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BG has a chance to succeed

Tomorrow will be the most telling game to date for the BG football team.

We really don’t know how good – or not good – the Falcons are as they prepare to play at Mid-American Conference West leader Central Michigan (4-3, 4-0). Should we believe BG is a below average team? Two narrow wins at home over Buffalo and Eastern Michigan – two of the worst programs in Division I – suggests just that. Or should we believe the Falcons, with a little fortune, are capable of winning the East division of the MAC? Respectable showings in losses to Ohio State and Wisconsin, coupled by an impressive win over Ohio University, would support that notion.

BG’s solid 4-3 record (3-1) is a tad misleading when you consider who the Falcons have defeated. Buffalo, Florida International, Ohio and Eastern Michigan are a combined 5-21. And OU is responsible for four of those wins.

” It’s disturbing how lackluster the Falcons have played at home over the past two years. In 2005 they dropped their final three games at Doyt Perry Stadium, and this year they’ve struggled in home wins over Buffalo (48-40 3OT) and Eastern Michigan (24-21), and were embarrassed by Kent State (38-3) during family weekend. The atmosphere is awful, if not nonexistent, at the Doyt. The fans – the ones that show up on Saturday – are lethargic and their attitude clearly trickles down to the field. Here’s a possible remedy: Schedule more early-season night games during the week. There’s something attractive about night games, especially one’s during the week, when students are often looking for something to do. Yes, BG does host Miami (OH) on a Wednesday evening on Nov. 15, but that’s the Falcons’ final home game of 2006. The lesson here is it’s easier to build a fan base – particularly freshmen students – in September than November.

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Don’t give up on the BG men’s basketball team before the season begins. Yes, the Falcons were bad last year and mailed in the end of the season, but Dan Dakich returns a lot of raw, young talent. Sophomores Erik Marschall, Dusan Radivojevic, Darryl Clements and Brian Moten all showed positive signs last year, and senior Martin Samarco is one of the best offensive players in the MAC. Don’t be surprised if BG becomes a very respectable team by January.

” Dakich isn’t exactly on good standing entering the final year of his contract. He’s coming off a 9-21 campaign and games aren’t all he’s losing. Players have left the program at an alarming rate during his tenure. John Floyd, Steven Wright, Pat Phillips and Perrick “Moon” Robinson all left the team during the past 12 months. What’s worse is the first three would have been seniors; Robinson, a junior.

” The consensus among Dakich’s critics is that he’s difficult to deal with. Perhaps that’s true on some levels. But Dakich is also approachable and has a good sense of humor. But he’s very stubborn and resistant to change. He may have to ease up on his players if he wants to stick around BG.

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Terry and Cynthia Robiskie must be thrilled their son chose to play football at Ohio State instead of for the Miami Hurricanes. Last Saturday, Brian Robiskie caught his third touchdown pass of the season in the Buckeyes’ 38-7 drubbing of Michigan State. Later that evening, Miami, which nearly lured Robiskie down south a couple years ago, was involved in a disturbing on-field fight with Florida International. Furthermore, Miami’s program isn’t even ranked in the top-25 while the Buckeyes are No. 1 on everyone’s list.

” Robiskie, who prepped at Chagrin Falls near Cleveland, has been a pleasant surprise for OSU. Though not highly touted in high school, Robiskie has the surest hands on the Buckeyes and will flourish even more when Anthony Gonzalez and Ted Ginn graduate to the NFL.

” OSU back-up quarterback Justin Zwick didn’t deserve the boos he received when the Buckeyes hosted BG earlier this month. Yes, Zwick, a former heralded recruit out of Massillon, Ohio, has been a disappointment during his five years in Columbus. But he was a major asset to the team long before he stepped on campus. In the months after he committed to OSU, Zwick picked up his telephone and urged other prospects to join him in Columbus. The result: The No. 2 ranked recruiting class in the country. Among that group was Troy Smith, Maurice Clarett, Mike D’Andrea, A.J. Hawk, Bobby Carpenter, Santonio Holmes, Nate Salley and Nick Mangold. Zwick should be credited with helping to bring some of them to Ohio State.

” Speaking of recruiting, OSU coach Jim Tressel has been masterful at building depth in recent years. Guys like Ray Small, Chris Wells, Robert Rose, and Bryant Browning aren’t starting simply because they’re behind some of the nation’s best players.

Send comments to Ryan at [email protected]

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