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Falcons talk bowls, attitudes

BG Going Bowling

The big excitement in the BG football program right now is the bowl bid secured with the team’s 37-10 win over Toledo on Friday.

According to head coach Gregg Brandon, there is no preference when it comes to which bowl the Falcons will be playing in.

“The Motor City Bowl is a great bowl,” Brandon said. “So is the GMAC Bowl and the International Bowl, from what I heard, is going to be a great spot. But it’s just great for this team to get a bid. That’s what makes this time exciting.”

The bowl situation will not only provide BG with an extra game, but will give them the opportunity to sustain the program, according to Brandon. Making a bowl game does have its advantages.

“It can really be a catch-22 because if you make a bowl game, you essentially get another spring football,” Brandon said. “Making a bowl game really helped us my first two years here.

“Teams that are struggling to get over that hump need those extra practices. We have teams out there that have been getting these extra practices for 20 years or so and those are the teams that are going to continue to be good because they get extra practice.”

For seniors like defensive end Sean O’Drobinak, a bowl bid means an extra month of hanging around with teammates and coaches and soaking up the last stage of their college career.

“From a freshman to a fifth year now since it’s winding down I think the best part of going to a bowl game is you get to be here that much longer,” O’Drobinak said. “I get to be here for one more month around these guys and these coaches.”

Weirdness in the Standings

The 2007 season has been described by both players and coaches as a rollercoaster.

Due to a four-game winning streak, BG finished the season 8-4 and is guaranteed to be the only team in the Mid-American Conference with eight wins.

One of the strange turns in that rollercoaster has to do with Miami, who is 6-6 and may not be bowl eligible, although they’ll be playing Central Michigan for the MAC Championship this week.

“I don’t know if it has ever happened in the history of the MAC, or in the history of any conference,” O’Drobinak said. “[Miami] has to take this game like the Superbowl. If they lose, they can’t go anywhere and if they win, my hats off to them…I wish them the best of luck.”

2007 Turnaround

Last season, BG finished with a 4-8 record and looked quite bad at times.

But what a difference a year makes. Mick McCall was promoted to offensive coordinator and Mike Ward to defensive coordinator, and with them came new life.

This season, the Falcons were able to flip the numbers around and finish 8-4, looking like a completely different team in the process.

Quarterback Tyler Sheehan said this season has been a total turnaround.

“We won four more games than we did last year,” Sheehan said. “Last year it didn’t seem like we could do anything. I think the new coaches helped. We went to the basics on offense and right now we are expanding on it.”

“Going back to the basics helped,” he said. “The coaches came with a new attitude this year. They were easy going at first and as the season went on they made sure we stayed focused. I could definitely tell the difference in the way the coaching style was this year. I think it helped us out a lot mentally and physically.”

O’Drobinak said the team’s turnaround also had a lot to do with their ability to put the past behind them.

“That was the past and this is now,” O’Drobinak said. “It’s a different football team and it was because we have new guys and we aren’t young anymore.”

“[We were] 4-4 mid way through the season we had a choice, grasp it and run with it or let it slip away like last year. It being my last year I didn’t want to see that or go out like that. I’m just really grateful for where I am right now and my teammates.”

The Big Announcement

BG should find out what bowl they’ll be playing in this weekend, sometime after Miami and Central Michigan collide in Detroit for the MAC title.

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