Wednesday, July 23, 2014

UNH Night Game Confirmed

The University of New Hampshire has announced game times and the Sept. 27 game against Dartmouth will indeed be the first-ever home night game at Cowell Stadium. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. LINK

In case you were wondering, sunset in Durham on Sept. 27 is 6:31 p.m. according to the Old Farmer's Almanac ;-)

The game is being promoted as State of New Hampshire Day by UNH.

UNH has been installing lights as an early phase of its stadium renovation project. Find photos of the light installation HERE and renderings of the entire project that is tentatively slated to be completed late next year HERE.

With the announcement of the UNH start time the Big Green will play its first two games under the lights. The Big Green opens the season Sept. 20 against Central Connecticut at 7 p.m. on Memorial Field. All other games are in the afternoon barring a change for TV purposes. (No word yet on potential TV games.)

First Kickoff In One Month

While Dartmouth won't begin practice until four days later, the first college football game of the season is exactly one month from today!

On Aug. 23 Sam Houston State will visit Eastern Washington in the new FCS Kickoff game to be broadcast on ESPN at 3:30 p.m.

Dartmouth's three non conference opponents tee it up one week later with New Hampshire visiting Toledo, Holy Cross traveling to Albany and Central Connecticut at Towson.

Dartmouth begins practice on Aug. 27 and, like its Ivy League brethren, begins the season on Sept. 20 against Central Connecticut.
Week 2 opponent New Hampshire has been picked a strong favorite to win the powerhouse Colonial Athletic Association title. The Wildcats, who return the core of the team that made it to the national semifinals last year, garnered 15 of 24 first-place votes in the poll released Wednesday. (LINK)
Dartmouth senior Kirby Schoenthaler has been named to the College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) Kickoff Returner Award Watch List. From the Dartmouth release:
"A wide receiver from Bartlesville, Okla., Schoenthaler was held back from returning kickoffs last year during an injury-marred junior campaign that limited him to appearing in just five contests. But as a sophomore, he averaged more than 20 yards per return and brought one kickoff back 79 yards for a touchdown against Sacred Heart. He also has hauled in 44 passes in his career for 411 yards including a pair of touchdowns for the Big Green."

The National Football Foundation reports that seven new college football teams will start play this fall. Between 2013 and 2016 a total of 28 new teams will have hit the field.

Astonishingly, perhaps, there were 484 college football teams in 1978 and there will be 657 this fall, an increase of 173 teams. (LINK)
Dartmouth product Kyle Hendricks tossed seven shutout innings to earn his first major league victory for the Chicago Cubs last night. Hendricks fanned five and walked three in a win over the San Diego Padres. Find a game story centered around Hendricks HERE.

Even before the game, ESPN's Rick Sutcliffe had this to say about Hendricks:
"There are so many things about Kyle that flash me back to when I first met Greg (Maddux) and when I first met Mike (Mussina). These guys don't lose.
"It starts with ability, of course. They are better prepared and they're smarter. Kyle is one of those guys."  
 And Sutcliffe added this:
"Back in the day when I read (manager) Don Zimmer's comments in the paper that we could 'pencil in Maddux in the rotation,' I walked into his office and said, 'Forget the pencil, get out the (pen), he's going to help us.' I feel the same about Hendricks."

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Eight Is Enough

Remember the buzz about the young man who was accepted at all eight Ivy League schools? This probably isn't as rare, but 6-foot-2, 275-pound defensive tackle Daniel James of McKinley High School in Baton Route, La., may have his pick of the Ivies as well.

The Times-Picayune among other publications, has a story (LINK) about James receiving "offers" from all eight Ivies that includes this quote from McKinley coach Robert Signater:
"This is the first time ever I've had a kid offered by every Ivy League school there is," the coach said. "Last year we had a couple guys that were offered by a few Ivy League schools, but this is the first time where they flooded it ... Sometimes it's amazing when you have a guy come visit and say, 'I'm from Dartmouth,' or 'I'm from Yale.' I'm kind of like, 'Wow,' you know? It's truly amazing to me."
It certainly doesn't hurt Dartmouth's chances that former NFL wide receiver and New Orleans native Cortez Hankton recruits his home state. Hankton has proven to be a very effective recruiter.
Saw an interesting media day quote from Kansas coach Charlie Weiss and it brought to mind Dartmouth starter Dalyn Williams as well as Alex Park, a much better runner than most people know (LINK):
Anytime you have a mobile quarterback which is really not the way we were suited to last year until Montell (Cozart) started playing. Until that you are playing 11 on 10 football. If the quarterback is never going to carry the ball and is not a threat to the defense and they don't have to worry about him, then they are plus one as far as numbers go. By having a quarterback being able to be one of the guys who can carry the ball puts much more stress on the defense.
Former Dartmouth placekicker Erik Hinterbichler '06 (LINK) gets a bouquet from the website Mac360 (LINK) for his free mail program, Herald. If you use Apple's Mail program, it's a "must-have."

When we brought him home a little over three weeks ago, Griff the Wonder Pup took one look at the two steps up to our deck and gave out a little whimper. Three weeks later he just about left me behind hiking to the South Peak of Moose Mountain, out behind our house. Yup, looks as if he'll be ready to go for the annual BGA hike on the morning of the opening game against Central Connecticut.

Monday, July 21, 2014

See Reggie Run

Former Dartmouth and Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Reggie Williams, despite 24 knee surgeries and the very real threat of losing a leg, hopes to complete what he calls his "impossible dream," and run up the field at Paul Brown Stadium. Dartmouth coach Buddy Teevens and the Reggie Williams Award get a brief mention at the end of a Cincinnati Enquirer column about Williams' goal. LINK
Speaking of Teevens, the New York Daily News spent four days at the Manning Passing Academy and the resulting story includes a recounting of Johnny Manziel being sent home last year. Teevens, who helped start the camp when he was head coach at Tulane, is quoted with regard to the Manziel contretemps. LINK
The Ivy League football home page has collected most of the preseason All-America, all-conference and positional watch lists that have been trickling onto the BGA pages over the past month or so on one page.

Included is the USA College Football preseason All-America list. The Dartmouth players on that list were posted on BGA earlier but Dartmouth captain Sean Ronan, who was chosen for his play on the offensive line, was mistakenly left off when he should have been included. Find the Big Green co-captain's bio HERE.
A couple of former Harvard football players are making news. Tight end Cameron Brate, who wrapped up his career last fall, is in camp with the Tampa Bay Bucs as an undrafted free agent. LINK (Thanks for the tip ;-).

And Matt Birk, who had a long and decorated pro career as a center, has been named the NFL's Director of Football Development. A league release (LINK) explains his responsibilities this way:
In his new role, Birk will assist in developing the game at all levels of the sport, from players to coaches to front office personnel. He will also assist in the administration of NFL game day operations.
Birk will guide the continued evolution of the Scouting Combine and Regional Combines as well as the annual all-star games for aspiring NFL players, such as the Senior Bowl and East-West Shrine Game.
Could that last lead to a little more exposure for Ivy League grads? Can't hurt ;-)
And finally, I saw this on a message board and wonder if you agree:
Top two wishes of Ivy football fans everywhere: Playoff participation by the Ivy champion and the diversification of opponents in scheduling games.
Green Alert Take: Anyone who has spent any time in this electronic precinct knows I beat the drum for the playoffs all the time. As for "diversification of opponents," I'm not so sure. I'd much rather play Holy Cross, Colgate, Lehigh, Lafayette or Bucknell than the Monmouths, Wagners, Central Connecticuts and Sacred Hearts that have started to dot Ivy League schedules. Nothing against those schools, it's just that the Patriot League and Ivy League really do have more in common.

If diversification means traveling to other parts of the country, count me in. But if the games are in the northeast, give me Patriot League opponents with a New Hampshire for Dartmouth, a Rhode Island for Brown and a Villanova for Penn sprinkled in.

Rather than schedule diversification, my wish list after the playoffs would be schedule expansion. It's time for the Ivy League to join the rest of the free world and schedule an 11th game instead of playing a preseason game, a la Dartmouth-Harvard and Brown-Yale.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Catching Up

It's always interesting to learn where former Dartmouth assistant coaches are these days and what they are doing.

Adam Hollis came to Dartmouth in 1999 to work with tight ends and went on to coach Big Green running backs before joining former Dartmouth assistant Roger Hughes at Princeton in 2008.

After Hughes and his staff were let go following the 2009 season, Hollis relocated to Tennessee. While he's no longer coaching he's still around college sports, working out of Nashville, Tenn., as a client advocate for Advent, which "cre­ates dynamic, inspir­ing, and engag­ing brand spaces for cor­po­rate, edu­ca­tional, and civic insti­tu­tions."

A few of the programs Advent has worked with are Notre Dame, Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, Auburn, Maryland and Virginia football. The company website also has links to its work with Gonzaga and Miami men's basketball, Maryland women's basketball, Southern Cal athletics, Kentucky baseball, Notre Dame fencing, Pepperdine athletics and more. Check out some of their projects page HERE.

Hollis' Advent page is HERE.

An example of Advent's work can be seen here:

The Vanderbilt Football Lobby from Advent on Vimeo.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Attention Stat Geeks

A true stat geek has dug through all available rosters in the FCS to calculate for each team:
• Offensive starters lost
• Offensive line starts lost
• Percentage of positive net rushing yards lost
• Percentage of passing yards lost
• Percentage of wide receiver yards lost

The stats include the rushing and passing yards per game from a year ago to put the losses in context.

Defensively, the workup includes:
• Percentage of defensive starters lost
• Percentage of defensive tackling performance
• Percentage of loss from the defensive line, linebackers and defensive backs

The site uses all of the above to make a weighted numerical assessment of losses and then ranks the FCS teams from 1 (least affected) to 124 (most affected). Here's how the Ivies rank:

32 Yale
44 Princeton
68 Dartmouth
82 Columbia
94 Harvard
99 Penn
117 Cornell
124 Brown

Frighteningly (if there's much validity to the numbers) New Hampshire comes in at 16 one  year after making it to the national semifinals.

Central Connecticut is at 28 and Holy Cross is listed at 79.

Here's the LINK to the full breakdown.*

* Your mileage may vary ;-)

Friday, July 18, 2014

A Great Story

A handful of things I really enjoy about doing Big Green Alert Premium:

1. For most part, I get along with my boss (me ;-)

2. I can hold staff meetings in a phone booth (if I can find one, which I occasionally have to do because I don’t own a cell phone).

3. Coaches and others around the Dartmouth football program are unfailingly helpful and friendly.

4. I thoroughly enjoy getting to know alums, friends of the program and parents of players. (We had unbelievably good seats to see the Colorado Rockies last week courtesy of a parent who became a friend, and were hosted and treated to a terrific time in Colorado by parents of another former player, who have been wonderful friends.)

5. I get to know the players better than I did when I was at the newspaper and missed the occasional deserving story because I wasn't around the program the way I am now and wasn't as keyed in.

One of the people I should have written about when I was at the paper is John Stanton, but I wasn't aware of his story until starting BGA.

John Stanton in the '92 Dartmouth media guide (click photo to enlarge)
A graduate of California’s Harvard Westlake School, Stanton was a reserve linebacker on the 1990, ’91 and ’92 teams that each won Ivy League titles. A walk-on who played for love the game and for love of the team, he probably would have seen game action at a lot of schools around the Ancient Eight. But as a member of championship Dartmouth squads loaded with talent, his main contributions came when no one was watching – including the local beat reporter.

Now, anyone who sticks with it without seeing the field on Saturdays is a good story. But the undersized linebacker from California’s story is a great one, and not just because he stuck with it.

John Stanton, who was out there banging helmets like everyone else for four years, was just the second deaf student ever to attend Dartmouth (the first graduated in 1979).

While the school has had one or two deaf students a year on average since the 1990s, and more and more deaf students are finding a home on Ivy campuses, Stanton knows of just one other deaf student-athlete to play football in the Ancient Eight. (The other was Columbia offensive lineman Nathan Walcker, who graduated in 2009).

A lot of Dartmouth players who made headlines have graduated since Stanton, but few continue to bleed green the way he does. No one, and I mean no one, sticks up for Dartmouth football quite like Stanton, who does so almost to a fault.

That's how much Dartmouth has meant to him.

It's why he proposed to wife Cindy Bellefeuille Stanton '97 outside the Corey Ford Rugby Clubhouse after her alumni game. It's why the onetime scout-team linebacker and the onetime captain of the Dartmouth women’s rugby team were married several months later not in Washington, D.C., where he practices law, but here in Hanover.

A graduate of Georgetown Law, he has long been a dedicated volunteer for the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, a deaf advocacy group that promotes speaking and lipreading.

Now the reason for the late introduction to Stanton.

Recently he was presented with the AG Bell Honors of the Association Award, “given to individuals who have demonstrated dedication to – and sustained efforts toward – the mission of AG Bell.”

A video recognizing this year’s AG Bell Award recipients includes a segment about Stanton that details his efforts for the organization and features pictures of him and his family. Find it HERE. To view the entire video, CLICK HERE.

Andrew Goldstein, who helped the Dartmouth men's lacrosse team to the NCAA Tournament, who scored a goal in the tourney game against Syracuse and who, oh yeah, came out as gay right around that time, is featured in a story out of the World Lacrosse Championships headlined, For a trailblazing Israeli lacrosse team, a pioneer in the nets. Find the story HERE.
The Stanford Daily writes about softball coach Rachel Hanson's move last week from Dartmouth to Stanford. Hanson is just the latest in a line of successful Big Green coaches who went on to coach at Stanford. Men's soccer coach Bobby Clark and women's coach Steve Swanson, men's cross country and track coach Vin Lananna and football coach Buddy Teevens all headed up teams at both schools. Check out the Hanson story HERE.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Got One Right

There are too many mistakes on the USA College Football preseason All-America team but the sense here is the site got it right when it included Dartmouth senior Scotty Whitmore among its whopping 21 "first-team" offensive linemen.

In his second year as a starter last fall the 6-foot-4, 305-pound Texan made the All-Ivy League first team for helping Dartmouth lead the Ivy League with 2,193 yards on the ground, and to pile up 4,249 yards of total offense, second-most in school history.

Named to the USA College Football preseason second team from Dartmouth were defensive lineman Evan Chrustic and defensive back Stephen Dazzo. Defensive lineman Cody Fulleton and defensive back Vernon Harris were chosen third team and wide receiver Bo Patterson and quarterback Dalyn Williams were honorable mention as the website did a good job of following the 2013 All-Ivy team.

All totaled, 32 Ivy Leaguers were included on the first, second, third and honorable-mention teams.

Unfortunately, the USA College Football preseason team got names wrong (Penn's Kyle Wilcox is listed as Mike), Central Connecticut tailback Rob Holloman is listed on both the first and second team, Sacred Heart's Troy Moore is first-team defensive line where he is joined by his fictitious alter-ego Tony Moore. According to message board postings, players who have left school also show up on the list.

Find the USA College Football preseason All-America team HERE.
Dartmouth's game at Columbia is now listed as a 1:30 kickoff on the Columbia site. While a noon start might have been better for those of us hoping to make a down-and-back trip of it, the tee time does help fill in what had been one of the two remaining time gaps on the Big Green schedule. All that remains is the UNH game, which I'm still thinking has a very good chance of being at night given that the school is installing lights. (LINK)

Dartmouth 2014 Game Times
Sept. 20 Central Connecticut, 7 p.m.
Sept. 27 at UNH, TBA
Oct. 4 Penn, 1:30 p.m.
Oct. 11 at Yale, 12 p.m.
Oct. 18 Holy Cross, 1:30 p.m.
Oct. 25 at Columbia, 1:30 p.m.
Nov. 1 Harvard, 1:30 p.m.
Nov. 8 at Cornell, 12:30 p.m.
Nov. 15 Brown, 1:30 p.m.
Nov. 22 at Princeton, 1 p.m.
Dartmouth players who are on campus, the Big Green coaches and their wives will be center stage when the college offers a free Football 101 "crash course" on Memorial Field from 6-9 p.m., on Tuesday, Aug. 12. According to the press release, the course is, "guaranteed to get you ready for the 2014 season."

The evening will include a skills station, a period with a rules official, a bounce house, flag football and poster-making activities for kids, a "football-themed" fashion show that will include unveiling of the team's new uniforms, a tailgate and more.

The first 100 attendees 18 and over will receive a Dartmouth Football Dri-FIT T-shirt and the first 250 kids will go home with a free mini-football.

For more information CLICK HERE.

Green Alert Take: This is a great way to stir interest in Dartmouth football.
Dartmouth grad Kyle Hendricks, who made his big league debut with the Chicago Cubs last week, tossed two shutout innings for the PCL team in the Triple-A all-star game. (LINK)

Hendricks has been optioned back to Triple-A, largely to get work during the major league all-star break. (LINK)