Friday, June 28, 2013

Hello Again, Hello

Back in business…. ehh maybe. It has been nearly 4 years since I last posted on The Double U spot. I accredit this to the evolution of social media. When I started this blog in 2008 I didn’t even have a Facebook account. Well while technology has changed so have the two teams dearest to my heart. Both teams have new coaches. While U of M is entering its 3rd season under Brady Hoke and WMU has a first year coach and first time head coach with P.J. Fleck (who by the way is 2 years younger than me). My intentions for the future of this blog are minimal, but I hope to continue to add content and updates on the teams more regularly. My real Job and real life will get in the way I am sure but I hope to keep this creative outlet open

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Return of Football...

Welcome back! I was going to wait until it was the week before the football season starts but I am way too anxious. Media days are done, fall practices are underway and the blog-a-sphere is whirling with the preseason predictions. Obviously, if you are a fan of the blog (and why wouldn’t you be) you know the marquee match up of the season happens on the 1st Saturday. Michigan vs. Western Michigan, Sept, 5, 2009. The Wolverines and Western square off for the first time since 2002. This is a very interesting situation for a fan of both programs. I want a win for the Broncos. However, a win for WMU is devastating for Michigan (though they are getting used to season opener losses). Also, starting the season off with a big win over U of M may be such a high for the Broncos that they may lose the hunger and falter for the remainder of the schedule. I am asking for a strong showing on both teams, that will make for and exciting, injury free game and get the momentum for both teams’ seasons rolling.

The reports coming out of Kalamazoo fall practice are promising. The receiving corps looks good, but they have not put the pads on yet. The defense is the bigger concern with only 4 seniors returning. The secondary lost a 2nd round draft pick and will need to replace more than just the skill of Louis Delmas, they need to replace his on and off field leadership. QB Tim Hiller appears fully recovered for the ACL injury suffered in early November last year, and wide out Juan Nunez appears to be ready to step in as Hiller’s target numero uno.

The reports on Michigan have been a piling on with negativity, but include a silver lining named Tate Forcier. He enrolled early, has learned the offense, and he looks like he can actually move from side to side, unlike either option under center last season. The controversies and hemorrhaging of players from the program are more off-season blog fodder than anything else in my opinion. I do not recall such a large amount of transfers in the ranks of BCS football. I have only been following the sport with a major passion for 5 or 6 years, but do not recall so many QBs transferring after not being deemed the starter. Coaches are moving after big bucks more than after opportunity to build a program with a legacy. Accompany that with a generation of kids who have been designated as football players as soon as the umbilical cord was cut, and the team hopping is almost expected. I do not see the players leaving as a sign of trouble. I see it as a sign of the times from a generation of kids that have a strong sense of entitlement. These players would rather transfer to a team where they can start rather than duking it out with an incumbent starter or a competitive peer to earn the starting position. So, while some of the leaving players may have had personality clashes with the staff or felt that they did not get recruited in to this program, I feel a lot of your skilled position departures are individuals who feel that the should be starting and they found somewhere that they can.

Anyways down form the soapbox and back on track….Michigan can only improve. The parts are being put in place, the dedicated players have been identified, and the motivation to erase last year is an intangible force.

Here is to a great season of NCAA Football!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Will WMU's Stock go up After the NFL Draft?

There are several recent Bronco's that will be watching the draft on Saturday with more than just a mild interest. Louis Delmas, E.J Biggers, Londen Fryar and Jamarko Simmons are among last year's players that could be selected this weekend. Some as early as Saturday's first round. Delmas has been tagged as a strong investment for team in need of adding to their secondary. His stock shot up after the WMU pro day and individual workouts with a few teams. This accompanied with the fact that he signed with none other than Drew Rosenhaus, for representation is ensuring he receives serious consideration. According to the Wikipedia-

"Rosenhaus represents over 100 NFL players, many of them NFL superstars, including the late Sean Taylor, Tommie Harris, Plaxico Burress, Chad Johnson, Willis McGahee, Santana Moss, Terrell Owens, Kellen Winslow Jr, Jeremy Shockey, Zach Thomas, Frank Gore, Lance Briggs and others."

Now, I am not saying his list of clients are all leaders on the role model circuit, but they do get paid!

The point of all this is simply the question of whether or not this will help Western Michigan University football in the future. The Broncos have had some recent players become successful in "The League". Greg Jennings at Green Bay is a multi year starter and has had multiple playoff appearances, Jason Babain was a first round draft pick, and Tony Scheffler is working out nicely with the other Broncos, in Denver. Have these players brought notoriety to WMU? True Western fans know these players because we have been following some of these players since we shared a campus with them. However, does this translate nationally, and more importantly to recruits?

Head Coach Bill Cubit has a nice pipeline coming out of a section of Florida that has recently brought in some very good, even if they are lower rated, recruits. Will the fact that the Broncos could have 3 to 4 players drafted as early as the 1st 5 rounds mean that kids in Texas, California, Arizona and more of Florida will be giving the Brown and Gold a second look (or perhaps a first)?

My true can't hurt but it won't have a huge impact. Western Michigan will definitely be helped if these players become extremely high profile players, which is less likely as most are defenders who will not become a name as well known as future TD makers. But, even with big name offensive players smaller schools still aren't in the bidding war with the major recruits. Case in point; L.T and TCU. The Horned Frogs are known for Tomlinson, but I have never read anything on quoting a big time recruit as having TCU in their top 5 along with the likes of USC, Texas, Florida and so on.

I am not attempting to take anything away from the program that Bill Cubit has built. I think he still deserves more credit than he has received for the consistency he has brought to the program and the players he has churned out in his short tenure. My angst comes more from the tiers that exist due to the marketing and funding the big time BCS teams have. I think that this will always overshadow the mid -majors and their successes. Nonetheless, I am looking forward to a interesting draft weekend, especially to the end of the drama that is the #1 overall pick.

Best of luck to all the Broncos that have entered the draft.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Spring Games Give Us a Peek

Over the past weekend both Western and the Wolverines held their annual inter-squad spring games. Both teams were able to refrain from any major injury and showed the fans a great time and gave some hope to their loyal supporters.

I did not attend these games however I have watched some of the available footage on the internet. My first thought is that the September 5th match up is not going to be as close as some may have thought when the game was announced last December. The footage on Michigan shows a team that is much faster than what was on the field at Waldo Stadium that same afternoon. Of course the footage made available is limited for both teams and they are called highlights for a reason. However, Western is coming back this season without 25 of last years players that left due to graduation. The current roster is loaded with players fighting for there chance at a starting role which has been declared evident through out spring practices. The scrimmage showed a defense that didn’t quit and an offense that was able to hold off a late game surge to preserve the win. The scoring system used is slightly misleading due to it being based on points awarded for on field accomplishments and it favored the offense. Also, keep in mind WMU's offense was missing a key component in last year’s success, in Tim Hiller, who is sidelined with an ACL.

The University of Michigan, on the other hand, had a very successful day especially for the promotions department. The reported attendance was 50,000 and the locker room tours and luxury suite tours were attended by capacity crowds. The game day atmosphere was present. The offense appears to be gaining its tempo and thanks to early enrollment and a pair of contact lenses the true freshman QB Tate Forcier and WR Roy Roundtree were able to have an impressive showing.
Overall, I can’t put too much on these games. The teams are playing against themselves so any success on one side of the ball is the direct effect of a failure on the other. That being said, the Broncos will need to focus on clogging up the fast past offense that RichRod has been oiling up. Michigan has everything to lose in September. The fan base has rallied, the hope has returned and if they suffer a third season opener loss, the tone for the season could be completely changed. WMU will have a chance to be a highlight for the evening Sports Center, which is great for the program and recruiting, but a victory in Ann Arbor on the first Saturday of season has certainly lost its luster…in fact it is becoming the norm

Friday, March 27, 2009

Schedule release puts the Oh!, in ' 09 season.

Western released it's full football schedule today. The first two games are on the road at Big Ten opponents; Michigan and Indiana respectively. If WMU were playing these games last year the Broncos might have started off 2-0, and this year the odds aren't that bad either. U of M could have another season opener the ends in dead silence in the stands. Right now they are looking to run the offense with either walk- on QB Nick Sheridan( who by the way can't walk at all right now due to a lower leg fracture) or a true freshman out of San Diego in Tate Forcier.

Western has a challenge ahead of them for spring and summer. They lost a lot of seniors and the starting QB, Tim Hiller, is on the side lines recovering from ACL surgery. Coach Cubit and crew need to rebuild the receiving crew after losing 2, maybe more, future Sunday players. Along with the offense, the defense lost several potential NFL players to graduation. The silver lining here is found in the fact that the current players know they could get a starting role and are showing it in the spring work outs, according to reports on the MLive! and Western's athletics page.

Overall, the schedule is interesting. Five home games, one being Central, and another being an ESPN2 broadcast on a likely frigid Tuesday night the week of Thanksgiving. What is the over/under on attendance at that game? Thanks to the MAC for showcasing Waldo Stadium on a national broadcast with 900 people in the stands. However, from a competitive standpoint the schedule looks nice. This is primarily due to MSU late in the season and most of the better MAC teams from last year on the schedule. Unfortunately, the MSU game which was supposed to be a neutral field game at Ford Field, has been moved to Michigan State. The "economy" is what supposedly put the kibosh on a Motown show down. The scheduling of Central-Western week, and homecoming week, back to back serves to be an exciting pair of weekends for alumni searching to regain some of their more youthful days. . . and falling, figuratively and literally, embarrassingly short of said goal. There are also a few short road trip possibilities with games in East Lansing, Ypsi and Toledo.

I just got my Texas Bowl sweatshirt last week, they were on sale at WMUonline for $7.95, and I am looking forward to getting a shirt next year from a bowl that the Broncos are victorious in.


Full schedule listed below:

2009 Football Schedule
Sept. 5 at Michigan
Sept. 12 at Indiana
Sept. 19 MIAMI * (CommUniverCity Night)
Sept. 26 HOFSTRA
Oct. 3 at Northern Illinois *
Oct. 10 at Toledo *
Oct. 24 BUFFALO * (Homecoming)
Oct. 31 at Kent State *
Nov. 7 at Michigan State
Nov. 14 at Eastern Michigan*
Nov. 24 BALL STATE * (ESPN2 - 7 P.M.)
Dec. 4 Marathon MAC Championship (ESPN2 - Ford Field - 8 p.m.)
* Conference Game

Monday, November 10, 2008

Still Smiling

This weekend we saw several milestones and records set. WMU made this the first time ever that the MAC had 4 victories over Big Ten Schools in one season. This is the third consecutive season with a victory over a BCS team for the Broncos. And Simmons and West broke records for career receptions and all purpose yards respectively. By the waythe former owner on these records...none other than the Green Bay Packers' Greg Jennings! Also Mr. W, hit the big 3 - 0.

My fellow Alums and I garthered in Motown in the midst of a frigid Detroit morning for, of all things, a few cold frothy beverages, and a heartful rendition of happy birthday dedicated to yours truly, before heading into the game to support the team dearest to our hearts... WMU. We new heading into the game, that as glorious as this season has been, we may be walking out of that stadium like most people do on Sunday's after a Lions'; game disappointed with a loss but not surprised. Well fortunately neither of those two things happened. We walked out chanting "LETS GO BRONCOS!!!" in unison with 10,000 other Bronco fans. Western came away with a win, but not just a win, this was a win that saw three last minute plays from inside the 15 yard line, broken up by the WMU defenders to preserve the victory.

Western came away with some injuries on both sides of the ball. With that in mind, Western is heading into their last home game next Saturday against the Rockets of Toledo. They need to get healthy, bring the intensity to this game as well, and focus to keep the victories coming and have a full head of steam heading into Ball State .

In conclusion what a great weekend Western wins, the Wolverines win too, and Mr. W started the next decade of his life with his wonderful wife and friends by his side (I'll give you a minute to wipe the tear).

Thanks to everyone!!!!

GO BRONCOS!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I Don't Have a Buzz...Yet

Let's Go Broncos!

We are half way through Western/Central week, both teams are undefeated in the conference, and they are in the better division of the conference, and by better I mean the division that includes last years Conference Champion, a 7-0 team ranked at No.24 in the AP, another team that came away from the “Big House” victorious and a 6-1 Bronco team that is atop the conference at 4-0 in conference play. So can you feel the excitement, the buzz, the rumbling of the Bronco stampede heading for an invasion of Kelly Shorts stadium? No? Me neither. I have only seen one campus paper article this week on the game, another article that referenced the rivalry while promoting a blood drive competition and that is about it. When you look at this game the lack of enthusiasm is if you are oblivious to the implications of this weekend's contest take a look below at some of things I will be focusing on.

First off this is the best Western (not a reference to the hotel chain) squad I have seen since 2000. More importantly this game is extremely monumental... it sets up the Ball State match up for both of these teams as being the precursor to the MAC championship. This weekend victor is 4 games from being crowned MAC champs. If you are reading this you are most likely one of the faithful Broncos, like me, that take heed in this game because it brings validity to the program and it has historical and future implications. Three of the last four meetings have been great games with the winning margin being 7 points or less. Coach Cubit needs to best his biggest in state foe and begin the process of gaining the upper hand in this annual matchup. This is also a great opportunity to pile on to some personal stats for some of the Broncos. Quarterback Tim Hiller, for example, is averaging almost 300 yards a game, and he is eyeing LeFevour’s 3000 yard mark of last year. And finally the Kelly Shorts Stadium curse must be squashed.

I haven’t been this proud to be a Bronco in a while and I can't wait for this weekend’s game! GO BRONCOS!!!!!!!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

In the stable:
Tackling woes nearly bite Western Michigan's football team
by Graham Couch Kalamazoo Gazette

Monday September 08, 2008, 2:49 AM

KALAMAZOOAfter suffering through so many Sundays during the 2007 season, Bill Cubit will take a victory no matter how it's packaged.

However, Western Michigan University's football coach also made it clear Sunday that the positive feeling from Saturday night's 29-26 victory over Northern Illinois will be fleeting if his team doesn't tackle better.

The Broncos' inability to wrap-up made the situation a bit dicey in the final minute against NIU, which attempted an onside kick that would have given it the ball back with about 30 seconds to play, trailing by three

Cubit said Northern Illinois' 80-yard touchdown drive, which began with 2:28 remaining, wasn't a result of a prevent defense, but of poor defensive execution.
"We missed way too many tackles," Cubit said. "That was our biggest problem on defense. We didn't get off the field real well."

The result: WMU's offense ran only 62 plays, far short of its goal of 75.
Some of the issue may have been NIU's personnel, including tough-to-bring down freshman running back Me'co Brown (13 carries, 54 yards), who was featured much more than starter Justin Anderson, and fleet-footed third-string quarterback DeMarcus Grady (seven carries, 43 yards), who wasn't expected to play.
"They did have good athletes," said WMU junior linebacker Austin Pritchard (four tackles Saturday), part of a veteran defense that isn't known for this problem. "But, to be real honest, there's no excuse for missing tackles. If you get your hands on them, you should be able to get them down."
Cure for Thompson's fumbling: More hittingThe knock on Glenis Thompson early in his career at WMU was that he couldn't hang on to the football -- a serious problem if your role is that of a bruising running back.
Saturday, on his only carry, Thompson coughed up the ball again just across midfield with WMU leading 14-10 early in the third quarter.
Cubit said part of the junior running back's problem is he simply doesn't get hit enough. In practice, in an effort to keep the running backs fresh, the defense runs up to them or past them, rather than tacklingthem.
And Thompson doesn't get enough carries in games (he has four in two games) to get used to the pounding.
Cubit said late in fall camp that Thompson would play a big role in the offense, though his propensity to turn the ball over may limit that.
"We're going to have to make people come up and hit him more, rather than just running past him," Cubit said of practice. "We've got to get him used to getting hit. In the spring, we hit a little more and he didn't have this problem."
Cubit praises students, school presidentCubit called the atmosphere and turnout in the student section at Waldo Stadium Saturday night "the best ever" in his time at WMU, including his three years as an assistant during the late 1990s, when the program was winning consistently.
"They stayed and enjoyed themselves and it was a big, big help to us," Cubit said of a section that used to be known for checking out at halftime in favor of other nightlife activities. " ... I'm really happy with how they were."
Cubit said he's spoken to the freshman class the last three years, and graduate assistant and former linebacker Matt Ludeman addressed them, as well, letting the freshmen know how much they were needed.
"You've got to give them a reason to get there," Cubit said, adding that how his team handles itself on campus and in the community is important. "Once they get there and have a good time, it's 'Hey, this is the thing to do.'
"The university as a whole has done a nice job promoting school spirit. ... (WMU President) Dr. (John) Dunn is out there having lunch with students. He's out there and they relate to him. I think he promotes a lot more pride in the university than we've had in the past."
To read what students have to say on this matter, visit the WMU weblog at
Preparing for the Kibbie DomeThe University of Idaho plays in the 16,000-seat Kibbie Dome, the smallest Division I college football venue.
"You don't see them too much," Cubit said of the smallish dome. "There's a difference in the air. The great thing is we have the indoor (Seelye Center). I think that'll help. You can't make that big a deal out of it. Just go out there and just play."
Cubit said he'll likely use the Seelye Center for at least one practice this week.
Eastern Time in IdahoCubit said he'll keep the Broncos on Eastern Time when they make the trip to Moscow, Idaho, which is in the Pacific Time Zone.
"It's the first time I've ever had to go over the (upcoming) itinerary with the staff on a Sunday," Cubit said.

Broncos Win in Front of Home Crowd

Hiller/ West combine for Big Offense

by MR. W.

The Broncos Get their first win at the home opener and everyone stayed to watch. The reports from Kalamazoo Saturday state that the student section stayed filled, and active, until the end of the 29-26 win over NIU.

Western utilized key turnovers and cool and level headed Tim Hiller to fend off the Huskies. With Brandon West racking up 175 yards rushing and Hiller avoiding a INT the offense put together a great night. The defense had a few issues but they will continue to gel and need to lean on their experience to live up to their expectations.

Heading into Moscow, not that Moscow, next week the Broncos will be facing a team with the same 1-1 record in the smallest Division I stadium with a capacity of 16,000 in the dome. To the students and fans keep up the good work way to push your team over the hump.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Graham Couch, Lincoln Nebraska

Disadvantages pile up for Western Michigan University in football
by Graham Couch
Kalamazoo Gazette column
Sunday August 31, 2008, 12:26 AM

LINCOLN, Neb.Less than 24 hours before Saturday night's game, Western Michigan University's football equipment sat in a modest rental truck on a dark side street just outside Memorial Stadium.
A day earlier, Broncos coach Bill Cubit couldn't help but poke fun at the situation as student managers loaded their "Two Men and a Truck" from Waldo Stadium.
"Wonder what they'll think (at Nebraska) when we pull up with that?" Cubit joked.
At the Nebraskas of the college football world, of course, the equipment trucks are owned, not rented, and have fancy team logos on their sides.
The lack of financial equality between WMU and Nebraska, it shouldn't be forgotten, is why the Broncos found themselves on hostile turf at Memorial Stadium Saturday night -- forced to open up against a program that hasn't lost its opener since 1985.
Technically, Nebraska won, 47-24. Really, the final score should read: Nebraska 1-0, WMU $800,000.
Because for all the hopes of fans and hype provided by members of the media, Saturday was about a payday for the university -- a football program doing its duty for the sake of the athletic department.
47-24 -- that's what happens when mid-level programs, no matter their experience and perceived talent, walk into one of the "meccas" of college football, as Cubit called it.
Played on a random 100-yard patch of grass anywhere outside of the Big Red state, maybe, on the right day, WMU vs. Nebraska is a game worth watching in the fourth quarter.
But that's not how this works. The Cornhuskers won't be returning this one to Waldo Stadium next year (They don't even take to the road this year until Oct. 11).
The Broncos didn't play their best game Saturday. They needed an uneventful first quarter as much as they needed a quick start.
Instead, behind bad field position, shaky early play from quarterback Tim Hiller, an unlikely turnover by running back Brandon West and a defense that -- aside from a few whacks by Louis Delmas -- looked out of its league, they found themselves behind 17-0 10 seconds into the second quarter.
WMU made a bevy of first-half mistakes -- from off-target passes, to shallow punts and kickoffs, to failing to wrap up Nebraska quarterback Joe Ganz when, at rare times, he was with in its grasp.
Those things can't happen, no matter how unfair the circumstance and venue, if you hope to be Boise State of 2006 or Hawaii of 2007.
Nebraska was simply better than its billing -- its quarterback and defense more formidable than realized.
Still, there's good news for Western Michigan of 2008.
Unlike a year ago, when Saturday would have only been the beginning of a death-march nonleague stretch, a league game at home against Northern Illinois is next.
The Broncos' only other BCS foe, Illinois, is two months away and the game's at Ford Field -- in what the college football higher-ups tout as a home game for the little guy, even if it's 140 miles from the little guy's home.
Most importantly, Saturday's result doesn't count in the Mid-American Conference standings.
"The tough part about this is for the fourth straight year you go into an environment that is a little bit hard," Cubit said after the loss. "The kids get all geeked up and ready to go, and we didn't handle it well (as we could have)."
WMU did show a bit of gumption Saturday, fighting back close enough to challenge the two-touchdown spread in the fourth quarter.
And, after playing in front of more than 84,000 rabid Cornhuskers, the Broncos can afford to gas up their equipment truck for the ride home.