The college football season is upon us. Saturday’s showdown between Miami and Florida was just an appetizer to this weekend’s full plate of gridiron action. For fans of BGSU, the wait will be even shorter, as the Falcons face off against the Morgan State Bears Thursday night at 7 p.m.
The first game will give fans and community members a chance to see what first-year head coach Scot Loeffler can do with a team that went 3-9 last year under Mike Jinks.
Loeffler brings one of the more experienced coaching staffs to Bowling Green, as well as two transfer quarterbacks from Boston College — Darius Wade and Matt McDonald.
The starter is still a mystery, as most believe it will be the graduate transfer Wade. Having started in Loeffler’s system at Boston College gives him a huge advantage. Regardless, Loeffler and his staff have remained tight-lipped on the subject. When asked about naming a starter, Loeffler indicated the public won’t know until game time Thursday.
“We’ve got an idea,” Loeffler said in a press conference Monday. “It doesn’t give us any advantage to mention a starting quarterback right now.”
Bowling Green has what looks to be an easy win over Morgan State. The Falcons enter the season opener as more than 21-point favorites over the Bears. From there, things get daunting. The Falcons’ remaining non-conference includes trips to Kansas State Sept. 7 and Notre Dame Oct. 5 and playing host to Louisiana Tech. They will be heavy underdogs in all those matches.
The MAC season kicks off when the Falcons travel to Kent State Sept. 21. That contest is winnable. The next conference match is the Falcons’ rivalry game against the Toledo Rockets, winners of the last 9. On Oct. 19 the Falcons host Central Michigan, another winnable match. Next, they travel to Kalamazoo to face a tough Western Michigan team. They return home to host Akron on Nov. 2.
The final month of the regular season will be a grind. The Falcons travel to Miami and host Ohio in two mid-week games set to be televised on ESPN2. The team’s final game will be a road trip to Buffalo on Nov. 19.
The Falcons may be just a year out from really competing with the rest of the conference. The Falcons play a brutal non-conference, which could either give the staff hope or strip the team of its confidence, depending on how well they play. The new offensive system has a chance to sneak up on some conference opponents early, giving BGSU a chance to end its long rivalry drought against the University of Toledo.
The Falcons may surprise some people and finish above its media-projected last place finish in the MAC East Division. This is the same media that last year voted the Falcons men’s basketball team to finish last before the team promptly won 12 conference games and lost in the conference championship to Buffalo, so nothing’s set in stone.
Look for the Falcons to be much more creative and easier to watch on offense. They’ll play a more satisfying brand of football that has a chance to win more than three games, but next year may be the year Loeffler’s Falcons finally pop.