Postscripts: Week 8


Postscripts is my weekly wrap of the week that was on the road and in college football. Look for my travel news and notes here each Thursday, along with some of my opinions about what’s happening in the college game we all love. – Matthew Postins

This is that time of year when I wish there was three of me.

We have college and pro football well into their seasons. The World Series started on Tuesday. And the NBA is into its second week. There’s just too much going on. On Monday I could have been at the Warriors and Mavericks. Tuesday night I watched Game 1 of the World Series between the Dodgers and the Astros. Wednesday night I did the same. By Thursday, when this is published, I’ll be on my way to Ypsilanti, Michigan, for work. I’ll return Friday night, perhaps just in time to see Game 3 of the World Series and then hit the road Saturday for my college football game in College Station, Texas. Then it’s Sunday to drive back and catch the Cowboys.

If you love sports, you love this time of year. It’s also that time of year when you wish you had 30 hours in a day.

My adventures in media. A quick look at the weird stuff that happened to me as I covered my game this week:

Matthew Postins made another trip to Texas A&M-Commerce for Angelo State’s visit last Saturday.

Unfortunately, game times change and sometimes you don’t find out about it early enough. Such was the case on Saturday when Texas A&M-Commerce moved its game time from 4 p.m. to 1 p.m. I showed up around 2 p.m., so my relentless need to show up early for things came in handy as I arrived midway through the second quarter. It appears the game time was changed mid-week. I’m assuming it was due to the storms that were scheduled to come through East Texas later that evening (and those storms would have certainly spoiled the end of the game).

I’ve been going to Commerce, Texas, to cover events since the late 1990s when I started working in Tyler, Texas. Back then it was for regional basketball tournaments and track meets. But Commerce has certainly grown up over the years, especially the TAMU-Commerce campus, which is now bustling with new construction, new student apartments and other amenities I couldn’t have dreamed would be there 20 years ago.

So, I win for best promotion of the year witnessed by our staff. A funeral home did a promotion during the third quarter called the “Coffin Corner Kick.” Three TAMU-Commerce students tried to punt a football as close as they could to a coffin painted in Lions colors (blue and gold). Top that, College Football America staff.

Oh, and there’s nothing quite like seeing your old high school baseball coach working the chain gang for the game. Hello, Mike Lipsey.

My post-trip quick note. We have plenty of content coming at College Football America and RoadTripSports.com from our Week 8 travels. But for me, here are my quick notes on the stadium I visited last week:

Texas A&M-Commerce: Memorial Stadium doesn’t have many frills, but they do a good job of accentuating what they have. One of the best parts of this stadium is the cafeteria-style concession area. You walk in, pick what you need and then pay for it at the end. It’s quite novel. You might not be able to do that at an FBS stadium, but at a Division II stadium it’s a great way to get people in and out and back to the game. They’ve spruced up the home concourse area and installed a small team store. As for the field, they’ve installed a nice video board on one side of the stadium, which allows them to take advantage of in-game video replays. Overall, it’s a nice place to watch a game.

Also, check out the galleries from some of the stadiums I’ve visited this season (more are coming):

Abilene Christian

Hardin-Simmons

Princeton

Yale

Iowa State

Wartburg

Army West Point

Cincinnati Christian

Arkansas

Central (IA)

William Penn

UNT

Coe

Villanova

Stadium counts. According to our handy FBS Stadiums We’ve Visited list at RoadTripSports.com, I am now up to 51 FBS stadiums visited.

My photos. My gallery from my Week 8 game is below. Plus, to see all of our game and stadium galleries, click here to go to our RoadTripSports.com Galleries page.

Angelo State at Texas A&M-Commerce

Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor stretches for extra yardage earlier this season against Utah State.

Heisman candidate of the week. I’ll publish my second update early next week. But I must start talking about Wisconsin freshman Jonathan Taylor. Our publisher Kendall Webb caught Wisconsin’s first game of the season against Utah State, and that night Taylor had nine carries for 87 yards and a touchdown. Since then he’s compiled three 200-yard rushing games — 223 against Florida Atlantic, 249 against Nebraska and 219 against Purdue.  In fact, his “worst” game of the year was an 80-yard effort against Northwestern. His 1,112 yards and 11 touchdowns put him among the leaders in FBS. The differentiator is that Taylor is stirring the drink for an undefeated team, and while you can quibble with Wisconsin’s schedule (hey, blame the Big Ten for the geography problem that overloads one division and underloads the other) you can’t quibble with his numbers for an undefeated team. And as the Badgers keep winning, if he keeps producing, his profile will only grow.

Previous Heisman Candidates of the Week profiled: Penn State RB Saquon Barkley (Week 1); Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield (Week 2); Oklahoma State QB Mason Rudolph (Week 3); Penn State RB Saquon Barkley (Week 4); Stanford RB Bryce Love (Week 5); San Diego State RB Rashaad Penny (Week 6); Arizona QB Khalil Tate (Week 7).

Hot seat coach of the week. I don’t normally put a second-year coach on this list, but there’s an interesting situation developing in Provo, Utah. The BYU Cougars are bad. I mean really bad. Second-year head coach Kalani Sitake looked perfectly safe after Year 1, leading the Cougars to a 9-4 season. This year they’re 1-7. Their only win is over Portland State. Now, some of the Cougars’ losses are understandable — that includes LSU, Utah, Wisconsin and Mississippi State. But losses to Utah State (whose coach, Matt Wells, was on our hot seat list last week), Boise State and East Carolina (a team with just one victory entering that game) are harder to explain. They have four games with Mountain West teams left on the schedule, some of which should be wins (I’m looking at you, San Jose State). But watch that next-to-last game against UMass, which just beat Georgia Southern. If the Cougars lose that game, Sitake could have some issues. To put this in perspective, the Cougars haven’t had a losing season since 2004 and haven’t won three or fewer games in a season since 1970. That’s what the Cougars could be looking at right now. They’re used to winning. Would Sitake pay for that this soon?

Previous hot seat coaches profiled: Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M (Week 1); Bret Bielema, Arkansas (Week 2); Mike Riley, Nebraska (Week 3); Steve Addazio, Boston College (Week 4); Ed Orgeron, LSU (Week 5); Brad Lambert, Charlotte (Week 6); Matt Wells, Utah State (Week 7).

Columbia’s Al Bagnoli

Hot coaching name of the week. He’s probably not going anywhere, but it’s time to talk about Columbia football. Seriously. Do you know who Al Bagnoli is? From 1992-2014 he led the Penn Quakers to nine Ivy League championships and 148 wins. This was after he led the Union (NY) Dutchmen to an 86-19 record and six Division III playoff appearances (including two championship games) for 10 years before moving to Philly. But in 2014 Bagnoli decided to hang up his whistle at Penn. It lasted three months. He took the Columbia job and he couldn’t have picked a harder Ivy job. Columbia’s last 6-0 start was in 1996, when the Lions eventually finished 8-2. Well, guess what Bagnoli has done in just three years? Yep, the Lions are 6-0 going into this weekend’s game with Yale. The Lions are the only undefeated team left in the Ivy and are trying to win their first Ivy title since 1961. Incredible.

Previous hot name coaches profiled: Mike London, Howard (Week 1); Tim Rebowe, Nicholls State (Week 2); Frank Wilson, UTSA (Week 3); Dave Clawson, Wake Forest (Week 4); Neal Brown, Troy (Week 5); Scott Frost, UCF (Week 6); Mike Houston, James Madison (Week 7).

A special thanks. Each week College Football America Yearbook is on the road covering college football games, and we couldn’t do it without the cooperation of the sports information directors that work for those schools. We just want to thank the following SID departments for their graciousness and help in doing what we do — Texas A&M-Commerce (Matthew Postins), Stephen F. Austin (Chuck Cox), Middle Tennessee and Georgia State (Kendall Webb).

By the time you read this we’ll be ready for Week 9 and I’ll be prepping for my next game.

Our work on other sites. The great thing about what we do with College Football America is that it enables us to support other partners that we work with, such as the American Football Coaches Association, CowboysHQ.com and HeartlandCollegeSports.com. Our photos are used in AFCA newsletter and publications on a regular basis. I cover the Cowboys for CowboysHQ and am putting together scouting pieces on potential 2018 draft picks. I also cover the Big 12 for HCS. Below you’ll find links to some of our work with those entities in the past week.

 

 

Where I’ll be this week. It looks like I’ll be headed for College Station, Texas, as Texas A&M hosts Mississippi State.

We’ll see you down the road.

Matthew Postins is the editor-in-chief of the College Football America Yearbook. Catch up with him on Twitter at @PostinsPostcard.


 

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