Wednesday, September 17, 2014

It Won't Be Long Now

WMUR TV in Manchester has a very short piece on Dartmouth football opening up Saturday that features an interview with senior captain Steve Dazzo. Check out the clip HERE.
Dartmouth football color commentator Wayne Young '72, will be on WTSL radio's Franklin & House show from 12:30-12:45 today talking Big Green football. You can listen in HERE. The segment will be rebroadcast at 6:30 p.m. Young was a linebacker on the legendary 1970 team and captained the Big Green as a senior.
The Daily Pennsylvanian has its preseason football supplement online. The Outlook is headed by a photo of Dartmouth QB Dalyn Williams (LINK) and includes a lengthy story about head coach Al Bagnoli as he begins his final year in search of his 10th Ivy League championship. (LINK)
The Daily Princetonian also does a roundup of Ivy League team prospects HERE.
Sorry, but I just don't get it. From the Ivy League's weekly football notes (LINK):
For the ninth time in the past 11 seasons, the Ivy League will claim the distinction of having one of its teams among the last in NCAA Division I (Football Bowl Subdivision or Football Championship Subdivision) to kick off the 2014 season.
Green Alert Take: I'm not sure "distinction" is the word I would use. Not unless it is preceded by the word "unfortunate."

Former Dartmouth tailback Bill Daly is a co-winner of the 2014 Lester Patrick Trophy for outstanding service to hockey in the United States. Daly, the deputy commissioner of the NHL, was chosen along with Paul Holmgren, GM of the Philadelphia Flyers. Find an NHL release HERE and Daly's NHL bio HERE.
BGA Premium wrapped up a three-part look at the Dartmouth freshmen yesterday while also looking at this fall's special teams. The season-preview material will continue today along with the regular practice recap.
And finally, the weather for the BGA Moose Mountain hike Saturday looks good. After hearing from a number of you we're thinking about heading up at 11:30. I'll be sending a note with directions to those who I've heard from later today. It should be fun!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Lighting It Up

Dartmouth continues to ramp up its marketing efforts to get people in the stands this fall. Football 101 last month was a big success, the campaign to brand Memorial Field as The Woods is getting attention, banners on lampposts have appeared, and now these signs about the size of a real estate placard, are being planted on lawns and around town.
Click to enlarge
A site called Event Crazy (LINK) promotes the Dartmouth-Central Connecticut game with a picture that it says, "may not represent the actual event." Got that right. It's Harvard Stadium.
With the announcement that New Hampshire quarterback Sean Goodrich has been so-honored, Dartmouth will now be facing national offensive players of the week in the first two games of the season.

Central Connecticut State's running back/jack-of-all trades Rob Hollomon won the honor in the first week for his performance against Towson. Now it's Goodrich's turn to be honored by The Sports Network (LINK) after throwing for 422 yards and four touchdowns and running for 64 yards in a 45-27 win over Lehigh. Goodrich's shortest TD pass was 31 yards.
Speaking of New Hampshire, here are Dartmouth opponents in the TSN top-25 voting this week:
7. UNH
34. Princeton
40. Harvard
The Massey Ratings (LINK) have Dartmouth beating Central Connecticut with an 86 percent certainty, and a predicted score of 31-14.

Massey has Dartmouth finishing 7-3 with the losses to UNH (23 percent chance of winning), Harvard (38 percent chance) and Princeton (28 percent). The next closest game is Yale, with a 59 percent chance of winning.

The most sure win according to Massey is Columbia, with a 95 percent certainty.
The Daily Pennsylvanian (LINK) takes a look at the Penn football team and pins hopes on a veteran area of the field. From the story:
After a subpar defensive performance in 2013, the Quakers will look to their remarkably experienced and accomplished defensive back seven to spark a run towards an Ivy title in coach Al Bagnoli’s final season.
Speaking of Penn, the paper's blog bats around who the greatest threat is to the Quakers this fall and two schools get a mention. Princeton and Harvard. (LINK)
The NFL has named four women will, "help shape the league's policies" regarding domestic violence and sexual assault. One of the women is Lisa (Mendelson) Friel '79, a former Dartmouth women's basketball player.

The USA Today story (LINK) notes that Friel is, "the former head of the Sex Crimes Prosecution Unit in the New York County District Attorney's Office."

From a letter NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's sent to team and staff members:
Lisa M. Friel joined T&M Protection Resources in October 2011 as Vice President of the Sexual Misconduct Consulting & Investigations division following a distinguished 28-year career as a Manhattan prosecutor. Since joining T&M Protection Resources, Ms. Friel and her team have developed policies and procedures, provided training workshops and conducted sensitive investigations into issues of sexual misconduct (both sexual assault and sexual harassment), harassment, hazing and bullying for primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, athletic teams and leagues (collegiate and professional), non-profit organizations, corporations and private individuals.

The view from South Peak yesterday
I'm finalizing arrangements for Saturday's BGA hike up the Appalachian Trail to the South Peak of Moose Mountain, the highest point in Hanover. (Actually, North Peak is a little higher but you get the picture ;-)

As of now we're thinking about starting up at 11:15 or so. Again, it's about an hour up at a moderate pace and perhaps 45 minutes down. We'll have light refreshments here at the BGA World Headquarters when we finish. If you are interested in joining the hike, CLICK HERE and it will address an email to me and I'll send along directions and answer whatever questions you might have once we've finalize the details.

Here's Griff the Wonder Pup yesterday at the peak. He's now four
months old and like his owners, wouldn't want to live anywhere else.
At the end of last night's practice report, BGA Premium took the second of three looks at the freshman class. The series will conclude tonight.

As the week goes on there will be in-depth stories about the offense and the defense, a Central Connecticut State game preview, the weekly Fearful Forecast, a game story Saturday night, and two follows on Sunday. The always popular Optimist-Pessimist will take the floor Monday and then it all begins again with New Hampshire week. Sign up now so you don't miss anything!

Monday, September 15, 2014

BGA Pregame Hike On Tap Saturday Morning

Click photo for a look at the view from South Peak.
Night football games aren't necessarily favored by sportswriters, but Dartmouth opening up under the lights against Central Connecticut does make it possible for this one to host the second BGA Moose Mountain hike on Saturday.

You've heard of the Appalachian Trail, right? Come join other BGA readers Saturday morning for a hike up the AT to the South Peak of Moose Mountain. We'll meet at the trail head 15 minutes from campus and hike 45 minutes to an hour up the famed Appalachian Trail to South Peak, which offers terrific views to the east. It's a relatively easy hike with just one tiring stretch, and sneakers will be just fine. At the top we can even talk a little Dartmouth football ;-)

Joining us will be Mrs. BGA, Griffin the Wonder Pup, and fresh from her stint as an interpretive ranger for the National Park Service in Colorado, That Certain '14, who can answer all of your questions about Dartmouth and a lot of them about being a Dartmouth athlete.

After taking in the view from South Peak we will come down a different trail that will bring us past Dartmouth's beautiful Class of '66 Lodge, and if there's anyone staying there we might even get a peek inside. It's a very nice log structure in the middle of the woods that you would gladly take as your vacation home.

At the end of the hike there will be light refreshments at the world headquarters of BGA where, if it's clear, we can cross the road and catch a glimpse of five ski areas in the distance.

If you are interested in joining us, CLICK HERE to address an email to me, and I'll send along directions as well as answer whatever questions you might have.

For a Dartmouth Outdoors web page on hiking Moose, CLICK HERE.
Here are this week's Sagarin Rating. The numbers start with the preseason ranking followed by the weekly rankings from the first week of play to this week (bold).

Ivy League
Princeton 137, 119, 123, 121
Harvard 149, 128, 134, 137
Dartmouth 174, 158, 166
Penn 184, 171, 182, 183
Yale 194, 183, 195, 194
Brown  195, 184, 197, 195
Cornell 219, 206, 222, 222
Columbia 241, 232, 242, 241

Nonconference Opponents
New Hampshire 84, 89, 87, 97
Holy Cross 213, 214, 196, 207
Central Connecticut 225, 221, 240, 230

Green Alert Take: It's strange that Holy Cross can beat Central Connecticut and go down in the ratings while Central Connecticut loses to Holy Cross and goes up. UNH demolished Lehigh and slipped 10 places as the strength of schedule variable takes hold.
The Roar Lions Roar blog season preview has Dartmouth finishing second behind Princeton. (LINK) Here's the kicker from the column (italics are mine):
If anything, Dartmouth is looking a lot like next year's champions.
The local daily has a story (LINK) about the competition to handle Dartmouth's placekicking duties. The headline: Big Green Will Put Best Foot Forward: Dartmouth Wants No Repeat of Placekicking Woes.
UNH piled up so many points against Lehigh last week that they had to flip the switch on the new lights at Cowell Stadium. The first official night game at the facility is Sept. 27 against Dartmouth and the school is promoting the game with this short video:

Brown Daily Herald a story about the Bears' new defensive line (LINK) and an offense with no fewer than 11 new starters (LINK).
The Yale Daily News has a Q&A with coach Tony Reno (LINK), a story about team's hope of having a big year in the centennial season of the Yale Bowl (LINK) and a sweet story about the team adopting a local 6-year-old with serious health issues (LINK). There's even a story with four "Keys to the game," for Yale. (LINK)
The Harvard Crimson writes about the Ivy League's scheduling issues for football HERE.
Old friend Tiger Blog would like to see the Ivy season go 11 weeks but not for an 11th game. Instead, to have a week off in the middle. (LINK)

Yesterday's BGA Premium began a three-part series on this year's freshmen. The second part will go up with tonight's practice report. If you haven't subscribed yet or renewed your subscription, what are you waiting for?

That Certain Nittany Lion has a problem, but it's a good one. Playing in the Penn State Golf Club's Nittany Lion Open yesterday, he shot 1-under-par 71 to finish in second place, one stroke behind the winner. He had 17 pars and one birdie in a pretty fair round.

With his finish he won a spot on the competition team for a 36-hole tournament featuring, among others, teams from Pitt and West Virginia. The two-day tournament north of Pittsburgh at the end of the month conflicts with Penn State's home football game against Northwestern as well as Homecoming and therein lies the problem. While he'd love to represent his school on the links he hasn't missed a football game at Beaver Stadium yet, and he doesn't want to miss one. As I said, it's a problem, but it's a problem a lot of us would gladly take on if only we could shoot under par on a good golf course.

One of the fun things about having a puppy is watching him discover his world. Last week he started chasing . . . leaves. That's right, a few leaves came down and he got excited by these new things swirling along the ground in the wind.

With the temperature a brisk 34 degrees when we headed out this morning he had another new experience. Ice.

There was a thin sheen of the stuff on our deck and his legs splayed comically on one of his first steps. Just wait until he sees his first snow! (Hopefully that won't be for a while yet, although we did have some light flurries Saturday night.)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Boston Bound

Former Dartmouth safety Garrett Waggoner will begin the push for another NFL shot as a member of the new FXFL's Boston Brawlers. The two-time All-Ivy League selection, who got a look from the Detroit Lions in the spring, signed with the Fall Experimental Football League team that will play its games at Harvard Stadium. Brawler games will be broadcast on NESN, the New England Sports Network. (LINK)

Learn a little more about the FXFL and it's aim of becoming a developmental league for the NFL HERE.

Here's the Brawlers' schedule:
Weds., Oct. 8 at Omaha
Weds., Oct. 15 at Brooklyn
Fri., Oct. 24 vs. Florida
Fri., Oct. 31 vs. Brooklyn
Weds., Nov. 5 at Omaha
Wed, Nov. 12 Oct. 12 at Florida

The Dartmouth junior varsity rallied from a 13-0 halftime deficit against Middlebury yesterday before coming up just short, 16-14. Freshman quarterback Jack Heneghan was 22-for-30 for 181 yards for the Big Green while sophomore QB Jonathan DiBiaso did his damage with his feet, rushing nine times for 67 yards.

What Did We Learn?

How Dartmouth's opponents fared in Week Three and what we learned:

Holy Cross 20, Central Connecticut State 7
(Recap and links)
Holy Cross (2-1) combined 131 yards rushing and 156 yards and two touchdowns passing from sophomore quarterback Peter Pujals with a key defensive stand to defeat the Blue Devils (1-2). Leading 13-7 after a scoreless third quarter, the Crusaders saw the visitors advance all the way to the 4-yard line with a chance to go ahead, but a big stop forced a 24-yard field goal attempt that missed. Having dodged that bullet, Holy Cross immediately marched 80 yards in nine plays, the last a 33-yard Pujals throw to Jereme Murray for an insurance touchdown. Holy Cross, once again playing without leading rusher Gabe Guild, turned Central Connecticut State over four times including an interception at the Crusaders' 2. Central drove inside the Holy Cross 30 on four occasions in the second half but did not score. Central Connecticut State quarterback Nick SanGiacomo completed 18-of-28 passes for 257 yards and one touchdown but was intercepted twice. Dangerous Blue Devil tailback Rob Hollomon carried 22 times for 74 yards, just 3.4 yards per carry.

New Hampshire 45, Lehigh 27
(Recap and links)
Like Holy Cross, UNH (1-1) has a true dual-threat quarterback in senior Sean Goodrich, who passed for a career-high 422 yards and four touchdowns, and ran for another 64 on 10 carries as the Wildcats vaulted out to a 42-7 lead midway through the third quarter and cruised to an easy win over Lehigh (0-2). UNH got 138 receiving yards from tight end Harold Spears on seven catches and 109 from RJ Harris on six catches. Jimmy Owens led the ground game with 70 yards on 12 carries. Starting tailback Nico Steriti left the game with a high ankle sprain in the first quarter but the Wildcats didn't seem to miss him, stringing together TD drives of 71, 74, 84 and 90 yards in the opening half alone. New Hampshire piled up a 401-88 advantage in total yards in the first half to take a 29-0 lead into the locker room.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Jayvees In Action At The Woods Today

The Dartmouth junior varsity scrimmages Middlebury today at 1 on Memorial Field, AKA The Woods

 Check BGA Premium later today for coverage and the best stats one person with a pair of binoculars, colored pens and some pretty nifty stat sheets can compile ;-)

On BGA Premium last night there was a story about the push to popularize The Woods as the nickname for Memorial Field. Yesterday morning Big Green players pulled on their uniforms and headed into the woods across East Wheelock Street to film a few promotional videos. Thanks to my trusty iPod Touch, here's a sneak peak at the filming of a clip that will probably be rolled into one of the videos:

Some still shots from the morning across the road from the Dartmouth athletic facilities:
Heading into the woods, lowercase 'w.'
Finding the right location.
Setting up the first shot.
Seniors at the famed Lone Pine.
Prepping for a shot at the Bema, Dartmouth's amphitheater.

As part of the marketing effort for Dartmouth football 18 banners have been hung from lampposts on East Wheelock Street. Look carefully and you can see the players are emerging from the woods.

The inspiration for heading into the woods, "dark and deep," is onetime Dartmouth
student Robert Frost, whose statue peers down on the football team below.
Old friend Pete Lembo, the Ball State head coach who was a member of a terrific coaching staff at Dartmouth in the mid-90s, is the son of a retired New York City police officer and the former high school teammate of a first-responder who was interviewed on 60 Minutes regarding the 911 tragedy. Lembo and others on his staff at Ball State with close ties to the New York area reflect on 911 in this well-done video tribute:

Friday, September 12, 2014

BGA Subscription Info

I really don't enjoy weeding out subscribers who haven't yet renewed and/or will not be returning this year. It's like (and in some cases is) saying goodbye to friends.

If you are intending to return but haven't renewed your subscription yet, don't wait. Lots of good stuff to come. You can do so HERE.

If you have renewed and your sign-on has stopped working, that's on me. Drop me an email and slap my wrist for sloppy bookkeeping. It happens.

And if you are moving on because of graduation, I hope you enjoyed BGA the past four years. But do keep in mind that a subscription would make a terrific late graduation, birthday or early Christmas present!

Finally, if you haven't renewed your subscription and are still reading BGA Premium it's because of one of two things. Either it's a way to thank you for being such a good friend, or it's more sloppy bookkeeping. In the case of the latter it would be greatly appreciated if you would officially renew your subscription. Mrs. BGA and I still have two more years of ridiculous college payments for the second one, and every subscription helps ;-)

I'll close with a line purloined from Garrison Keillor's The Writer's Almanac that I really like:
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

PS: If you aren't a subscriber but enjoy the blog every day (and there are a ton of you who fit the description) I think the donate button over there on the right still works, but it's been so long since anyone has used it that I'm not sure. Just sayin' . . .

More From The Woods

The Dartmouth ticket guide continues developing the new theme of Dartmouth playing in The Woods. There's another marketing effort to popularize The Woods in the works today, but you'll have to wait to hear more ;-)
From an ESPN blog (LINK):
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson said he looks forward to playing at Qualcomm Stadium because it brings back memories of his father, Harrison Wilson III, who tried out for the San Diego Chargers as a receiver during the 1980 season. 
As many of you know, Harry Wilson '77, was a three-year starter at Dartmouth. His roommate in the Chargers' camp per the ESPN note? Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow.
It's back to practice later today for the Big Green. Sorry about the dearth of information on the Harvard preseason game, but there's an embargo on any specifics out of the event. Check tonight's practice report for whatever coach Buddy Teevens is willing to share from the Harvard outing.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Tapping A Gold Mine

Under the headline, Area Football Talent Getting It Done At Dartmouth College, the Miami Herald blog has a photo showing Vernon Harris, Justin Porter, Frankie Hernandez, Jarius Brown and Darius George.

Also from Florida and playing at Dartmouth, as the story notes, are Brian Grove, Zach Slafsky, Sean Ronan, Josh Clark, Jon Marc Carrier and Blake Orvis. Not mentioned is Jack Sheehy, another Dartmouth recruit from Florida who is unable to play because of injury.

Green Alert Take: In a football-rich state like Florida, this kind of publicity is priceless.
Notice that Coach Buddy Teevens is in The Woods, the nickname being pushed
for Memorial Field.
Later this week banners promoting Big Green football will be going up on 18 lampposts on East Wheelock Street in front of Alumni Gym.
Portal 31 reports that Yale won its scrimmage with Brown, 27-10. It also noted that Yale has nine quarterbacks on the roster.

Given that Dartmouth has five quarterbacks with only three practicing one day last week because of injuries, I thought to see how many QBs Big Green opponents are carrying. Here's what I found:

Yale 9
Princeton 8
Brown 6
Harvard 6
Penn 5
Dartmouth 5
Columbia 4
Cornell 4

Holy Cross 6
New Hampshire 6
Central Connecticut 4

Green Alert Take: Most teams have players recruited as quarterbacks who have moved to other positions as well as at least a handful of former quarterbacks recruited as receivers or defensive backs who can slide over in an emergency situation. In Dartmouth's senior class alone, Ryan McManus, Kirby Schoenthaler, Bo Patterson, Jordan Aré and Steve Dazzo come immediately to mind as former quarterbacks. I'm sure there are more.
In games featuring Dartmouth opponents this week, The Sports Network picks Holy Cross to defeat Central Connecticut State and New Hampshire to take down Lehigh.
Dartmouth football will be scrimmaging at Harvard this afternoon. I've covered Dartmouth preseason games in the past and if it were up to me I would have a full report on BGA Premium tonight but there's a news blackout regarding specifics from the event.

If possible, I'll have some reaction from Coach Teevens. If not, I'll get his thoughts tomorrow.