Thursday, June 28, 2007

Reports say Falcons ink St. John's PG

Brad Fanning of Fox 36 says that BG has inked Joe Jakubowski, a Rossford native who went to Rice, but was released from his scholarship and can play right away. He is a PG, which is exactly what we needed, and not a JUCO, which means if he contributes, we get him for four seasons.

Chatter on is very good. He reportedly had 30 schools contact him, including Wichita State.

Here's what Rice said when he was signed:

As a junior for the Titans of St. John's Jesuit H.S., Jakubowski, a 6' 2" guard, averaged 15 points a game, seven rebounds and 6 assists for coach Ed Heintschel. He is the son of Doug and Kay Jakubowski.

"Joe plays with a passion and has fun on the court," says Wilson. "He's a deft passer with a nice three-point stroke to match."

The biggest thing is that this team needed a PG so freaking bad it hurts. If Joe can contribute right away, it moves this team ahead by a huge amount. This ratchets up the optimism a huge amount.

You can now envision this rotation:

PG: Jakubowski, Hamblet
SG: Hamblet, Moten, Sims
SF: Miller, Knight, Matlock
PF: Marschall, Larson
C: Polk

I just feel like that team can compete this year, and then be even stronger the next year with six seniors. Unless Moten finally develops (a maybe a new coach will help), guard play is still weak. I also still have a lot of hope for Ryan Sims.

UPDATE: Maureen Fulton has the story today in The Blade.

He has 21 scholarship offers from D-1 schools. Coaching turmoil at Rice made him hesitant to stay there. He was all-district/all-city at St. John's. I echo my previous comments.

Ask the AD, once again

As always, AD Greg Christopher does a little to help fans understand college sports in his Q&A feature on

The best answer is about whether BG can expect to improve its basketball scheduling this year. I will run his full answer, and then we will take a look at what he said.

Men's basketball statistics don't lie. Teams win 70 percent of their home games, which is why high major schools pay $40,000 to $70,000 to mid-major schools and essentially buy their way to 10 wins before conference season begins.

Here are the broad strokes of our basketball scheduling philosophy. We plan to play at least one high major team, but will be selective in trying to find a team where we can be competitive. Provided we can keep our overall budget intact, we will use some or all of the money earned from our high major guarantee game to buy a team into Anderson Arena. Keep in mind the college basketball food chain in today's landscape, the only schools willing to play at Anderson are fellow mid-majors playing home-and-homes or games we pay teams to come play us (smaller D-I schools or similar mid-majors). These games create the bookends of our non-conference schedule: one or two guarantee road games, coupled with one or two home guarantee games. The balance of the schedule will likely be other mid-majors that will agree to home-and-home agreements. Another option being explored for the future is to create triangle series - for example, BGSU plays at a Colonial school, the Colonial school goes to a MVC institution and the MVC team plays at BGSU. In these scenarios each school involved picks up a home and away game. From a budget and geography standpoint, we'll focus on conferences like the Missouri Valley, Horizon, Summit (the old Mid-Con) and perhaps the A-10. Additionally, we will also look for an annual neutral site tournament if the right fit exists. These tournaments can provide peer competition and the chance to pick up three games.

This reflects, I think, a couple of reasonable and doable ideas that will help. First, I think we get that we play one game for a cash guarantee. Regardless of whether it ends up being one we can win or not, I think the fact we are only talking one is important. This reflects a desire to keep the schedule competitive, yet not back breaking.

On the home front, he then talks about bringing one guarantee game into our place. This would, of course, be a big addition. It would be great to have at least one name opponent in AA each year during the pre-conference season.

I also like the idea of the arrangements with other conferences. I have often wondered why mid-majors--all of whom struggle with getting quality home dates--don't put together something like the Big 10-ACC challenge. I think the Horizon is a natural partner for us, except that we don't have the same number of teams. Anyway, I would love to see something like that get developed to help us get teams into AA.

I have said for a long time that scheduling is important for the fan base. When you go through your entire pre-conference schedule with little to no fan exposure to the team, it hurts the bond between the fans and the teams. As often happens, the games we do get are during breaks, which hurts student attendance.

So, I applaud the AD--both for explaining how it works, and what his goals are.

Now, here is one last thing from his post....I think this is the most refreshing part. Five years ago, the MAC and the MVC were considered comparable conference. Five years ago, MAC teams made routine runs in the Big Dance. Not now. It cannot be overstated....our conference has fallen behind other mid major conferences. Here is what the AD said:

The reality with MAC men's basketball is that things need to improve. The conference's RPI was #15 last year, behind the MVC, A-10 and Horizon. Taking into account the six BCS leagues, the MAC is the ninth-rated non-BCS men's basketball conference. The reasons for the overall conference decline the last few years are varied: facilities, scheduling and operating/recruiting budgets need to be on the list. While we work to improve these issues and others, the one sure way to improve our situation is to play competitive teams and to win games.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Problems at UT

I haven't blogged on the problems at UT for three reasons.

  1. Their problems are bad for the MAC.
  2. It is bad karma.
  3. I prefer to beat them on the field.

Today's story in The Blade is a cornucopia of unanswered--and largely unasked--questions.

In that spirit, chew on this quote:

Jeff Opelt, whose son is Fremont Ross graduate and UT quarterback Aaron Opelt, said he trusted the coaches to "go to bat for our kids" if the players were made to do something that was unjust.

Made to do something? There is more here than meets the eye.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Ask the AD is back....

Greg Christopher is back with this week's "Ask the AD." This has turned out to be an outstanding feature. At first, I thought it would be dopey--corporate double talk written by a flack. In fact, it has turned out to be pretty revealing and honest, and consistently interesting. This has helped revive Christopher's standing in the Nation after the perceived football schedule debacle.

Here's the link.

A couple of comments.

First, the track people need to move on. It has been years, and until recently, a group called Save BG track was still meeting regularly. They may still be. Track is slowly being eliminated throughout the MAC, for Title IX reasons if no other. But, as Christopher makes clear, BG is not adding sports. In fact, his implied message is that we have a challenge just to support our existing sports at a competitive levels. It is more likely we will have fewer sports. Track is not coming back. Get over it.

Second, the scheduling stuff is always interesting. Note that he finally admits we schedule around OSU and UM--and we should.

Read and enjoy.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Falcons add new LB coach, retool Special Teams

Bursting into the slow summer season, Coach Brandon finally hired a LB coach to replace the guy who left to go to East Carolina. The new coach is Deion Melvin, who coached at Georgia Southern and Missouri State. On paper, this looks like a good hire. I think these are both solid I-AA programs, and if you can coach there, you can coach at BG. He was also D-Coordinator at Missouri State (the former SW or SE Missouri State). I like the addition a lot, and he comes at a position where I think we have some ability, but need some coaching.

Also, Stephen Bird will be special teams coordinator, in addition to coaching receivers. While not the dedicated coach Falcon fans were looking for, it is an improvement over what we had heard earlier, which was that each coach was going to take on a different element of the special teams--and idea wildly out of favor. We simply have to get better on special teams...tail of woe noted here.

Update: I didn't notice this before, but Bird is now only coaching the "outside" receivers. The "inside" receivers will be coached by Troy Rothenbuhler, who also coaches TEs, which we don't really use (see rationale for move O'Drob to DT). Anyway, I am going to have to do some research to figure out which receivers are which in our offense.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Dakich to return to Indiana in non-coaching position--now official

Rumors have been around that Dan Dakich is considering a position as Director of Basketball Operations at the University of Indiana. Hit the paper today.

(Note: Now confirmed by IU)

I don't know what to think of this. If this is really what Dan wants, then I am happy for him. He is near home, and if he needs some time away from coaching and this works for him, I am happy.

However, often these positions are entry level. I fear that it signals that DD could not find a job in coaching, which is what I believe he wants to do more than anything. If that is true, than it is going to kill him.

I really did think he would be able to go back to being an assistant coach somewhere, but, I can only assume it was not to be, at least this year.

Again, I hope this is what makes him happy.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Men's Athletics at BG Worst in MAC

Today's question and answer stuff from Greg Christopher are out. Great off-season fodder....

To start...

The Reese Trophy is awarded to the team with the best composite performance in men's sports in the MAC. The men's athletics program at BG remains a wasteland--we finished last....for the second straight year. It would be one thing if we were lousy in football and basketball, but won 8 other MAC titles like EMU did--we stink in every single thing on the men's side. We clearly are facing a huge challenge with our athletic programs--baseball and soccer now included.

CMU won.

(Our women finished second, so that side of the house appears to be holding the flag up).

Christopher also confirmed that by Fall, we should have a plan for the basketball, hockey and volleyball facility is what he said.

Our choices regarding Anderson and the Ice Arena fall on a continuum. At one end, we could build a single arena that would address all of our issues -- a mini-Schottenstein Center, so to speak. This would include a conversion arena, practice courts, additional ice for the community and lockers, offices, etc. Of course, this is the most expensive option as well -- likely approaching $100 million

At the other end of the continuum, we could elect to put band-aids on both arenas. Basic structural and physical plant fixes to Anderson and the Ice Arena could keep both facilities going for another decade or more. This is the cheapest choice for BGSU, as we could probably take care of the basics at both Anderson and the Ice Arena for less than $12 million.

I don't think you will see the band aid answer. I also don't think the convo answer is going to happen. It is just too much money. I think, however, that the final answer will end up with something closer to the $100M than the $12M.

My prediction:

  • New basketball/volleyball facility.
  • Renovated hockey facility.
  • Facilities side by side to share parking.
  • No "community" ice.
I have written many times here before--I love Anderson Arena. Being there makes me happy, and keeps me grounded with great days of my youth. Many people feel this way. Yet, nothing lasts forever, and when the time comes, you have to turn the page. We don't live in castles or on farms, we don't drive model Ts and we don't use rotary phones. Times change. Mourn the past and move along.