Archive for Mitch Gatzke

Clarification on Bluffton Connection’s Role

Since our re-launch on Sept. 30 Bluffton Connection has successfully posted new content each and every weekday on which classes have been held. While this is exciting news, we realize that some mistakes have been made and that a few weeks of work is nothing to brag too much about.

Shortly after the re-launch we encountered some flak from anonymous readers. There were complaints about grammatical errors in stories and also expressions of disapproval concerning some of the content. Your input was received and it is appreciated. A student news source thrives on feedback, so we’d like to thank you for giving us something to work with.

That being said, there are some clarifications that need to be made to ensure that the Bluffton Connection staff and its readers are on the same page.

First of all, let me fully explain what Bluffton Connection is and what its role is so that both are perfectly clear to all. This is designed to be a student-driven news outlet fueled by Bluffton University students (hence the banner at the top of the page). Keep in mind that Bluffton Connection is an independent student-operated journalism laboratory and that its Editorial Board decides what is posted.

We are not a forum for the university to use as it pleases. We are not a branch of the Public Relations Department. Therefore, we are not responsible for spreading the politically correct, carefully crafted version of what’s going on here. There are plenty of people whose job it is to do just that. And while we respect them as well as their profession, we do not fit into that category, nor do we wish to.

Instead, Bluffton Connection coverage includes student-produced campus news, feature stories, photography, opinion pieces and anything else we consider important enough to be posted. All of which is presented from a student point of view. We completely comprehend that other demographics also factor into our readership but we do not aim to cater to those groups, but rather to the student body.

The Bluffton Connection staff firmly believes that the campus endorsed “Community of Respect,” allows for freedom of expression when it comes to language used and topics covered. At times these freedoms may appear controversial, but will, of course, conform to mainstream media standards.

Additionally, going forward please make sure to address any questions, comments, or concerns to me, Mitchell Gatzke. As the Executive Editor of Bluffton Connection I will take full responsibility for what is posted on the site regardless of whether or not I am the writer behind the story in question. However, in order to do that properly I need to be the one who is contacted when there is an issue. Not a faculty advisor, not a professor in the Communication Department, or even its Chair, but me.

A professor of mine once said, “Remember that Bluffton’s motto is ‘the Truth Makes Free’ and oftentimes Power is allergic to truth disseminated publicly.” This essentially means that those who have control in any situation would generally prefer to keep others in the dark simply because that makes it a bit easier to operate. I’d remind those who would disagree that freedom of the press is what makes the democratic process possible.

Rest assured that all of the above will be covered in a professional journalistic approach with the Bluffton Connection Editorial Board having the final say.

As the great Frank Sinatra famously sang, “You ain’t seen nothing yet. The best is yet to come.”

Please, don’t hesitate to contact me:
Mitchell Gatzke
Phone: (313) 377-6423
Email: gatmca@bluffton.edu

College Football Wrapup

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Last Saturday was one of those days where it paid off to be glued to your screen, watching all the college football you possibly could. In case you missed anything here’s a synopsis of the big games that took place.

West Virginia exposes #4 Baylor, 41-27
The Baylor Bears weaseled their way into the playoff conversation by watching other contenders fall by the wayside early in the season. This past weekend was their time to do so. This loss kills any chance they had at ending the season in the top four.

West Virginia gave us a couple glimpses at what they could do when they gave Alabama some trouble in the opening weekend and hung around against Oklahoma a month ago. This time around they were able to pull off the upset, and in doing so jumped into the rankings at 22.

Big 12 teams are some of the worst offenders when it comes to relying heavily on an offensive gameplan. This strategy is why we continually see these sorts of games. An explosive offense is fun to watch but it is generally far more difficult to execute on a weekly basis than stout defensive play. Baylor learned that lesson the hard way.

#14 Kansas State sneaks by #11 Oklahoma, 31-30
What a difference a couple weeks can make. That’s what Oklahoma must be thinking after falling all the way from four to 17 in just three weeks. This was a tight game throughout. Kansas State needed a number of things to go their way, they did, and the Wildcats were able to steal a conference win on the road.

Michael Hunnicutt had a rough afternoon. Normally reliable, the Oklahoma kicker missed three crucial kicks. The first came on a 32-yard attempt just before halftime. In the fourth quarter he had a game-tying extra point attempt blocked, then shanked a 19-yarder with less than four minutes left in the game. Not a great day at the office.

Kansas State’s dedication to defense has a lot to do with why they give fellow Big 12 teams so many issues. The Wildcats still have trips to TCU, West Virginia, and Baylor looming on their schedule so there’s still work to do, but I like their chances to come out on top of the conference.

#7 Alabama embarrasses #21 Texas A&M, 59-0
Not much needs to be said about this one. The score tells the story, the game was never close. The Crimson Tide made the Aggies look like chumps.

Kenny Hill and the A&M offense couldn’t figure out a way move the ball, let alone score. They were blanked for the first time since head coach Kevin Sumlin took over in 2012.

Just when we all began to wonder whether Alabama was falling off- following a loss to Ole Miss and a squeaker win over Arkansas- the Tide put those thoughts to bed. It’s safe to say they’re still an elite team and will be a factor in the pursuit of the playoff.

#12 TCU smacks #15 Oklahoma State, 42-9
These two teams should never have been ranked as close to one another as they were coming into this game. TCU took a tough loss two weeks ago at the hands of Baylor which clearly motivated them for this game.

Oklahoma State had no business being in the top 15 as evidenced by their getting stomped. Their most impressive performance this season came in the opener a month and a half ago when they lost to Florida State by only six points. The problem was that other teams ranked above them kept losing so they kept rising in the rankings.

Going forward, expect to see more TCU and much less of Oklahoma State.

#2 Florida State survives visit from #5 Notre Dame, 31-27
You should feel sad if you missed this one. It was by far the best game we’ve seen thus far this season. And even though Florida State came away with the win, Notre Dame eliminated any doubt that they belong in the playoff discussion.

Two of the top quarterbacks in the nation squared off in primetime with neither one disappointing. Jameis Winston and Everett Golson led their teams as they always do. The two arguably have more of an impact on their teams’ performance than any other players in the nation have on theirs. Watching them go back-and-forth was a treat.

Unfortunately for all those involved, the game was decided by a penalty call that needed to be made because the play was such an obvious violation. Nevertheless, this was a fantastic clash and I can only hope that somehow these two meet again in the playoff.

#16 Arizona State bounces #23 Stanford from rankings, 26-10
For the first time since the 2010 preseason poll the AP top 25 does not include the Stanford Cardinal. The Arizona State Sun Devils made this happen by utterly outplaying their opponent in Saturday night’s late game.

Stanford just can’t score enough. In their three losses this season, the Cardinal have tallied a combined 34 points. Defense continues to be their strong suit. They give up just over 12 points per game, but they can only do so much, they need some help.

If it weren’t for an absolute defensive lapse against UCLA last month, Arizona State would be in the top 10. Major matchups against Utah, Notre Dame and at Arizona remain for the Sun Devils. Wins in those three games will make an already closely contested Pac-12 even more interesting.