Boise State is 2-0 and looking to take a firm hold on the WAC, but they have a tough task ahead of them Friday. Fresno State gained confidence last Saturday, somehow, by choking away a game they should have won against an opponent that may or may not be good. Regardless of the details, Fresno fans are full of spit and vinegar and think the Broncos are primed for an upset. We'll see about that come Friday...but for now there are more pressing items at hand because most fans, like me, know little about the Bulldogs beyond Pat Hill's 'stache. Needless to say, there is a lot to be learned about this week's foe (don't worry, Kellen Moore already knows their defense intimately)...so let's all give the Bulldogs a closer look through the magic of factoids and childish jokes. It's time to get to know your enemy, Bronco Nation...so take notes.
Ten things Bronco fans might not know about the Bulldogs or their vine-laden valley
10) What we call "Fresno State", is actually California State University, Fresno. The school was founded in 1911 as Fresno State Normal School and went on to become Fresno State Teachers College and Fresno State College before becoming California State University, Fresno in 1972. Just so we're clear...it went from FSNS to FSTC to FSC to CSUF. Now you're ready to compete in the acronym olympics (in Munich this year, I believe).
9) Fresno State's coach from 1929 to 1932 was a chap by the name of Stanley Borleske. Borleske didn't have a memorable stint as the Bulldogs head man, only managing a meager 16-18-2 record during his tenure—but if you head up to North Dakota...Borleske is a legend. No, Borleske didn't set the world ablaze in Fargo either (posting just two winning seasons in five years), but he did give NDSU their official nickname. Prior to 1919, the NDSU squads were known as the "Aggies", but Borleske didn't like that moniker and redubbed them the "Bison". They've been the Bison ever since. Now when you and your friends are playing a spirited game of "Six degrees of North Dakota State" you'll have the inside track. You're welcome.
8) The green "V" that is seen on the back of Fresno State players' helmets stand for San Joaquin Valley pride, and the green color symbolizes the agricultural prowess of the Central Valley. Pat Hill had the stickers added in 1997. I don't really have anything humorous to add...just thought you should know.
7) Fresno State is the first University in the U.S. to have a winery fully licensed to produce, bottle and sell wine. If you're on campus, be sure to try a bottle of Pat Hill Vintner...it has a strong, bold flavor at when you open it, then quickly fades during conference play.
6) You probably know by now that Fresno State's mascot is a bulldog...what you might not have known is that his name is "Timeout". I hear his girlfriend calls him "30-second Timeout"...Oh SNAP!
Is that your tongue, or are you inflating a whoopee cushion?
5) Sid Craig, the co-founder and CEO of weight loss empire Jenny Craig© is a Fresno State alum. A few years back, Sid helped Pat Hill lose 12 pounds by shaving off his mustache. Sadly, the weight is back.
4) Fresno State played their first football season in 1921. The first year squad, led by Coach Arthur Jones, went just 2-4-0...but the next year the team finished 6-1-3 and captured the California Coast Conference championship. That first championship run, saw the team defeat 3 high school teams and play to 3 ties. Jones' "no one, nowhere, not right now" scheduling approach for the Bulldogs has since been amended.
3) The winningest, and longest tenured, coach in Fresno State's history is Jim "D.B." Sweeney—who coached for 19 years in Fresno and posted a 65% winning percentage. Sweeney was hired by the Bulldogs in 1976 despite just one winning season in 8 years at his previous gig, Washington State. Sweeney's Bulldogs faced Boise State 3 times during his career (in 1977, 1984. and 1996) and won each contest. It may be for this reason alone, that the domain name www.rehiresweeney.com has been reserved since 2001.
2) The dance style commonly known as "popping" evolved in Fresno in the 1970s. Of course, if you don't believe in evolution, let's just say the dance didn't evolve but rather was created by a singular, benevolent, and omnipotent being.
1) The Fresno State football program has an all-time winning percentage of 57%. Under Pat Hill, that percentage is slightly higher, at around 60%. Despite the Bulldogs perception as a formidable non-BCS squad...the Bulldogs have not one an outright league title since 1989 when they still resided in the Big West Conference. Historical evidence would suggest that Fresno is the Trix Rabbit of college football...so close—yet so far. Silly rabbit.
"Just one championship and I'll be out of your hair!"
That was fun wasn't it? Now you can amaze your friends and family with your newfound Fresno State facts. Make sure they aren't operating heavy machinery when you do, though.