had 4 punts blocked, to go with 3 blocked FGs.

We were 7th in punt returns. So that is something to build on.

The sad thing is that under UM special teams were, well, a specialty. UM used to say that we couldn't have the best offense or defense in the country, but we could have the best special teams. We blocked punts and FGs all the time, protected our punter, and made game changing special teams plays in almost every game. It was an incredible addition to what amounted to an absolutely fearsome offensive attack.

Sadly, it is not as if this team did not have warnings about special teams. In fact, they were awful last year, too. We mentioned it here. There was time to fix it, and no progress was made in the meantime--none. We even recruited a kicker and a punter...no progress, and they both left.

We simply must improve this part of our game before we compete for a MAC title. To not fix such a glaring error from one year to the next is the biggest indictment I can make against a coaching program that I support, in general.

We have new blood coming in--even the special teams coach has left, too. We don't need game breakers....we need to cover kicks, punt respectably, and make easy FGs when we need points. Not being able to execute these elements of the game changes our strategy in every other part of the game.

For 07 (and 06), horror.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

MAC Rules on Buffal0--Dakich Reprimanded, Officials Supported

No surprise here. The officials acted within the rules of basketball, and Dakich made inappropriate comments, was reprimanded and required to apologize.

The league found we left the floor "before the conclusion of the game." I'd love to know how they figured that out.

They don't really have any choice in the matter. It almost had to come out this way. Reprimand or not, I don't want a coach who would take that lying down. He was 100% right on this one.

Our own AD had to issue a reprimand DD as well. He said the remarks were uncalled for. Of course, he had to say that. But they weren't.

Well, it is time to move on. The MAC did what you would expect.

One of the weak points of our entire athletic system is that the officials are never held accountable for doing a lousy job, which sometimes they do. I understand--the reprimands may be private to keep people from losing faith in the officials.

HA HA. That's a good one.

Hopefully, those guys feel like big men right now.

The Saga Continues

The MAC is reviewing the end of the Buffalo game, according to this story in The Blade.

Apparently, BGSU did not request the review.

The conference is also reviewing the comments of Coach Dakich ("We (expletive) got cheated") which probably fall outside the rules of deportment for MAC coaches. As Coach has been warned for this before, and may have been on double secret probation following the incident at IPFW a couple years ago, there could be consequences.

In fact, let me throw out this scenario:

  • Technical is upheld.
  • Dakich is suspended.

Just saying.

Anyway, the most hilarious outcome would be if we had to drive to Buffalo to finish .6 seconds. Don't count on anything dramatic like that. I think the best BG can hope for is an "our bad" letter from the MAC, and a loss on their record.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Speak it, brother

Support for the "we got cheated" angle from Ray Mernagh at hoopwise.com.

Also, note the comments on the previous post for a discussion of some positive aspects of the debacle.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

"We Got Cheated"

"We got Cheated"

So says DD after tonight's clusterf**k debacle in Buffalo. A circus ending to a circus season. Absolutely unbelievable....

Here is what happened, so far as can be determined. Obviously, I am relying on Todd Walker's call and DD's post game comments....

Buffalo has the ball with :24 left. There is a differential of between 1 and 2 seconds between the shot clock and the game clock. BG is up 2.

So, Buffalo runs a lousy set, we play some D, and Buffalo shoots an airball as the shot clock expires. Apparently, the game clock also expires and the buzzer sounds. Dakich says he asked the referee if the game is over, and he says it is. The Falcons leave the floor, apparently with the referee who told Dakich the game was over.

Back on the floor, the referees apparently decide to see if the game is really over. In all fairness, this is entirely plausible. In fact, Todd Walker began talking right away about time being put back onto the clock. Since there was a differential and there was a shot clock violation, it is plausible that we would have to inbound. They decide there are .6 seconds left. There was also some confusion about us getting the ball. If BG gets the ball before the shot clock buzzer goes, then it is just a turnover and the clock can run out.

Like I say, a clusterf**k.

So, the refs decide to haul BG out of the locker room and finish the game. Nothing really unreasonable has happened yet. According to Dakich, some of our players were already in the shower, so it took us some time to get suited up and back onto the floor.

On the floor, chaos is reigning. Coach Witherspoon is hitting the buzzer again and again to try and create urgency around the fact the Falcons are delaying the game.

We come back on the floor--but I think we only thought we were going to have to play less than a second. Matt Lefeld didn't even have socks on.

Here is where it gets jacked up. The officials decide to throw a technical foul at us for not coming back on time. The Moroccan dude for Buffalo nails both free throws, and the game is tied.

Oh, the humanity.

Of course, we get blown out in the OT. We had a road game won, and we lost it like that.

In my opinion, the T is a terrible call. I can understand bringing us out, but there's no reason to do anything except let us inbound the ball with .6 seconds and let us go home with the win we earned. Instead, the officials decided the game for themselves. I just think it is a wrong way to end a game.

Now, everything up to here has been from DD's perspective. A similar thing happened a couple of years ago in Blacksburg when VaTech tipped the ball into their own basket right at the buzzer. Direct from the official transcript, here is what DD said he did...

"I was out of here as soon as I saw the one short guy said good. I got out of here as fast as I could, you know, let's go with it. I like Coach Greenberg, I'm going to go see how he's doing afterward, but the heck with that, I'm getting out of here. Make them drag us back out but we weren't coming, we were going to keep it just the way it was. What a ballgame!"

So, it is not beyond the pale that DD was doing some gamesmanship---even with getting players into the shower. Now, I guess I think it is unlikely. Why would he do that? To avoid making an inbound pass?

DD was really angry in the post game show. He had players there as witnesses, and said we got "cheated" and he was prepared for the consequences. Walker said it would be reviewed, and Dakich said that it wouldn't, essentially that no one was going to care what happened there.

What a season. It is the most bizarre end to a Falcon game I can recall. To put it on top of a terrible season on a game when we really needed a win--it was our most likely chance to win still on the MAC schedule....it is a shame, and I feel really badly for our guys and our staff.

That's a long, snowy bus ride home from Buffalo after that.

Here's the Blade story.

Winner of the not surprising quote of the week:

Bitterly disappointed, Bowling Green coach Dan Dakich went into a profanity laced rant after the game.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Moblogging...and Dan Dakich Going Old School Mainstream Media Medieval

First, Maureen Fulton, our Falcon beat reporter from The Blade, has a new blog. Check it out. The RSS feed is verklempt, but it is still nice to see the Blade getting into the whole blogging thing. Maureen is a little more tech savvy than your typical Blade reporter, and is sometimes on AZZ.com. So, keep an eye out for Xs and Mos. (Clever!). Anyhow, her post today wonders who the MAC POY is. She says it is between Justin Ingram and Romeo Travis.

Then, on the Front Row on WLQR, a decidedly non-tech savvy Dan Dakich went after her the old school way--through the mainstream media, terrestrial radio, and all that stuff. He was upset about this quote:

Yesterday against Eastern Michigan, the Falcons may have won if they acted like they cared for 40 minutes. For most of the game, however, they didn't show signs they did.

Coach, when he could get a word in edgewise against the sycophantic host, voiced strong objections against Fulton saying his players didn't care. Dakich said it was hard on the players to lose this much, and they are working hard, shooting until 11 at night in the gym. He claimed that he has not slept in his bed in three weeks, preferring to sleep in his office watching film. So, he feels Mo had no business saying they didn't care.

Admittedly, it is tough to read people's mind, but, on the other hand, she said they ACTED like they didn't care. And he said this during his press conference:

"We didn't come out with the energy [like] we displayed in the second half, and you can't do that when you're us," BGSU coach Dan Dakich said.

Anyway, DD carried on for some time in this vein until even Wamer thought he had pretty much beaten the subject to death and changed the subject.

DD certainly has shown that he does not appreciate criticism from the media--his lambasting of Dan Cummins still ranks up there in our memories--and today he proved he isn't giving up that portion of his character.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Uninformed Analysis of our recruiting class

First, a few comments.

Recruiting is a bizarre business, and really tough on those of us who are in the business of uninformed analysis. If I go to a game, I may be uninformed, but at least I saw the game, right? Well, I have not seen these guys play. I have no real idea how good they are.

Even more importantly, I especially have no idea how good they are going to be. And you know what? Neither does anybody else. Picture yourself as a HS Senior. Was it clear to everyone involved at that time what you were going to accomplish in your senior year in college? I highly doubt it.

Our vision of recruiting is clouded by a lack of objective information. This week, every team revealed recruits that are going to lead them to a conference championship..if you ask them. Each has produced a highlight video that demonstrates (so you can SEE IT!) that a conference championship cannot be avoided. (Ours is here). As we know, in more cases than not, this cannot be true.

In the same vein, no Coach walked out Wednesday and said that his recruiting class was not what they hoped and that while anything could happen, it is hard to see this group of players ever amounting to anything.

Also, scouting services (rivals, ESPN, CSTV, etc), are notoriously unreliable on BCS schools. They are worthless on mid majors. Then, add in the propensity of players to overstate the potential interest of big schools, the propensity of big schools to overstate their interest in order to keep options open with Player A while they try to recruit Player A+, and you simply have something that is impossible to really evaluate.

The only way to evaluate a recruiting class is when it is done competing, as we try to do here from time to time.

With that in mind, off we go. I have tried to at least ballpark what kinds of things we might see from the players on our squad. I try to look for something specific to hang my hat on. Such as great stats. Or, some kind of validation. I particularly like to see all-conference/region/state players, because that means that people who saw the kid play or who competed against him liked him. I find it hard to believe we recruit kids who weren't even all-conference, but it happens and they play. That system isn't perfect, either.

I have three categories:

  • STAR
  • Tweener (Between Star and Contributor)
  • Contributor/NEI (Not enough information).
I'm an optimist, so I'm not going to say today that anybody isn't going to contribute. I assume if they play as we expect they will contribute, but they may encounter academic problems, or simply not develop.

Most likely Star: Nate Brown. #54 in country. Highest rated QB to come to BG in recent years. Much like O4, he can redshirt next year, back up AT for his Sr. season, and be ready to start as a redshirt sophomore. This was a great guy to line up, and I understand he was higher rated than O4 or AT.

Other Likely stars:

Eric Ransom: Huge JUCO numbers. May have only fallen to us due to injury in second season. Reported to have game breaking ability. This guy could be an immediate difference maker.

Glen Stanley: All-state in Florida as a junior, and big numbers in his senior season. Lots of TFL and fumbles caused. Appears to have been a productive player in a competitive state.

Sinisa Vrvilo: We need this guy BAD! He's Croatian. JUCO all-american with a career long of 55 yards.

Mark Wooldridge: All-Ohio as a junior and a senior, and was all-ohio second team his freshmen and sophomore years...had 1,708 yards and 18 TDs as a senior. Also a solid defensive player, if we choose to put him there. (Note, though, that Ransom will start as a junior, so the earlier classes can always use depth).

Chris Young: Reportedly Had Interest from Kentucky and Mississippi. He was second-team all-state in Florida playing for a good program.

Willie Geter: All-Dade County (junior and senior) and all-state in Florida. Are you kidding me?

Tweeners--between stars and contributors

Jerrson Davis: Don't know what to make of this guy. Coach is high on him and looking to have him contribute right away, and he was all-state in high school, but he basically didn't play in JUCO ball at all--redshirted and then saw "intra-squad action." I have a hard time understanding how that happens, and then he's good enough to play here.

Gary Wright: From Miami, he was defensive MVP of his conference's all-star game. Big sack and fumble caused numbers his junior and senior seasons.\

Kevin Alvarado: Highly decorated HS career, and clearly a very good player in the state of Indiana. Still, he's from Indiana.

Josh Dodge: All-area in Florida, and second team all-state. Big boy (290) who apparently looked good on film at the announcement. Olineman don't get stats, but this guy could be the real deal.

Ray Hutson: All-state/region/etc, and a top blue chip recruit in Michigan. Could be a very good player. Bio is light on his measurables, (TDs, etc), so I am putting him here.

Andrew Johnson IV: Was all-league and all-metro. Not much on his personal achievement. All-state basketball credential bodes well.

Nick Torresso: All-area in Chicago area, and had good numbers on the D-Line in terms of making big plays--TFL and forcing fumbles.

Derrick Williams: All-district and second team all-state in LA. Only question mark is why he was without an offer so late in the process.


Ben Bojicic: May well be a good player but he doesn't seem to have earned much recognition outside his school. At 273 pounds, he did letter in tennis.

Darren Branch: A HS DT, but only 230, he was second-team all conference and honorable mention all-district. Could well be a good player.

Preston Burrell: Was a player on a really good team in Holland, MI, but there's no recognition beyond his HS letter, and nothing on his own stats. Was ranked in top 50 blue chip players in Michigan.

Adrian Hodges: No external recognition, but he did make 45 catches and 6 Tds as a senior. People who have seen his footage are high on him.

Nick Iovinelli: We need a consistent punter after last year. Average only 36 yards/punt.

Anthony Smith: Apparently he looked good on tape, but we have about zero info on him as a player.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Yes, we did lose at home to Eastern

Above, you see an autographed poster from today's Falcon game. In a fan-friendly gesture, the players assembled after the game and signed autographs on a poster the first 500 fans got when they entered AA today. It was a nice gesture. Erik Marschall is very outgoing and has a winning personality. The other players were on the glum side, because, yes, we did lose at home to EMU.

This is the EMU that was a bad team before losing its best player, Carlos Medlock, a couple of games back. Today, they beat us on our court--in what could well have been our last, best chance to win a game this season.

On the drive in, we heard DD say how hard the team was working to prevent turnovers. Then, we made two in the first minute. We had ten at halftime. For the second half, Ryan Sims checked in, and while he didn't do anything spectacular, things seemed to stabilize. In fact, we had only 3 Tos in the second half. Two of them, sadly, came in the final three minutes or so.

We had a chance to win (oh yeah, the final score 65-63) at the end. Coming out of a time out, we ran a set that achieved absolutely nothing (DD said something about not getting the ball to Martin off a back cut), and then Martin had to launch a Buffalo-style miracle trey.

Yeah, this time it was an airball.

We are now 2-16 in our last 18 MAC games.

I continue to think there's some good things going on out there. Otis Polk played well in 14 minutes (except for missing a dunk), and Nate Miller continues to be a player (11/6). Erik Marschall will be a player, though not really putting numbers up now. Brian Moten hit a couple jumpers on press-break...I still like him. Sims is also going to be a good player. Etc.

But for right now, we are just not very good. And let us remember one more grim fact....this team is 100% healthy.

We didn't shoot well (38%), and EMU shot about the same. We had 27 fouls...a lot even with the late fouling we had to do to stay in the game.

Samarco had 21, but was 9-10 from the line. He was 5-14 from the field, and 2-7 from three point territory.

Its off to Buffalo, and then Bracket Busterfun next Saturday. And then, back to the rest of the East.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Rumor Alert

The system is blinking red on our return visit from Boise State. Apparently, the ESPN guys are looking to make them into next year's Cinderella story, and that script does not include a trip to the Doyt. Or so we have heard.

I am OK with this. Our out of conference schedule is already tough (Navy, Minnesota and BC), and I am fine with getting a win on our schedule (ie, Florida International).

Recruiting Classes by the Numbers

BY State:

FL 6
MI 4
OH 2
TX 2
IL 2
IN 1
SC 1
PA 1
NJ 1

Note--1 TX is originally Croatian.

BY Position

DLine 5
LB 4
RB 3
Oline 2
K/P 2
WR 2
QB 1
DB 1

Awards and Honors:

Captains 15
All-Conference 11
All-state 9
Playoffs 7
State finalists 5
State Champs 3
JC All-American 2

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Really, How many coaches ever say something like this?

“I just feel awful. I can’t explain to Bowling Green fans how bad I feel,” he added.

From today's Sentinel.

Dakich Debate

No Falcon hoops fan can be unaware of the debate over whether Coach Dakich will stay @ BG another season. It is the subtext to the whole season, and I've written about it here, plenty. Dave Hackenberg of The Blade weighed in this week with what I think is a pretty reasonable assessment...notably, it is too soon to tell. Take, for example, Coach Stan Joplin.

Meanwhile, here's another blog post that calls for Coach to get a multi-year extension.

Finally, to add insult to injury, here is Dan featured in a "whatever happened to" segment on AOL Fanhouse. Ouch.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Falcons Smoked Again

It is beginning to look like last year all over again, where we limp home, getting blown out night after night. Tonight, we were at NIU, who had 4 wins this season and had lost 17 of its last 18. Everyone gets well against us. I try to be positive, but it is getting very difficult. 71-53 was the final, and we were even farther behind at points in the second half.

Samarco scored 8 in 27 minutes. My biggest fear is that we're now mailing it in. We shot 39%, 21 turnovers, 26 fouls. Can't win that way.

The gory tale continues. 11 straight MAC road losses, and 15 of our last 17 conference games.

I have tried to be positive. Hard to see much going on right now. We're in an easy stretch of the schedule, but the other teams look at us as a rare chance to get a win. Right now, we are probably the worst team in the MAC.

Rumor Alert

Rumor has it that DC John Lovett is leaving for University of North Carolina, making it 5 assistants leaving this winter. Developing.

NOW CONFIRMED. Reports from the recruiting demonstration tonight say that we have promoted Mike Ward to D-Coordinator. Primal wail of agony emerges from Falcon Nation.

Brief Brandon Comments

Gregg Brandon Press Conference Highlights

Feb. 7, 2007

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio - Bowling Green State University head football coach Gregg Brandon sat down with the media today (Feb. 7) to discuss the newest recruiting class to join the Falcon program. Attached are highlighted quotes from the press conference.

What do you like about this class overall?
Athleticism. I think in these last three classes we have really improved the speed. It showed up last year, not in the win loss area, but the youth is what got us last year - not the speed. We put faster guys on the football field than we ever have. To me it is an athletic, speed-oriented class and we filled some position needs that we needed to fill.

Four guys are already enrolled, how big is that?
We have a JC punter and kicker along with Eric Ransom, who is a very exciting back that we felt, needed to bolster our offense. He was a very dynamic player in junior college and he was also very heavily recruited out of high school in Waco, Texas before he hurt his knee. Jerrson Davis, a linebacker, is a kid out of Coffeyville in Kansas via South Carolina. He is an explosive player who can run really well. All four of those guys have already shown up in our winter program as guys that are going to impact and help us right away.

How early of an impact do you expect this class to have?
Who is going to play out of this class as freshmen? I don't know. I said the same thing last year and we had 27 freshmen with 13 true freshmen play for us last season. It was the third most in the country. In this class, kickers Sinisa Vrvilo and Nick Iovinelli are going to have to step in right away to do the job. Who is going to play right now? I don't know. Come back and ask me that in August after we get through camp.

Is it a fun day when the letters go out?
Oh yes! It is exciting. This is like game day to me, and I have always said that. I know national signing is a formality but there are some eleventh hour shenanigans that always go on. I just think it is a neat day. If I am an 18-year-old kid and I am sitting there signing my national letter, I think that is a pretty good deal.

What is the geographic make-up of your class?
We signed four kids out of southern Michigan. We recruit the state of Ohio heavily but the fact that there are three players may be that is was a down year for us in the state, but it certainly was not from a lack of effort on our part. We scour Ohio because it is our home state and we treat southern Michigan with the same respect.

We are doing a good job recruiting the Florida area. It is a great football state, as everybody knows. I think with the success this program has had down there with the Omar's and the Chuck's - kids that have set records here - it continues to make sense to recruit that state.

2007 Football Recruiting Class

Coach Brandon announced the 2007 recruiting class for BG. Here are the players....


Junior College Players
+ Jerrson Davis, LB, 6-2, 210 lbs., Andrews, South Carolina (Hemmingway/Coffeyville CC)
+ Nick Iovinelli, K/P, 6-0, 180 lbs., Berwyn, Illinois (Lisle/Harper College)
+ Eric Ransom, RB, 5-10, 185 lbs., Waco, Texas (University/Trinity Valley CC)
+ Sinisa Vrvilo, K/P, 6-1, 260 lbs., Ft. Worth, Texas (South Hills/Trinity Valley CC)

Traditional High School Players Kevin Alvarado, DL, 6-2, 255 lbs., East Chicago, Illinois (Portage)
Ben Bojicic, OL, 6-4, 273 lbs., Farmington Hills, Michigan (Harrison)
Darren Branch, DL, 6-2, 230 lbs., Twinsburg, Ohio (Twinsburg)
Nate Brown, QB, 6-4, 225 lbs., Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (Harrisburg)
Preston Burrell, DL, 6-5, 270 lbs., Holland, Michigan (East Grand Rapids)
Josh Dodge, OL, 6-3, 290 lbs., Dunnellon, Florida (Dunnellon)
Willie Geter, RB, 5-8, 170 lbs., Miami, Florida (Monsignor Pace)
Adrian Hodges, WR, 6-1, 180 lbs., Jacksonville, Florida (First Coast)
Ray Hutson, WR, 6-2, 180 lbs., Detroit, Michigan (Detroit Urban Lutheran)
Andrew Johnson IV, DL, 6-4, 265 lbs., Detroit, Michigan (Southeastern)
Anthony Smith. DB, 6-1, 187 lbs., Orange, New Jersey (Harmony Prep)
Glen Stanley, LB, 6-2, 205 lbs., Ocala, Florida (Vanguard)
Nick Torresso, DL, 6-3, 290 lbs., Chicago, Illinois (Schaumburg)
Mark Woodridge, RB/DB, 5-9, 190 lbs., Akron, Ohio (Walsh Jesuit)
Gary Wright, LB, 6-2, 205 lbs., Miami, Florida (Everglades)
Chris Young, LB, 6-0, 210 lbs., Sarasota, Florida (Booker)

A few points. First, we didn't lose anybody off the recruiting board we were posting here over the past few weeks. Secondly, we did not get Chris Summers, the kid who decommitted from Louisville.

Third, we did add four high school players that no one was aware of. These players do make the class stronger. The two Florida kids (Wright and Young) both have impressive resumes, and Darren Branch is considered a strong player as well. Here are the new Freshmen:

Darren Branch, DL, 6-2, 230 lbs., Twinsburg, Ohio (Twinsburg)
High School: A 2007 graduate of Twinsburg High School in Ohio ... a two-year letterwinner ... named to the All-WRC second-team in 2005 and 2006 ... an all-district honorable mention selection in 2006 ... a 2006 football team captain ... recorded 38 tackles with ten for a loss in 2005... also recovered two fumbles ... also lettered in track and field ... coached by Al Hodakievic. Personal: Full name is Darren Lamar Branch ... son of Ronald Wright and Darlene Branch ... born June 22, 1989 ... has one sister, Alissa, and four brothers, Brandon, Marion, Terry and Stefon.

Anthony Smith, DB, 6-1, 187 lbs., Orange, New Jersey (Harmony Prep)
High School: A 2007 graduate of Harmony Prep in Cincinnati, Ohio ... earned two letters ... led his team to an 8-2 record his senior season ... captained the football team in 2006 ... coached by Randy Daniels. Personal: Full name is Anthony L. Smith ... son of Lynn Smith and Donna Greene ... born June 25, 1988 ... has a brother, Davonte and two sisters, Tamia and Ashanit ... his father played basketball at St. Francis (N.Y).

Gary Wright, LB, 6-2, 205 lbs., Miami, Florida (Everglades)
High School: A 2007 graduate of Everglades High School in Florida ... named the defensive MVP in his conference's all-star game ... compiled a combined 20 sacks, seven forced fumbles and three defensive touchdowns during junior and senior seasons ... also lettered in basketball ... coached by Mike Palmieri ... defensive MVP of the 2006 Broward Co. all-star game. Personal: Full name is Gary Wright, Jr. ... son of Gary Wright, Sr. and Zenobia Nabors ... born January 30, 1989.

Christopher Young, LB, 6-0, 210 lbs., Sarasota, Florida (Booker)
High School: A 2007 graduate of Booker High School in Florida ... a three-year letterwinner for Booker ... named second team all-state following senior season ... honored as an all-conference team member for three seasons ('04-`06) ... member of the Sarasota All-Area team for junior and senior season ... led his team to a the state finals in 2005 and the state quarterfinals in 2006 ... captained the football team in '06 ... also lettered in track and weight lifting ... coached by Fred Gilmore. Personal: Full name is Christopher Charles Young ... son of Sheron Young ... born December 20, 1988 ... has a brother, Gregory and three sisters, Sarah, Margret and Veronica

Here are the remaining players that we were already hip to:

Kevin Alvarado, DL, 6-2, 255 lbs., East Chicago, Illinois (Portage)
High School: A 2007 graduate of Portage High School in Illinois ... also attended East Chicago Central for three years ... a three-year letterwinner at ECC who earned an additional letter at PHS ... named the 2006 team Defensive MVP while also earning induction into the Portage Hall of Fame ... named to the Top-50 All-State team after earning two all-state mentions with an honorable mention in 2005 and special mention in 2004 ... earned first-team all-area recognition in 2006 and honorable mention in 2005 ... led the area in sacks (13) in 2005 ... named first-team All-Duneland Athletic Conference as a senior ... a 2006 All-Star Team first-team selection ... a member of the Tremendous 26 Class of 2006 ... accumulated 288 tackles in his high school career ...had five touchdowns ... a two-time football captain ... coached by Mark Hidalgo and Craig Buzea ... a four-year honor roll student ... named to Who's Who Among High School Students National Honor Roll ... graduated with honors diploma. Personal: Full name is Kevin E. Alvarado ... son of Celia Alvarado ... born February 2, 1989 ... has two sisters, Lina and Stephanie Manriquez and one brother, Juan Alvarado.

Ben Bojicic, OL, 6-4, 273 lbs., Farmington Hills, Michigan (Harrison)
High School: A 2007 graduate of Harrison High School in Michigan ... a two-year letterwinner at HHS ... led the Hawks to a 2006 state runner-up finish ... named Outstanding Lineman in 2006 ... finished career with 140 tackles and 17 sacks on the defensive line ... a 2006 football team captain ... also lettered in basketball and tennis ... coached by Coach Herrington ... earned two academic awards. Personal: Full name is Benjamin Milutin Bojicic ... son of Branko and Trish Bojicic ... born December 21, 1988.

Nate Brown, QB, 6-4, 225 lbs., Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (Harrisburg)
High School: A 2007 graduate of Harrisburg High School in Pennsylvania ... a three-year letterwinner ... earned two all-conference nominations in 2005 and 2006 ... named to the all-district team in 2005 ... his 17 passing TD's and 13 rushing TD's led the Cougars to a Mid-Penn League championship in 2006 ... led the Cougars with 1,600 yards and 16 passing TD's in 2005 ... a football team captain in 2006. Personal: Full name is Nathaniel A. Brown Jr. ... son of Lorraine Peterson ... born October 3, 1987 ... relative, Kenny Watson, played football at Penn State and is now with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Preston Burrell, DL, 6-5, 270 lbs., Holland, Michigan (East Grand Rapids)
High School: A 2007 graduate of East Grand Rapids High School in Michigan ... a three-year letterwinner ... led the 2006-07 Pioneers to a 13-1 record and the state title ... helped the Pioneers to the state final game ... also lettered in basketball ... coached by Peter Stursma. Personal: Full name is Harold Preston Burrell ... son of Harold and Martha Burrell ... born November 7, 1988 ... has one sister, Jackie ... majoring in business ... mother played college basketball at Spring Arbor University.

Jerrson Davis, LB, 6-2, 210 lbs., Andrews, South Carolina (Hemmingway HS/Coffeyville CC)
Prior to BGSU: Attended Coffeyville Community College for two years ... saw inter-squad action after being redshirted during the 2006 season. High School: A 2004 graduate of Hemmingway High School ... a four-year letterwinner ... an all-state selection as well as a two-time all-zone team member ... named to the all-conference squad in three consecutive years ... selected as the Gatorade Player of the Year in 2004 ... named the team, offensive and defensive MVP as a senior ... named the offensive MVP as a junior ... elected captain of both the football and track teams ... earned three letters in track ... selected track team MVP after taking second in the South Carolina state high jump and long jumping events as a junior and senior. Personal: Full name is Jerrson Contrell Davis ... son of Jerome and Angeline Davis ... born December 19, 1985 ... majoring in music ... has one brother, Jerome Tyrell Jr., and one sister, Kiesha.

Josh Dodge, OL, 6-3, 290 lbs., Dunnellon, Florida (Dunnellon)
High School: A 2007 graduate of Dunnellon High School in Florida ... a three-year letterwinner ... named the 2006 Most Outstanding Lineman ... a two-time first-team all-area selection ... earned a second-team all-state nod in 2006 ... football captain in 2006 ... also earned two letters in weightlifting ... coached by Frank Beasley ... a member of the FFA. Personal: Full name is Joshua Michael Dodge ... son of John and Carolyn Dodge ... born March 24, 1989 ... majoring in business ... has one brother, Christopher.

Willie Geter, RB, 5-8, 170 lbs., Miami, Florida (Monsignor Pace)
High School: A 2007 graduate of Monsignor Pace High School in Florida ... a four-year letterwinner ... an All-Dade County selection as both a junior and senior ... named to the all-state honorable mention list in 2005 while earning first-team honors in 2006 ... helped the Spartans to a State championship in 2003, the regional finals in 2004, district runner-up in 2005 and a district championship in 2006 ... scored 18 TD's in 2006 ... captained team ... coached by Coach Zaccheo ... a state qualifier in 100 yard sprint (10.6). Personal: Full name is Willie Lee Geter ... son of Terrill Stampley and Angela Geter-Stampley ... born October 26, 1988 ... has one brother, Lambientus Wright and two sisters, Tierra and Tamiah ... cousin Melvin Murphy is a former student-athlete at Arizona State.

Adrian Hodges, WR, 6-1, 180 lbs., Jacksonville, Florida (First Coast)
High School: A 2007 graduate of First Coast High School in Florida ... a two-year letterwinner ... named 2006 Receiver of the Year ... helped the Buccaneers to a 9-2 record and district championship in 2006 ... recorded 45 catches for 725 yards and six TD's as a senior ... led the Buccaneers to two play-off appearances in 2005 and 2006 ... a football team captain ... coached by Marty Lee ... also earned four varsity letters for basketball ... a basketball team captain. Personal: Full name is Adrian Jayvontae Hodges ... son of Donald Hodges and Annette King ... born September 22, 1988 ... majoring in criminal justice ... has two brothers, Javon and Antonio Hodges and two sisters, Jessica Hodges and Alexis Edmonds.

Ray Hutson, WR, 6-2, 180 lbs., Detroit, Michigan (Detroit Urban Lutheran)
High School: A 2007 graduate of Detroit Urban Lutheran High School in Michigan ... a four-year letterwinner ... twice named to the all-league, all-catholic, and all-state teams in 2005 and 2006 ... named a 2006 Blue Chip ... a football captain ... also earned three letters in basketball and was a team captain ... coached by James Ferguson ... named all-league and all-catholic in basketball ... an all-state sprinter in the 400-meter event ... Vice President of the National Honors Society. Personal: Full name is Raymond Deronne Hutson ... son of Ray Hutson Sr. and Angelica Bright ... born July 19, 1989 ... majoring in accounting ... has one brother, Devonne and two sisters, Mileaka and Krystyl ... cousin Nick Sutton is a former Wisconsin football player.

Nick Iovinelli, K/P, 6-0, 180 lbs., Berwyn, Illinois (Lisle HS/Harper College) Prior to BGSU: Attended Harper College ... named first-team All-Region punter ... averaged 36.6 yards per punt ... also made 29 of 32 PAT and three field goals. High School: A 2005 graduate of Lisle Senior High School ... a three-year letterman ... a two-time Interstate-8 All-Conference selection ... named to Edgy Tim preseason all-state list by rivals.com ... named 2005 Sun-Times All-Area special mention and Suburban Reporter first-team all-area ... lettered twice in basketball ... started all 32 games as a senior...participated in the Interstate-8 All-Star game. Personal: Full name is Nicholas John Iovinelli ... son of Peter and Donna Iovinelli ... born September 29, 1986 ... majoring in marketing and business ... has one sister, Angela ... father played football at Morton College.

Andrew Johnson IV, DL, 6-4, 265 lbs., Detroit, Michigan (Southeastern)
High School: A 2007 graduate of Southeastern High School in Michigan ... a three-year letterwinner for the Jungleers ... honored as a first team all-league and all-metro squad member following his senior season ... also received honorable mention All-Michigan in '06 ... also lettered in basketball as an All-Michigan performer on the hard wood ... captained the football team in '06 ... coached by Donshell English. Personal: Full name is Andrew Johnson, IV ... son of Andrew and Mia Johnson ... born June 2, 1989 ... has two sisters, Amber and Autumn.

Eric Ransom, RB, 5-10, 185 lbs., Waco, Texas (University HS/Trinity Valley CC)
Prior to BGSU: Attended Trinity Valley Community College ... unanimous All-Conference selection in 2005 as well as a first-team All-American ... led the nation in rushing in 2005 with 1,536 yards on 256 carries ... recorded 2,356 yards on 413 rushes for his career ... ranked third nationally and first in the state of Texas among all Junior College Running Backs by rivals.com ... 68th best national Junior College player according to rivals.com ... helped the Cardinals to a SWJCFC conference and Pilgrim's Pride Bowl championships in 2005...teammate of fellow Falcon, Sinisa Vrvilo. High School: A 2004 graduate of Waco University High School ... rushed for 1,386 yards on 140 carries in 2002 ... averaged 9.9 yards per carry in 2002 ... recorded 23 touchdowns in 2002 ... recorded 1,000 rushing yards as a senior in seven games before suffering season ending injury ... attended the same high school as NFL stand-out LaDainian Tomlinson. Personal: Full name is Eric Damon Ransom ... born July 9, 1986 ... has a twin sister, Erica and two brothers, Jermaine and Lamont.

Glen Stanley, LB, 6-2, 205 lbs., Ocala, Florida (Vanguard)
High School: A 2007 graduate of Vanguard High School in Florida ... earned all-state honors in 2005 after leading his squad to a state championship with 89 tackles, four interceptions, five sacks and three defensive touchdowns ... added 77 tackles his senior season in 2006, including 14 tackles for a loss and three forced fumbles ... also lettered in basketball ...captained the football team in '06 ... coached by Phil Yancey. Personal: Full name is Glen Alexander Stanley ... son of Stephanie Wallace ... born November 11, 1987 ... has three brothers, Brett, Ray and Glendall and two sisters, Glenda and Glenisha ... ... cousin, Kelvin Davis, is currently on the BGSU roster.

Nick Torresso, DL, 6-3, 290 lbs., Chicago, Illinois (Schaumburg)
High School: A 2007 graduate of Schaumburg High School ... a three-year letterwinner for the Saxons ... honored as an all-academic, all-conference and all-area squad member following his senior season ... recorded 60 tackles, nine sacks, 10 hurries and two forced fumbles as a senior in 2006 ... also lettered in wrestling and track ... state qualifier in the shot put as a junior ... served as captain of the football and track teams during junior and senior seasons ... coached by Mark Stilling. Personal: Full name is Nick Torresso ... son of the late Tyrone Zollicoffer and Gina Torresso ... born March 5, 1989 ... has one sister, Giana.

Sinisa Vrvilo, K/P, 6-1, 260 lbs., Ft. Worth, Texas (South Hills HS/Trinity Valley CC)
Prior to BGSU: Attended Trinity Valley Community College ... was a two-time first team all-conference selection ... named first team All-American ... helped the Cardinals to a SWJCFC conference and Pilgrim's Pride Bowl championships in 2005 when he was the nation's second-rated JC kicker hitting on 37 of 38 PATs and 14 FG's with a career-long of 55 ... recorded 128 career points ... was 53 of 55 in extra point attempts and had 23 field goals ... JC teammate of fellow Falcon, Eric Ransom. High School: A 2004 graduate of South Hills High School ... a three-year letterman ... chosen as the Lowe's Scholar Athlete of the Week after converting a 54-yard field goal ... also a two-year captain in soccer where he earned four varsity letters. Personal: Full name is Sinisa Vrvilo ... son of Frano and Bozana Vrvilo ... born June 27, 1985 in Zenica, Bosnia ... has one sister, Biljana ... father played professional soccer for the Nogometni Klub Celik, one of the most successful professional teams in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Mark Woodridge, RB/DB, 5-9, 190 lbs., Akron, Ohio (Walsh Jesuit)
High School: A 2007 graduate of Walsh Jesuit High School ... a four-year letterwinner for the Warriors ... named first team All-Ohio his junior and senior seasons while being honored as a second team member following his freshman and sophomore campaigns ... led the Warriors to an 11-2 record and second round appearance in the state playoffs as a senior ... compiled 1,708 yards with 18 touchdowns on 205 carries in 2006 ... racked up over 1,000 yards rushing during his sophomore and junior seasons as well ... posted 40 tackles and three interceptions as a junior ...captained the football team in '06 ... also lettered in track. Personal: Full name is Mark Gabriel Woodridge, Jr ... son of Mark and Tarsha Woodridge ... born October 4, 1988 ... majoring in business.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Schwing! Nate Brown to come to BG

As reported on the Internets...

This guy is a 3-star QB who got big rep in PA. This is a good get. He could also play LB, as he is 6'4, 210. This helps the class quite a bit.

Now, here it the updated list as we know it:

RB-Eric Ransom-Trinity Valley CC-5-10, 185 with 4.45 speed (TX)***
K/P-Nick Iovinelli...6'-1" 185 Harper College (IL)
LB-Jerrson Davis.....Coffeyville C.C. 6'1 207 4.69. 30 inch vertical
K-Sinisa Vrvilo, 6'1, 255 Ft. Worth, Texas/South Hills HS/Trinity Valley CC

Here are my traditional players through the HS route.
WR-Charles Brown.....Maple Heights, OH....5-10, 190 with 4.5 speed*** Will attend UNC)
WR-Raymond Hutson...Detroit MI, 6-2 175 4.4 (#45 on Detroit News Michigan Blue Chip List and #41 on the Freep list.)
DT-Ben Bojicic....Farmington Hills, MI 6'4 273 5.1 (#37 -Detroit News Michigan Blue Chip List and Freep List)
RB-Willie Geter 5'8"160lbs, but he runs a 4.5 40 FL (All-State in Florida, Division 3A.)
RB-Mark Wooldridge Walsh Jesuit’s 5-11 195 (FalconNation excited about the potential of this young man who reportedly had an offer from Illinois)
WR-Adrian Hodges-Jacksonville (Fla.) First Coast 6-foot-2, 190 (Called a "Southern Sleeper of the Week in USA Today")
DT-Preston Burrell East Grand Rapids 6-foot-5 and 265 (#42 on Detroit News Michigan Blue Chip List)
LB/SS-Glen Stanley-Vanguard (Fla). 6'2, 210. Note: his cousin is playing here. If the team was lost, he'd be going somewhere else. More on him here.
OL-Josh Dodge...6'-3" 275 (FL) More on him here.
DB-Kevyn Scott...6'-0" 175 St. Thomas (FL). He was third team all-Broward County. 2 INTS last season. Now verballed to Syracuse.

OL/DLL-Nick Torresso, 6.4, 275 Pounds. Schaumberg, IL. Was all-conference, also a big wrestler. Cancelled visit to Miami to verbal to us. May be up to 290 now.
DE--Kevin Alvarado, 6'4, 240. Indiana. Second team all-state.
LB Andrew Johnson, 6'4" 256 a LB from Detroit Southeastern (#48 on the list on Freep list, for Michigan)
DL Rene Perry (6-0/270) of Lake City Columbia committed to Bowling Green.
QB Nate Brown (6-4/210) of Harrisburg, PA.

Also note that Chris Summers, a FL WR who had verballed to Louisville is now choosing between Miami and BG. Another potential good get. Tomorrow all will become clear.

They say it is hard to win on the road in the MAC

They say it lot, both coaches who lose on the road, and, often coaches who win on the road ("man, was that tough! We must be good..."). I began to wonder. Is it really tougher than in any conferences.

I decided to look at mid major conferences that made it easy to figure out such a thing. I couldn't find anything for the MVC and the Horizon (my first two choices), but here is what I found for others.




Colonial Athletic

Mountain West






Well, you can see the answer. Road teams in the MAC lose two out of three games. That is, frankly, the ballpark of the other conferences we look at here, but on the low side. Now, I will contend that if you look at the MAC standings, you will see that good teams do win on the road. It is hard for BAD teams to win in the MAC. And, I think that MAC has less parity in the middle than it normally does.

But that's a digression. It is hard to win on the road in college basketball, and the MAC is no exception, and maybe a little worse.

Monday, February 05, 2007

MAC Media Predictions

At the beginning of the season, I made extensive efforts to predict how the MAC season would end up. Later, I took my medicine.

In fairness, though, I wondered how those geniuses in the Media did with their picks? Hmmm...

West Division:

Media said:

  1. NIU
  2. UT
  3. WMU
  4. CMU
  5. Ball State
  6. EMU

And what happened: (Hint, they got EMU right).

  1. CMU
  2. WMU
  3. NIU
  4. Ball
  5. UT
  6. EMU

And the East the media picked....

  1. Akron
  2. Miami
  3. BG
  4. OU
  5. Kent
  6. Buffalo
And what happened? (Hint, they got Buffalo right).

  1. Ohio
  2. Kent
  3. Akron
  4. BG
  5. Miami
  6. Buffalo
Let us remember this next August....

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Falcon Football Defensive Review

Now to review the defense. The main thing that shows up--throughout the stats, is sameness. Our defense, in what I would contend is a spooky comparison, performed, to the numbers, almost exactly as it did the previous season. See here....

Points per game


Yards Per Play

Yards Per Rush


Yards Per Pass Att


Run Mix

3rd Down Conv

4th Down Conv


Rushing TD/Game

Passing TD/Game

TD/INT Ratio


Have you ever seen anything like that? It boggles the mind. The main difference was that we gave up about 30 yards less per game, but the opposition also ran 11 fewer plays per game, so that accounts for the difference.

The only other major differences were that our completion % against was up to 63%, up from 58% last year, and turnovers/game were down from 2.4 last year to 1.6 this year.

Red Zone difference was much improved...scoring % fell from 85% to 74% and points per trip fell from 4.69 to 4.0.

Now, we noted in the offensive review that scoring is, by and large, down in the MAC, so you could, if you wanted, decide to argue that we did the same against poorer offenses. I guess. I think the point remains...the defense did about as well this year as last.

And that is...not that good.

Points allowed are at their highest in the B/M era, although that figure has been steadily rising since UM1.

If you want to see the "not that good" evidence, you need only look at how we did against our peers...in the MAC. You have to be careful in using per game numbers, because our opponents ran, by far, the fewest number of plays (714) We were:

  • 11th in Scoring defense.
  • 9th in Yards per catch
  • 7th in yards per play allowed.
  • 9th in creating turnovers.
  • 10th in Comp%
  • Tied for 7th in Yards per rush.
  • 8th in passing eff against
  • 9th in 3rd Down conversions

So, whether you think our defense stayed the same, or got worse, it doesn't really matter. Because compared to the MAC, our defensive performance continues to underhelm. In no way did we go out and turn in a performance that really changed games. Yes, there was the OU game. There was also the Kent game....you get the idea.

We were further assisted in that our two Big 10 opponents didn't really try to light it up against us, and we played one game in a mud pit. To be fair, our defense was saddled with some brutal field position due to many shanked, blocked, and otherwise botched punts and kickoffs.

Numbers and numbers. Here's the key, in my opinion. We were 4-8. For many years our offense disguised our defense by scoring at will. Last year, that was exposed. Maybe the high-flying attack will be back next year but I doubt it (though I think we can be better). I hope we see our young defense mature and contribute a little more...at least to the middle of the MAC, for the love of Mike.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Rockets Smoke Falcons

we are 10 point dogs. Maybe tonight is the night...

Not so much. UT wins 64-48. That's right, 48. 22 TOs, 23 fouls. We shoot 36.5%...Coach said we had open looks and missed them. Rockets shoot even worse, but they hang onto the ball and make 13 more Fts, and that's the story.

Samarco goes 4-14 from the field. Nate Miller has 11 points and 11 boards.

That makes us 2-14 in our last 16 MAC games....the equivalent of an entire MAC season. It is 10 straight on the road. That's right...January 26, 2006, more than a year ago, was our last road win in the MAC...(@Kent, if it matters).

I don't know what to say. We led 15-12 in this one, but once UT surged ahead, it was never close. We got it down to 6 in the second half, but UT was in control the whole way.

The next three games are against the worst teams in the MAC. Sadly, two of them are on the road. We're @ NIU on Wednesday, then EMU comes to AA on Saturday, and then we go to Buffalo. Following the Bracket Buster, we come home with OU, @Akron, Kent, and Miami--tough sledding, even with three at home.

If we're going to get any wins at all, it feels like they are going to have to come in the next three games. Unfortunately, they look at us the same way.


Beat the Rockets

With the advent of the 16 game schedule, we can only play Toledo once each year. So, this is our only chance....we are 10 point dogs. Maybe tonight is the night...

New verbal revealed on Mick McCabe's Fab Michigan 5o in freep

Via Azz.com. Each year we usually find out about at least one verbal on this list, and this year, it is 6'4" 256 Andrew Johnson, a LB from Detroit Southeastern and #48 on the list.

Updated board....

Updated in italic below. See here for uninformed analysis.

These JUCO players are official announcements from the U, as detailed in this post.
RB-Eric Ransom-Trinity Valley CC-5-10, 185 with 4.45 speed (TX)***
K/P-Nick Iovinelli...6'-1" 185 Harper College (IL)
LB-Jerrson Davis.....Coffeyville C.C. 6'1 207 4.69. 30 inch vertical
K-Sinisa Vrvilo, 6'1, 255 Ft. Worth, Texas/South Hills HS/Trinity Valley CC

Here are my traditional players through the HS route.
WR-Charles Brown.....Maple Heights, OH....5-10, 190 with 4.5 speed*** Will attend UNC)
WR-Raymond Hutson...Detroit MI, 6-2 175 4.4 (#45 on Detroit News Michigan Blue Chip List and #41 on the Freep list.)
DT-Ben Bojicic....Farmington Hills, MI 6'4 273 5.1 (#37 -Detroit News Michigan Blue Chip List and Freep List)
RB-Wllie Geter 5'8"160lbs, but he runs a 4.5 40 FL (All-State in Florida, Division 3A.)
RB-Mark Wooldridge Walsh Jesuit’s 5-11 195 (FalconNation excited about the potential of this young man)
WR-Adrian Hodges-Jacksonville (Fla.) First Coast 6-foot-2, 190 (Called a "Southern Sleeper of the Week in USA Today")
DT-Preston Burrell East Grand Rapids 6-foot-5 and 265 (#42 on Detroit News Michigan Blue Chip List)
LB/SS-Glen Stanley-Vanguard (Fla). 6'2, 210. Note: his cousin is playing here. If the team was lost, he'd be going somewhere else. More on him here.
OL-Josh Dodge...6'-3" 275 (FL) More on him here.
DB-Kevyn Scott...6'-0" 175 St. Thomas (FL). He was third team all-Broward County. 2 INTS last season. Now verballed to Syracuse.

OL/DLL-Nick Torresso, 6.4, 275 Pounds. Schaumberg, IL. Was all-conference, also a big wrestler. Cancelled visit to Miami to verbal to us. May be up to 290 now.
DE--Kevin Alvarado, 6'4, 240. Indiana. Second team all-state.
LB Andrew Johnson, 6'4" 256 a LB from Detroit Southeastern (#48 on the list on Freep list, for Michigan)
DL Rene Perry (6-0/270) of Lake City Columbia committed to Bowling Green.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Falcon Football News....recruits and Coaches

From the Orlando Sentinel....

DL Rene Perry (6-0/270) of Lake City Columbia committed to Bowling Green.

Florida all-state Honorable mention this year, last year he was all-state first team as a junior.

He had some Big East interest, and then we beat out Ball State (from perhaps unreliable reports). I like the looks of him. A block eating D-Tackle will be great for our defense.

Meanwhile, we have gained an assistant coach and lost an assistant coach. That makes 5 new coaches for next season....


Matt Campbell as our new O-Line coach. He played at Mt. Union, was a grad asst. at BG for two seasons, and then coached the O-Line at Mt. Union for the last two seasons. He's young, but I don't mind getting anyone associated with the mind-boggling success of the Mt. Union Purple Raiders. He has won five national championships with them.


DJ Durkin, linebacker coach and special teams coordinator. He is going to Stanford to be on Jim Harbaugh's staff. Durkin played at BG, and also had some time as an assistant at Notre Dame. Obviously, the PAC-12 is a step up. It is not clear from the BG release exactly what job he got there, however.

For the record, BG shows how BG assistants under Coach Brandon have advanced in the coaching profession.

D.J. Durkin, Linebackers/Special Teams (Defensive Assistant at Stanford)
Mick McCall, Quarterbacks (Offensive Coordinator at BGSU)
Greg Studrawa, Offensive Coordinator (Offensive Line at LSU)
Dennis Springer, RB/DB (Defensive Coordinator at W. Kentucky)
Zach Azzanni, WR (Assistant Head Coach at Central Michigan)
John Bowers, LB/DB/DT (Assistant at Western Washington)
Tim Beckman, Defensive Coordinator (Defensive Backs at Ohio State)
Vance Joseph, DB, (Defensive Assistant for San Francisco 49ers)
Steven Wilks, DB (Defensive Backs for Chicago Bears)
Tommie Thigpen, DB (Assistant at North Carolina)

Finally a Win

Hoopsters finally picked up a win against Ball State at home (67-57) last night in front of about 1,700 at Anderson Arena. Ball State is clearly not a great team, but every single MAC win is good for our team, so I'm glad to have it. We're 2-6 now.

With about 3 minutes left in the second half, we were up three. We then went on an 8-0 run down the homestretch and went to the locker room up 11. The second half, in contrast to recent games, was a nice piece of basketball, as BSU never got closer than 5, and generally were down in the 8-9 range the entire way.

Martin Samarco continues to play well. He played all 40 minutes with 21 points and 6-15 from the field.

The difference was Brian Moten. I have to confess that I have a thing about Brian Moten. Dude was recruited to play in the ACC, there has to be something there. Yet, he has really only contributed once this season. I just think that for this year's team, one more guard who can score would really make a difference, and next year, we're going to need a scorer. Well, last night, he had 16 points, 5-8 from the field and 31 minutes. Apparently, he was the source of some "leadership" from his teammates....quoting Coach Dakich...

"Earlier today Moten was hitting everything in practice, but there is a difference between a three o'clock hitter and a seven o'clock hitter. Sims, Moten, and Bland were hitting everything earlier today and I asked them if they where going to show up at seven o'clock. In practice on Monday Nate Miller got all over Moten and said `your not going to make it, you're not going to make it.' Then it clicked and Moten hit one, and in yesterday and today's practice he was making everything. I got in Nate's face and told him to guard Moten. In the locker room, even Samarco was chiming in and taking credit for Moten's success."

Ryne Hamblet had a good game too, with eight assists. BSU was even fronting him to keep him from getting the ball, and that's a nice testament for someone who isn't scoring.

Ball State shot 34% and scored less than 60 points. Its not shocking, but we are 30-something and 3 when we hold the team under 60.

Nate got 15 points and 9 boards. Dude is a real player. Can't wait to see him get some chemistry with Erik Marschall.

Falcons committed 23 fouls, which is typical if high. Just as importantly, we only turned the ball over 9 times. That would make a difference right there in bringing the season in for a softer landing than it was looking like a couple days ago.

We held Mills and Stovall in single digits scoring. Those are two very good players, and, however, it happened, when they don't get hot it is hard for BSU to win.