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HTS 2018: Bowling Green

Remember the South Florida edition? This is about to look real familiar.

NCAA Football: Bowling Green at Oregon
Oregon’s uniforms are gross, in my humble opinion.
Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to From the Rumble Seat’s weekly historical matchup lecture. Throughout the season, each unit in this class will examine the head-to-head matchups of our opponents in the 2018 season. It’s time for a rare treat - a team from the North. Ready for some MACtion?

Bowling Green Falcons

Opponent Background:

  • Conference: Mid-American Conference (1952 - present)
  • Location: Bowling Green, Ohio
  • All-time Record: 507 - 348 - 52 (.588)
  • Home Stadium: Doyt Perry Stadium (Capacity: 24,000)
  • National Championships: 1 Claimed (1959 - college division)
  • College Football Playoff Appearances: N/A
  • New Year’s Six Bowl Games: N/A
  • Conference Championships: 17 — (NWOHIAA: 1921, 1922, 1925, 1928, 1929 MAC: 1956, 1959, 1961, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1982, 1985, 1991, 1992, 2013, 2015)
  • Division Championships: 4 — (East: 2003, 2013, 2014, 2015)
  • 2017 Season Record: 2 - 10 (2 - 6 MAC)

Past Results:

  • Team Head-to-Head Record: 0-0-0 (N/A)
  • Recent Meetings: N/A
  • Coach Head-to-Head Record: 0-0-0 (N/A)
  • Tech record in this week’s venue: 0-0-0 (N/A)

2018 Football Schedule

Date Time (if known) Opponent Conference Historical Record Venue Result Notes
Date Time (if known) Opponent Conference Historical Record Venue Result Notes
September 1 12:30 p.m. Alcorn State Southwestern Athletic 2-0-0 Bobby Dodd Stadium - Atlanta, GA 41 - 0 W FCS
September 8 12:00 p.m. @ South Florida American Athletic 0-1-0 Raymond James Stadium - Tampa, FL 38 - 49 L First Meeting, Group of Five
September 15 12:30 p.m. @ Pittsburgh Atlantic Coast 5-8-0 Heinz Field - Pittsburgh, PA 19 - 24 L
September 22 3:30 p.m. Clemson Atlantic Coast 50-31-2 Bobby Dodd Stadium - Atlanta, GA 21 - 49 L Rivalry, Hall of Fame Day
September 29 12:00 p.m. Bowling Green Mid-American 1-0-0 Bobby Dodd Stadium - Atlanta, GA 63 - 17 W First Meeting, Family Weekend, Group of Five
October 5 7:00 p.m. @ Louisville Atlantic Coast 1-0-0 Cardinal Stadium - Louisville, KY 66 - 31 W First Meeting
October 13 12:20 p.m. Duke Atlantic Coast 51-34-1 Bobby Dodd Stadium - Atlanta, GA 14 - 28 L Homecoming
October 25 7:30 p.m. @ VPISU Atlantic Coast 7-9-0 Lane Stadium - Blacksburg, VA 49 - 28 W Rivalry
November 3 12:15 p.m. @ North Carolina Atlantic Coast 30-21-3 Kenan Memorial Stadium - Chapel Hill, NC 38 - 28 W
November 10 7:00 p.m. Miami Atlantic Coast 12-12-0 Bobby Dodd Stadium - Atlanta, GA 27 - 21 W Whiteout
November 17 3:30 p.m. Virginia Atlantic Coast 21-19-1 Bobby Dodd Stadium - Atlanta, GA 30 - 27 W (OT) Senior Day
November 24 12:00 p.m. @ u[sic]ga Southeastern 44-67-5 Sanford Stadium - Athens, GA 45 - 21 L Rivalry
December 26 5:15 p.m. vs. Minnesota Big Ten 0-0-0 Ford Field - Detroit, MI - First Meeting

So, About That History...

The first season of recorded play for Bowling Green was in 1919, two years after Tech’s first national championship and almost thirty years into our own history. Initially, their nickname varied between such eclectic labels as the “Normals,” “Teachers,” and the “Pedagogues,” since their school was founded as a normal school - one that specializes in the training of teachers. As an aside, the first normal school was founded by Saint Jean Baptiste de La Salle in Reims, Champagne-Ardennes, France, a swell town if I’ve ever seen one, and provided a model in instructing potential teachers contemporary social norms, the École Normale (as well as founding Catholic schools in general). That’s not super important or relevant to football, but it’s interesting enough and I might as well put some knowledge I learned in my only actual HTS class at Tech to good use in this column, probably for the last time ever. Feel free to discuss the social significance of French baguettes in the comments below, though. Where was I? Oh yeah, Bowling Green. Their first team consisted of 19 of the school’s 36 enrolled men and their first game was against the school that remains their rivals, the Toledo Rockets. They had hardly existed for two seasons when they started ripping off conference championships left and right. Of course, at the time, they played in the Northwest Ohio Intercollegiate Athletic Association, playing hardly even at the level of Division III today, let alone schools in their vicinity like behemoth Ohio State. By 1933, they had moved up to the Ohio Athletic Conference, which was founded in 1902 and still exists today, the third oldest conference in the country, behind the Big Ten and the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association. Yet another reason for Ohio and Michigan to get their knickers in a twist. Yes, they’ve already fought a war. Over Toledo. Anyways, the OAC’s list of former members is a real who’s who of Ohio collegiate athletics, with almost every major school in the state being represented in some form over the last 116 years, including Ohio State. Nowadays, though, they’re a Division III conference sporting schools like Heidelberg University, and, no, that’s not to be confused with the much more famous one in Germany. It is one of the few conferences in the NCAA to be entirely in one state, though. Bowling Green, however, didn’t stay put for very long, instead rising up the ladder to the rough-and-tumble world of Independent status in the heyday of the football independent. By 1952, however, they joined the MAC, the conference where they have remained ever since. They have seen by far their most success in this conference, owing both to the lengthy period of time they’ve spent in it, and a couple great coaching hires. Bowling Green has seen conference titles in the 50s, 60s, 80s, 90s, and 2010s, reaching as high as a college division national championship in 1959, the school’s first, and, to this date only, football title. Their most recent conference championship came in 2015, but, since the departure of Dino Babers for the more-orange pastures of Syracuse, New York, they Falcons haven’t seen as much success. Their latest campaign, in which they went 2-10, complemented by a 2-6 record in their conference, was their second subpar season in a row. The latest season hasn’t stated much better for the Falcons, posting a 1-3 record with their only win coming against Eastern Kentucky. Oh, and they can’t seen to stop the run. Naturally, this kind of defense is helpful for the run-happy Yellow Jackets, who welcome the Falcons to Bobby Dodd Stadium for the first time ever this Saturday.

As far as Tech football history goes, From the Rumble Seat has been taking a biweekly look at football history since the beginning of the summer over at Rearview Mirror. And it hasn’t changed much since last week. The short version is that Tech football began ignominiously with a middling season in 1892. A game up in Athens in 1893, which Tech won, set the stage for one of the fiercest rivalries in the sport and also is one of the mythic origins of the Ramblin’ Wreck nickname, as well as how Tech got its colors. Tech was pitiful, to put it nicely, for quite some time until one man, Frank Turner, started an initiative to hire a bonafide legend as a football coach. That resulted in John Heisman. Heisman, innovator and champion, saw much success on the Flats until he dramatically left town as part of his divorce. The old man was replaced by William Alexander, who was known for his team’s strong academics and his own 1928 national championship. Coach Alex was, in turn, replaced by his own protege Bobby Dodd. By the end of Dodd’s tenure, Tech had amassed three national championships, twelve conference championships, including five in the Southeastern Conference, which just mean more, and had decided to go independent to make a stand not only for its football prominence, but its foundational academic principles as well. Dodd and Tech would not sacrifice student-athlete education and well-being. The independent years were lean for Tech and did not result in the dream of a “Notre Dame of the South” status. Eventually, Tech joined the Atlantic Coast Conference in the beginning of the 1980s. By the end of the decade, coach Bobby Ross brought the Jackets seemingly from nowhere to win a national championship, Tech’s fourth. Since then, the Jackets have seen average-to-great years, the most recent excellent year being 2014, when Tech was a few plays from the inaugural College Football Playoff. The Jackets have an all-time record of 724-491-43.

For the second time this year, the history between these two teams is nonexistent. In fact, though Ohio is home to eight FBS teams, Tech has never played any of them, and has faced non-Notre Dame teams from the old Northwest Territory just six times ever, for a record of 4-2-0. In addition to the lack of Ohio teams, Tech has never faced a team from Illinois, Wisconsin, or Minnesota, either. Tech’s history with other parts of the Big Ten footprint are sparse as well, but those teams Tech hasn’t played do love to feast on MAC teams as out-of-conference opponents, as many years of watching the [insert your favorite direction here] Michigan [insert your favorite eclectic nickname]s play the Illinois and Northwestern-s of the world at noon thirty local time on some abysmally hot September Saturday has taught me. So, now it’s Tech’s turn to finally play a team from the MAC. Right the ship. Beat some nice Midwesterners. Get the win.

Tomorrow the Jackets face off against the Falcons (0-0-0 all time) in week five at Bobby Dodd Stadium at 12:00 pm. The game will be aired on RSNs and can be heard over the radio in the usual suspects, 680 AM / 93.7 FM.

With the appearance of the historical matchup preview, that means it’s after Friday at 10:00 AM and that concludes From the Rumble Seat’s regularly scheduled pregame content. Tune in tomorrow starting at 6:00 AM for How to Watch continuing through the gameday thread and the postgame recap. Less than 36 hours until toe meets leather! As always, go Jackets!