Thursday, July 28, 2011

2 new Falcon verbals

So, there are reports of two new Falcon verbals, both of them from the state of Michigan, and one of them from right inside the Falcon family.

Tyler Goble of Plymouth MI is a linebacker and has verballed to BG.  I am assuming he is the brother of current Falcon Ronnie Goble, who is also from Plymouth and is said to have a brother.  They could be cousins.  Anyway, Goble looks like a really nice player.  His team went to the D1 State Finals last year and was Free Press All-Area West.  Check out the last line of this write up.

Team-high 82 tackles. He also had three sacks, recovered three fumbles and forced two fumbles.
Coach Mike Sawchuk: “He’s good on defense, but he’s our center on offense and makes all our line checks. He’s just a football player.”

That's the kind of player you always like to get...productive and a football player.   The Freep reported as late as this spring that they were surprised he wasn't being recruited more.

The 6-1, 200-pound Goble looked to be on his way in the recruiting game after earning second-team honors at the prestigious U.S. Army Junior Combine in San Antonio earlier this year, but almost four months later, Goble still awaits offer No. 1. He does not lack colleges' attention, however. He has received word that coaches from at least 15 schools plan to visit him this spring, including Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Northwestern and Vanderbilt.

The other is James White of Detroit Crockett.  He's a WR playing on a high-octane offense led by Rocket verbal Brian Blackburn at QB.  Here's an early season game where he caught 9 passes for 150 yards and a TD.  Crockett played into the D-2 semis before they were defeated.  Even with that loss, the team was 11-2.    Something called the D-zone says he is one of Michigan's top 100 players and he was second-team all-metro in the Detroit News.  He also had an offer from Akron.

James, Tyler.  Welcome to the Falcons.

Falcons get 2nd UDFA

Please note:  This is not Neal Dahlman.
Long Snapper Neal Dahlman has been signed by the Bengals....he played in all 50 games as a Falcon.  Best of luck, Neal!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Clawson at Media Day

So, we don't have a lot on what Coach Clawson said today, and some of it could be the typical spring-training, everyone is undefeated talk.  For example, saying that you have never felt better about our program just before you start your third year is something, but it isn't saying too much either.  I did find a few of his comments illuminating, however.

First, the rebuilding last year and this year's youth are part of the plan he had for the program.  His goal was to build the program from the bottom up, redshirt as many as possible and not raid JUCOs.  We've certainly done a little of that--we are counting on JUCOs and redshirt FR this year, for example--but his point was that we wanted to be able to have a young team get better and more experienced and then yield the benefits of that as they become juniors and seniors.

He notes that 2-10 was not "an accident."  We did a bunch of things poorly.  He also thinks that in the MAC, where teams "flip" quicker, we have the capacity to get better quickly.

"We now have good players and depth across the board. What we don't have is experience, but we will get that."

"Not only do we have good players, but we have them spaced out across all our classes."

He said that offensive football begins up front, that our Oline last year was a "train wreck."  With 4 returning starters, he hopes to see that a year can make a big difference.  He also likes our recruiting here.  (My note.  If the line does not improve, then the ceiling on the offense is very low and the team will need defense to win).

We have 4 RBs in contention now and he would like there to be 2 primary backs, although it is not clear who they will be.

The defensive backfield is deeper.  He says he has 4 corners he would play and 4-5 good safeties.

Special teams--obviously a need area.  We have a scholarship kicker (full ride), he thinks we will have the best punt returner in the conference and a good kick return game too.

On defense, Chris Jones and Dwayne Woods were with Coach, and they were both feeling very good, saying that the program has been known for offense and now can be known for defense.  If you want my opinion, that's how we win this year, but that remains to be seen.

Coach said we want to play our base very well, which is very typical of our philosophy.  If you do what you do effectively, and that includes getting pressure by rushing 4, you will be very hard to move the ball against.  If you have to blitz to get pressure, you open up holes.  The secondary will be the key.

Here's an odd one.  He says that we want to redshirt, but he thinks that half of our freshman class might redshirt (and therefore, half might not).  This shows how short we are in certain places....50% redshirts is a pretty low number, when normally you'd like to redshirt 100%. He says freshmen could make an impact at secondary, defensive line, offensive line, and wide receiver.

In a related note, he says that half of the program's seniors (!!) are WRs. We need some reps to go to younger players this year.  (Amen, there probably isn't another FBS team with that kind of distribution).

QB!  You know you want to to know.  Coach says we need BOTH QBs playing at a high level...the top 5 teams in the MAC used 2 QBs last year, and we saw what impact a lack of depth had when Schilz was injured.

Falcons Picked Fifth...bring it on

So, the media has done their picking for the week (MAC reporter pictured at right filling out his ballot), and the conventional wisdom bus has now pulled up in front of Ford Field.  There's always a lot to say about this, and opinions are in a surplus state right now.  There will be a blog poll coming up this weekend under the auspices of Bull Run (in which I have voted...we'll discuss that later), and at the end of the season we'll look back at all this and snigger.

In the meantime, just one thing.  Miami was supposed to be one of the ten worst teams in FBS last year.  K?

Having said all that, the conventional wisdom is not high on the Falcons, who are picked 5th in the East, besting only Buffalo and Akron.  This is actually a pick I agree with, not because I don't think we will be better, but because we might have the toughest crossover schedule since the MAC went to 2 divisions.

Anyway, here are the media's picks.  Later today I will look at some very interesting things Coach Clawson had to say about the season ahead...I do think he will turn the program around and we are on track to do it.  And (would this be cool or what) it might be led by defense this year.

West Division:
1st- Toledo (8 first-place votes), 83 points
2nd- Northern Illinois (5), 81
3rd- Western Michigan, (2), 76
4th- Central Michigan (1), 55
5th- Ball State, 27
6th- Eastern Michigan, 24

East Division:
1st- Miami (4), 97
2nd- Ohio (8), 96
3rd- Temple (4), 88
4th- Kent State, 57
5th- Bowling Green, 48
6th- Buffalo, 37
7th- Akron, 25

2011 MAC Football Championship winner: Toledo.

Verbal #6

The football team has garnered another verbal commitment, this one on the offensive line.  Ben Steward plays at Holt HS, which is in the Lansing area....he is 6'7" (!!!) 290 lbs, which would seem like the prototypical type of guy we look for at tackle., although he has been playing guard.  He was all-league last season and plays both ways in HS.  The paper reports that he had offers from EMU, CMU, WMU and Ball State.

Of our six verbals, he is the third o-lineman.

Welcome to the Falcons, Ben.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Verbal #5

It looks like we have some verbals coming.  There have been veiled references on some of the coach's twitter feeds about "welcome to the new members of the Falcon family"--they can't comment on players who verbal, but I am guessing that is who that message is intended for.

Thanks to where I saw this latest verbal, Coy Brown of Nappanee,  IN.  (It is over by South Bend.)  He is listed as a RB/LB.  The ESPN write up talks about his RB skills and acknowledges he could also play LB.  The other services seem to project him at LB.  He could also play FB, a position we are now interested in again, and maybe the coaches just want him in and they can see what will happen.

First, here's Coy's twitter confirmation of his verbal.

ESPN ranks him as a 73 (2-star) which is right about where the better players we recruit end up ranking.  As a junior, he rushed for over 1,000 yards, was all-conference and was honorable mention all-state.

Highlights follow.

Welcome to the Falcons, Coy!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

More Storm Clouds for Hockey

I don't really write about hockey here, which isn't anything other than my first passions are football and men's basketball, and someone else who feels that way about hockey is better suited to blog about that.

Having said that, the events of the recent week or so are certainly presenting challenges to the hockey program.  Excellent stories were published today in The Blade and the Sentinel on the topic.

In case you haven't heard....

The whole thing started when some dude with a ton of hydrofracking money decided to give $88M to Penn State to start a hockey team.  This meant the Big 10 had 6 teams (MSU, UM, OSU, MINN, WISC, and PSU) and could form its own conference, something that makes complete sense for those schools.

With 3 teams leaving the CCHA and 2 leaving the WCHA, that left both conferences alive but in perilous state.  Last weekend, the next domino fell when Miami said it would leave the CCHA and join Colorado College, the University of Denver, Minnesota-Duluth, Nebraska-Omaha, and North Dakota in a new Super Conference. (This doesn't sound like a big deal, but in the college hockey world it is significant).

That leaves the CCHA with Notre Dame, Alaska, WMU, NMU, BGSU, Ferris, and Lake Superior and the WCHA with Anchorage, St. Cloud, Bemidji State, Minnesota State and Michigan Tech.

Things don't stop there.  It seems to be a virtual certainty the Notre Dame will leave, either to go into the Super Conference, or to the East.  If they go to the Super Conference, they need a partner (to keep an even number of teams) which everyone anticipates would be WMU.

The first and most natural idea would be for the leftovers from the CCHA and WCHA to join together in a new conference.  While this would have the effect of creating "mid majors" in college hockey, it would still provide good competition and a chance to make a run in the tourney.

However, Northern Michigan appears ready to jump to the WCHA, which would seem to indicate that a merger isn't likely.  And, Alaska would also be a logical team to move to the WCHA.

Which leaves, worst case, the CCHA with BG, Ferris State, and Lake Superior.

AD Greg Christopher is quoted in the Sentinel as saying this...

“At the end of the day, college hockey is a sport with less than 60 Division I institutions and I would be really disappointed if you have some of the smaller programs without a seat when the music stops."

The options for BG could be tough.  Now, maybe Notre Dame goes East (they are already in Big East in most sports and probably feel more like their name should appear next to Boston College on a schedule instead of Nebraska-Omaha), which means that WMU stays.  Maybe Alaska stays.  And then, the CCHA goes and gets some of the aspiring programs in college hockey (Alabama-Huntsville, Robert Morris, Niagara, Canisius and Mercyhurst, according to the Sentinel).

Which, if you are as old as I am, means that the CCHA almost returns to its roots as the upstart conference in college hockey, which is where we were when Byron Shutt blasted the puck past the Colorado College goalie to send BG to the Final Four.

One thing is clear.  BG's commitment to hockey is iron-clad.  The program will stay, and a place for it will be found.  Again, Mr. Christopher in the Sentinel.

“Bowling Green is committed to its program and competing for championships, that’s the same approach we’ve had all along,” Christopher said. “We’re committed to a full funding of the program.”

In this case, full funding is going to involve some additional travel costs, regardless of which conference we end up in.  It would be hard to beat the geography we have now.

Anyway, just a quick check in...hoping for the best possible resolution for the Falcons.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Temple: On the Radar

Just putting an issue on the Radar....

Temple Football Forever is reporting that Temple verbal commits are telling the media that they are being told that Temple will be playing in the Big East by 2012.

He sees two explanations...

There are only a couple of conclusions to make from this:
1) Our coaching staff is blowing smoke up recruits' butts in order to get the verbal;
2) Where there is smoke there is fire.

And he chooses #2, which I would agree with.

Now, The Owl's Nest has a couple points....

First, Temple signed a two-year extension with the MAC.
Second, it is too late to join the Big East for 2012.

Temple adamantly denies the Big East talk, for whatever that is worth.

The reason this seems to make some sense is that the Big East was out trying to get Villanova in....wouldn't Temple (especially the resurgent Temple with Addazio at the helm) be just as logical.

MAC fans, who have been nettled by Temple's football-only membership all along, will surely implode if they leave...on the plus side, BG could stay in the East.


Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Falcons Move into Stroh Center--action starts quicker than expected

The Falcons moved into the Stroh Center late last week, finally closing the Anderson Arena.  There is lots of activity involved in know moving is a pain. has been documenting the move.  Here, we have an interview with Coach Orr as he pulls some papers out of a box in his new office and talks about the honor of being part of the new day in Falcon sports.

Following this link takes you to a gallery of photos, including Coach Orr (literally) getting his keys and Coach Stone pushing a hand cart.

Finally, here is a Facebook photo of Coach Orr breaking in the new baskets.  (Small, I know.)  Be assured of this....nothing but net.

Things will start sooner than anyone thought. The Sentinel reported that the Falcons will head to Toronto to play 3 exhibition games in August. The team will leave for Toronto (aka The Big Smoke) on the 16th of August, and can practice for 10 days leading up to that, which is probably about 80% of the value of the trip. Our 3 freshman can travel if their academics are cleared.

With a young team, you can sometimes do something like this to get everyone acquainted and jump start the maturation process. That little trip will be here before you know it.

We are playing the Guelph Gryphons, a group of guys, and a mystery team. All games will be at Seneca College.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Two New Football Verbals

As seen first on, here are two new Falcon verbals both on the line.

First, there is Izaah Lunsford, a d lineman from Shroder Academy in the Cincinnati Area.  He's 6''3" and 260 pounds, and had 58 tackles and 6.5 sacks as a junior.   He played on the inside of the line, which sometimes is a tough place to generate numbers--often times you are contributing just by eating up blocks.  Anyway, those are good numbers for a lineman.  He was also listed as one of 50 Prep Seniors in Cincinnati to watch.

Second is JJ Beggan of Seton-LaSalle in the Pittsburgh area.  This blog's bias for Pittsburgh football players is well know, so we give it a +1 from that standpoint.  JJ used the increasingly popular medium of twitter to inform the world of his decisions.

He's an o-lineman who goes at 6'4" 290.  He reportedly had six offers, including from other MAC schools and as a junior he was all-conference on both sides of the ball, which seems like a pretty good accomplishment. 

So, JJ and Izaah, welcome to the Falcons.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Verbals to date...

Just in case you were wondering, or worrying, the BG football team has 2 reported verbals so far.  Last year at this time...there were 3 and the class ended up pretty good.  You can get a bunch of early verbals depending on who you are willing to take...or, of course, you can be getting killed.  UT and OU don't have many more.  I don't report on guys we've offered who sign elsewhere, but there have been a bunch and they are going to BCS Schools.

Also, BG had Zach Rogers of Elyria coming in as a preferred walk-on.  He has now accepted a scholarship to UT...which means that we had a scholarship quality athlete coming in as a walk-on.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Falcons Lag in All-Sports Rankings

Not to let this slide by unnoticed, the Falcons have continued their streak of very poor performances in the MAC all-sports rankings.  Our men finished last and the women 11th. 

This is an ongoing issue, and it is disappointing.  The women are buoyed by the basketball team, but the men have no sport carrying them.  I believe that we continue to lag in our operational spending on athletics....I find it hard to believe that this record is not a big deal to the athletic department.   We should be competitive in our conference in most things...I just can't understand any other way.