NDSU Bison Recapture Crown

The North Dakota State Bison defeated James Madison University 17-14 in Frisco, Texas for the National FCS College Championship. James Madison was the defending champion, having beaten the NDSU Bison in the 2016 semi-finals. That victory for James Madison halted NDSU’s remarkable and record setting, 5 FCS championships in a row. The Bison victory is heralded as the 6 pack, having now won 6 of the last 7. Key NDSU Bison football accomplishments:

  • The Bison had previously won the national championship 8 times from 1965 -1990.
  • Since going to Division 1 the Bison are 151-35.
  • They set a record of 33 straight wins from 2012 to 2014.
  • They were ranked # 1 for 30 straight weeks from 2012-2014.
  • They have been ranked in the top 10 FCS polls 103 consecutive weeks.
  • They have won 34 conference titles and 14 national titles.
  • Have lost only one game at the Fargo Dome since 1993.

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  • They have received votes in the AP Top 25 several times, the best being #27.
  • They have won their most recent 6 games against FBS teams(Iowa, K-State)
  • Most impressive is hosting ESPN’s Game Day twice-2013 & 2014.

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These stats make the Bison the most successful football program in FCS history.

Listening to the game on ESPN, no mention of many of the above records. The announcing team was so pro James Madison, I couldn’t believe it.

After the Bison scored to take the lead, the only thing the announcers could say was that James Madison had won 26 straight, and they would come back. They never mentioned the Bison had won 5 straight championships.

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Brooks Bollinger: ND Hall Of Famer @ Wisconsin

I received several notes, following my recent article on Carson Wentz, regarding another North Dakota athlete, attaining tremendous success in the world of football.
Brooks Bollinger began his career at Grand Forks Central in Grand Forks,ND. He was a starter all 3 years. He threw for 40 touchdowns and ran for another 19.

Wisconsin quarterback Brooks Bollinger.
He moved on to the University of Wisconsin, where he started for four years, and led Wisconsin to it’s 2nd straight Rose Bowl win. He went on to win 3 bowl games, and holds the schools all-time rushing record for quarterbacks, with 1,767 yards and 26 TD’s. He had a total of 5,627 yards, 38 TD’s, and played in 46 games from 1999-2002
Next for Bollinger, was the NFL. He played in the NFL for 6 years, primarily as the backup quarterback for the Jets, the Vikings, and the Cowboys. He threw 9 TD’s, for 2,226 yards, with a quarterback rating of 74.6 for his career in the NFL.

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Following his football career, he entered the business world, and began his coaching career. He started with Hill- Murray High School in St. Paul, MN. in 2012. He is currently the head coach of Cretin-Durham Hall High School, also in St. Paul, which is one the leading high schools, in the country developing D-1 recruits, having had 3 quarterbacks in the NFL, and Paul Moliter, and Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins.

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In his personal life, he has continued to be a performer off the field, with 4 children and a 5th on the way, with his lovely wife Natalie. He is a top performer in his chosen business category, as well.brooks apxsZ6FM - Copy - Copy
Bollinger was recently inducted into the University of Wisconsin’s 2017 Hall of Fame class, for his stellar career with the Badgers.

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P.J.Fleck: The Boat Has Sunk

I’m not sure if P.J.Fleck is a new age clown, or a male college cheerleader, or he is trying to build his advertising specialty business. One thing he is not; is an effective football coach. I’d like to share a few thoughts, on why I don’t think he is a good coach, and why I am so disappointed.

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1.) Preseason hype: He said he wanted to bring the Gophers back, from the cellar of college football. How bad the Gophers have been, since the 1960 Rose Bowl. He is omitting some coaches that had respectable records (far better than Fleck’s first season), such as; Lou Holtz, Glenn Mason, Jerry Kill, and Tracey Claeys who had 4 wins in the Big Ten last year. Fleck inherited a team that won a bowl game, last year, and he didn’t get to a bowl.
2. ) Row the boat: I think the boat has sunk. It’s in the same predicament as the team has been in all year, needing bailing buckets.

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3.) Developing an Elite team: Before he becomes elite, I would suggest trying to become a mediocre team. His team had the lowest ranked offense in D-1 football. His game day, on field decisions, were atrocious.

4.) Self Promotion: Along with all his slogans and perceived motivational gimmicks, one would think he had a T-shirt operation. He also is using new shoes, every week to promote himself.
I think a new coach should come in, without all the braggadocio (ie;Jerry Kill), keep their mouth shut, and let the performance on the field, speak for itself.

Speak softly and carry big stick; not speak loudly and carry a broken oar.

NCAA Football: Air Force v Minnesota
band, M Men’s Football: Air Force v Minnesota at TCF Bank Stadium, 12 September 2009. football (sport) TCF Bank Stadium (where played) men (sport gender) Bruce Kluckhohn (photographer) 09.12.2009 (date of game) Air Force (opponent)

UCLA Bruins: 2nd Biggest Comeback of All Time

I watched the UCLA vs. Texas A & M game over the weekend. Game was played in the Rose Bowl, so it was a late game for the central time zone, and when the Aggies took a 44 to 10 lead with 4:08 left in the 3rd quarter, I started  getting ready for bed(old age). I sat at the end of the bed and watched UCLA score. So I thought I would see what would happen next.

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What I witnessed was the most exciting 4th quarter, I’ve ever seen.  The comeback was the second largest in college history.

UCLA’s quarterback Josh Rosen ( nicknamed Chosen Rosen ) was spectacular, leading the team from being down 34 points , to beat A & M 45-44.  He threw for 491 yards, including 292 yards and 4 touchdowns in the 4th quarter, also faking a spike and then throwing a touchdown.

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His main target was Caleb Wilson, who caught 15 passes, for 208 yards.

Wow !!!!  What a game.

NDSU & St. Johns: Midwest Powerhouses Score Big

North Dakota State Bison and the St. John Johnnies, both powerhouses within their divisions, had overwhelming victories this past weekend. Both set scoring records that are astonishing.

North Dakota State Bison

The Bison defeated Mississippi Valley State 72-7, in their first game of 2017. The offense racked up 683 total yards. 2 touchdowns & 142 yards for leading rusher,  Lance Dunn.  2 touchdowns & 126 yards rushing for Ty Brooks. Their point total included an incredible 9 touchdowns.

Their defense, held Mississippi Valley State to 55 total yards, had 5 sacks, and 11 tackles for  a loss.  Just a overwhelming victory, for the number 2 ranked team in the FCS division.

St. Johns Johnnies

The Johnnies set a school record, by scoring a 98-0 victory over St. Scholastica. It was the highest point total in DIII football, in over 40 years. They held a 63-0 halftime lead. Thirteen players scored a touchdown, for fourteen total touchdowns.

Congrats to both. Since this was their 1st game of the year, I hope they will get better, and beat those records.

 

When you have Two Quarterbacks, You Don’t Have One

University of Minnesota football coach, P.J. Fleck, announced he is going to go with a 2 quarterback system. I’ve never been fond of a 2 quarterback system and haven’t seen it work too often. A few that have worked:

  • Florida won the national championship in 2005 with Chris Leak as the starter, and Tim Tebow brought in for red zone attempts.
  • LSU won the national championship in 2007 with Matt Ryan and Ryan Perrilloux.  They both were utilized for a specific strategy, that was a reaction, to the defense.
  • Ohio State recently played with a 2 quarterback system, and arguably was successful with it. The quarterbacks were different types, one a good passer; the other a strong runner. Besides Cardale, and J.T. Barrett, they had a 3rd option if all else failed, in Braxton Miller, their former starting quarterback, and now wide receiver.

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Reasons for using a 2 quarterback system:

  • They are both talented in specific ways. So each is played to hopefully take advantage of each’s strength.
  • They are rotated in a manner that confuses defenses.
  • The coach doesn’t have confidence in one guy doing the job.
  • You are much more prepared in the event of injury.

Reasons for not using the 2 quarterback system

  • You can easily lose your rhythm. Each quarterback has his own cadence, which causes off-sides and other penalties, when switching.
  • Each quarterback has a different style of pass, which the receivers have to remember for each series.
  • Team leadership is lost. There isn’t that leader you need in the fourth quarter, when you are down, and need to score.
  • It can cause players to transfer, so they can play more, and lead the team. Look at all the transfers that have taken place in last 10 years.
  • Having to split time takes the confidence away from both. Confidence and a little swag in college, is a must for the quarterback.

Let’s hope one of them stands out in the early games, and he then earns the starting role.

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Minnesota Gophers :Can They Play With The Big Boys?

I just read an article in the StarTribune, wondering why the University of Minnesota Football team season ticket sales, are lagging behind previous years, and short of projections. The article expressed surprise at the decline, because of the supposed increase in enthusiasm because of new coach P.J. Fleck.

I get together once a week, with some Monday morning quarterbacks, many of them former Minnesota footballers. We rehash the Gophers, Vikings, and several others. Because of who these people are and who they communicate with on a regular basis, we feel our general feelings are quite indicative of the Minnesota fan base. In reviewing this article at our Monday morning breakfast, we came up with what we felt were the major reasons, for the decline in ticket sales.

  • The general feeling is the new coach comes across as Brew II. He also talked of the Gophers previous teams, in a negative manner. he said we had to change the culture to become a winner. Perhaps he didn’t look at the records of Claeys, Kills, and Glen Mason. He hasn’t won one game yet and has a long ways to go surpass Mason. It was almost like we didn’t exist for 50 years.

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  • Minnesotans do like winners. You need to win early in the season, or you lose support of the fanbase. If they lose 3 of the first 4, you lose a lot of support. Look at Mason’s numbers, over 50,000 average in spite of playing at the Dome. It looks like they won’t reach 40,000 for the opener, and that includes 5,000 free tickets to incoming freshman.jmp 002 Gophers football practice
  • You win with talent, not with enthusiasm and hype. An example is the schools that have over 20 – 4 & 5 star recruits, such as Alabama, Ohio State, Florida State, Clemson, Auburn, Oklahoma, USC, and Michigan vs. Minnesota without 1 – 4 or 5 Star recruit. You just can’t compete with them on a consistent basis.gopher C9fpWNqUIAEtMnI.0

How many times in the last 30 years, have we heard all the hype about gopher nation, being a top 25 team, and winning the Rose Bowl? I’d like to answer that with a Ronald Reagan quote “Trust, but Verify”.minnesota_golden_gophers-mascot-1986