Sunday, December 31, 2006

Dave Barry wraps up 2006

I have a link to Dave Barry's column in my sidebar. He just cracks me up.

In this link, Dave wraps up 2006.

And people wonder why we pay so much attention to UMass Football...

2007 Schedule Update II

A Towson fan posted a 2007 Towson schedule on AGS. This should be taken with a grain of salt, but it does not conflict with any other posted schedule I've seen.

Provisional 2007 UMass Football schedule

9/8/07 @Colgate
9/15/07 Towson (home)
9/29/07 @ Boston College
10/27/07 @ William & Mary
11/10/07 New Hampshire (home)

Saturday, December 30, 2006

A look back on the A10 North


Massachusetts 8 0 1.00 13 2 .867
Maine 5 3 .625 6 5 .545
New Hampshire 5 3 .625 9 4 .692
Northeastern 4 4 .500 5 6 .455
Rhode Island 2 6 .250 4 7 .364
Hofstra 1 7 .125 2 9 .182

In the rush to the National Championship, I sorta lost track of the rest of the league. Some interesting things happened in the A10 this year. UMass we know about. It might be good to take a look back on the other teams in the A10 North.

UNH -- finished tied with Maine for league wins. Played two epic games against UMass. Dominated Big 10 Northwestern. Ricky Santos won the Payton award for the best offensive player in I-AA. The Wildcats were never quite the same team after their All-American DB Corey Graham went down with a season ending injury. Regional grouping in the playoffs hurt UNH as they did not deserve to get UMass in the second round. It will be interesting to see how the Wildcats do in 2007 with out all-everything WR David ball .

Maine --- The Black Bears had the toughest last two games in the nation as they had to meet UMass and UNH back to back. Maine DE Matt King was probably the best defensive lineman UMass played. Maine DB Darren Stone will be playing in the Hula Bowl . They also played a very credible game against Boston College . This blog thinks Maine could have made the playoffs if they had been playing in a lesser league. They had talent on both sides of the ball and their defense was exceptional.

Northeastern--- Played their usual insane schedule . Opened with five road games in a row. The Huskies did have some positive things happen. They beat UNH and Delaware back to back . Northeastern's Maurice Murray was one of the toughest backs UMass played against in 2006. Again, this was a team that would have contended l in most leagues. They probably played the toughest schedule in I-AA and still ended up .500 in the A10. If the Huskies ever decided to play Liberty, VMI and Elon as their OOC, they very well could flirt with being a playoff team.

Rhode Island---The Rams actually made some progress this year. Their assistant coach Harold Nichols was named assistant coach of the year in I-AA. Due to the efforts of former Ram players, they actually made some significant improvements to Meade Stadium. The Rams were hurt when they had some mid-season injuries to their quarterbacks----just where an option team would not want problems. If the Rams can stay healthy, they could make some noise in 2007.

Hofstra ---- Not much went right for new head coach Dave Cohen . Veteran coaches known a good year to retire and Joe Gardi picked a good year to go. The only real bright spot was kicker Rob Zarrilli, who may have the best kicker in I-AA. The Pride probably played their best game against I-A Marshall . The Pride will need a lot of work to be a factor in the A10/CAA in 2007

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Thursday moring odds & ends

Matt Vautour has an article about Steve Baylark's selection to the East-West Shrine game as I have previously blogged (scroll down) here .

He is also considering his selections for his top five UMass athletes for 2006. His UMass Sports Blog is here. Use his e-mail link on the page to lobby for UMass Football's three All-Americans Baylark, Miller and Ihedigbo.

This article relates to the National Championship game, but is a nice story about the contributions of Sean Smalls and Ke'Mon Bailey.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Four dates for 2007

I have the dates for four 2007 UMass football games. This information should be considered preliminary until the official schedule is announced.

9/8/07 @Colgate
9/29/07 @ Boston College
10/27/07 @ William & Mary
11/10/07 New Hampshire (home)

Villanova, Towson and Northeastern should all be home games.

We should be @Rhode Island, @ Maine and @ Hofstra

UMass will need a replacement for Stony Brook. Hopefully another NEC team (even though NEC teams were responsible for several huge I-AA upsets last year).

UPDATE: I corrected the date for the Colgate game. There was a "typo". The correct date is 09/08/07. The entire Colgate schedule is here .

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Recruiting 2007----- James Gilchrist OL

UMass is interested in James Gilchrist who plays OL at Dartmouth High.

The article is here .

Also being recruited by Northeastern, Hofstra, Bentley & Bryant.

Steve Baylark named to East-West Shrine Game

Steve Baylark has been named to the East-West Shrine Game.

The Game roster is here.

Also named to the game is UNH's David Ball.

UPDATE: The game will take place on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2007 at 7 p.m. (ET) at Reliant Stadium in Houston. Watch it in ESPN2

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

The UMass Football Blog wishes all readers a joyous holiday season and a happy new year.

Christmas came early for UMass football fans with a trip to the National Championship game.

2006 was a great year for UMass football and UMass football fans.

Can't wait to see what 2007 brings.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Alex Miller named CSN Offensive lineman-of-the-year

UMass Senior Center Alex Miller was named the CSN Offensive lineman-of-the-year.

Joining him in the CSN's "nifty fifty" were teammates James Ihedigbo and Steve Baylark .

Christian Koegel also was part of CSN's list to earn his first post-season honor. Koegel had the misfortune to be the punter on one of the nation's top teams. He ended up stating in a record-tying 49 games.

Koegel's stats for 2006 --- 53 punts 2168 yds 40.9 ave 66 longest TB 7 FC 6 I20 16 and zero blocked.

R.J. Cobbs signs with the Giants

Former UMass WR/RB/CB R.J. Cobbs has been signed to the NY Giants practice squad.

His player page is not yet complete, but he has a WR number!

Good luck to R.J. !

Friday, December 22, 2006

Friday Morning stuff

The Sporting News has their All-America team out. Alex Miller, James Ihedigbo, Matt Austin and Steve Baylark are on it for UMass.

Matt Dougherty has a "Best of 2006" column in his Extra Point column. UMass is barely mentioned. I wrote Matt a e-mail saying we were the first team in int A10 to run the table since 1997, beat Montana at their place and won 12 games in a row. Also he picks UNH as the early favorite in the CAA next year. I mentioned that we have beaten Santos and UNH three out of four times since his arrival. Somehow I doubt I'll get a reply.

On a lighter note, campus crime is spreading.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Armand Cuko, Chris Zardas and Kyle C. Harrington

The Salem News has a nice article about three freshman for the Minutemen ---Armado Cuko, Chris Zardas and Kyle C. Harrington.

This Blog wishes all three a healthier sophomore season and a great career with UMass.

Note the News has an incredibly annoying ad on the article page. Left click on the ad and then unclick the "play" option it kill the sound effect.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Recruiting 2007 --- Tim Wells WR/DB

UMass is interested in Tim Wells 6-2 WR/DB from Abington H.S.

Articles about him here and here .

Also drawing interest from UNH.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

National Championship Slide Show

The Chattanooga Times-Free Press has a really nice National Championship Game Slide Show.

Worth your time to look at. Some great UMass shots.

Recruiting 2007--- Walter Fallas LB

UMass is recruiting Walter Fallas a 6-3 240 pd linebacker from Everett High.

There an article about him in the Boston Herald here .

There is a pre-season bio on him here .

Fallas is also drawing interest from UNH and Deleware. UConn and BC have also shown interest on the I-A level.

Walter, the best defense in New England is in Amherst.

Recruiting 2007

The 2006 All-State football team has been announced. The list of Mass players is here .

The Springfield Republican has an article about the Western Mass contingent here .

Since Coach Brown has arrived, UMass has been more aggressively recruiting home state players. We'll see how many of the All-State list end up in Maroon & White.

Go UMass!

UMass Sports looses a friend

On Friday UMass Football lost more than the National Championship game. Longtime UMass announcer Jack O'Neil died at 58 after a long battle with Esophageal Cancer.

The Springfield Republican article is here . The Obit is here .

The Ledger has another article here .

RIP, Jack. Home games at McGuirk will be diminished without your voice.

Monday, December 18, 2006

UMass-Appalachian National Championship Game Images

These images were taken with my point-and-shoot. I had the ASA cranked up, but there is still some image blur. In the action shots, the blur conveys the sense of motion----how's that for a positive spin?

As usual, right click on the image and Blogger displays a larger view.

Hope they give some of the flavor of the event.

The UMass concert before the game!


Night games are cool



Scoreboard before the game

Commonwealth flag lands

Black Kinghts land

Game ball is presented to the ref

UMass takes the field

UMass fans salute the Minutemen

National Anthem

The Mountaneers kick off to start the game

Baylark runs

UMass kicks off

Appalachian offense


Mountaineer Band played to the visiting stands

UMass band begins its halftime show

UMass band at halftime

UMass cheerleaders

Edwards passes

Baylark looks for a hole

Umass defends

Coen passes

UMass tied the score in the third

Edwards Runs


It was a great show

Last drive

Appalachian's last drive

The P.A. kept saying no one would be allowed on the field

Final Score

ASU Fans

Miller, Ihedigbo and Baylark named AP All-Americans

Lost in all the publicity in the drive to the National Championship game was the notice that Alex Miller and James Ihedigbo were named First Team Associated Press All-Americans. Steve Baylark was named 2nd Team All-American.

Eleven A10 football players were named AP All-Americans.

A complete list of all Championship Division AP All-Americans is here .

Also lost in the excitement was the fact that UMass All-Opponent Ricky Santos won the Walter Payton Award for the best Offensive Player in the Championship Division. Steve Baylark finished 10th in the voting (taken before the playoffs).

Sunday, December 17, 2006

They're tough in Tennessee

This news article was in the Chattanooga Times-Free Press "Weekend" insert on Friday.

We include it without comment. Right Click for a larger read.

Game articles

There were over 300 articles relating to the UMass-Appalachian State National Championship game in my Google news report this morning.

Start with Matt Vautour of the Hampshire Gazette here with 12 game articles (and they're all worth reading).

The UMass Athletic site is here with game notes, stats and image galleries.

The College Sporting News writeup is here .

The Boston Herald considers UMass looking forward .

Matt Dougherty recaps the National Championship game .

The Boston Globe looks at Steve Baylark's family's first opportunity to see him play.

The Boston Globe considers it to be a great time to be a UMass fan.

The Boston Herald has a game article here .

The Boston Globe has a nice article about Coach Brown .

UMass spent some of the game prep time working with Habitat for Humanity building a house for a Katrina victim .

The Springfield Republican has a game article here .

Chattanooga Trip

Well, it was worth the effort. The Championship game was a great experience.

Chattanooga is an interesting area. We visited the Lookout Mountain National Battlefield . Next time UMass is in the National Championship we want to visit Missionary Ridge and Chickamauga Battlefields .

It was a lot of fun to meet the many UMass fans who made the trip. I got to visit with several of this blog's readers. It was fun talking to the Appalachian fans who were friendly.

The pre-game band concert was great. The UMass band clearly won the battle of the bands.

The Army Black Knights parachute team did a great job and the F16 flyover got everybody rockin'

We were in the minority, but we make some noise and there was lots of Maroon & White in the stands, on the plane rides to and from and around Chattanooga. Congrats to all the UMies who made the effort to go to the game.

I'll be back with game images, press links and more in a while.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

On the Raod to Chattanooga!

This Blog is on the Road to Chattanooga. I'll be in section 105 (just behind the UMass bench).

Due to the Transportation Safety Administration Regulations, which change every two hours, I've decided not to take my laptop.

So, this Blog will not be updated until Sunday when I return. Feel free to peruse the 1,090 previous blog entries.

Hopefully, I''ll be back in business Sunday with some tales and images of a big UMass win.

Go UMass!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Alumni Groups meeting

According to the UMass Message Board, Alumni groups in Boston, New Jersey and New York are gathering to watch the game.

The UMass alumni club list is here. Why not contact the club and organize a meeting at a Sports bar or other watering hole?

Title Game articles

The Boston Herald has an article on the UMass kicking game . And one about Steve Baylark .

The Hampshire Gazette has one about Baylark's family finally getting to see one of his games .

The Herald has another article here . The Springfield Republican has a report here .

The Boston Globe has an article about UMass QB Liam Coen .

The Worcester Telegram has an article about Central Mass players and coaches on the team.

Matt Dougherty of the Sports Network has a title game article and picks UMass to loose . At least the media is consistent...

Trip options still available through the Alumni Office

You can still get trip options to Chattanooga from the Alumni Office here .

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

UMass still not getting a lot of respect

Not many non-UMass fans are giving the Minutemen much of a chance against the Mountaineers .

Chattanooga reporter Wesley Rucker says winning in the playoffs is not supposed to be this easy.

On AGS, there are threads with titles like "Does UMass have any realistic chance of winning Friday?"

Also "Why Appalachian wins games" .

Meanwhile, the American Coaches Association has come out with its All-America Team . UMass center Alex Miller is on it. Steve Baylark is not. Nor is UMass punter Christian Koegel.

Nor is any member of the UMass defense.

Tuesday Morning news

The Boston Globe has an article about Appalachian State here .

The Boston Herald continues its fine coverage of the Minutemen here and here .

The Springfield Republican has an article here .

And Matt Vautour has an article in the Gazette.

Former UMass coach Mark Whipple interviewing for the Boston College job has generated a lot of news. The Boston Herald has an article here . The Hartford Courant has an article quoting Bill Cowher stating BC should hire Whipple .

From the Appalachian side the New-Record is here . The Journal is here . The Myrtle Beach online is here . The New-Record shows how Appalachian destroyed the Penguins .

UPDATE: The UMass Athletic Dept has its game notes up in html and pdf .

Appalachian has a game update here .

Monday, December 11, 2006

In the running for a National Championship

Image of Baylark is by the Associated Press.

Matt Dougherty of the Sports Network has an article here .

The Odds Guy Keeper has UMass as a slight two-point favorite .

Chuck Coulson of CS News, he of the anti-UMass smack post, has an article here . In his blog Lehigh Nation he predicts wins by Montana and Youngstown State in the semifinals.

Matt Vautour does his usual superlative job with an article here about the Montana game. He has an article about Steve Baylark's inspired play here . Matt contends that Montana Football is a gem .

In the meantime, former UMass Coach Mark Whipple is interviewing for the Boston College job. His Steelers bio is here .