Team preview: Bowling Green

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(All information as of July 1, 2006)


The sound of silence in the offseason was music to Gregg Brandon's ears.

For once, the Bowling Green head coach could quietly go about his business recruiting and preparing his football team for a new season.

There were very few demands on his time. No requests from the media to interview this guy or that guy. No hype about how good the Falcons will be this fall.
"We are a young football team," said Brandon, who counts only 25 juniors and seniors on his roster. "We have a lot of new faces, and you don't see the superstar press guys around.

"I like it this way."

Last summer, the Falcons had it the other way. With heralded signal caller Omar Jacobs -- the conference Player of the Year -- returning and a wealth of talented upperclassmen also back, BGSU was expected to do big things in 2005.

Instead, the Falcons ended the season 6-5, missed the postseason and lost to rival Toledo in the season finale, 44-41, in double overtime.

Despite finishing tied for first place in the MAC East at 5-3, Akron held the tiebreaker because it won the head-to-head match up, and that earned the Zips the chance to play in the MAC title game.

"We tripped over our headlines last year and didn't perform the way we should have," Brandon said. "We didn't accomplish our goals."

The Falcons didn't win at least eight games for the first time in five years, didn't earn a national ranking and didn't get to end the year with a bowl trip for the third straight season under Brandon.

This season they won't have to worry about living up to preseason hype. Jacobs left early for the NFL, most of the top receivers and running backs are gone, and the Falcons are no longer considered the top team in the East.