Blanchard River Buzz

A blog for rabid sports fans in the Findlay Area. Maintained by Findlay Courier sports writer Jamie Baker. The opinions expressed are my own crazed ramblings and not those of my employer the Findlay Publishing Company and its subsidiaries.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Micheli is a national champ

OK much is made about signing with Division I schools.
Yes Division I is the crème de la crème pardon my French. But any of you who have ever put on a pair of football cleats, I’m sure you would certainly love to be wearing the cleats for former Upper Sandusky standout Greg Micheli who came off the bench to quarterback Mount Union to the NCAA Division III football championship in Salem, Va. Saturday.
When you are a national champion, you are a national champ, I don’t care what level you are playing at. It must have been a wonderful experience for the Wyandot County boy.
OK here’s my question for today. What would you rather be. An NCAA champion for Mount Union or a Division I player at a place like Bowling Green or Toledo where you have no shot at a national championship.
I’d probably opt for Division III sometimes its better to be a big bass swimming in the small pond than a minnow in a sea of sharks.
But that’s just my opinion…what’s yours.

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  • At 11:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Don't forget Chad Reynolds of Elmwood. Chad started a few games at TE this year for the Raiders, but from what I heard he did not get in on Saturday. The first TE came back from injury and got to play the whole game, but Chad did some nice things this year for MUC. I wouldn't mind going to a place like BG and trying to build something, but it would be great to win a national title at any level.


  • At 11:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    There are plenty of kids who are opting to play for MUC. I'm a college coach who more than once has heard a kid I'm recruiting state that he was either going D-I (MAC) or to Mount Union. I'm willing to bet that it will only increase over time. Sure, a portion of these kids are marginal D-I prospects at best or grossly over estimate how good they are, but many are pretty good players who help MUC distance themselves from the rest of the pack.

    That being said I think most kids want to know what it is like to run with the big dogs. I know I did. The problem comes with what role you're willing to assume to run with said dogs in terms of limited playing time and/or permanent scout team. As conpetitive as it is to win a D-I title kids are opting for the sure bet, which is Mount. They might not win it every year, but if you spend four years in the program it's pretty likely that you'll get a ring.

  • At 5:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    kimic and micheli...

    2 N.W.O. kids Findlay didn't get. UF's gotta do a better job in the future.

  • At 7:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Great question. Every kid thinks they can play D-1 ball and turn their nose up at anything less.
    Another consideration is $$$. While those boys at Mt. Union are winning, they are also paying, big time. There are no scholarships at D-III. Very few at D-II. Many of the 4th and 5th stringers at D-1 schools are walk ons. I think one thing you see at D-III is probably more affluent student-athletes who have a choice. The inner city kid who doesn't have two nickles to rub together has to "take the money"!


  • At 8:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You'd be suprised what MUC can come up with for their kids. I bet they're not paying as much as you would think.


  • At 5:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Not to stir the pot, but Rob brings up a good point. I have talked to a few OAC coaches who have expressed frustration at MUC's ability to finance certain kids. Some people think that the NCAA doesn't monitor D-III in that regard, but it seems as though if any program is going to be scrutinized it's MUC. I guess all they have to prove is that they don't do anything different for athletes than is done for the general student population.


  • At 5:40 AM, Anonymous John said…

    I played (sparingly) for a Division III power back in the late 1980s and 1990 named Central College, located in Pella, Iowa.
    I knew I'd never have a chance to crack the starting lineup and that I'd seldom get in because I just wasn't good enough, but I went out every year and loved every minute of it.
    Sure, the three conference titles, national runner-up finish in 1988 and four years of playoffs (lost in the semifinals my senior year) were great, but it was also fun for even a guy like me.
    I don't know about about other coaches' philosophies, but our coach never made cuts — you came out, you were on the team.
    NCAA rules limited the number of players who could travel or be on the sidelines for post-season games, but regular-season home games were another matter. We were lucky enough to consistently have more than 100 players each year (not as much as Mount Union, but still a lot) come out and it made a big impression on visiting teams when they looked across the field to see a wall of red and white.
    I think many athletes miss the boat when they think they can't play college sports because they only think of Division I. Sure, there are no athletic scholarships at Division III, but private schools often have more money for other scholarships and there are loans available.
    Though I earned good grades in high school, I certainly didn't come from a family with much if any money lying around, yet I (not my parents) was able to secure a student loan and my college was able to grant me some scholarship money.

  • At 8:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I had the opportunity to go on a partial scholarship to a big ten school with no guarantee of playing or choose a small school where I would have a shot of starting for up to 3 years. At that time was leaning towards the large school. The pivotal point that changed my decision was my high school head coach. In not so many words explained to me that I would have more fun in the sport I love at the smaller school. Best advice I ever followed. I ended up starting for 4 years and played in two national championships (winning one). Financially I don’t think it turn out any different.

    I have a bother that actually took an alternative route. He got advice to go to a junior college 1st to see if he had what it would take to be a big ten player. That advice played out to be a starter for 2 years at the nationally ranked junior college then later started his senior year in the big ten. This included a bowl appearance and later NFL playing time. He had a lot of fun as well.

    I know of several Division 1 players that later ended up at the smaller school. Each and every one of them that I have talked to was sold a bigger story then reality. But they would have done it the same way to just get the chance at the larger spotlight.

    Guess no matter what choice you make after high school football, you still are the one that can change that choice to your advantage.


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