Wednesday, May 31, 2017

MAC Football Schedule Update

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wagner and Moosbrugger in Blade

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, May 29, 2017

Falcon Football has second '18 verbal

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

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

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

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

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

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

Welcome to the Falcons, Onyx.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Big Changes coming in MAC MBB

There may be no year in MAC Men's BB in recent memory with more uncertainty coming up than this year.  Check this out below....of the 15 players on the All-MAC teams, only 3 are going to be returning to play next year.  Even more interesting is that Thompson and Wilder explored the NBA draft as well, but opted to withdraw.  That's got to be relatively unusual.

Keene declared for the draft and stayed in.  Simmons withdrew but is headed for UM.  Marin withdrew but is headed to DePaul.

Tayler Persons has already transferred he was more likely to be back.

Add to that...your FR of the year is transferring to Oklahoma State and your most successful coach left as well.

Going to be a wide open year in the MAC.

2016-17 Men’s Basketball All-MAC First Team
Isaiah Johnson, C, Akron, Senior
Marcus Keene, G, Central Michigan, Junior
Jimmy Hall, F, Kent State, Senior
Jaaron Simmons, G, Ohio, Junior
Thomas Wilder, G, Western Michigan, Junior

2016-17 Men’s Basketball All-MAC Second Team
Kwan Cheatham Jr., F, Akron, Senior
Tayler Persons, G, Ball State, Sophomore
Blake Hamilton, Wing, Buffalo, Senior
James Thompson IV, F, Eastern Michigan, Sophomore
Steve Taylor Jr., F, Toledo, Senior

2016-17 Men’s Basketball All-MAC Third Team
Franko House, F, Ball State, Senior
Braylon Rayson, G, Central Michigan, Senior
Marin Maric, C, Northern Illinois, Senior
Jon Williams, G, Toledo, Senior
Tucker Haymond, F, Western Michigan, Senior

Sunday, May 21, 2017

David Briggs on MAC Football Scheduling and my two cents

So, there's no bigger issue to get MAC Football fans revved up then the #maction scheduling in November.  As noted earlier this year, the MAC has gone all the way in--there will now be absolutely zero weekend November games.

So, the MAC hears all this.  And they are trying to do some things to better educate the public.  That included a recent exercise where they invited the media in to do some mock scheduling.  The Blade's David Briggs was one of those people, and he had an excellent story in today's Blade.  Not going to steal the thunder, click here and check it out and then come back here and I'll have some comments.

OK.  As I said, the story was excellent.  He did a very good analysis and I agree 100% with his conclusion.

The MAC did get done what they wanted.  Sold.  There's more to it than I thought.  Teams can protect a home day and an away day.  And there are rules about consecutive road games, etc.  You saw it.  That's a much tougher job and I can actually see how completely getting rid of Saturday games makes the pacing of the weekday games easier to manage.

The point is (and this is where Briggs lands his best thoughts) all this complication is in support of something that just doesn't make sense.  The numbers you see for those BG games...the 0 ratings, the five-figure viewership...those are shocking.  We're playing in front of tiny crowds, freezing our season ticket holders (the only reliable asset the programs have) and we're doing it for a "national" audience that would, if all flown to BG, only fill the stadium a couple more times.

Not exactly what we're told by the MAC.  Coach Jinks talks glowingly ("everybody loves football") of the #maction deal and its impact on recruiting.  Which would have to mean a significant number of that minuscule audience are three-star recruits with nothing else to do on a Tuesday.

Well, then, the money.  It has to be for the money.  Briggs reports that MAC gets $10M per year for all this nonsense...the 0.0 rating of the financial world.  That doesn't cover the subsidy any university provides to cover the deficit at one MAC school.  In fact, according to USA Today, the collective MAC subsidy for athletics was around $243.8M annually.

So, that $10M?  Yeah.

Here, Briggs says it and I can't say it any better.

At some point, the MAC needs to remember why its money-bleeding programs exist in the first place.

Is it to provide cheap national programming for ESPN? Or is it because of its special local connection with our campuses and communities?
I would just add one more, which is to provide "talkings points" to athletic directors and commissioners when their head hunting buddies call to get them jobs at bigger schools.

Anyway, the emperor has no clothes.  The MAC has built up this entire scheduling mythology to justify something that makes no sense.  That whole thing--the PR initiative, the mock scheduling workshop, the protected dates, the five-day turnarounds, all the gymnastics--could be eliminated simply by going back to Saturday games with no meaningful impact on the finances of the league.

Yeah, I get it.  Crowds in November wouldn't be great on Saturday either.  I am really sad to think about our athletic directors spending sleepless nights worrying about when Ohio State and Michigan are playing, but if November's going to be bad either way, why not play the game on Saturday and try to nurture your "local connection with our campuses and communities."

One last thing.  Have you had a chance to see what's up at ESPN?  Yes, there are a lot of new venues to get coverage but there aren't a lot of new advertisers hanging around and that mother's milk of subscription fees is getting snipped with the cord.  How sustainable is even the $10M?  And if that goes away and #maction is on Twitter and your hard-core fans have found something else to do...

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Calvin Clater has Hops...

Of course, we are in the quiet time of year, stretching from the spring game to the start of football camp.  There are still the occasional news flashes.

This one comes from Texas, where the state's high school track and field championships were held recently.

Calvin Clater, a BG signee coming in to play WR, won the state's high jump title with a jump of 6'11", one full inch over the second competitor.  He was in the 5A classification, which is the second highest classification in Texas, which I believe you know is a fairly large state.

I think we can all agree that kind of athleticism will look very good in orange and brown.

I looked it up, the MAC record is in the 7'4" range, so you get an idea where that might stand.  Looking forward to seeing that leaping ability being put to work against a d-back.  Too bad he can't be a two-sport star as a high jumper at BG.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Falcon Football Players Charged With Forgery--Updated

The Sentinel is reporting that two players on the football team have been charged with forgery.  The players are Malik Brown and Brian Jennings.  They were arrested on Friday.

BGSU told the Sentinel that they are aware of the situation and they are gathering more information before determining what the next steps might be.  Usual disclaimers accusation by the government does not make you guilty.

Both players are linked to Babers.  A HS 3-star prospect, Brown transferred from Tennessee during Dino's first year and played in 11 games last year with 6 tackles and a forced fumble.  He is listed as a R-Sr.

Brian Jennings II played for Babers at EIU then transferred to BGSU.  He has appeared in one game with the Falcons.

FWIW, I think Coach Jinks has been shown to be effective at handling issues like this.  He does seem to understand that we want to win the right way at BGSU and he does understand that it is part of his job to protect the dignity of the institution.  Not sure about his predecessor.

Update:  The Sentinel has further details on the allegations.