Saturday, May 31, 2008

Miles Named to Preseason All-America team

The UMass website has this article about Jeromy Miles being named to the Consensus Draft Services' preseason All-America team.

While this is good for Jeromy, I am not highly enthusiastic about Consensus Draft Services choices. Their complete list is here .

Appalachian State's Armanti Edwards is only an honorable mention. Delaware transfer QB Rob Schoenhoft is listed as one of the top QB's in the Division. He has not played a down in FCS/I-AA football and he only appeared in a couple of games at Michigan State. Liam Coen is not listed.

They list Bobby Reid as the best QB in FCS/I-A. He transfered to Texas Southern after loosing his starting job at Okalahoma State. He also has not played a down in FCS football.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Friday Morning Odd & Ends 05/30/08

I like the above image by Christopher Evans of the Springfield Republican. Wish I had taken it. The image originates on the Republican's UMass Football page.

Matt Hays of the Sporting News thinks that Appalachian State has a good chance to pull another stunning upset at LSU.

Josh Buchanan over at NFL Draft Bible looks at some "Small Schools" players including UMass' Ben Coblyn and Sean Smalls.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Santos signs with Alouettes

In my May 9th Blog post I reported that Ricky Santos had been cut by the Chiefs after a three day stay.

In that post I said" As the stories indicate, I've always thought Canadian Football was the place for Santos. Two men in motion. Wider field. Throw on nearly every down. I think he'd thrive under those rules just like Doug Flutie did."

He just signed with the Montreal Alouettes. According to my count, they have six QB's on their roster. The Alouettes' main page is here .

UPDATE: The Union Leader has an article about his signing here .

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

First 2008 polls are out

UMass is ranked 6th in the first AGS FCS/I-AA poll of the 2008 season. One article about it so far here .

Lindy's 2008 NCAA Football magazine (not out yet in my area) has UMass as 4th.

FWIW, here is my 2008 preseason ranking:
  1. Appalachian State
  2. Richmond
  3. James Madison
  4. UNI
  5. Eastern Washington
  6. UMass
  7. Wofford
  8. Southern Illinois
  9. NDSU
  10. McNeese State
  11. Eastern Kentucky
  12. Montana
  13. Cal Poly
  14. Youngstown State
  15. Yale
  16. Fordham
  17. Holy Cross
  18. Liberty
  19. Furman
  20. Delaware
  21. New Hampshire
  22. Villanova
  23. Norfolk State
  24. SDSU
  25. Elon
You could also throw in somewhere Jax State, Eastern Illinois, Harvard and Sam Houston State.

Some notes: Appalachian State had 120 players in Spring football. Villanova, Richmond and JMU all return more than 15 starters for 2008. I don't see what everybody is seeing in Elon.

In the AGS poll, UMass plays four teams in the top 25 and three in "others receiving votes' catagory.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Chris Koepplin kicks for the Manchester Wolves

The images below are courtesy of the Koepplin family. Click on any image and Blogger displays a larger view.

Chris Koepplin kicked a 53-yard FG, which was just about the margin of victory in a 66-62 win over Albany.

Story about his signing here . Manchester Wolves website here .

Could someone explain to me why Koepplin did not get a tryout with the NFL?

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sunday Odds & Ends 05/25/08

Phil Steele's site has an "Interesting Tidbits" column about BCS/I-A teams that includes a "Highest scoring teams since 2000" section. UMass' I-A opponent this year Texas Tech is #5 at 36.69 points per game.

College football sites come and go, but "DPD's Dogs" seems interesting. His schedules page seems to have a lot of information.

Richmond RB Tim Hightower is in camp with the Arizona Cardinals where he will be in completion with former UMass RB's Marcel Shipp and Steve Baylark.

Flordia State's former TE Charlie Graham spent a year in JUCO to regain academic eligibility. When he became eligible after this spring semister, he was so happy he got drunk and went out in the street and fired a gun in the air...

Former UNH QB Henri Hendricks is being tried for murder.

And at about 8:53 pm EDT NASA's Phoenix Polar Lander will (hopefully) land on Mars today.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

CAA Preseason

Anyone interested in New England football should bookmark the New Hampshire Football Report. It's a quality blog that I check often. It's owned by Roger Brown.

In this blog post, he reports on the CAA Preseason ballot of Mike Zhe, who covers CAA football for the Portsmouth Herald. Zhe has UMass winning the CAA North and UMass CB Sean Smalls as the CAA Pre-Season Defensive Player-of-the-year.

Article on Matt Lawrence with the Chicago Bears

The Bloomfield Journal has an article about former UMass RB Matt Lawrence's journey to the Chicago Bears.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Three UMass Players listed in 2009 NFL Draft watch

Draft Daddy's NFL Draft Blog lists three UMass players in the top 35 "Small School"NFL prospects for 2009 list (scroll down for the rest of the list after clicking the link).

They are:

29. CB Sean Smalls ~ Massachusetts (6004, 203), 4.50/4.53, PFA

32. OT Ben Coblyn ~ Massachusetts (6073, 296), 5.00/5.05, PFA (Ex-Boston U./basketball)

33. QB Liam Coen ~ Massachusetts (6013, 212), PFA

The list originates with Josh Buchanan over at . He writes a column on "Small School" players at that site.

R.J. Cobbs joins the Calgary Stampeders

Former UMass CB R.J. Cobbs (UMass bio) has signed a contract with the Calgary Stampeders. His earlier career included the NY Giants.

Also with the Stampeders is Shannon James.

James has done well with the Stamps . Hopefully, R.J. will prosper too.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Brad Listorti signs with Falcons

Former UMass TE Brad Listorti has signed a free agent contract with the Atlanta Falcons.

UMass athletic dept news story here .

Image is UMass athletic dept image.

P.S. Brad probably did not get the $72 million they gave to Matt Ryan

More fun with football stats

Keeper's College football ratings has a page on how much offense and defense each team in the FCS/I-AA division lost due to graduation.

Interesting stuff.

Keeper's stats are interesting in their own right, but special kudos to his covering I-AA football. Most college football stat gurus totally ignore us.

Chris Koepplin to Manchester Wolves

Former UMass kicker Chris Koepplin will be playing for the Manchester Wolves.

The Manchester Wolves team page is here .

UMass legend Steve Schubert is one of the managing partners of the Wolves. I've blogged about his involvement in the Wolves before. Several blog posts are here (Blogger will display the post below this one).

Hope his folks will send us some images of one of his games!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Recruiting 2009 --- LB Anthony Lubischer

UMass is recruiting Anthony Lubischer, a 5-11, 212 pd LB from Red Bank Catholic in NJ.

His Rivals page is here (includes video links).

Also being recruited by UConn, Syracuse, Buffalo and FCS/I-AA schools Lehigh, Richmond, UNH and Northeastern.

Anthony, hope you choose UMass!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Steve Spagnuolo article

The Greenwich Times has an article about NY Giants Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo who was a graduate assistant at UMass. He also has a MA from UMass.

A BCS/I-AA transfer UMass probably did not want

Dave Coulson of the Sports Network has an article on the transfer of former LSU QB Ryan Perriloux to FCS/IAA team Jacksonville state.

The article also mentions the bone marrow registry program UMass football is involved in.

UPDATE: Perrilloux is a good move for Jacksonville state . Perrilloux is a bad move for Jacksonville State.

Bill Durkin coaching at Hofstra

Former UMass player and coach Bill Durkin (Richmond bio) has been hired as OL coach for the Hofstra Pride.

I blogged before how he had been let go at Richmond after new Spider coach Mike London brought in his own staff.

Hofstra does not do much on their website. There is no bio link for Durkin, but the CAA spring preview mentions him (pdf).

Durkin will be the second UMass guy at Hofstra. He joins Malik Hall (UMass bio), who has been coaching at Hofstra for several years.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Offense ruled in 2007

There's an old saying in football "Offense sells the tickets; defense wins championships". It didn't work that way in 2007.

Of the top 20 teams in total offense, six made the playoffs:
  • #1 Appalachian St
  • #5 E. Washington
  • #6 Delaware
  • #7 N. Iowa
  • #10 S. Illinois
  • #15 Woford
Note: none of the total offense teams lost in the first round and Appalachian State and Delaware went to the National Championship game.

Of the top 20 teams in total defense, two made the playoffs
  • #11 N. Iowa
  • #14 UMass
Of the top 20 teams in scoring offense, ten made the playoffs
  • #2 Appalachian State
  • #7 S. Illinois
  • #11 Delaware
  • #12 N. Iowa
  • #14 UNH
  • #15 McNeese
  • #16 Richmond
  • #17 Wofford
  • #18 E. Washington
  • #20 JMU
Of the top 20 teams in scoring defense, six made the playoffs:
  • #2 Montana
  • #7 N. Iowa
  • #10 S. Illinois
  • #12 McNeese
  • #13 Delaware State
  • #15 UMass
Note: three of the top scoring defense teams lost in the first round.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Liam Coen in 2008

I was looking at the NCAA's career passing stats page. Liam Coen is not only high on all the historic UMass records, he's way up there on the NCAA stats too.

Going into the 2008 season and looking at the players who will active this year, Coen is:
  • 1st in passing efficiency 152.43
  • 2nd in completion average 64.46
  • 4th in yards/game 217.9
  • 7th in completions per game 16.4
  • 11th in attempts per game
  • 1st in TDs 66
  • 2nd in career total yards 8282
  • 3rd in career INTs 31
  • 2nd in career completions 624
  • 3rd in career attempts 668
Interestingly, two QBs we are familiar with, Sean Schaefer (Towson) and Dominic Randolph (Holy Cross) are close to Coen in several catagories.

I'm looking forward to seeing Liam play this year!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Home winning streaks

According to this NCAA stats page, UMass has the second longest home winning streak in FCS/I-AA.
  1. San Diego--- 24 wins
  2. UMass--- 14 wins
  3. Delaware State--- 8 wins
  4. Eastern Illinois--- 7 wins
  5. richmond--- 6 wins

A change in the 2008 schedule

Although not a very large one. The UMass Athletic site has news the Hofstra game has been moved to 2:30. The new stadium lights will give us flexibility to schedule games to avoid conflicts.

The game is still being televised by CN8, so we will continue to have six televised games. I've blogged about the CAA's TV schedule before .

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Any transfers in the works?

This would be the time that UMass should be getting letters from BCS/I-A players wanting to transfer. Usually, after the Spring Game, the player realizes that he is buried in the depth chart.

In my write up of the Spring Game I said "The roster given out at the scrimmage lists 66 active players. Since FCS/I-AA rules allows 63 scholarships spread over 85 players, it appears we have a couple of scholarships to give even with the recruits coming in."

Wonder if we have anything in the works. We are thin at TE, FB and LB.

This article states that I-A transfers may be getting scarcer .

That article does not make a lot a sense to me. If a player wants to leave, how could the I-A school stop him. I know the school does not have to sign a release, but if the player leaves, what good does it do the I-A school?

The Hampton Pirates' recruiting class has 13 out of 15 recruits from I-A transfers or JUCO.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Daily Collegian Sports Blog

Do you know that the Daily Collegian has a UMass Sports Blog ?

I spend a lot of time surfing the web for UMass football stories. Somehow, I just plain missed the Collegian's Blog. Looks like it's active and has a lot of UMass sports information.

I'll add it to the "UMass links" in the sidebar.

Monday, May 12, 2008

UMass played the ninth toughest schedule in '07

The NCAA toughest schedule rankings are here (pdf). UMass was ranked 9th in overall schedule toughness in 2007 based on the results of its opponents.

Some interesting results there.

The San Diego Toreros fans were furious that they did not get an at large bid. Their schedule rank---98 out of 110 FCS teams.

Everybody was surprised at undeafeated McNeese State's losing in the first round of the playoffs. Their schedule rank----107 out of 110 teams.

Four updated football bios

If you haven't checked in a while, the UMass Spring roster has updated four of the previously undocumented bios.

Updated are:

Saturday, May 10, 2008

UMass Pro camp news.

This article has some information about former UMass WR Brandon London.

London is now wearing #19 for the Giants. There is another article about London here .

Breyone Evans' bio page is now up on the Carolina Panthers site.

E.J. Barthel has tryout with the Giants

E.J. Barthel became the fourth player from the 2007 UMass seniors to get a look by the pros.

This article mentions him at the Giants camp (with bonus coverage of Brandon London).

Friday, May 09, 2008

Santos cut by Chiefs

Former UNH QB Ricky Santos was cut by the Chiefs after a short stay. Stories here and here .

As the stories indicate, I've always thought Canadian Football was the place for Santos. Two men in motion. Wider field. Throw on nearly every down. I think he'd thrive under those rules just like Doug Flutie did.

UPDATE: Another Santos cut story here .

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Thursday Morning Odds & Ends 05/08/08

No UMass-specific news on the wires this morning, but still some stuff for you to contemplate.

This year's BCS/I-A game is with Texas Tech. Their coach Mike Leach, is a genius.

This could be good news for Matt Lawrence.

And this is bad news for potential NFL free agents (a lot fewer slots).

UPDATE: Not only is Mike Leach a genius, Red Raider WR Michael Crabtree is the top receiver in college football .

Key Quote:"MC: I'd say I'm like Jerry Rice with a little T.O., mix a little Chad Johnson in there, and top it off with a bit of Randy Moss. That's my game."

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Matthew Chapman joins UMass coaching staff

Click on image and Blogger displays a larger view.

The UMass football roster lists a new coach, Matthew Chapman as assistant OL line coach for 2008-09.

Welcome to UMass, coach!

Not on the UMass coaching list this year is Steve Militello who was on the UMass staff for two years.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Matt Lawrence signed to Bears Roster

Click on the image for a larger view.

Woah! Matt Lawrence must have shined in his free agent workout, because this article reports he has been signed to the Bears roster.

His Bears roster page here .

Way to go Matt!!!

I noticed the the Blog is getting a lot of hits from Bears country. If you're interested in him, Matt has his own video highlight on youtube here.

UPDATE: The Springfield Republican has an article about Lawrence's signing here .

UPDATE II: The UMass football page has an article about Lawrence signing with the bears and an image of him at the Bears Training camp.

UPDATE III: The Hartford Courant has a short article about Lawrence signing with the Bears here .

UPDATE IV: This article on the Bears website mentions Lawrence (about halfway down).

Last CAA Spring weekend review up

The CAA has its last reviews of CAA team's spring games here .

Would Coach Brown be interested?

Jerimy Finch the #1 rated Safety by Rivals is leaving Florida and Marcus Ball, a projected starter at LB at Florida State, is also leaving his school. Story here.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Texas Tech's Spring game

Notes from 2008's BCS/I-A opponent Texas Tech's Spring Game here .

UMass legend Greg landry's son plays Lax

UMass legend Greg Landry's son Joe Landry is playing lax for Loyola University.

He was on the field for the UMass-Loyola game. His Loyola bio is here .

Joe's mom Jeannne Burger is also in the UMass Hall-of-Fame as a gymnast.

How's that for a bunch of UMass connections!

Image of Landry is from the UMass Athletics site.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Spring Scrimmage 05/03/08

First, read Matty Vautour's article here .

There is a 41 image Picassa web album here . Note the special guest. I could not stay to the end as I had to pick up Mrs. Blog. I did not get any images of the cookout or the Bone Marrow drive. I'm not eligible to be a donor, so I did not skip the bone marrow registery intentionlly. I would have participated if I could.

Game day was cold (high 40's) and the drizzle held off for most of the session. I had to leave at 1:00 pm and the game started late, so I did not get to stay until the end.

A number of players have been injured this spring and UMass had six surgeries after the 2007 season ended, so not everybody played in the scrimmage/practice. Matt Vautour states in his article that Sean Callicchio, Ian Jorgensen, Liam Coen and Bob McLaughlin have been out with injuries. Chris Zardas is also recovering.

Anthony Rouzier and Chad Arango were at the scrimmage, but were not in pads.

One of the fun things about the Blog is meeting parents and UMass fans. I talked with the uncle (?) of Anthony Monette. Scott Wallace's father stopped by to say "Hello" and I had talked with Scott Woodward's dad earlier.

The big surprise of the scrimmage was the fact that Brandon White was getting a lot carries. Matt's article states that he is now the #2 tailback. No one saw that coming. He looked good though, big power runner.

The receiving star was Warren Wilson with three excellent catches. Lots of drops by the rest of the receiver corps though. One frustrated UMass fan yelled "Catch the ball, UMass!"

The starting OL at the session was Vladimir Ducasse LT, Ben Coblyn LG, John Ihne C, Josh Samuda RG and Sean Calicchio at RT.

The roster given out at the scrimmage lists 66 active players. Since FCS/I-AA rules allows 63 scholarships spread over 85 players, it appears we have a couple of scholarships to give even with the recruits coming in.

I think, Coach Brown thinks, he has a good team. I'm looking forward to 2008 season.

UPDATE: The Daily Collegian has an spring scrimmage article here . Nothing from the Springfield Republican yet.

UPDATE II: Matty Vautour has an article about the scrmmage here .

UPDATE III: The UMass website has a flash album of 123 images here . Some nice images. The photographer is not listed as far as I can see.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Matt Lawrence has tryout with Chicago Bears

Former UMass RB Matt Lawrence has a tryout with the Chicago Bears.

Spring Game tomorrow

Hope to see all of the locals at the UMass Spring Game tomorrow at 11:00 am.

Just a reminder that the UMass Football Team is taking part in the Bone Marrow Drive.

It works. As most of you know, I'm a Navy Vet and this article shows how a currently serving US Navy sailor saved the life of a little girl because he was in the bone marrow registry.

Go UMass!

Listorti has a try out for the Jets

Former UMass TE Brad Listorti has a tryout with the Jets.

James Ihedigbo is still on the Jets Roster.

UPDATE: The UMass website now has the following correction:

Note, it was previously reported that former Minuteman David Thompson was also on a tryout with the Jets, but it is an offensive lineman of the same name, David Thompson, who played at East Central University in Oklahoma.

Friday Odds & Ends 05/02/08

Charles Burton has an article on College Sporting News called "Three Paths to the NFL".

Speaking of FCS/I-AA in the NFL, it's loaded with talent (mentions Marcel Shipp).

Speaking of 2008, UNH is raring to go.

It's official. There are now 34 Bowl games for 120 BCS/I-A teams. That will be 68 teams out of 120 playing (56%).

FYI, that means that the eight team Big East will have seven bowl slots! One good spin off of all this for FCS/I-AA teams could be that BCS teams will schedule more games with our level in order to be bowl eligible. That in turn, may mean higher payoffs or more choices for the FCS/I-AA team.

The weather forecast for tomorrow's UMass Spring game is cloudy with showers.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

CAA 2008 Football Preview up

The CAA has a 76 page 2008 Football preview up. Lot's of summer reading. The UMass section is identical to the "Quick Facts" pdf published on April 14th.

Coach Brown reviews Spring Practice

The Official UMass football page has a video link of Coach Brown reviewing the spring practice. The link only works in Internet Explorer.

Recently I upgraded to Firefox 3 Beta 5. I love it. It's really fast and seems stable.

In the video, Brown states that we had six surgeries following the 2007 season, so some players were not available. He praises new WRs Julian Talley and Victor Cruz as well as Matt Silver.

Coach Brown also said that it is still uncertain if there will be a controlled scrimmage or an extended practice Saturday based on the injury situation.