Had the pleasure of meeting up with a few college friends this week to see my alma mater take on FCS Eastern Kentucky, my mom’s alma mater. So this game had family rivalry.
Both teams entered 1-1 and many thought the Colonels of EKU could make a game out of it. Shockingly, Eastern’s offense played worse at Ball State than it did at Purdue two weeks prior. Starting QB Bennie Coney was pulled with a 1 for 4 stat line of one yard and two interceptions. Something fans in the stands could have duplicated.
Maty Mauk, a transfer from Missouri, played better but was far from good. His best stats came in the fourth quarter in garbage time.
Eastern Kentucky committed 128 yards in penalties including a running into the punter that extended a Ball State drive that led to a touchdown. The Colonels practically blew themselves out.
Ball State won easily but the contest was more about how inept Eastern Kentucky was. The Cards were able to spread the ball around to three different receivers that had six receptions each. The defense does deserve credit for holding EKU to just three yards rushing. It helps though when you know a team can’t pass.
The best part of the day was Eastern Kentucky trying to fire themselves up on the sideline with a huddle after the third quarter. Problem is they were down 34-0. Cardinals would win 41-14.
Last year, my post was a big hit and I went all out this time. No I didn’t see everything on Twitter and Facebook and if I did I would be a synthetic on Humans. Trust me, I saw enough, but feel free to let me know if there was something you think I should have recognized. Now let’s take a look at these manufactured awards.
Best way to embarrass your players: Vanderbilt
Vanderbilt had a great spring sports season with baseball and tennis, so with all the excitement can you blame the track team for taking a nap to recharge? Apparently, their own teammate could not. Anchor down means staying on the internet forever.
— Vanderbilt Xctrack (@vandyxctrack) April 16, 2015
Worst use of a statistic: UConn Football
I get it UConn football, you are constantly trying to get your team out of the shadows of the best basketball programs in the country. The countdowns though are coming across as desperate.
— UConn Huskies (@UConnHuskies) June 29, 2015
— UConn Huskies (@UConnHuskies) March 4, 2015
That’s right, we are counting down to play a FCS team! Not Rutgers, not Boston College, not even Temple but FCS Villanova. Get your tickets now!
Even worse was the punting statistic. In a 12-game season 66 punts is 5.5 punts a game. That’s a problem as UConn gave up the third highest points in American Athletic Conference play last season. Roughly 30 points per contest. Don’t brag about forcing punts when you are being scored on every other possession.
Best use of democracy: Georgia Tech
Who knew the Yellow Jackets would go to the public for fashion advice?
YOU PICK IT, WE WEAR IT! Which jersey should we wear for Tuesday night’s HOME game versus Kennesaw State? https://t.co/Ie20bubpjc
— GeorgiaTech Baseball (@GTBaseball) April 20, 2015
Best presentation of starting lineup: Missouri
There were plenty of great designs out there for starting lineups in basketball but I like what Missouri did here with the black and white contrast. Now that’s some good layering in the photo edit.
— Mizzou Basketball (@MizzouWBB) March 19, 2015
Best soccer starting lineup: East Tennessee State
While I liked what Missouri did for basketball I have to give ETSU credit for their soccer efforts. I gotta have more tactical lineups like these.
— ETSU Athletics (@ETSUAthletics) October 5, 2014
Most insecure: North Dakota State
I seriously don’t know what I did. I was a big fan of the Bison winning numerous FCS titles and getting on College Gameday too. This hurts NDSU.
Best prognostication: Georgia State
In what ended up being the most entertaining game of the NCAA Tournament, the Panthers knew that an upset was in order thanks to an official box score. Sorry Baylor.
— GSU Panthers (@GSUPanthers) March 19, 2015
Most shameless advertisement: FIU
FIU has always been in need of cash and well… let’s have a word from our sponsor.
— FIU Athletics (@FIUAthletics) February 17, 2015
Selfie of the year by mascot: Kentucky
Here is a school not in need of cash. Why every team should have a midnight madness like Kentucky.
— Kentucky Athletics (@UKAthletics) October 17, 2014
Best at making announcements: Northern Illinois
NIU is developing a tradition of making a big deal about future football games. And I have to say #SchedulePalooza is pretty cool. The Huskies drop hints making fans work a digital scavenger hunt to determine the teams NIU will play in a few years.
— NIU Huskie Athletics (@NIUAthletics) September 23, 2014
Worst graphic: Arizona
The defensive player of the week has NO EYES! What an incredible performance by her!
— Arizona Volleyball (@ArizonaVBall) September 29, 2014
Worst logo placement: Siena
You may accuse me of having my mind in the gutter but a woman’s waistline should never be used for branding. Or a man’s for that matter. Siena is a great follow but this post was not one of the best.
— Siena Saints (@SienaSaints) September 30, 2014
Best costume by a media member: Shae Peppler
Going back to a Miami school with Shae Peppler of Campus Insiders somehow pulling off an Al Golden for Halloween. Didn’t know his tie was so iconic.
— ACC Digital Network (@theACCDN) October 31, 2014
Best female media personality to follow: Nicole Auerbach
Auerbach is one of the few who covers college basketball and football equally. She is also one of the few women to be on television as a college football expert for the Big Ten Network. Plus she retweeted me last year. So all the power to her.
60 of Duke’s 68 points were scored by its freshmen.
— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) April 7, 2015
In “this really happened in college hoops today” –Virginia beat Rutgers 45-26. Most amazing part? Rutgers led, 18-17, at the half.
— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) November 30, 2014
Best male media personality to follow: Pat Forde
Until Seth Davis covers other sports besides basketball, Pat Forde is and will always be the man.
Louisville rallies from 13 down in the second half to win the worst game I’ve watched this year.
— Pat Forde (@YahooForde) February 24, 2015
Most Harsh: UTEP
This about sums it up.
— Mid-Major Madness (@mid_madness) March 18, 2015
Best food promotion: Iowa State
Now that is a social media promotion.
— Cyclone Basketball (@CycloneWBB) February 15, 2015
Best photo shoot: Tie between Pepperdine and Bowling Green State
Yeah I whiffed with a tie but how are you supposed to choose between these two?
— Pepperdine Beach VB (@WavesBeachVB) January 16, 2015
— BGSU Athletics (@BGathletics) September 11, 2014
Best social media rivalry: MAC vs. the Sun Belt
A great way to have the other bowl games be more impactful is to have the conferences duke it out Twitter. Well done MAC and Sun Belt. Well done.
— #MACtion (@MACSports) December 21, 2014
— Sun Belt Conference (@SunBelt) December 21, 2014
Best tweet: Jacksonville State
Now this photo demonstrates what college sports should be all about. Playing for your school, having fun and getting that degree. You can stop advertising NCAA. We have found your marketing tool.
— Greg Seitz (@gseitz) December 20, 2014
Best team selfies: Niagra Women’s Basketball
Have you ever been stuck on the interstate for 24 hours because of a snowstorm? No? Well here is what it looks like.
— Corinne Jones (@BportCoachJones) November 18, 2014
Best way to celebrate a milestone: New Hampshire
Reaching 700 wins in any sport is a big deal. You truly have to put your body into it.
— Vince Croci (@InTheStands) September 20, 2014
Best to chat with: Southern Miss
Want to chat with your favorite Golden Eagle? You don’t even have to leave your laptop.
— Southern Miss Sports (@USMGoldenEagles) October 27, 2014
Best video series: American Athletic Conference
American Rising hosted by Hali Oughton became the most informative regular on my news feed this year. The AAC is still new and an odd mix of schools so this media effort helps get it organized for fans.
Best conference on Facebook: Mountain West
For Facebook, I want to see photo galleries. The Mountain West does a tremendous job of providing exactly that for most of its games. This Facebook banner is pretty good too.
Best conference to follow: Big West
The Big West celebrates every holiday, offers plenty of photos for every sport and how can you beat this?
— Big West Volleyball (@BigWestWVB) September 27, 2014
Best video by a school: South Florida
A great way to promote a sport like volleyball. This promotion idea was cute and I hope that more videos like these will increase interest for the volleyball program at USF.
Best game show by a team: Florida State Sand Volleyball
On the other side of the state, FSU tried some video ideas of its own with a game show theme. I’m all for getting sand volleyball more attention even in cheesy ways like this, but I don’t think you need two parts here. Still, the effort is to be applauded.
Best school to follow on social media No. 5: Georgia Southern
Now to the top five schools to follow on Twitter. The Eagles made some nice info graphics for their teams this year. Here is a look at a soccer example.
MSOC – FULL TIME – GS 0, (No. 22) USF 3 pic.twitter.com/576wTAny4V
— GS Athletics (@GSAthletics) October 2, 2014
Best school to follow on social media No. 4: Western Kentucky
WKU promoted their sports equally with photo shoots and other promotional graphics. The Hilltoppers had fun too with this color coordinated seating chart.
— WKU Sports (@WKUSports) October 24, 2014
Best school to follow on social media No. 3: Oregon State
No school made better use of its color scheme on social media than the orange and black of Oregon State. Their posts were hard to miss.
— Oregon St. Softball (@OregonStateSB) April 18, 2015
Best school to follow on social media No. 2: Colorado State
Colorado State did an excellent job using photography. It always seemed to grab my attention with the bold colors the Rams would use.
— CSU Rams (@CSUAthletics) February 9, 2015
Best school to follow on social media No. 1: Kansas State
The best combination of game updates, photography, promotions, statistics and design has to be Kansas State. The Wildcats were active promoting every game from every team and every result. I feel like I’m in the know about K-State despite living a few states away.
— K-State Athletics (@kstatesports) September 20, 2014
Plus how do compete with a promotion like this?
Does your baby have what it takes to win the Halftime Baby Race? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info! pic.twitter.com/gdA32nqQbB
— K-State Athletics (@kstatesports) February 18, 2015
Life in the Summit League is not luxurious nor is it respected by the national media. Teams are scattered across the middle of the country from Indiana to Colorado, making it tough to form a regional identity. None of the nine teams are in the RPI top 100 and only one is in the top 150 (South Dakota State). That doesn’t mean there are not quality teams here. North Dakota State knocked off Oklahoma in the first round of the tournament last year and that NDSU team is looking good this season.
I knew that traveling to IUPUI, here in Indianapolis, was going to be a battle for them. And this past Thursday ended up being an overtime affair. Thank you to IUPUI SID Edgar Holdaway for the photographer credential to the game this past Thursday.
IUPUI in its first season of playing in Pepsi Coliseum at the state fairgrounds and it appears to be a good fit. The first thing I noticed is that IUPUI students are the ones who sit courtside here. How many other schools can say that about their student body? This is partly because the Pepsi Coliseum is built more for hockey, leaving space for the band and student body behind the baskets. The cheerleaders also stand by the sidelines like a football game while most schools have them positioned along the baseline. Little things like this make an IUPUI game unique and it gives the Jags support having the young spirited fans close to the court. They also have this type of DJ yelling “Lets go JAAAAGs,” every 10 minutes to keep people awake.
North Dakota State was the favorite and I got the impression they were the better team. The Jaguars were pressing a full-court defense most of the night trying to force turnovers. IUPUI got some but also let NDSU score easy baskets once their guards broke through the initial pressure. The Bison had more blocks and rebounds as the Jaguars had to settle for jumpers in its half-court offense.
At the same time though the Bison seemed to struggle to finish their drives to basket. Quite a few misses came at point-blank range from offensive rebounds. NDSU also only made 10 out of their 18 free throws.
IUPUI had a chance to win the game in regulation as guard Mason Archie had an open 3 with .8 seconds left but the shot went long. North Dakota State would outscore IUPUI 16-8 in overtime to put the game to bed.
NDSU would lose two days later to IPFW, who came in 1-5 in Summit League play. That’s how hard it is to win back-to-back road games in any conference within a 48 hour span. IUPUI would win against South Dakota Saturday to move to 4-3 in conference; just a game back from NDSU and 1.5 back from South Dakota State.
The Summit League bid is up in the air but don’t be surprised if these meet again in the conference tournament. Here are more pictures from Thursday.
I was able to earn my first press pass as a photographer Saturday at a Butler home football game with Morehead State. This Pioneer Football League bout saw 114 points on the scoreboard and over 1,100 yards of offense. They may be two basketball schools but they put up a basketball score on the football field Saturday.
The Eagles had over 700 yards and still lost the game 62-52 to the host Bulldogs. What little defense there was came from Butler in forcing two interceptions and a fumble. Morehead State also turned the ball over on downs three times.
There was some controversy as a Butler defender knocked out Morehead State’s starting quarterback Austin Gahafer on a brutal sack. The Butler defender was flagged for targeting and ejected from the game. The damage was done though for the Eagles as Gahafer walked to the sideline and did not return. Another Bulldog player would be ejected for targeting yet it was the Eagles who were penalized more on the day with nine for 110 yards. I can assure you their coach was not happy with the refs. I even heard him or an assistant scream at the refs “You’re stealing this from us!” from the Eagle’s sideline.
While the game won’t mean much in the grand scheme of things (both have 2-4 conference records) it was important for Butler to restore some momentum. The Bulldogs won the league last year and became the first PFL team in the FCS playoffs. Butler (4-5) should end the year a respectable 5-6 or 6-5 while Morehead (3-6) will be an underdog the rest of the way to a projected 3-9 finish.