Friday, July 31, 2009

And Now For That Other Big News....

Ah, growing up, I was always excited at seeing the lockers on You Can't Do That on Television, which was a Canadian sketch comedy show that for some reason was really funny when you were 10, but if you watch an episode on YouTube, you think to yourself....that's dumb. But I digress. Of course, Alannis Morrissette was a member of the cast, and I had a huge crush on her, but anyways...

The reason for that picture is to break the news here'll be on the main site later, but on August 22, Jeff Tingey and most of the administrators will be taking out all of the old crappy metal lockers to make way for a new paint job in the football locker room. Once all that sprucing up is done, it's time for the brand new solid oak lockers as the Bengal Football Locker Dedication Project has been a rousing success! Spudvision! New Locker Room! Holy Schmoly!!!!

Now, while all this happened under Jeff Tingey's watch, Jeff will be the first to direct praise to Donna Hays, who really, really really worked hard with Coach Z, Jared Allen, and Mike Calley, along with a host of others, which the press release will touch on, but honestly, without Donna's hard work, this doesn't happen...tremendous kudos have to go her way on this.

Anyways, it'll be posted later today, but if you read the blog, you get the scoopage!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

...and then there was light!

OK, video board training is NOT exciting...I repeat, not exciting, but we have at least learned about the graphic player cards (I gotta manual lighten the pictures and get rid of the drop shadowing), and we got the BigSkyTV feed on the video board, and it looked pretty sensational. Here's some more pics and video!

This is the new control room to house all the computer equipment that will run the board. It can do some neat things ... we can split the screen and stuff. Eventually, we can buy a component that will wire my stat computer to the board, which would be groovy.

This is the American flag icon, which we might or might not use, since we have the gigantor-flag that comes down. Still, it was cool.

Hard to see, but this is the test graphic card for the players (I used Amir). We manually lightened this up on the computer, so honestly, it looks like doggie-poo, but the ones we did afterwards were super-sweet. Trust me.

They were running this as the "blue test"...they also have it in red and green...the red is really red by the way. It was fun to watch this...'s about some video....again, my digital camera was purchased in 2000, so it doesn't record sound, but here is what the American flag graphic looks like.

And this is the fireworks display, which they like to use because it is mostly red, green, and blue, so it's a good pixel test, since they are all .... wait for it .... red, green, and blue.

This is the live feed...the were shooting me walking to the video board to shoot the board, but the pan around a little on the board. The quality is really solid (hard to tell a little bit with my cheapo camera), and it was cool. They will probably run the game live on the board while the game is being played.

OK....hope you enjoyed it! It was awesome to see it actually on and running and functioning and everything. Yeah Idaho Potato Commission!!!!!!

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

First off, I'm headed to training on the new video board (I'll try to get some more pictures...) today from 9 am to whenever, so I'm gone a lot, but hopefully it will be working today, all the lights, and everything....I'm giddy. Couple that with a kick-ass announcement for next week (or maybe Friday, or maybe today if training isn't an eight-hour deal), and yes, stuff is getting done here at Idaho State. As for that's from Spiderman in case you missed that....and yes, I'm talking about you, BengalDenners! My tongue is FIRMLY in cheek here guys and girls). However, I've mentioned on there from time to time that recruits read that message board, and players do as well (it's the generation for that kind of thing) so that should always be kept in mind when posting. Well, apparently over there it's been making the rounds that Chad O'Donnell might not be making it to camp. I've always admired how people over there know about what goes on in the weight room and this kid did this and this kid looks like this, and whatnot (maybe they are going to the 7-on-7 skelly drills...I'm not there after being here all day...I get enough 12-hour days in the fall, I don't need them in the summer). Anyways, Chad contacted me with a message, and here it is verbatim:


Hey I know that there are rumors that I am not coming up or anything but that is completely not true!! I will be heading up on August 2nd which is this Sunday. I just had to finish my summer school to transfer and get everything in line for this fall!! Along with my mother just getting breast cancer! Her surgery was this week so I was not able to leave until she was out of surgery and now she is doing great!!

A few little stats...I have been working quite hard in the weight room this summer!! I put up 315lbs 15x on bench press on monday....and hang cleaned 315lbs last week!! Im not coming sloppy!!

See You Soon!!

Chad O'Donnell"

How great is that??? Let's break this down a bit....a kid whose mom has breast cancer surgery, so not only does he stay back to help with that before coming here, he finishes up school, and manages to hit the weight room so he is ready for camp. John Zamberlin has always talked about getting character guys in here that will contribute on the field and be positive community members, ones that the fans and town can be proud of....well, that's exhibit A right there.

Also, again the roster will be up next week once guys get here so I can have it complete with all the walk-ons and such, but I can confirm that we had a photo day for headshots of new guys in town, and for returners that wanted new head shots, and Jordan Scott did get a head shot, along with Isaiah Walker, Keith McGowen, Tubotein Taylor, Kenny Viser, Jake Pele (a big dude), Logann Horrocks, Jarrid Nash (also a big dude), Mark Clampitt, Justin Vae'ena (slightly bigger dude), Mihn Williams (a behemoth of a dude), Isaiah Walker, Shaquille Senegal, and Josh Hill. The others will get theirs the first week of camp.

Also, it looks like the Jeopardy answer of "Idaho" will fit the question of "What state produced the most players on the Idaho State roster this year, California, Idaho, or Washington?" That's a first in my 12 years....

Busy Journal Boys....

Tim Flagstad has been busy, getting a couple of great preseason interviews with Chad Teichert and Allison Gibson just before camp starts....good stuff. Also, the Journal finally has a sports department instead of a sports duo (poor Tim and Kelvin Ang have been going at it as a two-some for months now), as they hired Dan Angell, who comes from the University of Missouri. Here is a sample of a football story he did last season ... Dan sounds like he will have the men's basketball beat, with Kelvin moving to football, and Tim sliding back to women's basketball.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Yes...It's Really Happening! I Saw It With My Own Two Eyes (and one lens)

So today was the day the new Idaho Potato Commission Video Board started to go up in Holt Arena. I don't get very misty eyed much anymore (I'm fairly jaded), but as much as a tear dribbled out of my eye when Ray Bourque finally lifted the Stanley Cup, or the overflow on the plane to Hawaii reading about Tony Dungy's son, well, I pulled a Daniel Ocean-watching-Oprah today, and so I grabbed our trusty old (like seven years old) digital camera to let you folks see what's going on....

Here is the left side of the board, which isn't changing. You can see there is emptiness to the right of it, and also the clock is missing. Above the got milk? ad it used to say Idaho State University, but I believe that is now where the Idaho Potato Commission logo and stuff is going. Don't remember the Idaho State University sign?

Well, this is it...on the Holt floor. If it looks a little lonely to you, don't worry, his good friend the clock is right in front of him....


Finally...the new can see the first two panels of the four are in place along the bottom (nearly 16 feet across....right now about my height 5-9 or so). There will be all sorts of board around it as well to make it blend in.

This is what the other two boards look like sitting in the crates waiting for installation. Those oval things are actually the doors for housing all the wiring and stuff.

What the boards look like from the side.

OK, this is cool....I got right next to it and shot this picture. The little red green and blue dots make up one pixel, and the board is 200 pixels by 288. the better your board, the closer these dots are to each other. The dots on ours is 17 millimeters apart (the best is 15, Utah and BYU have 19 millimeter boards for comparison). So, those dots can combined based on the intensity to showcase over 4,000 colors, meaning the board will be very bright, and very sharp. When you are looking at the board from like 20 feet away, you can't even see the different colored's pretty nifty.

I had this last one taken so you can get a gauge of the height of these things...the test will run sometime Wednesday, and then a bunch of us will get training on Thursday, which will be way cool.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Look Ahead No. 7: Northern Colorado

Here's the thing that's so confounding about Northern Colorado: sure, the Bears
won only one game last season, and that was over a 1-11 Idaho State team. But, Northern Colorado lost five games by seven points or less; gave up only 3.7 yards per rush; was plus-1 in turnovers; and lost by only seven to eventual co-champion Weber State -- in Ogden. With 17 starters coming back from that team, wouldn't you think the Bears would have a decent shot at a .500 or better team?

Ah, but here's the rub: I'm a firm believer that to be a successful football team, you need playmakers -- and Northern Colorado lost its only big-time playmaker from last season when linebacker Cristian Sarmento (above) ran out of eligibility. The numbers show just what a dominating force the 6-1, 220-pound senior was last year: he had 142 tackles, 63 more than the second highest player on the team; he recorded 10 of Northern Colorado's 22 sacks -- nobody else had more than two; and he was significantly involved in his team's positive turnover ratio, forcing five fumbles and recovering two.

Sans Sarmento, Northern Colorado has only one other returning player who remotely approaches the definition of "playmaker": safety Max Hewitt, their leading returning tackler who was honorable mention All-Big Sky as a sophomore last year.

Offensively, the Bears list no one who jumps out at you as a potential star. Quarterback Bryan Waggener, who threw for 14 touchdowns and 15 picks in his first year in Greeley after transferring from Florida, is probably the closest. Even assuming Waggener shows the kind of second-year improvement that is common among quarterbacks, he's still lacking big-time targets and running mates, at least with experience. In a conference where all-American candidates at wide receiver are everywhere, Northern Colorado offers up only Alex Thompson and Brandon Smith, whose production was serviceable with 37 and 36 catches, respectively, but certainly not in the same universe as guys like Tim Toone, Marc Mariani and Aaron Boyce of the conference's more elite programs.

The Bears do return second-leading rusher Tyrone Wilson, who put up 138 yards in the win over Idaho State last year, but 72 of those came on one run and that was Wilson's only 100-plus yard performance of the season.

That Idaho State loss in Greeley was one of the truly down moments in what was a l-o-n-g season. Playing in the sleet and wind, the Bengals averaged a whopping 1.1 yards per rush, even though quarterback Russell Hill was sacked only once. Hill greatly contributed to his own demise, tossing up four interceptions and no touchdowns, and that performance was really the turning point in the way Idaho State coaches began looking at their quarterback situation. From that point forward, Kyle Blum became a serious option for the Bengals.

The Bears will travel to Pocatello this year in what will be game No. 7 for both teams. Northern Colorado opens the season at Kansas, the pre-season pick to finish second in the Big 12 North, then hosts the University of San Diego. The Bears will play four Big Sky games before meeting ISU: at Eastern Washington and Northern Arizona, and against Montana State and Portland State in Greeley.

If a few of those 17 returning starters mature from being JAGs ("just a guy"), or if some of Northern Colorado's newcomers step in to be immediate playmakers, the Bears may be looking at the Idaho State game as more than just an opportunity for their annual Big Sky win (Northern Colorado has won only one conference game a year since officially joining the league four years ago.)

ISU, meanwhile, could be looking at the Bears as a chance to continue some momentum gained from the softest spot in their schedule: home games with Central and Eastern Washington, and a road trip to Sacramento State. Of course, nothing is going to come easy for either one of these programs, at least not this season. One thing is for certain: whoever loses this game is going to feel like a great opportunity was fumbled.

Basketball Scheduling Notes

Both BYU and Utah have released their non-conference schedules, and, as expected, Idaho State is on both slates. The Bengals will play in Provo Nov. 17, and at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City Dec. 5 -- three days after the Utes host defending Big Sky regular season champion Weber State. USC has also announced the Bengals will visit their glistening new basketball arena in Los Angeles on Dec. 11.

ISU hasn't finalized its schedule yet, but I'm told among the other non-conference teams the Bengals will visit are Oregon, Iowa State and, as noted earlier, Notre Dame. Joe O'Brien's team will bring in $380,000 in guarantee money this year. That's not going to be easy money, but it appears the level of competition will be down a notch from last year's killer slate. USC has a new coach and lost several players to the NBA; both Oregon and Iowa State are coming off down seasons.

On the Topic of Guarantees

Boise State announced this week that it will play Virginia Tech at FEDEX Field in Washington DC in 2010 for a $1.25 million payday -- what is believed to be one of the biggest paychecks for a visiting team in NCAA history. The Broncos had said earlier that they were reluctantly abandoning their aversion to big money, one-and-done road games in light of the current economic tough times. They hit a home run with this one -- a big name opponent in the nation's capital and I'm sure it will draw national television coverage.
-Brad B.
And thanks for being a Bengal fan -- it ain't always easy, but it's always fun.