Know your enemy (for this week, anyway)

Boise State's first real test of the season will come sauntering onto the blue this Saturday in the form of the Bowling Green Falcons. The Falcons started the 2008 season with a bang when they knocked off then #25 Pitt—unfortunately, they promptly fell back to earth losing big this last weekend to Minnesota. So...our SOS remains so-so, but after a excruciating bye-week the Broncos are ready to dine on Falcon. Most fans, like me, know next to nothing about our MAC foes other than the fact that they run a no-huddle offense that doesn't lend itself to loud noises (hint, hint) and that they were soundly beaten in their last trip to the blue. Needless to say, there is a lot to be learned about our week 3 foe (don't worry, Kellen Moore already knows their defense intimately)...so let's explore through the magic of factoids and childish jokes. For the mutual benefit of the Falcon faithful, I will let you get to know us a little bit too...so take notes.

Ten things Bronco fans might not know about Bowling Green

10. Bowling Green State University appears to be aptly named, as it resides in Bowling Green, Ohio. Bowling Green is also the name of cities in New York and Kentucky. You are now ready for Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?

9. Bowling Green State University was originally known as Bowling Green State Normal School. It was just up the road from Bowling Green State Abnormal School.

8. Bowling Green plays their football games at Doyt Perry Stadium, capacity 24,000. The Stadium is named after coach Doyt Perry, who led the Falcons to a 77-11-5 record in his tenure there in the 50s and 60s. While not huge...the stadium makes the Kibbie Dome look like Papa Smurf's toadstool cottage.

7. Falcons are fond of gibberish. The official fight song of the university is a little ditty called Ay Ziggy which features stirring lyrics like: "Ay Ziggy zoomba zoomba zoomba Ay ziggy zoomba zoomba ze". Now I'm really glad that BSU changed their fight song from Blee bloo bah bah boo bee beep.

6. Bowling Green has been playing football since 1919 and has 16 conference championships to show for it. Their last championship came in 2003 as they went 11-3 and won the MAC west division title. That year, they defeated Purdue and Northwestern of the Big Ten and only lost to Ohio State by 7 in Columbus.

5. Bowling Green has completed 5 undefeated seasons in school history...their last coming in 1959 under Doyt Perry (yes, THAT Doyt Perry!)

4. The Falcons have won 56.5% of their games since their debut in 1919.

3. Bowling Green's highest (and only) national ranking in Division 1-A came in 2003 when they finished at #23 in the AP and Coaches polls. That year, Boise State finished 16th and 15th in the AP and Coaches polls, respectively.

2. Urban Meyer coached at Bowling Green for two seasons and racked up a 17-6 record there before blowing up at Utah and eventually ending up at Florida, where they won the National Championship in 2006.

1. There are currently 5 Bowling Green alums playing in the NFL...one of them, WR Steve Sanders, was played by Ian Zering on Beverly Hills 90210.

Ten things Bowling Green fans might not know about Boise State

10. Boise State has been in existence since 1932, when it was founded by the Episcopal Church as Boise Junior College. In 1968, it achieved 4 year status and was changed to Boise College, then in 1969 changed again to Boise State College and finally became Boise State University in 1974.

9. The father of Boise State football is Lyle H. Smith. I guess you could call him the Doyt Perry of Boise...but a more accurate way would be to describe Doyt Perry as the Lyle Smith of Bowling Green. Smith coached Boise State football from 1947 to 1967, going 153-25-6 in that span. Under Smith, Boise State football went undefeated 5 times and won a national championship. Smith chose his own replacement, Tony Knap, in 1968 and served as the Athletic Director until 1981. Knap was pretty good too...he went 71-19 in his eight years with the Broncos.

8. Many think that Boise State ripped off their colors and mascot from the Denver Broncos...well it may be the other way around. Boise State's mascot and colors were picked in 1932 by student Owen Sproat and others after a basketball game. As Sproat put it:

“most of the guys rode horses — it was pretty much cattle country in those days.”
The johnny-come-lately Denver Broncos didn't come on the scene until 1960.

7. Since 1973, Boise State has won 13 conference championships including 5 straight WAC titles from 2002 to 2006. Prior to 1968, they competed in the JC ranks, and as stated before...were a dominant force at 153-25-6 and winning the JC national championship in 1958. Boise State won the 1-AA national championship in 1980 by defeating Eastern Kentucky and played in the championship again in 1994, but lost to a Jim Tressel-led Youngstown State.

6. Boise State joined the 1-A ranks in 1996...since that time, they have finished the season ranked 4 times (peaking at #5 in 2006) and won 7 conference championships.

5. Bronco Stadium's Lyle Smith Field is the nation's only non-green playing surface. "The Blue" or the "Smurf Turf" as it is affectionately known was first installed in 1986 and is currently in its 4th iteration. Contrary to popular belief...geese do not break their necks after mistaking it for a white lined lake. Jimmy Hoffa is also NOT buried under the field (as far as we know)

4. The Broncos are 59-2 at Bronco Stadium since 1999. Their last regular season loss on the blue was to Washington State in 2001.

3. Boise State currently has 11 players active on NFL rosters. Ryan Clady is the highest ever draft pick from Boise State. He was picked 12th overall in this years draft.

2. Boise State's current QB, redshirt frosh Kellen Moore, owns pretty much every high school football record in the state of Washington. Moore had 787 completions, 173 touchdowns, and over over 11,000 yards passing at Prosser High School. As a junior, he was named the Washington player of the year over Jake Locker, the current QB at UW. He emits awesomeness from every pore.

1. Chris Petersen won the Bear Bryant Coach of the Year award in 2006. In 2007, Mark Mangino of Kansas ate won the award.

So there you are...now we know each other...and knowing is half the battle.


Anonymous said...

BGSU downsized its football stadium from 30,600 to 24,000. It has not affected attendance, still can't sell the place out.

This year's team emptied the place out against Minnesota, more football players were on field than left in stands by game's end.

bgsufn said...

One thing to remember about BG's attendance is that there are 11 Division I football teams in Ohio, so we don't get the casual interest fans like you might. All those people root for Ohio State (yuck!). Plus, Toledo is only 20 minutes up the road from us, so the regional draw is split as well. So to compare us vs. Boise with regard to attendance is not a fair comparison.

This year's team also beat Pitt and would have beat Minnesota except for the turnovers. It is a pretty good team. I'm not sold on our coaching though.

Drew said...

Yeah, I wasn't comparing attendance to Boise State. Boise State sells out virtually every home game, but there is a different dynamic here in the Treasure Valley as Bronco football is the "only game in town".

It looks like BGSU's defense is solid, but make no mistake, Boise State will be the best offense you face this year so they better be on their game.