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General Discussion / 75 views and "veteran savvy"
« Last post by nickgyp on July 24, 2021, 08:30:01 AM »

When I was younger, I always enjoyed anticipating fall as Street and Smith's football magazines became available to buy. Both college and pro football magazines were purchased and I always was anxious to read about Xavier's prospects in the former. The latter was also interesting as for catching up on my favorite pro teams and players.

Since collegiate players back then only had three years of eligibility, it was difficult to apply to them a term that was often assigned to pro players who had been in the league for a long time and now were players who kept playing even though their physical skills had waned considerably. Yes: "Veteran Savvy". The Street and Smith writers would always mention at the end of the team's articles those players who brought 'veteran savvy" to the team which basically meant that the player(s) knew how to play the game but could only physically perform at a marginal level (if at all).

My last post on Loyola's club football team has drawn at this point 75 views. Not bad and I have to assume that those views include others going by my name or Bruce's. I have to this that there are football alums among those viewers whether they be club alums or pre-1973 players. Wht I  am suggesting is that there may be enough to field a club team with those viewers and earn eligibility by enrolling in Xavier's "E Pluribus Unum" course that is required (if it still goes by that name).

As outlandish as this may seem, envision a team of 30-40 players. Hopefully, some would be club team veterans who could physically still play. If the team was all pre-1973alums then there would be a serious problem: "veteran savvy" might  only last one down. Not a good recipe for a winning season I guess, But, as I have written before, a guy can always dream even if it is far-fetched.

This idea is probably too late for a successful 2021 season but it has got to start somewhere! Like Aerosmith and Steven Tyler, I will "Dream On". Hope everyone is doing well. If we can survive the cicadas as we did locally this summer, anything is possible!!!

General Discussion / 2021 NCFA Loyola Chicago
« Last post by nickgyp on June 11, 2021, 09:00:50 AM »
I look at the NCFA site on occasion to see what other schools are still playing club football especially in the midwest, The Ramblers' program is still intact having come into existence after Xavier's. Apparently, the program has had recent success, Loyola is a Jesuit school which is much larger than Xavier but its number of players isn't overwhelming.

I miss Xavier club football. Not sure if it will ever get another shot but, as I have said in the past, a guy can hope,

General Discussion / Presbyterian new head coach
« Last post by nickgyp on May 27, 2021, 09:43:38 AM »
I find the following article to be interesting. Presbyterian, a small liberal arts school, has hired an highly unorthodox but very successful high school, for its football team which just this year which went non-scholarship to begin playing in the non-scholarship Pioneer Football League. Why a successful high school coach after so many years at a high school in Arkansas would take a distant college position South Carolina intrigues me. The school (approximately 1200 undergrads) has been playing football since 1913 but it decided to no longer to offer football scholarships. I do not know the finances involved re the coach's salary but I can't imagine it to be a huge amount under the circumstances of what appears to be a de-emphasis of football. I guess the school is optimistic that it will work financially. Sure would be nice to see Xavier playing in the PFL. A guy can hope!

General Discussion / Re: Davidson football
« Last post by nickgyp on May 18, 2021, 08:36:36 AM »
Xavier just added women's lacrosse to its athletic program. What Title IX implications this would have as far as considering football, I guess would only be a positive. I would imagine games would be played at Corcoran Field. On one of the basketball threads, a poster lamented Xavier's soccer facilities, The thought of other sports not football being played on Victory Parkway really doesn't help. Heck, if they could rebuild aversion of Xaier stadium to house sports including football then that'd be okay with me. Oh, well.
General Discussion / Re: Davidson football
« Last post by Bruce on May 16, 2021, 08:11:07 PM »
We can only hope X can do something similar.

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General Discussion / Davidson football
« Last post by nickgyp on May 12, 2021, 07:51:49 AM »
Occasionally, I will look at the Pioneer Football League Fan Forum (as part of my pipe dream for Xavier football) and came across a post by Lurking Dog. a long time supporter of the non-scholarship league who expressed optimism for Xavier when club football started at Xavier in 2006. I noted Davidson's rise from consecutive losing seasons to winning a PFL championship and post season playoff berth. Too bad in 1973 that Coach Cecchini wasnit given the opportunity to continue with a Muskie turn around.

Davidson has only 1900 undergraduates and plays football. I guy can dream for the Muskies I guess.

May 5, 2021 at 8:39pm  QuotePost OptionsPost by Lurking Dog on May 5, 2021 at 8:39pm

Davidson?s football team goes from afterthought, to league champion, to FCS playoffs
Davidson running back Bradyn Oakley celebrates during the Wildcats? win over Morehead State in March. Davidson won the Pioneer Football League for the first time ever this season.

To appreciate where Davidson?s football team finds itself today ? about to play its first postseason game since 1969 after winning a conference championship ? it?s important to understand where the team has been.

Simply put, Davidson football has been an afterthought for years.

I?d say ?joke,? but ?joke? isn?t really the right word. There hasn?t been much funny about it. The Wildcats were just bad, year after year, decade after decade. Forgettably, unremarkably bad.

From 2013-17, for instance, these were Davidson?s year-by-year records in the Pioneer Football League: 0-8, 0-8, 1-7, 0-8 and 0-8.

On campus, where the Davidson men?s basketball team led by Bob McKillop and once starring Steph Curry has cast such a long and successful shadow, the football team wasn?t made fun of that much by students. It was just ignored.

Quarterback Tyler Phelps, now a senior, remembers his time as a freshman in 2017 and what the bleachers looked like.

?We?ve had a pretty good amount of students in the stands watching our home games this year, even with the COVID-19 limits,? Phelps said. ?In my freshman year, honestly, you would have been hard-pressed to find five students in there.?

In a strange, COVID-centric sports year, though, here?s another oddity: Davidson football is winning big, in a shortened 2021 spring football season.

In 123 years of Davidson football, this will be only the second time Davidson is playing football after the regular season ends. The Wildcats (4-2 overall, 4-1 in the PFL) have won the PFL conference championship for the first time ever and are about to play in the postseason for the first time since they lost to Toledo in the 1969 Tangerine Bowl.

?There?s excitement,? junior linebacker Jalen Jefferson said. ?There?s buzz. There are actually people wanting to talk about Davidson football.?

Davidson has played in the postseason only twice in its football history. The first time came in 1969 in the Tangerine Bowl; the second time will be in the FCS playoffs later this month.

On Sunday, Davidson will be announced as one of 16 teams earning a spot in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs. The Wildcats will almost certainly be the only non-scholarship football program among the 16 and will have to go on the road to play an FCS powerhouse in the first round, but they?re OK with all that. They?re still in.

?We?re talking about some uncharted territory here,? Davidson football coach Scott Abell said.

Davidson?s football team not only doesn?t have a long winning tradition, but it?s also an oddity on its own campus. Almost all of Davidson?s athletic teams compete in the Atlantic 10, but the A-10 doesn?t sponsor a conference championship for football since many of its schools don?t play the sport. Those that do are left to their own devices, so Davidson is a member of the Pioneer Football League.

Given that it?s in a conference unfamiliar to most and also doesn?t give scholarships, unlike almost every other sport on campus, the Davidson football program has had a tough time finding its niche.

Abell and his staff were hired in 2018, after previous coach Paul Nichols didn?t get his contract renewed. Nichols? teams at Davidson went 7-49 overall, and 1-39 in the PFL, in a difficult five-year span.

?When we got here, just listening to our players, I think they felt a little bit of being kind of the red-headed stepchild,? Abell said.

Davidson coach Scott Abell (center, in black) signals to his team during a game against Presbyterian in March. Abell and his staff have turned the program around since arriving in 2018, in part by relying on a spread option, run-heavy offense.

The coach added that he thought Davidson?s administration had shown its support for the program for years, wanting the program to be better, but hadn?t seen the results.

They?ve gotten them over the past three years, though, as Abell has installed a spread-option attack that has a heavy emphasis on running the ball and making last-second decisions at the line of scrimmage based on the defensive alignment.

?I have to make some sort of decision every single play,? said Phelps, Davidson?s starting quarterback for almost all of the past four years. ?So that?s taken some getting used to.?

The offense has been a great fit for a team that combines intellectual and athletic prowess, and Davidson has led all FCS schools in rushing offense for much of Abell?s tenure. In an ideal game, Abell said, his quarterback throws the ball about 15 times.

?We?re such a strong academic school,? said Abell, who added his staff?s primary competition for players usually comes from Ivy League schools like Dartmouth, Yale and Cornell. ?In theory, if you take every high school football player in the country, we can recruit maybe 3% of them academically. ... So some years you are going to land guys that are really good and could run a lot of different offenses. ... Some years maybe you can?t. But collectively, each and every year, we can be really good at this offense in our recruiting world.?

A liberal arts school with approximately 1,900 enrolled undergraduates, Davidson does provide need-based financial aid to students and athletes. So football players usually aren?t paying the ?cost of attendance? sticker price of approximately $70,000 a year. Still, it?s understandably a difficult choice for many.

?It was definitely a conversation I had to have with my parents,? Phelps said. ?But I thought a degree from a place like Davidson ? that was really the seller for me.?

The quarterback will graduate with a history degree in May and said he already has a job lined up in investment banking with Bank of America.

Quarterback Tyler Phelps has been Davidson?s starting QB for most of the past four years and is almost like ?an assistant coach on the field,? according to Davidson head coach Scott Abell.

Davidson?s run to the FCS playoffs reminds me of the Davidson baseball team?s stunning push through the NCAA baseball tournament in 2017, when the Wildcats took out No. 2 national seed North Carolina and advanced to the final 16 of the Division I-A baseball tournament before losing.

The football team isn?t playing anybody quite like UNC. But it did have a huge win over San Diego in April, dethroning the perennial PFL champion, 31-25. San Diego had won 39 straight conference games until that one.

?That was the biggest win in the history of our program,? Abell said.

Davidson was supposed to need to win one final game over Stetson on Saturday at home to clinch the PFL, but Stetson had to cancel the game due to COVID-related issues. That meant Davidson was declared the PFL?s winner off the field Thursday night, because the Wildcats owned the head-to-head tiebreaker over San Diego.

Now it?s time for the FCS playoffs. Realistically, Davidson probably won?t win its first game. It?s hard to overcome the difference between a team with 63 guys on athletic scholarships and zero guys on athletic scholarships.

But still, even if the road ends in the FCS first round, what a journey 2021 has already been for Davidson football ? from afterthought to champion.

Last Edit: May 5, 2021 at 8:46pm by Lurking Dog
I was hoping someone had a recollection of this game but so far no takers. Nonetheless, aside from a 1973 Morehead football program that alluded to the Xavier win in the previous year, my research did find the following from Morehead news release archives which mentions the Muskie win. Why XU has no record of this game is beyond me. I may be hallucinating in hoping for Xavier to play football again but I feel somewhat vindicated.

The game is mentioned on the following dates: August 8, 23, 25 (mentions coach Cecchini); September 1 and 9 (game recap). In the recap, no Xavier players are named but the offense garnered more than 300 yards. I looked at Xavier football results for 1972, a season showing a final record of 2-8 (wins over UC and Marshall) but no mention of Morehead State game. That site shows Cecchini only won 7 games at XU over two years but another site indicates he won 8 games (including the five in 1973) but also without mention of the Morehead win. Again, Coach Cecchini seemed to have the program's fortunes heading in the right direction but c'est la vie. But in a time when wins were few, every one should be counted.


General Discussion / Xavier-26 Morehead St.-7
« Last post by nickgyp on April 20, 2021, 11:09:40 AM »
Reference the Butler at Morehead State game, I recalled having seen Xavier play the Eagles at Morehead believing it was my freshman year during the fall of 1972. Anyway, I wasn't sure of the year but my research of Xavier's record that year indicated that Xavier won only 2 games and the schedule did not reflect Morehead as having been an opponent that year or any year around that time. I couldn't recall whether Xavier won the game I attended but I found no record of that game ever being played.

I may be crazy about hoping Xavier plays football again and I may forget a few things but how could I be wrong about this? I am getting older but I wanted to delve into this, no pun intended, some more. Today, I perused Morehead State football site and located the above score from a 1972 game played at Morehead. I located another NCAA site which also includes this game. My question is why does Xavier's record include this game?

I believe that Xavier football alums, Rich Kase and Rick Yocke, would have played in this game; and either might view this forum. If they or anyone else who has knowledge of this game, I would appreciate their comments. Back in those years, wins were sparse; and if it is a win that should be reflected then clarification is in order.

Spring practice games were never played at an opposing school so that couldn't be what I remember; and at least two sites note it as a game of record.

General Discussion / Morehead St. 28 Butler 18
« Last post by nickgyp on April 17, 2021, 06:40:17 PM »
Late afternoon and turned on ESPN+ and noticed that Butler was playing a Morehead St..  Late in fourth quarter and Bulldogs were down 28-18 with five minutes left. Butler inexplicably continued to pass in the middle using no timeouts and losing minutes off the clock. A late fumble and a later inception in the end zone resulted in the final. This was a Pioneer Football League game (the non-scholarship league that includes Dayton); and both teams fielded full squads.

Somehow they do it.
General Discussion / Re: Mercer Bears and Incarnate Word Cardinals
« Last post by nickgyp on April 16, 2021, 07:38:27 AM »

As Pete Gillen said, "Never say never."

And it is not like it is a votive candle in church.

But if ever there becomes a patron saint of intercollegiate football then I have plenty of coins to place down the slot (paper money (even though it is worth more and might yield better ecclesiastical results) tends to get stuck which is a problem when the wooden sticks have all been burned down to stubs and cannot be used to push the bills completely down the slots)....

Say, has Mary ever been known as Our Lady of Victory Parkway?????

Inquiring minds want to know!

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