Archive for the ‘Buffalo’ Category

SHA girl needs your votes!

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

Since I was being mean to Buffalo yesterday, I figured I should do something nice for a Buffalo native this morning. And, conveniently enough, one of Becky’s high-school classmates needs my, and your, help!

Sara Crowther (née Alpsan) is competing in the "Be a Milk Rock Star with Rascal Flatts" contest. She uploaded a video of herself singing "God Bless the Broken Road," and it’s currently ranked 14th out of 219 entries, based on viewers’ votes. That’s up from like 85th or something when I first checked! You can help keep that momentum ("Crow-mentum"?) going by clicking the above link and voting for Sara!

Sara doesn’t need to finish first — she just needs to crack the Top 10 by April 15. Then Rascal Flatts and MilkRocks.com will pick the winner from the Top 10 entries. Whoever they choose will, according to the contest rules,  "win
a trip for them, and three friends, to see the band live and perform
their song entry onstage with Rascal Flatts; a Gibson Les Paul Studio
Guitar autographed by Rascal Flatts; their own backstage dressing room,
a meet and greet with the band; VIP accommodations to and from the
concert on the Gibson Guitar Tour Bus and a webcast featuring their
performance aired for 30 days on MilkRocks.com."

So anyway… vote for Sara! Here’s her video:

Jim Kelly for Congress?

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

Former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly is reportedly considering a run for Congress as a Republican.

Let’s see: he can serve in the House for four years, run for Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat in 2012, win in a stunning upset, make a national name for himself, and then in 2016, when President Obama is termed out…

…can you say Kelly-Norwood ’16?

You may scoff, but the ticket has some major built-in political advantages. First of all, they’d win the normally Democratic state of New York in a landslide, by uniting nostalgic Bills fans and grateful Giants fans. And secondly, they’d have no problems motivating the conservative base. After all, nobody knows how to aim for the right like Scott Norwood! It’d be a vast wide-right wing conspiracy!

:P

(Hat tip: Hugging Harold Reynolds. To all my Buffalo readers, including my wife, I apologize. I couldn’t resist.)

UB football on ESPN2 on Election Night

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

The University at Buffalo football team will play a home game on ESPN2 on Election Night against Miami of Ohio. It’ll be Buffalo’s first nationally televised game since moving to Division I-A, and the first-ever nationally televised game out of UB Stadium. And according to UB grad Weston (pictured below with yours truly on the night of the Buffalo-Rutgers game last fall), they’re calling it the "Blue vs. Red Game," in reference to its Election Night timing. Heh.

Speaking of Buffalo, the Bulls are currently trying to extend their men’s basketball season in unlikely fashion. At 3-13 in conference play and 10-19 overall, UB is the lowest seed in the conference, #12, but they’re leading aforementioned Miami, the #5-seed, by a score of 51-42 with 11:39 to go. Can Buffalo get four wins in four days to win the MAC Tournament? Um, probably not. But hey, you never know. Crazier things have happened — like the UB football team winning five games in a season. :) Winner gets #4-seed Ohio tomorrow.

UPDATE: Buffalo loses, 69-68. :(

UB boosts Gill’s salary, extends contract

Wednesday, January 16th, 2008

Buffalo’s Turner Gill gets a contract extension: “Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed but Gill’s new salary is expected to put him in the top tier of MAC coaches.”

Meanwhile…

Tuesday, January 1st, 2008

Although I suddenly find college football considerably less interesting than staring dumbfoundedly into my daughter’s eyes, nevertheless a bunch of bowl games are happening today. And things are going well so far for the hometown team, as Tennessee leads Wisconsin 21-7 near the end of the first half.

Later, of course, it’ll be USC vs. Illinois in the Rose Bowl and Georgia vs. Hawaii in the Sugar Bowl. Loyette says, “Fight on Trojans, and Go Warriors!” Okay, actually, Loyette just sort of let out a sleepy squeak, but that’s how I interpret her sentiments. :)

Also about to begin: the Sabres-Penguins outdoor hockey game, with 73,000 crazed Buffalonians packing the Bills’ iced-over football stadium. Kevin at Bfloblog calls it “the biggest sporting event to occur in the City of Buffalo in my lifetime.”

Now if you’ll excuse me, Becky and Loyette are both napping at the moment, and I’m going to try and do the same. I haven’t gotten much sleep in the last 36 hours (something I know will be quite common for the next several weeks/months/decades), and I gotta rest up before the Rose Bowl!

The media’s obsession with race is hurting black coaches

Friday, December 7th, 2007

Quick, everybody get out your race cards! Apparently the reason Nebraska hired LSU’s Bo Pelini instead of Buffalo’s Turner Gill is because Gill is black. Yup, there’s no other possible explanation. Cornhusker Nation is a bunch of dirty racists!! [rolls eyes]

Look, it sucks that there are only five black head coaches in Division I-A college football. (Based on percentage of the population, there should be 15.) But it truly boggles my mind that the race-obsessed media doesn’t grasp the degree to which they’re making the situation worse by focusing so heavily on race, to the exclusion of other relevant issues, whenever a black coach is hired, fired or considered for a coaching job.

(more…)

Nebraska picks Pelini over Gill

Friday, November 30th, 2007

Nebraska’s new head coach will reportedly be LSU’s Bo Pelini, not Buffalo’s Turner Gill. YAY!!! (Hat tip: DUP and Scientizzle.)

They’re ecstatic over at UBfan.com.

Hopefully this means Gill stays at UB and builds that program for at least a good while longer. He’s been mentioned as a possible candidate for some other openings (e.g. Duke, Wazzu), but it was widely believed that Nebraska in particular was the one job he’d drop everything for. If so, then the Bulls have dodged a major bullet. It’d be great to see them continue to build on this year’s improvement, with Gill at the helm.

UPDATE: No comment from Nebraska’s interim athetic director, interim coach, and possibly interim quarterback and interim kicker, Tom Osborne.

Meanwhile, it’s looking like a mass exodus from Baton Rouge, with rumors on the Internets saying that LSU head coach Les Miles already has one foot out the door, heading for to Ann Arbor.

Turner Gill named MAC’s top coach

Thursday, November 29th, 2007

University at Buffalo head football coach Turner Gill, who was interviewed on Monday for the Nebraska job, has in the mean time been named MAC coach of the year for guiding the historically hapless Bulls to their best Division I-A season ever, with a record of 5-7. Which, incidentally, is identical to Nebraska’s record this season. Raise your hand if you saw that coming before the season started.

UPDATE: In a development that should surprise no one, ESPN is reporting that "Nebraska has narrowed its search to two candidates: Turner Gill, head
coach at Buffalo, and Bo Pelini, the defensive coordinator at LSU." Those two have been considered the front-runners all along.

Pelini! Pick Pelini!

UPDATE 2: Mum’s the word:

As the University at Buffalo football team was being honored at
halftime of Thursday’s basketball game against Tulane, the Bulls’
student section made their feelings clear about Turner Gill.

“Turner stay, Turner stay!” they chanted. “Turner stay!”

Afterward,
the only thing Gill wanted to discuss was UB football, not the
possibility of becoming the next coach at Nebraska. Gill, a
front-runner for the job almost from the time Tom Osborne became the
interim athletics director at the school, declined comment on anything
Cornhuskers related Thursday.

“Unable to comment,” Gill said. “That’s all I can say.”

Also Thursday, Osborne declared himself the interim coach until he
hires a successor to Bill Callahan, allowing Nebraska’s beloved former
coach to visit prospective recruits and try to prevent the program from
slipping during the recruiting contact period. Osborne said he hoped to
have a new coach by next week.

Gill, who according to sources
met with Nebraska officials Monday, was also asked if he had been
contacted by other schools, and also declined comment. Gill’s name has
surfaced for openings at Washington State as well as Duke. He said he
remains committed to coaching at UB.

The basketball team beat Tulane, by the way.

Nebraska to interview UB’s Turner Gill

Sunday, November 25th, 2007

Is this the beginning of the end for Turner Gill at Buffalo? UB’s athletic director has given Nebraska permission to talk to Gill about its head-coaching vacancy. “I’m happy for Turner and his family about getting the opportunity to talk to Nebraska,” AD Warde Manuel said. “He’s worked extremely hard and deserves this opportunity.”

According to the Lincoln Journal-Star, Manuel said the interview will take place “in the next day or so.” He added, “I think it’s tremendous. Turner is absolutely ready to coach at Nebraska. He’s done a great job, an awesome turnaround. Although I would hate to lose him, he would be a great coach there.” Earlier, Manuel was quoted as saying, “I don’t want him to leave our program. Obviously, I don’t. But without a doubt, Turner Gill, if he can do what he’s done here in two years, there’s nobody there in Nebraska that could tell me that he’s not deserving of a serious, serious look at being the head coach of Nebraska.”

It certainly doesn’t sound like UB is jumping through hoops to try to keep him around. (Not like they could anyway, really. It’s not like they can even pretend to try and match Nebraska dollar for dollar.) And in light of Gill mentor Tom Osborne’s comments about the new Huskers coach needing to understand Nebraska’s tradition, this is starting to sound like a slam dunk.

If Gill’s tenure at Buffalo is over, he certainly went out in style. Buffalo won in overtime at Kent State on Saturday to finish 5-7 — easily the best season in Buffalo’s nine-year Division I-A history. More here and here.

Buffalo football update

Wednesday, November 14th, 2007

Miami of Ohio hosts Akron tonight at 7:30 in a ESPN2 weeknight game that has major implications for the surprising Buffalo Bulls. Here’s a detailed rundown of the MAC East scenarios, but basically, because Buffalo squandered its chance to put away the division by losing to Miami 11 days ago, they now need the RedHawks to lose. Thus, it would be really, really helpful for UB’s division championship hopes if Akron were to pull the upset tonight. (Miami has two games left: tonight’s tilt and a visit to hated UB rival Ohio next Saturday. Buffalo also has two remaining games: vs. Bowling Green this Saturday and at Kent State next Saturday.)

Oddly enough, however, winning a division title might arguably hurt Buffalo’s chances of qualifying for a bowl game. If Buffalo and Miami both win out, the Bulls won’t go to the MAC title game — but at 6-6, they’ll be bowl-eligible, and believe it or not, they might actually be an attractive option for the International Bowl in nearby Toronto, which has third pick among eligible MAC teams. On the other hand, if Buffalo wins out and Miami loses a game, Buffalo will carry that 6-6 record into the MAC title game, which would be an all-or-nothing proposition for the Bulls: win, and they’d be guaranteed a bowl invitation; lose, and they’d be bowl-ineligible at 6-7. (The NCAA will grant a bowl-eligibility exemption to 6-7 conference champs, but not to 6-7 runner-ups.)

But maybe I’m being a homer (for my, like, fifth-favorite team… heh) in thinking that the International Bowl would give 6-6 Buffalo a second look based purely on location. Presuming that UB fans would travel to Toronto en masse if their team gets a bowl invite would be a leap of faith, to say the least. I think the bowl’s decision would depend in part on how many MAC teams are bowl-eligible, and
how many of those get to 7 wins. (On both fronts, a bunch of teams are
on the bubble at the moment.) Either way, if you’re a Buffalo fan, I guess it makes more sense to root for the Bulls to, uh, take the bull by the horns, if you will, and earn their way to a bowl game — which means winning out, hoping Miami loses, and then winning that MAC title game. Besides, even by getting to the MAC title game, Buffalo would be a national TV, which is almost like a bowl game. So: Go Bulls! And more immediately, Go Akron!

ND-Navy close so far; Buffalo up early

Saturday, November 3rd, 2007

Notre Dame and Navy are tied at 7 early in the second quarter, as Notre Dame attempts to improve to 2-10 in its last 12 games, while Navy attempts to improve to 1-43 in the last 44 years against the Irish. ND is only a 3-point favorite at home over the Midshipmen. [UPDATE: While I was writing this, Notre Dame scored, and now it’s 14-7. GOOOO IRISH! BEEEEAT NAVY!]

Meanwhile, in a game that could determine the MAC East championship, Buffalo — a 7-point underdog on the road — is up 7-3 over Miami of Ohio in the first quarter.

But the score of the afternoon right now is this one: Kansas 69, Nebraska 31… with three minutes left in the third quarter.

UPDATE: It’s 21-14 Irish at halftime, and 17-7 Miami over Buffalo late in the second quarter. Meanwhile, the final score in Lawrence was Kansas 76, Nebraska 39. Ouch!

UPDATE 2: Buffalo has rallied to tie the game at halftime. Go Bulls!

UPDATE 3: Are we about to witness history? Navy has taken a 28-21 lead with just over 10 minutes left in the game. Sharpley fumbled the ball deep in Irish territory, and a Midshipmen defender rumbled in for a touchdown. ND Nation is in full meltdown mode.

Meanwhile, Buffalo trails 31-20 late in the third quarter.

UPDATE 4: Tie game, 28-28, 3:17 left. Navy ball.

UPDATE 5: The Irish got the ball back, and had a 4th and 8 on the Navy 28, needing only a field goal to win… but instead of trying the 42-yard attempt, they went for it, Sharpley got sacked, and we’re going to overtime.

An ND Nation poster writes: “I just don’t have any energy left to support Chuck. His playcalling today has been at least as bad as Wild Bill’s [Callahan, I think]. His choice to not even attempt that FG was almost as bad as Ty punting from BC’s 30. Time to start the coaching search.” Lots of other comments along the same lines (though some disagree).

UPDATE 6: Buffalo lost, 31-28. :(

UPDATE 7: Phew! Notre Dame survives overtime #2, managing to hold Navy to a field goal after only getting a FG themselves, and we’re going to a triple overtime. 38-38.

UPDATE 8: Navy’s quarterback gets his sixth and seventh completed passes of the entire game for a 25-yard touchdown and two-point conversion to open the third overtime. Amazing. 46-38 Navy. Irish ball.

UPDATE 9: Navy wins.

To be honest, I’m glad they got the two-point conversion on the second try, because the interference call on the first try was ridiculous. He went for the ball, and that’s exactly what he got. The only thing he “interfered” with was the football, and I’m pretty sure that’s allowed. It would have been a travesty if Navy had lost because of that call.

Buffalo-Miami a crucial MAC East showdown

Sunday, October 28th, 2007

The Buffalo Bulls, college football’s dormat for so many years, continue to have their most successful season since moving to Division I-A in 1999. They beat Akron yesterday to move to 4-5 overall, and they can now almost assure themselves of a division title if they win at Miami of Ohio on Saturday — or at least reduce the division race to a two-team battle: themselves against Bowling Green.

The Bulls are 4-1 in the MAC, and more importantly, 3-0 in the MAC East. The division title is actually determined by the teams’ intradivisional records, and here’s how those standings look right now, with each team’s remaining divisional schedules listed after their records:

Buffalo 3-0 (@Miami, BG, at Kent)
Miami (OH) 2-1 (Buffalo, Akron, at Ohio)
Temple 2-2 (at Ohio, Kent)
Bowling Green 2-2 (Akron, at Buffalo)
Akron 1-2 (at Bowling Green, Ohio, at Miami)
Ohio 1-2 (Temple, at Akron, Miami)
Kent State 1-3 (Temple, Buffalo)

So, as you can see, if Buffalo beats Miami, they’d be ahead of everyone else in the conference by two games in the loss column — with two games to go.

Moreover, the Bulls would own the head-to-head tiebreaker against every two-loss team except Bowling Green (who they haven’t played yet). I haven’t studied the MAC’s multi-team tiebreaker rules, but I assume Buffalo’s head-to-head success would mean that, if they win Saturday, they’d be assured of a division title by a single UB win or BG loss in those teams’ remaining divisional games. (Buffalo hosts Bowling Green on Nov. 17, and then finishes the regular season at Kent State on Nov. 24; Bowling Green hosts Akron on Friday, and finishes with their visit to Buffalo on Nov. 17. So, if Akron beats Bowling Green and then Buffalo beats Miami, I think the Bulls actually would clinch the division title on Saturday, with two games to go.)

Winning the MAC East title would, of course, put Buffalo in the MAC championship game on December 1. However, although the Bulls could potentially get there with a 5-1 or even 4-2 divisional mark, that would mean they’d have a 6-6 or 5-7 record overall, which would mean they’d have to win the MAC title game in order to qualify for a bowl. Normally, the MAC runner-up gets a bowl bid, but a 6-7 or 5-8 runner-up is not bowl-eligible. (A 6-7 champion, on the other hand, is likely to receive an excemption from the NCAA and be allowed to play in a bowl. As I recall, that happened in the Sun Belt sometime recently.)

Of course, the downside of all this is, the more success UB has, the more likely head coach Turner Gill is to attract Nebraska’s attention.

But regardless… GO BULLS!!

P.S. Discussion by UB fans here and here.

SHA teacher accused of statutory rape

Sunday, October 28th, 2007

Becky’s junior-year history teacher at her all-girls Catholic high school has been arrested on statutory rape charges. James D. Van Valkinburgh, 42, a teacher for nine years at Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart (better known as Sacred Heart Academy, or “SHA”), allegedly had sex with a 16-year-old SHA student on seven occasions, including in a car at Glen Park and in the Best Buy and Wal-Mart parking lots. WIVB-TV has details:

Becky has been gossiping with her friends about this, of course, and she and Barb were just speculating that countless other SHA girls are having similar conversations. In Becky’s words, “There’s lots of trauma in the SHA tree tonight.”

The overwhelming sentiments seem to be: 1) shock that “Mr. Van V” is the one accused, 2) sympathy for his wife and kids, 3) sympathy for SHA over the damage to its reputation, and 4) sympathy for the girl, whose identity, although unknown to the media, is undoubtedly known to countless SHA girls and SHA alums, thus making her the object of massive amounts of gossip all across Buffalo (and the wider SHA universe) right now.

Syracuse 20, Buffalo 12

Saturday, October 20th, 2007

Darn it.

“Turner means a lot to us”

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007

The Buffalo News ran an article today about the Turner-Gill-to-Nebraska rumors.