The fourth player from Team Wisconsin, Ryan Dau, has made a college commitment and this time its to the Air Force Academy. It’s unclear when he may arrive at the academy. Thanks to “Sixty Minutes …” for the info.
Thought this story on former Navy quarterback Ricky Dobbs would be of some interest – it’s a well written story, and also says he’ll coach at the prep school in the fall. Know that’s a fun topic for everyone here. Enjoy.
This season hasn’t been too kind to Air Force baseball. The Falcons started pretty well, then dropped eight in a row to start Mountain West play. They did get a highlight Friday, however, thanks to sophomore left-hander Ben Bertelson.
Bertelson gave up only one run over eight innings and Air Force beat San Diego State for the first time since 2003 with a 7-3 win. That snapped a 35-game losing streak to the Aztecs. Bertelson, who had a 1-3 record this season coming into Friday’s game, gave up a run in the first inning, then held the Aztecs scoreless for the next seven innings.
Air Force is now 15-24 overall and 1-8 in conference play.
The Mountain West had a spring football teleconference today, and the most interesting part of it might have been what seemed to be a half-joking comment by new San Diego State coach Rocky Long saying he thought Boise State’s blue turf gave the Broncos an unfair advantage. It seemed like a half-joke because, well, he couldn’t be serious, right? But he was.
“People think I’m crazy when I say this, but other coaches say the same thing,” Long said. “I think the visiting team takes a quarter to get a feel of that turf.”
Boise State is entering the Mountain West for the 2011 season, so teams will have to get used to the blue turf. Air Force plays there Oct. 22.
“We don’t think of it as any different than when we go to a green field,” Boise State coach Chris Petersen said. “Maybe it’s because we see it every day. When we walk into our indoor facility and it’s green, I don’t think, ‘This is different.’
“If it’s an advantage, great.”
Here’s some notes from around the league:
Air Force: Not much new to report from Troy Calhoun’s address that we haven’t covered here or on Gazette.com. He did say meeting President Barack Obama on Monday was a “super experience.” The Air Force players went to Washington, D.C. on Sunday for some sightseeing before being presented with the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy.
“We thought it was important for our guys to go out – a number of our guys had never been to Washington, D.C.,” Calhoun said.
Boise State: The Broncos have been a successful program the past few years, and Petersen said he knows that means Boise State will have a target on its back – an odd thing considering the Broncos have very little history with the rest of the teams in the conference.
Petersen said the adjustment to a new conference will be very tough.
“The only time we didn’t win the WAC was our first year,” Petersen said. “There’s a lot of uncertainty.”
TCU: There’s a lot of uncertainty with TCU, which loses a lot of important players including quarterback Andy Dalton off its undefeated Rose Bowl championship squad. Coach Gary Patterson said he likes his defensive front, has a talented recruiting class that includes five or six players who could contribute a lot immediately, especially at the skill positions, but has some concerns about his offensive line. Replacing Dalton won’t be easy, either.
Patterson doesn’t want his team relaxing because of what it has accomplished in past seasons, which is what he told the players in a meeting shortly after the Rose Bowl.
“Now we’re back to 0-0 and our new motto is ‘Do it now,’” Patterson said.
Colorado State: The Rams didn’t finish last season well, but coach Steve Fairchild was optimistic. He likes the team’s running backs situation and the front seven on defense, even if the safety position is still unsettled. The best hope for progress comes in quarterback Pete Thomas, who started all last season as a true freshman. Fairchild said he noticed a lot of improvement in Thomas over the spring. The coaches are able to add more to the playbook because he is more comfortable in the offense.
“The future is very, very bright for him,” Fairchild said.
San Diego State: Long said he wasn’t necessarily itching to get back into a head-coaching job. But when Brady Hoke left for Michigan, he wanted to continue what Hoke had started with the program. He felt an obligation to stay with the program.
“To run off on them and have them have a brand new coach and brand new system was not right for the players here,” Long said.
He does have some big holes to fill, most notably at receiver where standouts Vincent Brown and DeMarco Sampson are gone. The receivers stepping in are inexperienced, but quarterback Ryan Lindley is still around.
“He’s undoubtedly the leader of this team, especially on offense,” Long said. “At times he’s been hard on those wide receivers, he’s been frustrated with them, but having that veteran quarterback will help them develop that much faster.”
UNLV: The good news, according to Rebels coach Bobby Hauck, is his team simply looks better – there’s more size, strength and athleticism. The down side is most of those players are painfully young.
“You just don’t know what you’re going to get day to day,” Hauck said.
One thing the Rebels have to figure out is who their quarterback will be. Hauck said sophomore Caleb Herring is the leader, but junior college transfer Sean Reilly will be in the mix as well.
New Mexico: The Lobos have won one game each of the past two years, but coach Mike Locksley is excited about this year. He said he thought it was the best spring practice he’s had in his three years. He said now that he has three recruiting classes in, he feels like it’s his team. He thinks the Lobos have the athletic ability to finally compete in the conference. A defense that has nine returning starters will help.
“I feel this team is built now to be a team that can go to a bowl game,” Locksley said.
Wyoming: Having 15 returning starters sounds good, but when one of the missing starters is quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels, who transferred in the offseason, that’s an enormous blow. It’s also not a good sign that the Cowboys have no idea yet who will be quarterbacking the team when the season starts.
“Not even close,” Wyoming coach Dave Christensen said. “It’s wide open.”
Wanted to link to a story I wrote on Carson Bird for today’s Gazette. Bird, a former Air Force safety, has been working for months in preparation of trying out for NFL teams and hopefully signing a contract like Chad Hall did with Philadelphia. However, the lockout has prevented that, since he is technically considered a free agent. If the lockout doesn’t end soon, soon Bird – who was working in Qatar last year – will be off to his new base before he has a chance to sign with a NFL team. He said he is fine with either path, but obviously would like a chance to see if he can make it in the NFL.
The lockout might affect Bird in a few other ways. He’ll find it harder to make a NFL team without the minicamps that are held in May and June. It won’t be easy for any rookie to learn a playbook in an abbreviated training camp, much less one like Bird who has been away from football and will be fighting for a job. The timing of the lockout couldn’t be much worse for his pro dreams.
Also, the Falcons visited the White House today – here’s the story, on Gazette.com.
Interesting column in the Shreveport Times (which I found via The Big Lead) about the Independence Bowl being scheduled for Dec. 26 at 4 p.m. As the story points out, holding it that day could severely limit the amount of out-of-town fans for either team that come to the game. The options would be fly into Shreveport on Dec. 26 (which is expensive) or spend Christmas in a nearby big city like Dallas and make the drive over.
Air Force fans should keep this in the back of their mind – the Falcons played in last year’s game, and it’s certainly not out of the question that they could make a return trip to the game.
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