Sunday, September 28, 2014

Spartans favored by 8 over Nebraska

Here's your odds kicking off the Big Ten season for the Spartans.  Michigan State is an 8-pt favorite at home over Nebraska

MSU (-8) vs Nebraska
can you believe it:  Rutgers is favored (-3) vs Michigan
Wisconsin (-9 1/2) at Northwestern
Ohio State (-8) at Maryland
Illinois (-11 1/2) vs Purdue
Indiana (-13) vs North Texas

Not playing:  Iowa, Minnesota, Penn State

MSU drops to #10 despite whipping of Wyoming

Michigan State, with its impressive 56-14 whipping of Wyoming, was not as impressive as the UCLA   62-27 hammering of then-#15 Arizona State.   Thusly, UCLA leapfrogs the Spartans and we move down to #10.

The most recent polls...

AP Top 25
1Florida State (27)4-01416
2Oregon (13)4-01405
3Alabama (13)4-01387
4Oklahoma (7)4-01357
6Texas A&M5-01206
9Notre Dame4-0972
10Michigan State3-1944
11Ole Miss4-0906
12Mississippi State4-0848
20Ohio State3-1298
21Oklahoma State3-1246
22East Carolina3-1237
23Kansas State3-1216

Michigan State vs Wyoming photologue

Wow. The Spartans are certainly impressive, just utterly kicking Wyoming's butt up and down the field yesterday.  338 yards rushing on the day for the offense, while only giving up 98 yards on the ground to the Cowboys.  Connor Cook was especially sharp - 8/12 for 126 yards and 2 TDs - and he looks like the best QB in the conference right now.  The secondary gave up a pair of long passes - something to work on - but overall a sound game, as the 56-14 score would indicate.

What a beautiful day for football!

Connor Cook for a TD!

Yet another long drive for MSU leading to a MSU 42-7 first half lead...

Friday, September 26, 2014

ES Game Day: Spartans to skunk the Cowboys

#9 Michigan State Spartans vs Wyoming Cowboys
September 27, 12 noon
Spartan Stadium, East Lansing

Weather: 72 and sunny

Sagarin Ratings:  MSU #9, Wyoming #108
Line:  MSU favored by 32

Predictions & Previews:

  • ES sez:  Yeee-haw!  One more tune up.  It's homecoming.  MSU 41, Wyoming 9.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

MSU up to #9, favored by 32 vs Wyoming

Your Michigan State Spartans have moved up to #9 in the nation in the latest polls.  And, with an upcoming Homecoming stint against #108 Wyoming (the Cowboys sport a 3-1 record), the ES figures  we will be in great shape to move on up another notch before the Big Ten season start.

This weekend's odds:

#9 MSU (-32) vs Wyoming
Michigan (-8) vs Minnesota
Indiana (-3) vs Maryland
Wisconsin (-33 1/2) vs South Florida
Iowa (-13 1/2) at Purdue
Penn State (-10) vs Northwestern
Rutgers (-10 1/2)  vs Tulane
Ohio State (-14) vs Cincinnati
Nebraska (-17 /12) vs Illinois

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Photologue: Michigan State 73, Eastern Michigan 14

Now, that was ugly.  Michigan State 73-14... The ES has gotta admit... he wuz pretty close, guessing a 62-14 MSU hammering.  Here is a brief photologue:

Not even Jesus could help out Eastern on this gorgeous Saturday... 

This was 49-0.  Still 2 minutes left in the second quarter.  My daughter says, "can I use the bathroom?  I'm bored."  The bathroom did sound more interesting... so, we left.

This was Eastern's only chance: "what a beautiful day for football!"  It was 0-0.

Just a beautiful day.  70 degrees and sunny.

Hail Hail! The Michigan Man!

The ES can't help hisself.  It's 26-10 Utah in that dump of a stadium in AA land.   Let the rant begin.

Let's be honest.

Brady Hoke is the greatest coach in the history of University of Michigan football. Hoke and his coordinators should immediately be rewarded with lifetime contracts and $1 million bonuses for their ability to put together a solid game plan in today's match against the Mighty Utes.  Methinks this Michigan football offense, with Devin "Trip-toe Through the Tulips" Gardner and the defensive scheme from Greg "Dance Around Reality" Mattison has many years of mediocrity to come.  Reward them!  Now!  What a fantastic misuse of talent!

Is this the second coming of Rich Rod?  No, this is better!  This time... this guy is a MICHIGAN MAN.

LOL.  Today, the only savior for the Michigan faithful is nature - aka lightning.  God, it must sting for them to actually feel like a Spartan the past 40 years pre-Dantonio.  Welcome to our world.

Enjoy your disaster and buy an industrial sump-pump, cause from what I see, it's going to be a shit-storm the rest of the year in Ann Arbor.

Friday, September 19, 2014

ES Game Day: Lightning or Go Home

#11 MSU Spartans (1-1) vs EMU Eagles (1-1)

Sagarin ratings: MSU #8, Eastern #197
September 20.  Noon.  BTN.
Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, MI
Capacity:  76,500
Latest Line:  Big Green by 45.

Weather:  70 and cloudy at kickoff; 40% chance of rain

Best chance for Eastern to stay in the game:  LIGHTNING.  It won't happen.  Yee haw - Bring on the Cowboys from Wyoming.

ES sez: MSU 62, Eastern 14.  And both the Roadkill and Ugly Chickens will lose.

DiNardo: "The Spartans would have won the title last year"

For all of you watching the BTN tonight on "BTN Football and Beyond" (Sept. 19 version)... Gerry DiNardo went off the charts:  "If the Playoff were in charge last year, they would have picked the Spartans after their quality win in the Big Ten Championship.  They were the best team in the country at the end of the year - and would have been a better matchup against Florida State than Auburn.  And, they would have won that game and the National Championship."

DiNardo noting this as that this year, the committee selecting the final four teams would likely pick a 1-loss Michigan State team "because the competition and (potential high-ranked) Big Ten opponent in the Title Game" gives them the cache to be in the playoff.


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Spartans a.. gulp... 45 point fave over Eastern

Wow, ES is trying to remember a 45-point favorite over anyone in his lifetime... but here comes the Eagles of Eastern Michigan, and they're bumming.

All Big Ten Odds this week:

MSU -45 vs EMU
Indiana at Missouri (-16 1/2)
Penn St (-29) vs UMass
Iowa at Pittsburgh (-4)
Maryland at Syracuse (-1 1/2)
Wisconsin (-22) vs Bowling Green
Minnesota (-7 1/2) vs San Jose St
Michigan (-6 1/2) vs Utah
Rutgers at Navy (- 4 1/2)
Illinois (-14) vs Texas St
Nebraska (-7 1/2) vs Miami (FL)
Northwestern vs N. Illinois (No Line)
Purdue vs S. Illinois (No Line)

Friday, September 05, 2014

ES Game Day: Michigan State to Shalique past Oregon


The Game:
#7 MSU Spartans (1-0) vs
#3 Oregon Ducks (1-0)

Sagarin ratings: Oregon #1, MSU #10
September 6.  6:30 ET.  FOX.
Autzen Stadium, Eugene, OR
Capacity:  54,000
Latest Line:  Phil Knight by 12.

UO Claim to fame:  "Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?"

ES history in Eugene: This year, I ain't going to Oregon, so we have a chance.  God, my game memories there are bad, although my other memories are pretty good...
  • 1980:  Just a pup, with the parents... Wuz there when MSU was drowning in Muddy Waters, losing to the hapless post-Dan Fouts Ducks, 7-35.  I was young and impressionable, and not impressed.
  • 1998:  Took the Amtrak to Eugene from San Francisco, amazed at the new UO practice facility sporting a huge brewpub keg to celebrate its opening.  After cursing out the ill-prepared Nick Saban for being down 45-0 at half, I tore my shirt off and headed into the practice facility to anonymously pour my sorrows away.  Loss: 48-14. 
Reality for today:  DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS.  It is the loudest stadium, arena, I have ever been in. I've seen the Rose Bowl, the Final Four in Ford Field, Tears for Fears in Aachen, Jerry Reed in Fremont (MI), and The Who in Detroit... and, I heard the Sonic Boom after officials overturned the play to award our victory by Kirk Cousins' Hail Mary to Keith Nichol over Wisconsin.

But nothing is even close to as loud as Autzen.  Bring yer ear plugs.

Still, DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS.   Calhoun and the Spartan No Fly Zone will shock the Oregon coast into submission.   But, the real key to victory?  Don't be shocked when you watch the  vastly improved, efficient, and diverse Spartan offense led by Connor Cook move up and down the field against an average Oregon defense.

ES sez:  Shalique Calhoun 29, Marcus Mariota 28.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Michigan State moves up to #7

Big Green move up to #7, Ohio State moves down to #8.  I still am trying to find the time to figure out what the hell "Game Control" in ESPN's "Playoff Picture" means... but I like it at #2.

AP Top 25
1Florida State (46)1-01456
2Alabama (1)1-01317
3Oregon (5)1-01314
4Oklahoma (2)1-01283
6Georgia (2)1-01114
7Michigan State1-01093
8Ohio State1-0982
9Texas A&M (2)1-0978
12LSU (1)1-0926
15Ole Miss1-0525
16Notre Dame1-0519
17Arizona State1-0431
20Kansas State1-0325
21South Carolina0-1196
21North Carolina1-0196

Sunday, August 31, 2014

MSU a 12 point underdog at Oregon

Yes, it is history the #8 Michigan State Spartans face this weekend... not the 45-7 throttling of Jacksonville State on Friday night, but rather the longer history of Oregon as among the nation's elite.  The  bookies make MSU an early 12 point underdog at #3 Oregon.  MSU has been throttled at Autzen Stadium the past two meetings... and while the Big Green bring its vaunted defense, it has much to prove in the loudest setting in the nation for the Spartans to arrive on the national stage.

Odds for Big Ten stints this weekend:

MSU at Oregon (-12)
Iowa (-17) vs. Ball State
Northwestern (-5) vs. Northern Illinois
Purdue (-3) vs CMU Fire Up Chips!
Illinois (-6) vs Western Kentucky
Penn St (-17) vs Akron
Minnesota (-16) vs Middle Tennessee St
Michigan at Notre Dame (-5)
Ohio St (-13) vs Virginia Tech
Nebraska vs McNeese St (no odds)
Rutgers vs Howard (no odds)
Wisky vs Western Illinois (no odds)
Maryland (-10) at South Florida

Friday, August 29, 2014

Enlightened Spartan Preview with friends: consensus is a VERY GOOD YEAR

The ES presents his 14th annual championship season preview of your 2014 Michigan State Spartans. May the preview begin!  Please find the ES commentary... followed by 6 other predictions of Spartan faithful across the globe!  Read between the lines... WE ARE HEADED FOR THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL PLAYOFF.

note: SR is the Sagarin Rating of each team, preseason, for the 2014 schedule.  Notably, Michigan State has a SR of #20.  

Enlightened Spartan preview

8/29. Jacksonville State. 
SR # 96
Win, 52-0.
Spartans should be embarrassed for scheduling such trivial garbage.

9/6.  at Oregon.
SR# 1
Loss, 24–28.
Autzen Stadium is the loudest in North America.  But at least this time the Spartans will make it close.

9/20. Eastern Michigan.
SR# 178
Win, 42–7
The Charlie Batch years seem like a century ago for Eastern.

9/27. Wyoming.
SR# 102
Win, 35–10
Laramie Wyoming is a great town. State should schedule an away game there.

10/4. Nebraska.
SR# 36
Win, 23–18
A battle of great defenses but the home team airs it out in the fourth quarter

10/11. At Purdue
SR# 107
Win, 27–14
Poor Purdue, even Drew Brees is getting old at QB U.

10/18. At Indiana.
SR# 69
Win, 38–28
An Ariel circus with a little bit better defense from the Spartans.  Nice try, but no payback from the Hoosiers.  

10/25.  Michigan
SR# 31
Win, 27-20.
The Other Side feels good about making a score that seems reasonable to the voters, despite once again rushing for negative yardage. Shoelace was the "greatest ever".  Gardner was the "second coming." Whatever. It's the same story, Spartan domination.  

11/8. Ohio State
SR# 10
Win, 9-6.
The most difficult game of the year.  A defensive stalemate.  A FG in OT from Geiger is the difference.

11/15. at Maryland
SR# 59
Win, 28-0.
Welcome to the Big Ten.   The hype about the Terps competitiveness crashes to reality with a wakeup call against the nation's best defense. 

11/22. Rutgers
SR# 87
Win, 42-10.
Rutgers exemplifies 1869.  Their play shows it.  Rutgers is nothing more than a bump in the road, like Eastern Michigan.  Welcome to the B1G.

11/29.  at Penn State.
SR# 41
Win, 24-20.
The most difficult game to call on the schedule.  Penn State with a new coach, but the history of excellence and kicking our butt.  Still, the recovery effort dominates the landscape compared to the well-oiled machine aiming for a title run.  Cook pulls out a late TD to seal a victory.

12/6.  B1G Championship
MSU 31, Wisconsin 17.
Michigan State again matches up against the Wisconsin Badgers, but the juggernaut that is MSU overcomes the new estate in Madison.  Defense, which carries MSU much of the year, wins this championship again.


 Swiss Spartan (Switzerland)

1.  What will be MSU's overall record (Wins-Losses)  13-2 (Losses to Oregon and in the National Championship Final)
2.  What will be MSU's Big Ten record (Wins-Losses) 8-0, 9-0 including the Championship game.
3.  What will MSU finish in the Big Ten East?  6-0
4.  Most disappointing loss or potential for a loss?   Oregon.
5.  Most satisfying victory? (and predict the score)   vs Iowa in the Big Ten Championship game, 35-21.
6.  Best player?  Shilique Calhoun and Mike Sadler.  Shilique will deliver as expected while Mike's 46.5 yard-a-punt average lands him yet another cover photo on Seventeen.
7.  If it were January 2015, what would you say about the performance of the Spartans in 2014?   I'll be sitting by the pool in Pasadena reflecting on another great year and our first back-to-back Rose Bowl visits in school history.


Sloth (Luxemborg)
1. 12-2 (losses to Oregon and tOSU)
2. 8-1 (including loss to tOSU and win vs. Wisky in the Big 10 Championship Game)
3. First place in the East
4. Michigan is always the biggest potential for a disappointing loss
5. Michigan is always the most satisfying victory - 37-9
6. Langford has the potential to have a Lo White season this year
7. I wish Notre Dame was on the schedule so we could beat the living shit out of them


Chock (San Francisco)

1.  What will be MSU's overall record (Wins-Losses) 
[chock]:  10 – 4

MSU 31 – JS 17
UO 27 – MSU 24
MSU 38 – EMU 9
MSU 28 – WY 13
NEB 24 – MSU 21
MSU 21 – PUR 17
MSU 42 – IND 31
MSU 21 – scUM 17
MSU 24 – OSU 21
MSU 28 – Maryland 21
MSU 24 – Rutgers 13
PSU 24 – MSU 21
B10 Champ Bowl – MSU 31 vs. Wiscy 28
Bowl – LSU 28 v. MSU 27 at the Cotton Bowl, Jan 1

2.  What will be MSU's Big Ten record (Wins-Losses): 6-2  (7-2 counting the B10 championship game)

3.  What will MSU finish in the Big Ten East? Tied for first

4.  Most disappointing loss or potential for a loss? Maryland will be closer than it should be, we’ll lose in Happy Valley

5.  Most satisfying victory? (and predict the score): Beating UM again 21-17

6.  Best player?   Geiger and Sadler continue to make the best kicking tandum in all of college ball.  Other than that, Taiwan Jones makes a name for himself this year … or at least has to if my predictions will come true

7.  If it were January 2015, what would you say about the performance of the Spartans in 2014?  Pretty decent season and great to be playing on Jan 1 once again!


West Coast Smig (San Francisco)

Reporting my pigskin prognostications – We were who we thought they were!!

1.  What will be MSU's overall record?   13-1
2.  What will be MSU's Big Ten record?  9-0
3.  What will MSU finish in the Big Ten East?  Champions!
4.  Most disappointing loss or potential for a loss?   MSU will lose to Oregon.    We could also win this game and run the table.  I flipped a coin!
5.  Most satisfying victory?  2 straight wins  vs scUM and OSU
6.  Best player  Darian Hicks   Narduzzi is going to make this guy a star in his defensive backfield  
7.  If it were January 2015, what would you say about the performance of the Spartans in 2014?   I plan to be enjoying this conversation in warm weather looking at a national champiionship game in our future and I will say “They were who we thought they were”


Big Bob (East Lansing)

Here are my picks:

1.  What will be MSU's overall record (Wins-Losses) 11-3
2.  What will be MSU's Big Ten record (Wins-Losses) 7-2
3.  What will MSU finish in the Big Ten East? Tied for first with Penn State.
4.  Most disappointing loss or potential for a loss? Losses to L'il Bo Pelini and the JoePa's.
5.  Most satisfying victory? (and predict the score) Ohio State 31-28.  Urban Meyer has another fake heart attack after MSU's OT victory.
6.  Best player?  Shilique Calhoun
7.  If it were January 2015, what would you say about the performance of the Spartans in 2014?  Very impressive.  Next year:  national championship game.
Big Bob