April 17, 2014

BCS Update: Kent State smelling Orange Bowl, ineligible Ohio State falls

No one could have seen this year coming for both Kent State and Ohio State football. The Flashes, ye’ of 40 years without a conference championship, appear to be one win away from a historic BCS game. The Buckeyes, who went 6-7 a year ago, managed to go 12-0 with largely the same roster in year one under Urban Meyer.

Just this last weekend, I wrote first about ineligible Ohio State’s rank in an adjusted BCS and then prophetically about Kent State’s possible BCS hopes. Both topics are more timely now than ever.

Kent State benefitted extremely from an incredible nine losses suffered by teams ranked No. 15-25 in last week’s BCS. Thus, after I guessed they’d jump between 2-6 spaces in the standings, they moved up six spots all the way to No. 17, one place away from magic number No. 16. Meanwhile, folks in Buckeye land continue to fantasize about what could have been the BCS result of the sixth undefeated season in school history.

Let’s dig deeper inside both stories for a little Tuesday fun with numbers. [Read more...]

College Football Polls: Bucks stay at #4, Kent State Moves Up

The AP and Coaches’ polls were released earlier this afternoon, and the 12-0 Ohio State Buckeyes remained at #4 in the AP Poll behind undefeated Notre Dame, 1-loss Alabama, and 1-loss Georgia.

However, the Kent State Golden Flashes have moved up as Jacob projected earlier this morning. They moved to 18th in the AP poll and 19th in the Coaches, which is one-third of the BCS standings, to be released later tonight. The Flashes need to reach the Top 16 to have a shot at a BCS bowl.

Kent State’s MAC Championship Game could have BCS implications

Oddly enough, although perfect 12-0 Ohio State is done and ineligible for postseason play, the Bowl Championship Series still could possibly have an Ohio flair in January 2013.

The Kent State Golden Flashes, who are 11-1 and MAC East Division Champions for the first time in school history, ranked No. 23 in last week’s latest BCS standings. The Flashes finished their regular season on a 10-game winning streak with their big victory over rival Ohio on Friday morning, but received even better news on Saturday as the college football landscape again underwent chaos.

Since the chaos was more BCS bottom-heavy than top-heavy like last week, it should provide a nice boost to the Flashes in Sunday night’s BCS update. I’d expect them to jump at least two and possibly as many as six spots. And, with one more win and a bit more luck, it’s possible then not only will Kent State play in its first-ever MAC Championship, but it also could be playing for an Orange Bowl crown. [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… The 109th edition of The Game

While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

“When Brady Hoke was hired at Michigan a year ago and defeated Ohio State in his first opportunity, there was talk about how the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry was back. When OSU hired Urban Meyer, the talk intensified. While this season hasn’t developed the way Michigan had hoped, there is plenty of reason to believe another golden era of The Game is on the way. Both coaches are from Ohio and understand the rivalry, and Hoke has an appreciation for what Ohio State brings the table as they prepare to meet Saturday.” [Jeff Svoboda/Buckeye Sports Bulletin] [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… More Love for Pargo

While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

Long-term takeaways from the Cavs’ surprising win over the 76ers: “Jeremy Pargo could be the backup point guard the Cavs have been looking for. Obviously we can’t expect him to score like this on a nightly basis, but anything near this type of offensive punch might be just what the Cavs need off the bench when Kyrie comes back. His jumper was clearly falling tonight (4-8 on 3-pointers) at an unsustainable rate, but that’s not really what matters. He was getting to the hole with remarkable consistency against a solid defensive team, and an athletic backcourt.” [Dani Socher/Cavs: The Blog] [Read more...]

No. 25 Kent State wins MAC East title, secures first 10-win season

The No. 25 Kent State Golden Flashes won their ninth consecutive game today 31-24 at Bowling Green, securing the school’s first-ever MAC East Division crown. This also marks the first 10-win season in Kent State history.

Explosive junior RB Dri Archer ran for a career-high 241 yards in the win, including two TD runs of 70+ yards. The Flashes improved to 10-1, 7-0, with the only loss being their second game of the season against one-win Kentucky.

Kent State finishes its regular season next Friday, Nov. 23, at home against Ohio University (8-3, 4-3 MAC). After starting off 7-0, the Bobcats have collapsed down the stretch, losing three of their last four games, all in the MAC, including a 52-27 loss at Ball State on ESPN on Wednesday night.

With the MAC East title, KSU will play Northern Illinois (10-1, 7-0 MAC) in the conference championship on Friday, Nov. 30, at Ford Field in Detroit. The Huskies likely will wind up at the bottom of most national polls this week as well. The last time Kent won the MAC title, in 1972, they had former Pittsburgh Steelers star Jack Lambert starting at linebacker.

[Related: The Buckeyes’ “Meaningless” Season]

Kent State Stuns (18) Rutgers

Kent State had been 0-22 against ranked teams in their program’s history. Not anymore.

The Golden Flashes1 moved to 7-1 on the season as they forced seven turnovers and knocked off undefeated Rutgers 35-23 in New Jersey this evening. Spencer Keith threw for two touchdowns, and Trayion Durham ran for 131 yards and 1 touchdown. The Flashes have now won six games in a row. The box score for this game can be found here.

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Footnotes:

  1. Or, “Golden Fishes”, as Lou Holtz would have you believe. []

Kent State One Win Away from Super Regionals

A surprising story continues to unfold over in Gary, Ind. The Kent State Golden Flashes, the No. 3 seed in the region, played in a historic 21-inning game in their first matchup. The Flashes won that battle 7-6 over No. 2 seed Kentucky to advance to the winner’s side.

From there, KSU just defeated No. 1 Purdue to bring its winning streak to 19 games. Here’s more from the Plain Dealer’s Elton Alexander:

A five-run second inning was the catalyst for Kent (43-17). The rally started with a two-out, two-strike single from Alex Miklos and did not end until after KSU had brought nine players to the plate.

“It was just one of those nights,” Purdue coach Doug Schreiber said. “They bunched hits together with two outs. Give them credit. They’re definitely a good offensive team.” Kent finished the game with 13 hits and three walks, while limiting strikeouts to just five.

Later today, KSU will play the winner of Kentucky and Purdue. Kent State will have the advantage of just needing to win one out of a possible two games, because of the usual double elimination format, in order to advance to the 16-team Super Regionals. The eight winners of best-of-three Super Regional series then advance to the College World Series in Omaha.

The Flashes are the only Ohio team remaining in NCAA contention. The Dayton Flyers, a No. 4 out in College Station, Texas, were eliminated with a 28-12 loss yesterday to TCU.

Kent State’s NCAA Tournament Win Sets Record

The local Kent State Golden Flashes won their NCAA tournament game last night against the University of Kentucky. But that’s not just the notable bit from their opening game, as KSU defeated UK by the score of 7-6 in 21 innings. That’s not a misprint. Let’s head over to Elton Alexander and the Cleveland Plain Dealer to see how this one broke down:

Lefty Michael Clark got the strikeout he needed with two on and two out in the 21st inning to give Kent State a marathon 7-6 victory in the opening game of Gary Regional of the NCAA Baseball Tournament. It was the 18th straight win for Kent, and the second-longest game in NCAA Tournament history on a snappy cool afternoon under gray skies at U.S. Steel Yard Stadium.

Wow. The game’s box score even made SportsCenter last night, not too long after they recapped the Miami-Boston game, Johan Santana’s no-hitter and the no-hitter by a Florida player in the NCAA tournament. Kudos to the Flashes, and we’ll keep you updated a bit as they continue their hopeful run to Omaha as a No. 3 seed in the Gary, Ind., region.

While We’re Waiting…Mike Brown’s stock rising, Browns to work out QB Dalton, Sullinger a No.1 pick?

While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

Reasons why Mike Brown’s stock is rising without ever coaching a game this year – So. Beach developments help: “But this isn’t a diatribe about LeBron or Coach Spo.  It’s simply a commentary on a ex-Cleveland Cavaliers Coach, and embraced memeber of the Cleveland community, that I think did a much better job all around than anybody ever gave him credit for.  Until now maybe, because I have a feeling that he will be the most coveted coach in the NBA carousel this off-season.” [Bowers/Stepien Rules] [Read more...]

College Hoops Open Thread: OSU vs. Michigan, MAC Title Game

It’s the time of year when college basketball takes over all our lives.  That’s the case today as No. 1 ranked Ohio State takes on rival Michigan.  The Wolverines are playing well and have sewn up a bid to the dance this past week.  It will be a raucous and heated atmosphere in Indy as they tip off at 1:40.  The second particularly notable contest for NE Ohioans is the MAC championship game at the Q.  Kent State has had a tremendous season and will face rival Akron for an automatic berth.  This has become a classic rivalry game in this tournament at the Q and draws a great crowd as well.  Tip is scheduled for  6 PM tonight and the game will be televised on ESPN2.  We’re one day away from the bracket being set so leave your thoughts here as this afternoon of hoops plays out.

CSU’s Bullock Aims to be the Next Antonio Gates

jnathanbullockIn 2002, the mid-major Kent State Golden Flashes wreaked havoc on plenty of brackets by making it to the Elite Eight in the NCAA tournament.  A big reason for this success was the play of forward Antonio Gates.  At 6’4″, 260 pounds, Gates had a relatively successful career at the collegiate basketball level by averaging 16.5 points and 7.8 rebounds between his one season at Eastern Michigan and the two that followed at Kent State.  He ultimately made First Team All-MAC as a Senior.

The rest of Gates’ “career” is now well known as he switched sports by signing with the San Diego Chargers as an undrafted free agent.  Since then, he has broken the NFL record for tight end touchdowns within a season with 13 and has been selected to the Pro Bowl five times, three times as a First Team All-Pro.

And now with his senior basketball season behind him, Cleveland State’s J’Nathan Bullock has a decision to make.  He will widely be considered too small to succeed at the next level on the hardwood.  But as it stands right now, Bullock would like to follow Gates’ lead and give it a shot in the NFL.

[Read more...]