Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Blog publishing schedule

The UMass football Blog will not be updated tomorrow (Wednesday).

Publishing will return to normal on Thursday.

Article on injuries mentions UMass Legend Steve Schubert

This article about concussions has quotes and a story about UMass football legend Steve Schubert.

I've blogged about Schubert before.

NCAA approves increase in playoffs

The NCAA playoffs will officially go to 20 teams in 2010.

The guaranteed eight-wins-and-you're-in is an improvement. Two more at-large spots should pretty much eliminate a worthy team being left out.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Breyone Evans signs with Carolina Panthers

UMass fullback Breyone Evans has signed a free agent contract with the Carolina Panthers.

More info here.

UPDATE: The Daily Collegian has an article here .

UPDATE II: UMass' NFL draft history is here . Link is courtesy of "Ronbo" over at AGS.

UPDATE III: Matty Vautour has an article on Evan's signing here .

UPDATE IV: Signing a free agent contract can be rough time for the player involved.

Ricky Santos signs with Chiefs

Ricky Santos signed a free agent contract with the Chiefs.

No info yet on any UMass signings.

Complete list of FCS/I-AA players drafted here .

UPDATE: A commentor stated that Brad Listorti had signed with the Jets on Sunday. Nothing on Google or the Jets website about that as of 5:00 pm.

The Jets did waive Stacy Tutt...

Article on UMass Wide-outs for 2008

Jeff Thomas has an article on the UMass wide receivers for 2008.

Mentioned are:
I'm excited about the quality of the UMass receivers and can't wait to see them in action!

Maine adds an opponent in 2009

University of Maine Black Bears will play Florida State in 2009.

UMass Spring Game Saturday

The UMass Spring game will be 11:00 am on Saturday. Hope to see all the locals there.

The UMass team and Friends of Football will sponsoring a bone marrow registration after the game. Get your cheek [ your face cheek ;) ] swabbed and save a life.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Open Thread while I'm gone

This will be an open comment thread while I'm away (see previous post).

I'm sure I'll be proud of the UMass Football Blog on-line community when I read the comments Sunday evening.

Blog publishing schedule

The UMass Football Blog will next publish on Monday, April 28th.

Mrs. Blog and I are taking a long weekend in Maine.

The future of CAA football

As you know, Georgia State University and Old Dominion will be joining the CAA in the next couple of years.

This sports writer thinks it's all about conference realignment.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Keeping up with Marcel Shipp

This article about the Arizona Cardinals practice facility features former UMass legend Marcel Shipp.

Now that the 2008 NFL draft is almost here, the Cardinals running backs are analyzed (article mentions Steve Baylark). Baylark's Cardinal's bio is here .

Another Cardinals running-backs-and-the-Draft article here .

If you are a 2X kinda guy, there is a great deal on a Marcel Shipp NFL replica jersey here .

Monday, April 21, 2008

A couple of UMass Football dates

The UMass Friends of Football will be holding their 7th annual Golf Classic on June 23rd, 2008. If you love UMass football and want the team to do well, their is no better thing you can do to help than joining the Friends.

Coach Brown will be speaking at the April 30th noon UMass Sports Luncheon at the campus center. Call 413-545-4290 to reserve a spot.

Monday articles 04/20/08

The same agent that represented Marcel Shipp represents Ricky Santos. The article also mentions the BC Pro-Day workout by UMass players.

This article mentions Matt Lawrence as free agent pick.

The CAA covers this last weekend's Spring Games.

BCS opponent Texas Tech had its spring game Saturday.

If you will remember I've blogged about Texas and Texas Tech loosing money on their respective bowl games. I thought it was interesting that Hawaii, which took a monumental a$$ whipping by Georgia in the Sugar Bowl, made $2.2 Million profit.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

April 18th UMass Football Practice

Click on the image above and blogger displays a large view.

Well, yesterday was a good day. It was my birthday. I lifted a lifetime best bench press in the morning and in the afternoon I watched UMass practice. Oh, and it was 75 degrees and a blue sky.

I've added a forty image gallery in Picassa. You can view it here . Picassa was acting a little flakey while I was doing the up-load. If it does not work for you, try again later. Google goes through periods of being difficult to work with.

I liked the practice. The players seemed focused (no clowning around when the coach's back was turned). Everybody seemed to be working hard.

Coen looked like he was moving comfortably. Tony Nelson looked fast.

I was impressed with the speed of the wide receivers. We don't have the height we had last year, but if the opposing DB misses the tackle, I don't think they're going to get a second chance.

With last year's recruits, the OL looked BIG. Very big kids. I think we have more depth this year.

Long snapping is still a work in progress. Arnold and Woodward were jumping jacks trying to field long snaps.

Coach Brown does not like people making catches against his defensive backs----even if they're our receivers in practice.

UPDATE: I've added a link to practice web album in the Blog's sidebar.

Matt Lawrence gets a mention in the Globe

Today's Globe has an article about running backs in this year's NFL draft. It says Matt Lawrence ran the 40 at BC's Pro Day in the 4.4 range.

Friday, April 18, 2008

More on future opponents

Georgia State University has held a press conference about starting football in 2010. They will be joining the CAA, so we'll be seeing them shortly.

This article discusses how they should build a winning program (it includes leaving the CAA for the Southern Conference).

If you are interested in 2008 BCS opponent Texas Tech, their spring game will be televised Saturday on the NFL Network. The NFL network is channel 154 on Dish Network and 212 on Direct TV.

Following up on yesterday's blog post about Texas Tech loosing money on its bowl game, Texas lost money on the Holiday Bowl . BCS division bowl games continue to proliferate. A Washington DC Bowl is pending as well as the "Rocky Mountain Bowl".

Sheese, pretty soon every team in BCS/I-A with a winning record will go to a bowl.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

UMass Practice tomorrow

I just called the UMass football office and they said practice tomorrow (Friday) will be 5:00-7:00 pm.

I'm thinking of driving down.

Thursday Morning Odds & Ends

Not much UMass News on the wires (except for you know, the news), so lets looks around the CAA and 2008 opponents.

Holy Cross thinks their offense is going to be good.

Delaware is adding a second field turf practice field and is thinking about a new stadium .

Hofstra just added a new 2008 opponent to go to a twelve game schedule.

The CAA Spring player Blog continues .

Rhode Island has a new helmet style .

Richmond has an eleven page Spring Prospectus up (pdf).

Texas Tech, this year's BCS opponent went to the Gator Bowl last year. The Red Raiders received $2.5 million for the appearance. They ended up loosing $200k on deal.

I know yesterday was kinda depressing for fans of UMass athletics. I hope the regular female readers of the UMass football blog will forgive us for this link to the USC Song Girls-------in bikinis.

Warning, not work safe (babes in bikinis).

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Two year UMass Football Captains

One of he nice things about running the UMass Football Blog is meeting former UMass players and coaches. Earlier this year I exchanged e-mails with former UMass player and Coach Jerry Gordon.

His 1981 Captain's image is in the UMass Historical section of this blog. Gordon walked on to the football team and was the last lineman chosen. He told me "I worked hard, and good things happened." Gordon ended up being one of the few two year UMass Captains.

This year, the UMass players elected Junior Brandon Collier one of 2008's captains. So he has a chance to join a select few UMass players who have been two-year captains. I went through the UMass historical roster twice and did not find a three year captain.

UMass Two-Year Captains:
  • Bill Durkin '92,'93
  • Jerry Gordon '81,'82
  • Ed McAleny "74,"75
  • Khari Samuel "97,'98
  • Serge Tikum "04,"05
  • Brandon Collier '08,?
Did I miss anyone?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

2008 UMass Football quick facts up

The official UMass Football site has the 2008 UMass Football Quick Facts page up.

I've updated the link in the blog sidebar to reflect the new page.

UPDATE: UMass now has a four page '08 preview available here (pdf). Has 2007 stats, spring roster and more. Download it now!

David Coulson on FCS NFL Draft prospects

David Coulson's latest column for the Sports Network covers the FCS/I-AA NFL draft prospects.

He mentions UMass players Matt Lawrence and Brad Listorti.

UPDATE: Sports Illustrated has an article on "small school" sleepers in the NFL draft. No UMass players mentioned, but three CAA players are included.

Monday, April 14, 2008

CAA Spring paractice news

William & Mary finished their spring in front of a thousand fans.

2008 opponent James Madison's offense is looking better .

They're still looking for a quarterback at UNH.

And the Hens are looking for Omar Cuff's replacement .

Maine's spring prospectus is up.

If you have'nt visited it lately, Thorr seems to be having a good effect on Rhode Island's football website. Lots of Rhody football information now, including spring practice news.

Richmond's named the Spider 2008 captains.

Towson is looking to bounch back from a bad season .

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Jeff Thomas on lights/spring practice

Jeff Thomas of the Springfield Republican has an article on the impact of lights and also some Spring Practice news here .

A "small school" only NFL draft

Draft Daddy's Blog is a continuing source of college football news. Even though it's oriented around the NFL draft, there is still lots of college football news to look at.

The Draft Daddy blog has a link to a site called NFL Draft Bible, which in turn has a column by Josh Buchanan. He covers the "small schools". His latest effort is a NFL draft with only players from FCS/I-AA and down.

It has a number of UMass players and a lot of other players we know.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Six UMass games to be televised in 2008

The UMass football page has the CAA TV schedule for 2008. UMass will be televised six times!
  • @ JMU 09/13/08 CN8
  • Delaware 10/04/08 CN8
  • Richmond 10/18/08 CN8
  • Maine 11/08/08 CSN -NE
  • @ New Hampshire 11/15/08 CSN-MA, CSN-NE
  • Hofstra 11/22/08 CN8
Pretty good CAA coverage. Nineteen games with at least one game for every team. CN8 is available over the internet. Both Dish Network and Direct TV cover CSN-NE and CSN-MA.

UMass fans away from New England should have an excellent year.

Spring Roster up!

The UMass Web site has the 2008 Spring Roster up.

ADDITIONS (no bios yet):
  • Warren Wilson #1
  • Correy Eason #42
  • Jonathan Richard #58
  • Peter Chiaro #96
DELETIONS (not including seniors):

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Johnny Evans---- LB

In Tuesday's blog post about Coach Brown's spring practice video, he mention LB Johnny Evans as being in the mix for the 2008 linebacker corps. There is not much info in his UMass Bio. I did not seem to do a blog post on him during recruiting.

Evans will be a redshirt sophomore this year. He's 6-0 220.

His Scout.com page is here . His ESPN page is here .

He drew recruiting interest from East Carolina.

Welcome to the Minutemen Johnny! Hope you have a great career.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Valdamar Brower hired at Central HS

Former UMass All-American Vladamar Brower has been hired as head coach at Central High School.

Congratulations, "T".

Woah! Actual UMass Football News!

The UMass website has an interview with Coach Brown on UMass Spring Practice. Be still my heart! Actual UMass Football News. The video clip will probably be moved to the Official UMass Football Page soon.

First news, UMass captains for 2008 have been selected.
On offense, Brown said that Emil Igwenagu has been playing the fullback slot while Chris Zardas is recovering. He said without giving any names that we have talent at WR.

On defense, he said George Byrd has the weak side linebacker nailed down. He mentioned Johnny Evans and Sam Besong also at the "will" position. Anthony Rouzier and Andy Rensende-gomes are being looked at for the strong side. Middle linebacker is still open apparently.

UPDATE: UMass now has an article on the 2008 captains here .

UPDATE II: UMass Football will take part in the CAA Bone Marrow registration program (pdf)

UPDATE III: The UMass Daily Collegian adds an article about the 2008 Captains.

Monday, April 07, 2008

A look at the CAA South's 2008 schedule

Back on Thursday, April 3rd, I took a look at the CAA North's 2008 schedule with an eye on the various teams chances of making the playoffs.

An FCS team needs a minimum of seven DI wins to make the playoffs. Eight is a better goal because seven wins means being the last team named. Eight DI wins will usually being chosen and being sent on the road. Nine DI wins means a home game in the first and maybe another game in the second round. Ten wins or better means home games up until Chattanooga.

Let's take a look at the CAA South.

Delaware: Twelve games in 2008. The Hens retain their home money game against DII West Chester, so they still play an eleven game playoff schedule. Delaware's other OOC games include Maryland, Furman and Albany. I think the Hens have a chance to win all those games, but also could lose against the Terps and the away game at Furman. Delaware must also play UMass at McGuirk.

James Madison: Eleven games in 2008. The Dukes play Appalachian State, Duke and North Carolina Central as their OOC. JMU could win all those games or they could just as well lose two of three. The Dukes do get UMass at home. Getting eight DI wins is not going to be easy. This is a difficult schedule.

Richmond: Twelve games in 2008. The Spiders play Elon, Virginia, VMI and Georgetown as their OOC. They also have to play @UMass. The Spiders should get three DI wins against their FCS OOC schedule. They may have a chance to upset Virginia.

Towson: Twelve games in 2008. The Tigers play Navy, Coastal Carolina, Morgan State and Columbia. That is not a strong OOC, but Towson was not a good team in 2007. Still, the Tigers should win at least two of those games. They do have to play at @ UMass, @ Delaware, @ UNH and @ Richmond.

Villanova: Eleven games in 2008. The OOC includes West Virginia, Lehigh and Penn. The two FCS games are good games, but I think the Wildcats can win both. They do not play UMass.

William & Mary: Eleven games in 2008. The OOC includes North Carolina State, VMI and Norfork State. The Tribe should have no trouble with the latter two. They do not play UMass this year.

Analysis: I think Villanova has the easiest road to the playoffs. The Wildcats could be the surprise team in the CAA in 2008. Richmond is my second choice as the Spiders should get three OOC DI wins and give themselves a leg up on seven DI wins to be playoff eligible. William & Mary and Towson have favorable schedules, which should improve their win total, but not enough to make the playoffs. This article by Myron Hosea of CSN covers three of the CAA's inter league games.

Blogging it's not for wimps!

This is the 1,960th blog post since the UMass Football Blog began on June 5th, 2005.

Still working on some big news for the blog. I hope to announce it soon.

The life of a blogger is not easy.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Spring Paractice Starts today!

At last! For a football fan, March is month lost in the wilderness. Today UMass starts the 2008 season with the begining of Spring Practice.

As expected, the weather is crappy. I spend some time on NCAA website and I could not find a more recent Spring Practice rules than this page. I would expect that there have been additional changes since then.

I hope to attend at least one of the practices and obtain some images. So far, UMass has not published an article about spring practice or published a schedule.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Congrats hoops III

The UMass football blog would like to congratulate the UMass Hoops team for their gritty performance in the NIT.

The UMass team played with heart all the way through.

Changes to the playoffs

David Coulson of The Sports Network has an article on the coming changes to the FCS playoffs. In a nutshell, two more leagues will be getting auto-bids to the playoffs. Since NCAA by-laws mandate an equal number of at-large slots, the FCS playoffs will be expanding to 20 teams in 2010.

For UMass, there are some gains and losses related to enlarging the playoff field. Two extra at-large slots will help the CAA because of its size. An 8-3 CAA team will no longer be caught in a numbers crunch.

There are a couple of bad things about having a play-in week. It will push the season back another week into December----- not a trivial thing for the northern teams. And if the 2008 season followed the proposed schedule, the Championship game would be Friday December 26th, the day after Christmas. A tough time to be traveling.

Second issue of the Spring CAA Blogs are up

The CAA website has the second edition of the Spring player blogs up. Just think, next Wednesday, there'll be a UMass entry.

URI and Bryant, our two 2008 Rhode Island opponents have a spring report here.

Northeastern's spring prospectus is here .

Thursday, April 03, 2008

A look at the CAA North Schedule

Yesterday, I reported that the CAA has officially released the league's composite 2008 schedule. The goal of all FCS/I-AA teams is to make the playoffs. Each team's schedule has a large bearing on that ambition.

An FCS team needs a minimum of seven DI wins to make the playoffs. Eight is a better goal because seven wins means being the last team named. Eight DI wins will usually being chosen and being sent on the road. Nine DI wins means a home game in the first and maybe another game in the second round. Ten wins or better means home games up until Chattanooga.

Hofstra: Eleven games in 2008. OOC games with UConn, Albany and Stony Brook. The Pride plays the Delaware, JMU and Richmond rotation in the CAA South. The OOC is manageable with two likely wins and the Pride has a chance at UConn. Five playoff teams in the CAA schedule means Hofstra is an unlikely choice for the playoffs in '08.

Maine: Twelve games in 2008. OOC includes Iowa, Monmouth, Stony Brook and Iona. The Black Bears play the Delaware, JMU and Richmond rotation. Maine also plays five CAA playoff teams and is unlikely to win at Iowa. Three DI wins over Monmouth, Stony Brook and Iona gives the Black Bears a chance at seven DI wins however.

UMass: Twelve games in 2008. OOC includes Texas Tech, Albany, Holy Cross and Bryant. The Minutemen also play the Delaware, JMU and Richmond rotation. UMass needs to avoid the upset at Holy Cross to get three DI wins out the the rest of the OOC. Texas Tech should have one of their stronger teams in '08, so an upset win is unlikely. UMass probably won't go undefeated in the CAA, but has the potential to get nine or ten wins.

New Hampshire: Eleven games in 2008. The Wildcats OOC includes Army, Albany and Dartmouth. I think UNH can win all three of those games. UNH plays the non-playoff section of the CAA South: Villanova, Towson and William & Mary. Chances look good for eight or better DI wins for the Wildcats.

Northeastern: Eleven games in 2008. OOC includes Ball State, Georgia Southern and UC Davis. The good Huskies play the non-playoff rotation of Villanova, Towson and William & Mary. Northeastern has a good chance of upsetting UC Davis at home, but the rest of the schedule looks too difficult to get seven wins or better.

Rhode Island: Twelve games in 2008. The Rams OOC includes Boston College, Monmouth, Fordham and Brown. The Rams play the Villanova, Towson and William & Mary rotation out of the CAA South. A coaching change often invigorates a program. Rhody should go 2-2 in the OOC and probably will get a few more upsets in the regular season. Reaching seven DI wins will still be difficult.

Summary: New Hampshire has the most favorable schedule in the CAA North. If they can find a quarterback to replace Santos, the Wildcats have a good chance at the playoffs. UMass should be strong again this year. Three OOC DI wins should give the Minutemen a leg-up on the playoffs. Maine looks like the next best shot.

UPDATE: UNH QB search is on .

UPDATE II: As pointed out by a reader, Northeastern has added a second BCS team to their 2008 schedule, Syracuse.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Wednesday Articles

So far nobody has published anything about UMass' Pro Day. This article mentions the Philadelphia Eagles were there .

Didn't take long to for Rhode Island to derail some of Thor's plans.

2007 opening opponent Albany is happy with their progress .

And the big news is that the CAA has the combined 2008 football schedule up. Printable schedule (in pdf) is here .

Congrats Hoops II

Well, yesterday was a busy day. Got home just in time to see the Minutemen hoops team run themselves into the NIT Championship game. Click here for tons of hoops articles.

Good going on the first ever open comment thread yesterday. We'll have to do that again when we have something to talk about during the season. Everybody did good except for the April Fools day post about Coen not starting.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Open thread

Well we finally made it out of March. I've got a "Honey do" day ahead of me and not much time to work on the blog until tomorrow.

In honor of the first of April, let's try something new. Today is an open comments day. Have fun among yourselves.

Remember: "
Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.

Blog News

I'll be taking the 2007 image gallery down on May 1st. Anyone who wants to save any images from the 2007 season will have to take them by then.

The UMass historical achieves will, of course, not be affected.

I tried to set a second countdown, but Blogger was not having it. I'll try again later when I have more time.