Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Summer position changes

With Fresno State football fall camp mere weeks away, it was interesting to see guys getting work at new positions today at Valley Growers Field.

Most notably, perhaps, was Porter Hill working out at right tackle and getting lots of hands-on attention from starting center Joey Bernardi (who, along with quarterback Ryan Colburn, has been a de facto coach during voluntary workouts). Hill was a highly touted defensive tackle coming out of high school, but now is playing alongside his cousin Leslie Cooper on the offensive side.

Another interesting development is former linebacker Austin Raphael making the move to tight end. Raphael has seen bits and pieces of playing time at linebacker, but with younger talent coming in he might be better utilized at tight end -- as long as he can work on the hands.

The other transition is former Sanger High product Justin Webber moving from running back to safety -- not a huge surprise considering his was a 'tweener coming out of high school.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Volunteering the Harding way

Nice write-up from the Turlock Journal today on Fresno State running back Anthony Harding, who took a couple days vacation from offseason workouts to give back in his hometown.

Great choice by Harding to choose Fresno State over Nevada. Harding 1, Colin Kaepernick 0.

Can't wait 'til The Bee follows suit and gives us some Fresno State news...

Friday, July 10, 2009

By George, don't go!

Let me take this opportunity to be greedy and jump the gun. Paul George's sophomore season hasn't yet started, but already there's a ton of talk about the Fresno State wing being an NBA lottery pick, and even as high as No. 6 overall according to this mock draft. Thanks a lot nbadraft.net...

And now, in a Q&A, George says he'd like to "test the waters" after this next season.

Now, granted, a 19- or 20-year old young man can't ignore millions that would be dangled in front of him if he is indeed a lottery pick, but I sure wish Fresno State could get a break. Coach Steve Cleveland finally looks ready to rock with incoming recruits Greg Smith and Steve Schepp joining George and Sylvester Seay (also projected in the draft), who are two of the WAC's best players.

Seay is a senior, and definitely gone after this year. But losing George too, after just two years, would be a huge setback in Fresno State's plan to return to national prominence for the first time since Tark "retired." Fans want it bad. Hopefully, the players want it just as bad.

George thinks the 'Dogs have a shot to win the WAC this year, and so do I -- a real, true last-to-first story could be on the horizon. But they key thing is, with George and Smith as a young nucleus, the Bulldogs would be set up for a two- or three-year run of winning big. And that would set the table to turn the program around and be the start of something really special.

George is talented enough to be the catalyst and leave a long legacy. Either way I wish him the best, but hope he can look back at Fresno State in 10 years and see a program regularly in the Sweet 16, know how huge a part he played in building that, and say, "Hey, I led that program in its transition years, and look at it now."

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Can't wait to read Pat Hill's next tweet

Ah shucks, Pat Hill isn't on Twitter yet? Well what are we waiting for Coach!?

Look at this recent message from USC coach Pete Carroll's Twitter account:

oh, one more thing... here's the fall camp practice schedule... open to the public! come on out! http://bit.ly/mwYE2 from web
So simple, yet so effective. I mean I don't have market research and statistical analysis of how much fan buy-in and interactivity Carroll's tweets lead to, but I do see that he's got more than 30,000 followers on Twitter -- that has to result in some plusses in fan relations and building a connection with the community.

As much as I dislike USC and the pompous attitude that program stands for, and as much as I'm irked by Carroll's hesitance to schedule Fresno State, I have to applaud him for being on the cutting edge.

Tweeting, texting, facebooking, video-ing ... it's the marketing and advertising wave of the near future. Coach Hill, let's get it done ... our fans are welcome to fall camp too, right? Let's get the word out and builid a more connected, larger and stronger fan base.

It's almost here!

August is just around the corner and that means one thing (besides 100+ degree temperatures in Fresno)....... COLLEGE FOOTBALL!!!

I am very excited to see what is in store for the 2009 edition of the gridiron 'Dogs (by the way what is the deal with Washington and Georgia spelling dogs ... dawgs???). It is my hope that the fans of Fresno will continue to come out and support the football program. I know, as a lifelong Bulldog fan, that year in and year out they never seem to reach their full potential but that doesn't mean that Bulldog Stadium has to be half empty on Saturdays.

I believe that it is very important that our fans come out to support the university and the players who represent our community. It would be a tremendous show of support for Fresno State, the city of Fresno and our whole valley if we had Bulldog Stadium packed out every Saturday.

Now I understand that we are in tough economic times and not everyone can afford to take their families out to a college football game but those of us who can should be out supporting our team. Those who have season tickets and know they wont be going to certain games should try and give their tickets to people who will use them.

I hope I am not coming off sounding self-righteous but I have a love for our community and for Fresno State and I just want to see Bulldog Stadium filled with red (not that crazy black-out crap they tried in '07 against Boise State) Aaaahhhhh college football is almost here.....its a great time of year!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Why the BCS is more fair than a playoff

Now that I got your attention, OF COURSE the BCS is not as fair as a playoff would be!

But, to humor us all, I wanted to draw your attention to perhaps the worst pro-BCS argument I've ever read. It comes from a Penn State blog, and suggests if schools like Fresno State are unhappy with being discriminated against by the BCS they should just join the Pac-10.

Wow! Now that we know it's that simple, let's do it. Oh, wait, it's not that simple. Der!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Fresno is all the talk in Chicago these days

Sorry, but I ran across this blog and had to share. The number of Fresno references and tie-ins is just too much.

First I get peeved when this blogger compares Abilene Christian to Fresno State. Who even knows what Abilene Christian is (with all due respect)? His point is in comparing some new Chicago Bears wide receiver to former Bulldog Bernard Berrian (now with the Vikings).

Come to find out the original comparison came from Chicago Tribune writer Vaughn McClure. Oh, name sounds familar does it? That's because McClure is the former Fresno Bee beat writer for Fresno State men's basketball.

So I perused my way down to the blog comments and came across someone pumping up Heidi Watney as being "better" than Erin Andrews. Well whadaya know!? Heidi Watney is an ex-Fresno sportscaster herself, for KMPH FOX 26.

But I'm still mad about that Abilene Christian comparison...

Friday, July 3, 2009

Cal Poly wanna a clue?

"What the heck is this junk?"

The quotes represent the thought that immediately popped into (or out of?) my head when I read this story from the San Luis Obispo Tribune. It starts like this:

John Madden’s deepest desire for the Cal Poly football program has long been to
see it return to regularly playing and upsetting well-known California schools —
namely Fresno State, San Jose State and San Diego State — like it did when he
was a lineman for the Mustangs in 1957 and 1958.
Excuse me? Regularly beat Fresno State? Not in my lifetime.

First of all, the two teams did meet in '57 and '58, each winning once. Second of all, what qualifies as regularly? Fresno State is 30-10-2 against Cal Poly all-time. But the Mustangs have pulled off no such feat since Fresno State moved up to Division 1-A in 1980. Since '80, Fresno State is 5-0 against Cal Poly, with a combined total score of:
Bulldogs 160
Mustangs 48

Cal Poly did pretty much own the 'Dogs in the '70s but the difference between then and now with the Fresno State program is nothing short of enormous. Is anyone out there looking forward to the rebirth of the Cal Poly series in '010 at Bulldog Stadium?