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  1. 10 points
    Short Interview with Zach Guiser Upon introducing myself, Zach said he was a big fan of ZipsNation.org. He said the guys on the team like the site, especially the game day photos posted by Dr. Z. Zach’s an awesome kid. You couldn’t ask for a better representative of The University of Akron and Zips Football. Question: “What does the Wuerffel Award nomination mean to you?” Zach: “I’m really excited about it, considering what the award represents. Beyond that, I’m really proud of what our team has been able do in regards to service to the community. I’m a member of the Student Advisory Committee (S.A.C) and we do an award every year for the Program with the most community service hours. I haven’t tallied up the numbers yet, but the football team is over 400 hours this summer alone. We’ve really made it a point to volunteer our time to the community as much as possible on a regular basis. I wasn’t always as heavily into community service growing up, but being part of the football program has opened up the door to do so. Coach Gildersleeve has a points system for the guys on the team regarding community service, and I think that brought out the competitive side in me to join in and try and do well. I found I have a real passion for it." Question: “With the rigors of Division 1 football, and school, and your personal life, how do you find the time to volunteer. And not just showing up…but volunteering at a level where you’re under consideration for a national award?” Zach: “Well…I have an amazing girlfriend that takes real good care of me…cooks me meals and things like that. I have an amazing support staff at UA, and…if you are really passionate about something, you make the time for it. Same with anything else in life, I guess.” Question: “How’s your health?” Zach: “I feel really good right now. I hurt my elbow in the Western Michigan game last year, and had to sit 4 games. But I was able to finish-out the season against OU. I’m in good shape…definitely the most athletic I’ve been in my career.” Question: “How is it different now being a senior/role model, as opposed to being a star-struck freshman of a few years ago?” Zach: “It’s a lot different. When I was a freshman, I got a sports-hernia surgery on my third day of camp. It took me a long time to recover. When I came back, I was probably one of the most non-athletic kids on the team. Not that I came in unathletic, but it was hard to recover. The seniors treated me pretty rough…I was the ‘low man on the totem pole’ for sure. But I try to remember that and be a role model for those lower-level guys, like I once was. The walk-ons that don’t know quite what to do yet…I try to be there for them. I remember one time, on your board, someone called me “Rudy”…that was a big inspiration for me. Someone was really upset that I was #1 on the depth chart…it was quite the insult…I don’t know who it was, but I didn’t forget reading it. You know…I can’t blame anyone for thinking that though…coming back from that injury, I just wasn’t near 100% and was playing pretty bad. It was a big motivation for me…but now I’m all healthy and ready to go.” Question: “What do you like about this year’s secondary the most? Coach Bowden says it’s the best it’s been since he’s been here. Zach: “We have a lot of experience. I’m the only senior back there, but we have Alvin Davis who started last year and is a really good football player, Jordan George has started a lot of games, and he’ll be at corner, Darian Dailey doesn’t have much experience yet, but he’s one of the fastest kids on our team. And Kyron Brown has a lot of experience, and some interceptions too. But what I really like the most is the personality of all the guys. We don’t have that guy that’s selfish…who gets upset with the coach’s calls. I’m just really excited about this group of guys and can’t wait to get started.” Question: “Although camp hasn’t even broken yet, is there anyone in the secondary that’s caught your eye as a “wow” sort of player? Zach: “Jordan Riley is a really good athlete…but it’s tough to say much right now because we haven’t played much football. You know Alvin (Davis) didn’t come it until the first day of camp last year, so we didn’t even know who he was, and he ended up playing a lot for us as a true freshman. You never know how things play out.” Question: “So what’s it like trying to tackle Warren Ball?” Zach: “We haven’t actually gone up against each other very often. We both didn’t play much in spring ball. But…man…it’s one of those tasks where you’re gonna go low…absolutely…just like tackling Sequon Barkley… Samaje Perine …I’ve played against some really good backs…Joe Mixon…” “You know that’s one of my biggest nightmares…the A-gap opens up and you’re playing deep-middle…and one of those guys is just coming at you full steam…it’s tough, but it’s fun. It’s a challenge. Sometimes you get run over, but as long as you make the tackle it’s all good.” CK 7-27-17
  2. 9 points
    I spoke with assistant head coach Todd Stroud, and head coach Terry Bowden after scrimmage yesterday. Can you tell me about the talent level of this team compared to previous years here? Coach Stroud: We’ve had some special players at the defensive line position here in spots. We have had a couple dominate ends in Nordly Capi and Jamal Marcus, but the biggest difference now, especially over the last four days of work, has been the evolvement of about eight guys that can play winning football in the MAC. We have a lot of healthy competition going on at the defensive tackle spot, especially with Camera and Darius Copeland. Brennan Williams is starting to challenge Brock Boxen, we have a great battle at the left end position with Deon’Tae Moore and Jamal Davis. Jamal has really come on in the past three weeks. Our former walk on Brian Reinke is starting at right end, and he had three sacks today, he is moving around really well, and he is getting pushed by Josh Ward. So we have eight guys that we believe there is not a whole lot of difference between these eight guys. It’s a good problem to have. We had players breaking records in the weight room this off-season, we have seen a Sports Illustrated workout article on Warren Ball, are we going to see a more physical team this season? Coach Stroud: I think so. The sole purpose of a good strength and conditioning program is injury prevention. I think the fact that we have had the same strength and conditioning coach here for three years, you will start to see obvious benefits this year. What can you tell fans to get them excited for this season? Coach Stroud: As a defensive unit I think we have identified who our guys are right now. Last year, we lost four of our front seven, now we have experience coming back at linebacker, and with our two deep in the front seven, with the exception of Jamal Davis, they all have game experience. Can you speak about the secondary? Coach Stroud: One of our corners in particular, Darian Dailey, we feel like he is going to be a special corner for us. Alvin Davis stood out again today, we have great leadership in Zach Guiser. This is probably the best backend we have had since we have been here, and that’s saying a mouthful because we were really good on the backend last year. They are all (secondary) doing great. ---------------------------------------------------------------- What was Tommy’s schedule like this week? Coach Bowden: Tommy has to go out and show that he is over his injuries. Every day he gets well, he gets better and better, he just needs to go out and show that he can lead this football team. So he is throwing? Coach Bowden: Yes, he is throwing. Was he able to go today in scrimmage? Coach Bowden: No, he wasn’t able to go today, so we held him out. Of the QB’s that played today in scrimmage, who looked good? Coach Bowden: They were all about the same. Defense dominated, we have a lot of injuries though, a lot of lineman out, a lot of backs out, and a lot of receivers out so the QB’s didn’t really have an opportunity to shine today. I don’t think anybody made any real mistakes, but they are all in a bunch. With the defense dominated today’s scrimmage, can you tell me who stood out? Coach Bowden: I can’t really name one person because they played so well, they just gave up no plays. The offense has been taking charge most of the early scrimmages, today was the first day that I thought the defense totally dominated the day. The offense never really moved the football, so it’s good to see, if we are going to be a good football team, it’s going to start with defense. What is the attitude as you prepare for PSU? Coach Bowden: The fact that PSU is our opening game is in the back of the their (the players) mind, and that motivates you to practice hard. But we are not doing any kind of game planning for our first game, we are still in our preseason. About nine days before the game we will start focusing on the particular plays both offensively and defensively. The fact that we play PSU early, the players know what an opportunity it is to go out and play in front of a big audience on national television and play the best they can play. Is your running game or passing game further along this preseason? Coach Bowden: When we scrimmage and we don’t play Warren Ball (which was the case today), because we don’t want to get him hurt, we are not as good in the running game. They are both coming along, but we need to get better and better at the running game and feature that more and more. We are fairly certain that Austin Wolf and Tra’Von Chapman will catch their fair share of balls this year, who else do you see contributing in the wide receiver group? Coach Bowden: AJ Coney has been a starter, so AJ, but yes Chapman and Wolf can play, then everybody else has a chance to contribute. How will you get pressure from your front seven this year? Coach Bowden: We have moved Jamal Davis to a defensive end, Josh Ward is a young guy that has skills at rushing the passer, and of course our linebackers, when they blitz, they have a great chance. Ulysees Gilbert was one of our best rushers from the linebacker position, so we’ll find the best, and most talented people and find ways to get them to attack the quarterback. What makes Ulysees Gilbert special? Coach Bowden: He’s a hard worker and he’s smart. He’s six foot two, and weighs two twenty-eight and runs a four four. He has great athletic ability, and besides that, he has great work ethic.
  3. 8 points
    Here is the last installation of my MAC Media Day interviews. I was able to speak to Coach Bowden for 10-or-so minutes. The event was much more well-attended than I anticipated. With so many different radio, TV, print and blog reporters vying for everyone's time, it was pretty difficult for a reporter to get an uninterrupted audience. I'd have prepared, and handled it differently if I did it again. This interview started in the hallway...then went into the TV studio...then we went back out in the hallway...and then back in the main ballroom. 10 "interview minutes" took roughly an hour and 15 minutes "real time" to complete. Coach Bowden Also - a few people said they had difficulty with the Warren Ball interview. Here is an embedded link that should be easy for anyone to open (same interview as before, just in a more user-friendly format). Warren Ball
  4. 8 points
    Freshman Dustin Burkhart sets new Zips record for WR's: This vertical mark would have been good for fourth place among the WR's at the 2017 NFL Combine
  5. 7 points
  6. 6 points
    The natatorium was not part of the plan for the arena that became the JAR. The fault for the debacle that became the JAR lies strictly with Guzetta, the president and his chief advisors and board of trustees. They were not patient. They hired an incompetent architect, who had never deigned an arena. They did not work the legislature or strong arm the local representatives and senators to gain support. They panicked and took what the state offered rather than play the game and possibly wait for the next biennium if they did not get what they wanted (State capital budgeting, which includes state educational institutions had payment for capital projects budgeted over a two year period of time) Guzetta had a low opinion of the role of athletics in a state institution and he had no vision to see how this arena design would hurt the progrum. Forget the fallacy that Gov Rhodes helped us or was honored by naming it after him. Neither was true. His name on the building was a political payoff to keep him from campaigning against it in the legislature. I was sports editor of the Buchtelite at the time and we ran a four installment series written by Mark Maloney outlining the present need, the future needs and what solutions could be available. Mark did a fabulous job. He got a meeting with Guzetta. When Mark saw the plans he told Guzetta not to build it. Mark laid out all the reasons we now cite for not commencing construction. He was regarded as an ignorant student who could not see the big picture. History shows otherwise. Poor leadership can cripple an institution for a long time. The JAR and Ianello are perfect examples of that fact.
  7. 6 points
    I was lucky enough to go to the Gold Jacket Dinner Friday evening. Thanks to MDZip for arranging the whole thing. It was great to see him and to meet his parents. Also nice to meet Zippyfan34, Zips Voice and his son. ZipsWin! and I had a couple of beers at Canton Brewing before the event. If you are in the area, you might want to check it out. Very cool place, especially the basement Speakeasy. When we arrived at the Canton Civic Center, it was patently obvious that this was no low key shindig. This was a gala. The cocktail hour was quite a scene with 4000 people mingling. We sat down and had a nice dinner. There were a few announcements over the P.A. but mostly just dining. At the end of our meal, the inductees came through our area on their way to the arena. As Jason rounded the corner, we started our "Let's Go Zips" chant, which he seemed to get a kick out of. He seemed to glad to see me! We went into the arena and watched the same show you were all able to see on the NFL Network. I must say, the HOF Alumni that streamed in was rather overwhelming. What a large group of talent in one place. It's too bad more of them couldn't have made it. It was a great once in a lifetime experience for me. So glad I went. Once again, thanks to MDZip.
  8. 6 points
    I went to the event. Here's what I learned. This was the second year UA held an alumni event like this in Columbus. By all accounts the alumni association seemed to be pleased with the turnout. About 80 people came during the two hours it was held. The location, Standard Hall, was nice. We had our own room and bar. The food was first class and the drinks were ample. In addition to the strong alumni association showing there were many faculty and staff from the Bliss Institute for Applied Politics. That stands to reason with Columbus being the center of state government. The highlight of the evening was a talk from Matt Wilson. He noted the following: freshmen attendance is up 10% over last year transfers are up 15% over last year the goal of covering a $30 M deficit has been achieved and an additional $5 has been placed in a surplus fund next year a budget deficit of $29 must be covered and the U of A will be out of the deficits for good the dorms are at full occupancy the law school will host an international on-line symposium that will be attended by people from the five major continents the university wants to get more active in state politics. To that end Willy Kollman has been named executive director of Gov't and Alumni Relations he made no mention of sports I tried to talk with Matt but he needed to spend time with the state elected officials that were there. He did comment that we had to have a stronger presence in Columbus and it appeared he was working on it. It was a surprise to me how many of the alumni who attended wanted to talk about Zip sports. I thought they would be indifferent but the opposite was true. They all wanted to talk about Zip teams winning the MAC. Most were not as informed as the average ZNO member but they were hungry for a winner. They took pride in their school. The event ended at 8:00 pm. I'm looking forward to another next year.
  9. 5 points
    I'll have some info and photos from today's scrimmage tomorrow by noon. Long day.
  10. 5 points
    Both Freshman WR Andre Williams and LB Dylan Meeks have surfaced on the roster -- along with some other new names
  11. 5 points
    Hello Zipsnation, Kwan ask me to post this on his behalf. As a family we would like to thank the University, fans , and coaches who supported our son through his 4 years here. Go Zips
  12. 4 points
    Hopefully we'll be saying that more this year. Today was a good step forward. Exhibition win over Robert Morris in PA. Lots of youngsters on this squad, so who knows, but we'll get a look Friday under the lights and Sunday afternoon. My quess is 5 wins, but possibly 8 optimistically. 4 and 7 MAC record, but if things fall in place 5 and 6 and a berth in MAC tourney. Catie Corrigan, Shea O'Brien and Erica Schrader keys, and newcomers Rylie Howman and keeper Grace Young should be contributors. Still more fun than 5 seasons ago...
  13. 4 points
  14. 4 points
    So awesome that the only two former Zips on 2017 Gold Cup squads have both made it to the finals. Zips' and Timbers' teammates, incredible. USA all the way, of course!!!
  15. 4 points
    I was able to speak to Warren Ball for a short bit. Another super representative of UA! During my interview with Zack, a very loud, incredibly talkative Munch Bishop was interviewing Coach Bowden immediately to my right. The audio recording was a complete wreck with those two in the background, so I had to transcribe it. Things settled down when I spoke to Warren, so here's the audio. I realize I have a long way to go as an interviewer. But Warren is awesome. I think you'll like what he had to say...it's way better to hear his voice that it would be to read it in print. Note - The Wagon Wheel did make an appearance at the Hall of Fame. Audio Interview with Warren Ball
  16. 4 points
    A really good reason right there to stay as positive as we can on this board.
  17. 4 points
    And I want to see a bunch of positive stuff on here, momentum & believing go a long ways, I can't wait to see the players believe
  18. 3 points
    GT is rather liberal with his use of the word, "covered."
  19. 3 points
    The team takes the field early Saturday morning. Thomas Woodson warms up. Robbie Kelley gets ready for the Zips scrimmage. The offensive line gets some work on the side. Cedric McCoy helps Jovann Letuli defend a spin move. Jemarulin Suggs works on his catching skills. Warren Ball looks the football into his hands. AJ Coney reaches for a pass, as "coach" Mykel keeps his teammates motivated. Jaquavis Dixon gets ready for his successful day of work. Anthony Young looks to be healthy this year. Coach Stroud is optimistic about the team's talent level this year. Some of the linebackers get some ball skill work in.
  20. 3 points
    Don't worry. It ain't selling out.
  21. 3 points
    I stumbled across this fan created hype video.
  22. 3 points
    Akron Felt and Chenille did a tremendous job!
  23. 3 points
    This is an interesting topic. As said previously you have to go back many years to understand the naming of the JAR. Rhodes deserves very little credit for it. He only agreed to support it when he learned his name may go on the arena. Previously the university was under much pressure to name it after former Zip star athlete, coach and AD Kenneth "Red" Cochrane. Rhodes saw himself as a great builder and he wanted his name on as many projects as possible because he thought that would cement his legacy for decades to come in the state of Ohio. Remember the JAR was originally to seat 10,000. It's budgeting was cut twice as seats decreased. The only way it got thru the state legislature was because the architect, who was horrible, added three classrooms, at the direction of UA, so the building could then claim an educational mission. To uninformed legislators on the state capital budget committee that sounded easier to swallow than a new gym. The whole project was a lesson in incompetence on UA's part. A few years later both Cleveland State and Wright State got their arenas funded by the legislature. Both seat near 13,000. Both are strictly for sports and campus activities. Both got neat $30,000,000 each. We got less than $10,000,000 originally with a second funding of a few million. Akron could have, and should have, done better. Rhodes was a dynamic governor, but one who made poor decisions at times. His worst decision was to send in untrained, scared national guard troops to Kent State under an incompetent leader, General Del Corso. The results were tragic as we all know. Personally, I'd change the name in a heartbeat.
  24. 3 points
    A new name means additional money that would presumably be spent on the arena so I am all for it
  25. 3 points
    I agree. I hate Kent State as much as anyone. But when something like that happens to a school, we should do everything we can to distance ourselves from it.
  26. 3 points
    Boy I sure hope they leave room on the new scoreboard for "The DIFF". God knows I wouldn't want to actually have to do any math..
  27. 3 points
    The Zips still play in the MAC, right? There's no such thing as a rebuild for the Zips. They won the regular season last year. Sure there's tons of new faces and a new staff .. but you re-build when you're at the bottom. This team needs to find 8 or so non-conference wins to guarantee a 20 win season. IMHO, this is a reload, not a re-build. Re-calibration to a new system, maybe. The Zips are gonna be really young this year .. and really loaded next year. If any team in the MAC wants to get over on the Zips .. they had better get it done now, cause it's only gonna get harder in 18-19. Remember, it's still the MAC. 9 home games. Win 7 of those, and beat the crappy teams on the road, and you're at 10-12 MAC wins .. it's not a Herculean Task. Jimond and the guys are up to it. Go Zips!
  28. 3 points
    First off, thanks so much to MDZip for getting this to happen, and for letting us meet his wonderful Mom and Dad. I enjoyed talking to his Father about football. And it was great to put faces to K92, ZipsWin! and Zippyfan34. Next off - what a freakin' wonderful time! This was an amazing awe-inspiring evening. As K92 said, as we arrived, I was expecting a little more intimate gathering, as our ticket had a seating chart on it with like 100 tables of 8, so I thought....NO! we were in ONE room of many, and after dinner we were escorted into the main auditorium and there were all the dignitary tables on the floor level and mezzanine and we all filled into the seating area. The dais was at least 30 feet off the floor, and we were then part of the show. Once again to echo K92, I was overwhelmed as each of about 120 current Gold Jackets were announced and they came to the floor....Jim Bron, Troy Aikman, Paul Warfield, Jerome Bettis, Curly Culp (our host!), Emmit Smith, Roger Staubach, Tony Dungy, and on and on and on. We even got to hear Warren Buffett sing!! (I am not kidding!) Zippyfan34 said I had to post this so I will.... I was the lucky winner at our table of the center piece!!
  29. 3 points
    If they do, I hope they have that same awful 90 second intro before the 30 seconds of interview.
  30. 3 points
    --- The roster has been updated again, and now includes photos of new players --- Freshman DB Zaire Jacobs finally appears on the roster --- along with some other new names: --- including MJ McGriff a WR transfer from Illinois --- McGriff's 247 --- McGriff's HUDL
  31. 3 points
    This would be closer to hiring Bobby than Terry Bowden. I suppose we'll see. I'm hoping there is no search anytime soon and that we already have our guy.
  32. 3 points
    If Terry Bowden finishes 2017 in Akron, it will be his longest-running gig ever This article, IMHO, has the best Zips analysis, to date.
  33. 3 points
    Why would ohio.com post a video that makes you dumber for watching. I would have learned just as much from a still photo of Tommy outside the stadium. My God.
  34. 3 points
    I don't want to sound like a bad person but, I didn't learn anything from this. Is he healthy? Is he ready to go? What is the prognosis? Come on, I need more than this!
  35. 3 points
  36. 3 points
    A few lighter questions.
  37. 3 points
    3 other D1 offers, all of which are MAC schools: Kent, BG, and Buffalo. Props to Vincent, he pulled off the rare "blessed" and Akron U in one tweet. Highlight tape and more info can be found here. Hard to get any info from the tape as he seems to be at least twice as big as everyone he blocks in the video
  38. 3 points
    Do you really believe this garbage you spew? If Nelson was a program changer which many were banking on him to be, he wouldnt be stuck behind 3 other guys on the depth chart. Saying this is "a good thing" is so idiotic I can't even put it in to words. Its like saying zips basketball recruited lebron james, but he is stuck behind a transfer from Dayton that got moved out of his position and a transfer from Baldwin Wallace. But hey... at least those guys have a little experience and maybe we can "save" lebron for later. The best guys play .... period!!
  39. 3 points
    Pre season depth charts mean nothing. Many coaches use them as motivation for players that they know can be better.
  40. 3 points
    Sitting top talent in games against P5 teams would be the sure way to ensure we do not get future top talent.
  41. 3 points
    My opinion - He didn't stick around for a 6th year of eligibility to sit out the Penn State game. He returned to play football. As a P5 recruit, the nationally televised Penn State game is where he'd like to strut his stuff. The Zips OL is pretty good. I think he can do some damage against Penn State. And that would be a big help to Woody and the air attack. An argument could also be made to sit him against AK PB. Why play in a meaningless blowout? So if he skipped both, he's down to 10 games left in his career. Is the kid here to play football, or make weight lifting videos? Smoke 'em if you got 'em. At least for the 1st half of each game, and then make a decision to sit him based upon the scoreboard.
  42. 3 points
    I know positive discussion around this forum is frowned upon by the masses, but I thought I'd share this.
  43. 3 points
    Jason Taylor is going to be a MAC media day special guest. Heard it here first.
  44. 2 points
    "What could be better than watching a good ol' bitter rivalry ON A TUESDAY NIGHT?" How about watching it on a warm Saturday afternoon in September say at 3 p.m.
  45. 2 points
    We are all cheering for him, I think. He has demonstrated a great attitude and a team first mentality. I hope this turns into redemption for him
  46. 2 points
  47. 2 points
    Jamal Marcus is putting in extra work alongside two other notable Browns draft picks. http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/20211023/myles-garrett-deshone-kizer-do-100-yard-sprints-cleveland-browns-practice
  48. 2 points
    I bet West Dayton State would play us at the JAR.
  49. 2 points
    We already knew we were playing CSU at the JAR. We're also playing Marshall and 2-3 Diamond Head Classic games. I've heard absolutely nothing on any of the other 8 or so OOC games. If someone with inside knowledge could weigh in on the other opponents that have been finalized, that would be great.
  50. 2 points
    Uh oh, looks like we've got some homers in the crowd. Go Zips! Healthy Tommy Woodson, Healthy Warren Ball, and breakout WR Tra'von Chapman. @ Penn State - Zips lose...but a well fought game, fun to watch. Ball runs for 100. 0 - 1 vs. East-Jesus - Ball runs for 100 again, Zips fans are treated to a phenomenal performance by WR Tra'von Chapman 100+, Ball 200+. 1 - 1 vs. Iowa State - The Cyclones are a team on the mend, Zips get a small early lead, and never lose it. 2 - 1 @ Troy - I'm in the same camp as Lance, I just feel a W here. 3 - 1. @ Bowling Green - Here comes the eminent infuriating game that Zips nation will blow up on. BUT, Zips find a way to win and get the monkey of the shoulder. 4 - 1 vs. Ball State - Zips win a solid game. 5 - 1 @ Western Michigan - This is where I disagree with Lance. Zips have a better game, WMU still has significant talent, and zips always find to drop a mid season riding high game. 5 - 2. Zips fans need to be careful to NOT overreact. @. Toledo - The future Western Champion soundly beats the Zips, and prompts a ZNO hyperbolic meltdown after losing 2-straight. 5 - 3 vs. Buffalo - Yup here it is, the disappointing loss of 2017. ZNO forgets about still being above 500, someone starts a "Should Bowden be fired" thread, discussion starts to focus on will the Zips win another game...will we repeat 5-7? 5 - 4 @ Miami - Zips silence ZNO critics and beat the Redhawks. 6 - 4. vs. Ohio - Zips kill two monkeys this year, and soundly beat the Bobcats. 7 - 4 vs. Kent - Zips, having beaten almost everyone in the East, are down to this game. Win it, MAC Championship appearance and a Bowl game. Lose it just another Bowl game. First time in a long time this game means anything, Zips win it in a Blowout. Ball 150 yards, 2 TD. Woodson 250+ 3 TD. 8 - 4. Zips end regular season 8 - 4 and head to their first MAC Championship appearance in 12 years. The squeak into the first spot in the West by virtue of beating Ohio and BGSU. They face Toledo for all the marbles...can anyone say, 2013 repeat performance?