EIU Panthers

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Get Ready For A BBQ Celebration

What do you get when mix one of the leading Funk Bands of the late 1970's and pop bands of the early 1980's. Well this weekend you get Kool and the Gang in concert in Lantz Arena for Family Weekend at Eastern Illinois.

Unfortunately when Family Weekend falls on campus many EIU teams seem to be on the road. This weekend only the football team on Saturday at 1:30 pm against Southeast Missouri and the women's rugby team on Sunday at 11 am against Minnesota will be around.

While they are home they can have the debate of what is the best number preformed by Kool and the Gang. (My personal favorite is Get Down On It - see clip below). You can pick from my favorite, Celebration, Jungle Boogie, Ladies Night and for the slower song set Joanna and Cherish - just to name a few.

Now for the remainder of the EIU calender of teams on the road. EIU volleyball will at Austin Peay and Tennessee State... maybe the team can make a stop by Jack's BBQ on Broadway for a pre-game meal. Men's soccer hits Creighton and UMKC so since we are talking BBQ you have to hit Arthur Bryant's in KC.

Women's Soccer is at SIUE Edwardsville and SEMO this weekend and while I don't know BBQ place in either location I do know you can hit 17th Street BBQ in Marion on the way to Cape Girardeau. Cross country rounds out the fall teams in season with a Friday afternoon stop in South Bend at the Notre Dame Invite. We found a listing for a Frankie's BBQ in South Bend but since I have never been I can not give you a recommendation on that one.

One final note on tonight's blog is a link to a story I saw about a Florida HS coach being suspended for doing a good deed. Sometimes it shows that common sense and rules don't always go hand in hand.

Know Your Opponent - Southeast Missouri

Before we get into this week's volleyball know your opponent - let's get you up to date in the world of EIU athletics over the past couple of days.

First EIU women's volleyball picked up a conference win over Murray State on Tuesday to improve to 1-2 in the OVC. The Panthers hit the road to Austin Peay and Tennessee State this weekend.

Men's and women's golf continue their fall season action. The EIU men placed 7th at the DePaul Invite but junior David Lawrence who finished 7th overall was named the OVC Golfer of the Week. The women's golf team placed 3rd at the SIUE Tournament.

Now quickly to a couple of know your opponent facts.

1.) The SEMO coaching staff is comprising also entirely of Nebraska alumni. Head coach Tony Samuel was a member of Tom Osborne's first recruiting class and the Redhawks like to run the ball.

2.) The school is located in Cape Girardeau, Missouri which is nestled on the banks of the Mississippi River. It was founded in 1873.

3.) Famous alumni of the school include Rush Limbaugh (radio talk show host) and Cedric the Entertainer.

4.) The student newspaper the Capaha Arrow was firt published in 1911 and is one of the oldest college run newspapers in the country.

5.) Until January 2005, the athletic team nicknames were the "Indians" (men's teams) and "Otahkians" (women's teams).

Sunday, September 26, 2010

How About Them Apples

It's amazing how quotes from movies seem to be inspiration for many things in life and the same seems to be true on a regular basis right here for the EIU sports blog.

Ohio Valley Conference action is now underway for football, women's soccer and volleyball and in some sports it seems as if the universe has been turned upside down.

In football action EIU was picked to finish second in the OVC race. Now I know that the Panthers had some question marks coming into the season but I don't think anyone could have predicted an 0-4 start. Most figured at worst this would be a 2-2 team four games in. On the flip side, Southeast Missouri this week's upcoming opponent is off to a 3-1 start and leading the OVC at 2-0. It will be interesting to see what type of spoiler role EIU can play the remainder of the year.

The EIU volleyball team is off to an 0-2 start in OVC action. While its not the end of the world in that sport, as the top six teams make the OVC Tourney, it does make the road ahead a little bumpier. EIU played OVC front runner Morehead State on Friday and lost in five sets to Eastern Kentucky on Saturday. They play Murray State on Tuesday and an 0-3 start to conference action is not how head coach Kate Price would like to get started.

The Panther women's soccer team split on their road trip with a 1-0 win over Jacksonville State on Sunday. Points in the OVC standings on the road are always a plus as the Panthers will continue road action next weekend.

Men's soccer is still gearing up for Missouri Valley Conference action but the Panthers had their recent win streak snapped with a 1-0 loss to Western Michigan on Sunday.

Women's rugby got back on the winning track on Saturday with a win over Northern Iowa. They will have upcoming home contests against Minnesota and Michigan.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Slow Start To OVC Action

Friday night marked the start of the Ohio Valley Conference season for both the Panthers volleyball and women's soccer team. Unfortunately both started with one in the loss column.

Volleyball fell to Morehead State in four games. MSU was picked to finish at the top of the OVC. The Panthers will host Eastern Kentucky at 6 p.m. on Saturday in Lantz Arena. The match follows the EIU football game at 1:30 p.m.

Women's soccer fell 1-0 at Austin Peay as the Lady Govs improved to 9-2 and appear to be much better than their predicted OVC lower half finish. The team continues the road trip on Sunday.

Tomorrow will be Hall of Fame Day at EIU. Be sure to check back tomorrow for an update on the hall of fame inductees.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sports Quotes and Sayings

Watching the Miami and Pitt football game tonight, ESPN continued to drop in previews of the upcoming sequal to Wall Street - the Michael Douglas hit from the 1980's.

While Gordon Gecko's famous line in that movie has been repeated a gillion times - "Greed is Good", they kept hitting me over the head with "Some people have good luck, some people have bad luck" which made me start to think about other famous sports quotes/sayings and how they might relate to some EIU team's in action this weekend.

The easy one is Yogi Berra with his "It Ain't Over Til It's Over Quote" which I think you would have to attribute to the Panther football team whose season may be on the line with a game against No. 4 Jacksonville State on Saturday. Throw in the fact that one of Yogi's relatives is kicking field goals for the Panthers and it goes together as well as spaghetti and meatballs.

After talking with members of EIU volleyball team and seeing how they work extremely hard at daily practices I found this one by author unknown. "There is no glory in practice, but without practice, there is no glory..." EIU opens conference action on Friday night at 7 p.m. Come help pack Lantz Arena.

From the movie "Miracle" which describes the US Hockey Team's 1980 Olympic Gold Medal run I found - "When you put on that jersey, the name on the front is more important then the name on the back." I think I would attribute that to the EIU women's soccer team which has made the OVC Conference tournament every season the event has been in existence. Through three different head coaches and countless line-ups, the name on the front still carries a sense of pride for each of the players who put on the jersey. EIU opens a run for the OVC tournament on Friday evening on the road.

Another practice related one from an unknown author is "Don't practice until you get it right. Practice until you can't get it wrong." I think this hits home with the EIU women's rugby team as they continue to work on perfecting their craft and despite a 30-match win streak being recently snapped, the work on the practice field has not dropped off. They look to start a new streak this weekend at Northern Iowa.

For the men's soccer team I had to find another Yogism (because you can't have just one if your doing sports quotes) ""It's like deja vu all over again." That fits for this season as EIU is playing its final season in the Missouri Valley Conference and will return to the Summit League next season. By the way EIU helped found the Summit League way back in the day when it was the Mid-Continent Conference. The Panthers will be home on Sunday hosting Western Michigan.

Finally despite them having an off weekend cross country will be tossed in this bunch with a quote from Steve Prefontaine - "You have to wonder at times what you're doing out there. Over the years, I've given myself a thousand reasons to keep running, but it always comes back to where it started. It comes down to self-satisfaction and a sense of achievement."

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Know Your Opponent - Jacksonville State

Our weekly look at the know your opponent segment as the Panthers prep to host No. 4 ranked Jacksonville State on Saturday at O'Brien Field. It will be Hall of Fame weekend for the Panthers with the induction of five former athletes and one friend of athletics.

Before we get to that congrats to EIU men's soccer on picking up a third straight victory with a 1-0 win over IUPUI. Today's match was a non-conference meeting between two schools that will be Summit League rivals starting next season. EIU is now 3-3 on the season.

Now for a couple of quick facts about this week's opponent.

1.) Jacksonville State's mascot is the Gamecock... JSU joins the University of South Carolina as the only two school's with Gamecocks as a mascot.

2.) Country music group Alabama lead singer Randy Owen went to school at JSU. My personal favorite Alabama song is "Dixieland Delight".

3.) 1995 Miss America Heather Whitestone went to school at JSU... She was the first Miss America selection who was deaf.

4.) JSU recently expanded its football stadium to seat 24,000 fans. The stadium is now the 12th largest on campus FCS stadium. Georgia State and Tennessee State lead the list but both play at NFL stadiums, the next school on the list is Yale which plays in the historic Yale Bowl with a capacity of 64,446.

5.) In the Fall semester of 2011, JSU will begin to offer their first doctoral degree, Doctor of Science in Emergency Management.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Hall Of Fame & Reality

First off we apologize for taking two days off from the EIU blog but we are back. Sitting around watching the reality shows on TV the last couple of nights it made me think is there really any better reality than athletics.

EIU women's soccer picked up a tie with Western Illinois as the Panthers prep for Ohio Valley Conference action which starts this weekend.

Volleyball continued its solid start to the season with a Monday night win over WIU. EIU will play at home on Friday night against Morehead State to open OVC action.

This weekend also marks the EI Club Hall of Fame induction which will include former soccer star Beth Liesen and former volleyball star Erica Gerth. Additional inductees will be Willie White and Kevin Staple from football, Kelly Waldrup from softball/women's basketball and friend of atheltics Jerry Myerscough.

Congrats to EIU men's goalkeeper Sean Molony who was named the Missouri Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Week while Olivia Klaus was named the OVC Female Runner of the Week.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Good Wins & Rough Days

It was a mixed bag for Eastern Illinois athletics on Saturday as the Panthers found some success in some sports and fell a little short in some others. By the way we just got back from Martin, Tenn., were entertained by a little lighting show that lit up the sky with some brillant colors most of the way home.

Any way on to the sucess stories of the day. EIU picked up a 2-0 win in men's soccer at DePaul to earn its second straight victory. Sean Molony had 14 saves for the Panthers in the win.

EIU women's volleyball had a split on the final day of competition at the Pittsburgh Tourney. EIU beat St. Francis but lost in five games to Bowling Green. A 2-2 weekend record gives EIU a 6-5 record to open the year. OVC action starts on Friday evening at home against Morehead State.

Football had a disappointing loss at UT Martin as the Panthers are now 0-3 to start a season for the first time since 1999. EIU finished that year 2-10. The Panthers held a 7-0 and 10-7 lead in the first half but went a fourth straight game without any second half offense. EIU hosts No. 4 ranked Jacksonville State next Saturday.

Women's rugby had maybe the most shocking result of the day as they lost 17-5 to Grand Valley State. Not sure if the loss or the five points is the more shocking result.

More from the women's soccer front from Western Illinois tomorrow.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Let The Games And Blogs Begin

Ohio Valley Conference play starts for EIU football tomorrow at UT Martin as the Panthers will look to rebound from an 0-2 start. Be sure to follow along on www.eiupanthers.com for live in-game blog.

This new in game blog is something that is being used in select matches and games after starting last week with women's soccer. The live in-game blog will be active for both of EIU's volleyball matches tomorrow at Pittsburgh along with at the football game.

Speaking of volleyball they had a solid showing during the opening day of the Pitt Tourney winning the opener in three sets over Robert Morris before falling in three sets to No. 9 ranked Washington. Volleyball opens up OVC action next Friday hosting Morehead State at 7 p.m. at Lantz Arena.

EIU women's soccer gave up two second half goals as they fell at Miami of Ohio. EIU plays at Western Illinois on Sunday.

Cross country rounded out the teams in competition on Friday. The women placed 5th in a 40 team field while the men were 10th among 39 teams. Olivia Klaus was the top runner placing 13th in the women's race.

More action tomorrow on the EIU Blog as team's continue to be on the road again. For some light reading material here is a summer recap of EIU's players in Minor League Baseball.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Road Trip Anyone

This weekend marks one of the rare weekends in Eastern Illinois athletics that all of EIU's fall teams are on the road. In fact the only home event is a softball fall exhibition contest with Heartland Junior College on Saturday at 10 a.m.

So today we give you a little insight as to where the Panther teams are heading - just in case you want to rack up some AAA miles or put your GPS to the test.

We talked about the football team's trip to Martin, Tenn. during yesterday's know your opponent blog, so if you really need to know more about that part of western Tennessee, then scroll down the page.

EIU cross country kicks off the weekend with a trip to the Illinois Intercollegiate which is hosted by Illinois State. You can't go wrong with a trip to Bloomington/Normal - capital of State Farm Insurance and the home of the original Steak 'n Shake. Of course the original Steak 'n Shake location is now a Monical's Pizza. Sort of like the original Jimmy John's being a hair cutting place in Charleston.

Of course some places stay in the same location like the original Wendy's still located in downtown Columbus, Ohio.

Speaking of Columbus the EIU volleyball team passed through there earlier Thursday en route to a weekend tournament in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh is truly one of the nicest cities to look as you approach, it just hits you as you exit the Fort Pitt Bridge and see it sitting on the Allegheny Plateau, where the confluence of the Allegheny River from the northeast and Monongahela River from the southeast form the Ohio River (thus the Three Rivers).

EIU will play on the Pittsburgh campus where the current student union building sits on the site of the former Forbes Field. The left field wall still stands with a plaque designating the spot where Bill Mazeroski hit a game winning home run in game seven of the 1960 World Series. The original home plate is shown under glass in the union entry way.

On Saturday night men's soccer heads up I-57 to play DePaul in the Windy City. If we were writing this blog in other parts of the country we would go in-depth about Chicago but since most of our fans have been there or are from there - they already know what they love about the town.

Women's soccer will play in two different locations with a Friday contest at Miami of Ohio which is located in Oxford, Ohio and then on Sunday at Western Illinois. Miami of Ohio was the original cradle of football coaches with legendary alumni such as Woody Hayes, Bo Schembechler, Weeb Ewbank, Jim Tressel and Ara Parseghian but in recent years EIU has adopted the title of Cradle of NFL Coaches with three alums coaching current NFL teams.

Women's rugby rounds out the travel list with a match at Grand Valley State in Michigan on Saturday. GVSU is located in Allendale by the way which is about 15-20 miles west of Grand Rapids heading towards Lake Michigan.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Know Your Opponent - UT Martin

Eastern Illinois football will open Ohio Valley Conference play this Saturday against UT Martin but before we get to this week's edition of Know Your Opponent a couple of housekeeping items.

EIU men's soccer picked up its first win of the season on Wednesday afternoon at Lakeside Field on Zach Piekarski's goal in the 84th minute. The win moved EIU to 1-3-0 on the year as they play at DePaul on Saturday night.

Check out our complete weekend calendar of EIU events on tomorrow's blog. If you are looking to put some miles on your car there are plenty of Panther options.

Now for this week's opponent UT Martin - EIU makes its first trip of the season down the OVC Turnpike (pretty much I-57 from exit 190a until you hit I-24) all but two schools in the OVC are reached by traveling this route.

Now for several facts to know about this week's opponent.

1.) UT Martin's most famous alumnus has gained her fame on the hardwood - we are talking about Tennessee head women's basketball coach Pat Summitt.

2.) The school actually began in 1900 as a Baptist Junior College called Hall-Moody Institute.

3.) For many year's the sports teams were known as Pacers - We think a Pacer is some sort of racehorse or so the definition says on the USC Aiken website as they are now called the Pacers.

4.) The University of Tennessee Botantical Gardens are located just across the street from UT Martin.

5.) One way to travel to Martin is via the City of New Orleans Amtrak which will pick up you up in Mattoon at 11:13 p.m. and drop you in Fulton, Ky. (16 miles from Martin) at 3:14 a.m. in the morning. You could continue to ride the train and be in the Big Easy by 3:32 p.m.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Some Days You Feel Like A...

How does that old Almond Joy & Mounds candy bar commercial go... Some days you feel like a nut, some days you don't....(see the You Tube clip below if you are too young to remember this or if you want to feel nostalgic)

Today seems to be one of those days on the EIU Blog so we will keep this pretty short and toss out some much deserved congrats to EIU sports teams and individuals.

First off congrats to Matt Feldhake and Olivia Klaus for being named the OVC Cross Country Runners of the Week. Feldhake won the EIU Panther Invite last Friday while Klaus was fourth. Cross country back in action this Friday at Illinois State.

EIU women's golf got off to a solid start to its fall season with a third place finish at the WIU Westerwind Classic. Emily Calhoun placed 7th in the field.

In other EIU sports housekeeping news please join us at Lakeside Field on Wednesday for the regular season home opener for EIU men's soccer. They take on rival Western Illinois at 4:30 p.m. Also here are links to the women's tennis results from Northern Illinois and the photo gallery link to Sean Payton people have been looking for.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Rugby Wins 100th Match

Congrats to the EIU women's rugby team for winning its 100th match in program history on Sunday at Lakeside Field as they easily defeated Notre Dame 59-0. It marked the 29th straight win for the Panthers dating back to the 2007 season.

EIU women's soccer suffered a heartbreaker at home on Sunday losing 1-0 to UMKC in a match that the women's squad dominated in most statistical categories.

As expected EIU football fell out of the Top 25 poll. So after ranting and raving last week about EIU's plummet after losing to FBS No. 9 Iowa, it really doesn't make any sense to complain this week as I expect the Panthers to remain unranked. In fact EIU will probably have to beat UT Martin next week in the OVC opener and then beat a top five ranked Jacksonville State squad to get back into the rankings and playoff picture.

At least for all of EIU's teams the preseason is really just a warm up for conference play. The football team still has its playoff future in front of it as do all of EIU's teams that currently play in a league.

Also congrats to EIU alums Mike Shanahan and Sean Payton on winning their opening weekend NFL games. Unfortunately they were playing against EIU's two other NFL active representatives so EIU was 2-2 on the opening weekend of the NFL.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Golden Opportunity

Eastern Illinois football had a golden opportunity to secure a nice non-conference win on Saturday during its home opener. Unfortunately that opportunity was not to be as EIU committed five turnovers during a 37-7 loss to Central Arkansas.

With the loss EIU fell to 0-2 on the season and will open Ohio Valley Conference play next week at UT Martin. While the season is not lost, the margin for error just became slimmer as EIU most likely will have to win the OVC automatic bid to make the FCS playoffs in back-to-back years.

On the flip side congrats to EIU volleyball for picking up a big win over Clemson at the Michigan State tournament. The Panthers finished the tourney at 1-2 but a nice win over an ACC opponent is always welcome. EIU is now 4-3 under first year head coach Kate Price.

Home action is on tap tomorrow at EIU with women's soccer hosting UMKC at 1 p.m. at Lakeside Field with women's rugby hosting Notre Dame at 3 p.m.

Thanks to all the Panther fans for attending today's football game including a strong showing from the Panther Nation Student Group. The chants and cheers for Sean Payton were much appreciated and I think the Super Bowl winning coach had a good visit back to campus.

Look for EIU to fall from the FCS top 25 polls as several teams pulled upsets of FBS opponents including James Madison shocking nationally ranked Virginia Tech.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Wins Come At Home On Friday

On a Friday full of Eastern Illinois action the couple of wins for the Panther sports teams came at home as both women's soccer and men's cross country won their matches.

The EIU women's soccer team won 1-0 in the final minute on a penalty kick by Kristin Germann marking the second time this season that the sophomore has knocked home a game winner via penalty kick.

The EIU men's cross country team had a strong showing winning the EIU Panther Invite in both overall and double dual scoring. Junior Matt Feldhake was the overall men's event winner.

The EIU women's cross country team also posted a strong effort with sophomore Olivia Klaus placing fourth overall. The women placed second in overall scoring and only lost in double dual scoring to North Dakota.

The EIU men's soccer team suffered an overtime defeat at IPFW which will become a conference foe for the Panthers next season when EIU joins The Summit League in soccer.

Volleyball suffered a loss in opening day action at the Michigan State Tourney. EIU will face Michigan State and Clemson on Saturday.

EIU men's and women's tennis also started play as individuals this weekend with a full recap of their efforts coming later this weekend on www.eiupanthers.com

Tomorrow will be a big day at O'Brien Field as the Panthers will play their home opener in football against Central Arkansas at 1:30 pm. Sean Payton will have his No. 18 retired at halftime of the game. Tickets are available at the gate and if you don't live in the immediate area you can listen live at www.weiuhitmix.com

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Weekend Chalked Full Of Events

If you are one of those people who live by the calendar in your Blackberry, then get ready to set it and spend the weekend on EIU's campus for a home weekend full of sports.

The Panthers will have four different sports teams at home this weekend while a handful of others will have road action. To read a preview about your favorite Panther sports team check out www.eiupanthers.com and click on your favorite.

The home slate begins at 4 p.m. on Friday with women's soccer sitting at 2-3-1 on the season hosting Belmont at Lakeside Field. Just about the time the first half is wrapping up the EIU cross country team will start the EIU Panther Invite with the women running a 5K at 4:45 p.m. and the men running an 8K at 5:30 p.m.

On Saturday New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton will be on campus for the Panthers home opener against Central Arkansas. Game time is 1:30 p.m. and you can purchase tickets at the gate or in advance by calling 217-581-2106.

On Sunday the home weekend wraps up with women's soccer at 1 p.m. at Lakeside Field. As that match is ending the women's rugby team will look to make it 28 straight wins when they host Notre Dame at 3 p.m.

Hope to see you on campus wearing the Blue and White.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Who Ha! Home Football Is Back

Just got done watching Scent of a Woman which has some absolutely great Al Pacino quotes. While it will not get you quite as fired up as he pregame speech from Any Given Sunday - does make me think Who Ha! EIU Home Football is back this Saturday.

The Panthers will host Central Arkansas at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday at O'Brien Field. Tickets can be purchased by calling 217-581-2106 or online at www.eiupanthertickets.com. Oh by the way Sean Payton (yeah, the one who coaches the New Orleans Saints) will be back on campus to have his No. 18 retired.

Before we do our weekly know your opponent section on Central Arkansas - a quick congrats to women's rugby for running their win streak to 28 straight wins with a 75-5 win over Purdue. EIU will be at home on Sunday hosting Notre Dame at 3 p.m.

Tomorrow's blog will quickly go over all of this weekend's sporting events.

Know your opponent Central Arkansas.

1.) UCA is a member of the Southland Conference which features schools in Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas.

2.) Yes for you Chicago Bulls fans this is the same Central Arkansas that produced Scottie Pippen.

3.) Their women's sports teams are known as the Sugar Bears.

4.) Famous alumni include winners of American Idol - Kris Allen and Survivor - Natalie White.

5.) Central Arkansas currently has two players in the NFL - Larry Hart with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Jacob Ford with the Tennessee Titans.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Understanding The Polls

Today's post is about understanding the FCS polls or my inability to understand how people vote. Eastern Illinois dropped five and six spots in each of the two major FCS polls released on Monday. This was following a 37-7 loss at No. 9 Iowa (that's number 9 in the big boy polls for those that did not follow along).

Evidently a loss to the No. 9 team in the country does not warrant the same credit as a win over a non-Division I school or a blow out loss to an unranked FBS team. I'm not saying tht EIU should have moved up in the poll or that a one or two spot was not warranted based on what happened but to drop the Panthers five and six spots behind teams that did not play schools at even the FCS level is absurd.

Jacksonville State made a giant leap after its win over FBS member Ole Miss and deserved every bit of that. The received nine first place votes for their double overtime win at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Oh by the way Montana which white-washed a below average Division II team received a majority of the first-place votes to move up to No. 1.

Also North Dakota State which beat Kansas 6-3 did not receive a single first place vote. Now I understand that this was not a victory over the Jayhawks basketball team but still holding a Big 12 team to three points is quite the feat. The Bison could only manage to crawl into both polls at No. 21. UMass which beat FCS No. 4 William & Mary was able to leap past North Dakota State in both polls. So I'm guessing a middle of the road BCS school is now not considered a better win than beating a ranked FCS program.

Normally the rule of thumb among FCS voters has been to drop a Top 25 FCS program only one or at most two spots when they lose to an FBS program. Here are this week's victims in the poll.

No.1 Villanova lost to Temple (31-24) and dropped to No. 2
No. 6 Richmond lost to Virginia (34-13) and dropped to No. 7
No. 7 Elon lost to Duke (41-27) and dropped to No. 8
No. 8 Stephen F. Austin lost to Texas A&M (48-7) and dropped to No. 10
No. 11 South Carolina St. lost to No. 16 Georgia (41-10) and dropped to No. 15
No. 13 Eastern Washington lost to Nevada (49-24) and dropped to No. 17
No. 19 Weber State lost to Boston College (38-20) and dropped to No. 20
No. 18 Eastern Illinois lost to No. 9 Iowa (37-7) and dropped to No. 23

Now while the moral of the story may be to play opponents of a lesser caliber to give yourself a chance that is not always the option or the philosophy some schools adhere to.

My other pet peeve is just tossing schools in the during your final couple of spots to complete a poll. Does Indiana State getting its second win in four years really warrant them receiving votes from any one. (No offense to the Sycamores which picked up a win over St. Joseph's College - that's in Indiana).

Finally kudos to new Sports Network FCS director Craig Haley for doing a projected bracket for the FCS Tournament. In his first go round he had both EIU and JSU making the field with the Panthers playing a Dec. 4 game at William & Mary. Will be interested to see where the bracket goes this week.

Just so I appear fair I have posted my weekly Top 25 votes below as I am one of the many voters in the Sports Network poll.

Rank Team
1 Jacksonville State
2 North Dakota State
3 Villanova
4 Massachusetts
5 Montana
6 Southern Illinois
7 Appalachian State
8 Richmond
9 Elon
10 South Dakota State
11 William & Mary
12 South Carolina State
13 New Hampshire
14 Eastern Illinois
15 Stephen F. Austin
16 McNeese State
17 Delaware
18 Northern Iowa
19 Weber State
20 Prairie View A&M
21 Eastern Washington
22 Holy Cross
23 Penn
24 James Madison
25 Northern Arizona

Sunday, September 5, 2010

She's A Witch! or Can I Get Some 'Chowder'

The EIU volleyball team got a first hand look at the sights of Boston, Harvard Square and the surrounding area as they spent Sunday in "Bean Town" following a runner-up finish at the Harvard Tournament.

In addition to the sights, sounds and food made famous by Boston - Boston Cream Pie, Clam Chowder, and Boston Baked Beans - just name a few with Boston in the name the team made a stop in Salem at the Salem Witch Trail stop. The scene from Monty Python's Holy Grail about She's A Witch immediately came to my mind.

Apart from that the remainder of the day was a little on the downside for EIU athletics as women's soccer suffered a late double overtime loss at Indiana State while men's soccer was shut out at the Kentucky tournament.

This morning we mentioned that both Otis Hudson and Chris Campbell had been cut from their respective NFL teams. We didn't know at the time that Pierre Walters had been let go as well. We are now happy to report that all three have landed with those teams on the practice squad.

The Morning After

To take a headline that many have uttered - it is now The Morning After the Iowa game and Eastern Illinois came out healthy with a respectable showing. The Panthers fell 37-7 to the No. 9 ranked team in the country. Add in that EIU gave away nine points on a blocked punt returned for touchdown and a safety and all-in-all not a bad effort.

Add to that the fact that EIU appears to have come out of the game injury free. EIU will now turn its attention to a remaining FCS schedule which opens with Central Arkansas this week. Oh by the way Sean Payton will be back on campus, just to kill any rumors out there.

Congrats to OVC member Jacksonville State for knocking off Ole Miss in double overtime and also to FCS member North Dakota State for picking up a 6-3 win at Kansas.

The Morning After will be a short post this morning and we will return with an evening post that recaps the EIU sports day and then has a quick diary of women's volleyball at Harvard. The Panthers did finish second in that tournament so congrats to Kate Price and her team. They are now 3-1.

Also look for news on Chris Campbell and Otis Hudson today or tomorrow. Both were cut from the training camp rosters yesterday but could be resigned to the practice squad as early as Sunday.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Pink Locker Room & The PED Mall

Wind was the story of the day for the EIU football team as they traveled the 5 hour trip west to Iowa City for Saturday's opener at No. 9 Iowa. After strong thunderstorms hit the area last night some remaining winds were evident on Friday.

The team arrived and did a quick walk through of Kinnick Stadium including a visit to the "Pink Locker Room". It was a nice scene, something quite different than tomorrow will be with 70,585 rocking the place.

EIU then hit the hotel while others in the traveling group hit the PED Mall (as it is called locally) which is a strip of bars and restaurants. We had dinner at Shorts Burger and Shine - I recommend the No. 3 burger (bacon, cheddar and BBQ sauce).

After the Panther Club social many of the people who made the trip over hit a few establishments with Brothers, Union Bar and Vito's a few of the stops - Vito's became a quick EIU stomping group with the DJ spinning the best of the 80's for the older crowd.

Kick off will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday. The Big Ten Network is doing part of their pregame show at Kinnick Stadium so we will see if we can sneak Billy in for a TV cameo.

In other good EIU news - Volleyball opened the Kate Price era with two Friday wins at the Harvard Invite. Women's soccer picked up a draw at UW Green Bay while men's soccer started on the losing side with a tough loss at Kentucky.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Hay Is In The Barn

The hay is in the barn or any other popular catch phrase you want to drop in describes Eastern Illinois football as the Panthers have completed four weeks of camp and now sit two days away from playing the No. 9 team in the nation.

Excitement barely describes the feeling for the Panthers team as they head into a game with nothing to lose. After all it took Iowa two blocked field goal attempts last season to win the opener over Northern Iowa, a team that finished about level in the polls with EIU last year but did not make the FCS playoffs.

EIU will head over to Kinnick Stadium tomorrow afternoon before going through its pregame routine and getting ready for the kick off at 11 a.m. on Saturday. The Big Ten Network will carry the game and it will be the local game on Mediacom and Consolidated in the Charleston area. It is the alternate Big Ten game if you own Dish or DirectTV.

In addition to football gearing up for the season - men's soccer will play in a tournament at Kentucky starting Friday night after playing three preseason exhibitions. Women's soccer continues with two matches on the road - they are 2-2-0 on the year. Volleyball opens its season on Friday in the Harvard tournament. Look for a report from "Beantown" on Sunday for the Panther Blog.

Tomorrow's post will be our experience in Iowa City. For those of you making the trip - enjoy it!!!

Finally just so you can realize that everything does make it to the internet. Here is Iowa offensive lineman Josh Koeppel getting hit by a truck earlier this week.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Know Your Opponent - Iowa

Every Wednesday during the football season we will take a quick look at things to know about your opponent. We will try to keep them at 5 items, just tidbits.

First up is Iowa and as a member of the Big Ten, this will probably be the easiest one we do all season. Most people know the big things about the big schools but it never hurts to have a refresher. You never know it may help you win a bet for an adult beverage one day among buddies.

1.) Kinnick Stadium is named after Heisman Trophy winner Nile Kinnick who won the award in 1939. He is the only Heisman winner in Iowa history. The stadium holds 70,585 and is sold out for this weekend's game against EIU.

2.) Iowa will compete in one of the new Big Ten divisions with Nebraska, Northwestern, Michigan, Michigan State and Minnesota. (I cheated on this one as it was just announced hours ago).

3.) The Hawkeyes were 11-2 last season defeating Georgia Tech in the FedEX Orange Bowl. Iowa did win the 1958 Football Writers Association National Championship as they finished No. 2 in the AP poll behind LSU. Iowa defeated Cal in the Rose Bowl and was awarded the Writers Championship.

4.) Iowa currently plays in three rivalry/trophy games with their match-up against Minnesota for the Floyd of Rosedale Trophy the most famous. They also play Iowa State for the Cy-Hawk and Wisconsin for the Heartland Trophy.

5.) Herky the Hawk is the name of the mascot. He was born in 1948. The Tigerhawk logo was brought to Iowa in 1979 by legendary coach Hayden Fry.

The Panthers head to Iowa City on Friday and with kickoff set for 11 a.m. The game will be shown on the Big Ten Network.

As we close today - congrats to the EIU women's rugby team for its 27th straight win. A 59-0 win over Ball State.