Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Red Wings demolish Phoenix. Who's next - San Jose

If you missed the Detroit Red Wings game last night, you missed a classic. The Wings just kicked the living crap out of Phoenix, looking like a buzzing bee-hive that attacked the Coyotes relentlessly all night long. The Wings won 6-1 and advanced to the second round (vs San Jose)- but the game wasn't that close. About another half dozen shots hit the cross bar; the Wings had three break-aways; that puck rolled around behind Phoenix goalie several times... the Wings had 39 shots... by the end of the second period. They finished with 50 shots overall -- but it seemed like 100.

Read the quote from the Phoenix coach, Dave Lippett: "Their top players came out and dictated the pace, and we had no answer for them, and they were relentless. When their top players play like that, the whole group just jumps right in, and hats off to them, they played an unbelievable game. We had no answer no matter what we were doing. They just turned it up another level that we couldn't get to."

Or, Phoenix goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, who played unbelievable and still gave up 6 goals (17 shots and 9 quality scoring chances in the first period with the game at 0-0 after the first period) : "The way they played tonight, don't know if anybody can beat them . . . I played with everything . . . tried to keep the team alive the best I can, but it was not enough. You can say maybe we didn't play good enough, tough to say, but they were unreal tonight."

It was beautiful to watch - like a shooting gallery, or a boxer pummeling their opponent into the ground, or like the Russian 5 during the Red Wings' reborn dominance of the 1995-96 Stanley Cup year. The Wings play like that night in and night out, they won't lose. Damn, that's good hockey. And a real shit-kicker.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Mark Emmert to lead NCAA - who is he?

Next NCAA President: Mark A. Emmert, University of Washington .

Who is he? I don't know anything about him - but he has a grad degree from Syracuse, worked at Montana State, Univ of Colorado, and at Univ of Washington.

NCAA to name president this evening

The NCAA will name its new president tonight at 6 pm; its former president, Myles Brand, died of cancer last summer. As you may recall, Brand was the guy who sacked Bobby Knight when Brand was president at Indiana. So, the new person - will it be...
  • President Graham Spanier of Penn State?
  • President Mike Adams at Georgia?
  • Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick at Notre Dame?
  • President Mary Sue Coleman at Michigan?
  • Bernard Franklin, former Executive VP at NCAA?
  • President Walter Harrison of Hartford?
  • Mike Slive, Commissioner of the SEC?
The new president will have his or her hands full, and there are plenty of presidents and athletic directors already willing to provide advice.

Handicapping (boy, the NCAA would hate this), I would have the horses as follows: Spanier 3-1, Harrison 4-1, Coleman 7-1, Franklin 10-1, Swarbrick 15-1, Slive 20-1, Adams 100-1.

Mizzou wants IN the Big Ten

If you asked Missouri head football coach Gary Pinkel, a former Toledo head coach, the Tigers want IN to the Big Ten. It's all about money - and you can read about his drooling of the BTN money going to rival Illinois:

"With their TV package, they'll get $11 million more dollars this year than Missouri does in the Big 12, so the value is what it is," Pinkel said of the Illini, emphasizing that the money is vital not merely to football but the entire athletic department. "We've got four more years of this contract, so Illinois, as they're building their athletic department, that's $44 million more. So that's not very good for our league. For the life of me, it's hard to understand."

The ES sees this happening. The Big Ten is waiting to tap the Kansas City-to-St. Louis metro areas, and with it the BTN will make even more money. Mizzou - you want in - you're in.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Defense wins Spring Game

Spring game notes, with an estimated attendance of 30,000. A very quick defensively played game, with Spartan linebackers stealing the show. Greg Jones and Eric Gordon were impressive -- as expected. Max Bullough looks ready as a true freshmen. Big plays -- and big hits -- all game long out of DB Denicos Allen, and numerous sacks by Greg Jones. Lots of pressure on QBs.

The Green team won, 17-10, and Kirk Cousins (10-15-254) looked just awesome. Andrew Maxwell (18-34-244) wasn't half bad, either. Both Mark Dell (4-133) and Keshawn Martin (6-109) really played great at wideout. It was nice to see the TEs get into the mix: Charlie Gantt (4-68) and Dion Sims (3-53) were able to move the chains. The running game couldn't get on track, outside of a 31 yard run by true frosh Nick Hill. Larry Caper was 10-21 and Ed Baker was just 4-17. Baker, though, caught a beautiful swing pass for a 17 yard TD from Andrew Maxwell where he just abused several defenders.

The craziest players were OL Antonio Jeremiah carrying the ball for a 6 yard gain up the middle; and a nice 58 yard bomb to Mark Dell off a Kirk Cousins play action.

No pass rush - for the second year in a row, it is MIA. But, the defense made the big plays - including a defensive-stopping stand by Eric Gordon on a trick play to end the game.

Green White
1st downs - 11 - 14
Rush yards - 56 - 21
Pass yards - 290 - 244
Total offense - 346 - 265
Penalties - 1-15 - 2-15
Turnovers - 1 - 0

No rain at G&W Game

Want to follow the Green & White game from home? Live stats here. Or, go to the game. It decided not to rain in East Lansing. We got lucky. Temperature 55 degrees and overcast.

New MSU Greek/Nike image: Goodbye "S"

So, what do you think of the new Spartan image? Vote at the poll on the right. If you are asking the ES... it's pretty good - again, this is a Nike "Rollerball" look, but not as strong as they've done at other institutions. This looks sharp, love the colors, the consistency; the type face is interesting. They developed a new "Spartan Font" which looks sharp, but a bit futuristic instead of Greek as they describe. As for the football uniform, my favorite is the one Eric Gordon (#43) is wearing, which says "Michigan State" in front and is solid green. There is your typical Nike flair to the FB uniforms, but it isn't too overdone. For all the other sports, it looks sharp. There are some photos below.

Still no word on the potential impact of the logo design on the playing surfaces. Expect it to be consistent with the "primary identity" however. Goodbye Block S on the football and basketball courts. Matter of fact, you don't see the Block S anywhere, kind of as expected.

A refined color palette allows for instant team identification and heightens emotional ties to the Spartan nickname and Greek history.
Primary Colors
SPARTAN GREEN: Evokes hope and growth. Symbolizes land and farming roots. WHITE: Represents integrity, hope, confidence and faith.
Secondary Accent Colors
SPARTAN SILVER: Symbolically represents intelligence, dignity, quality, industrial sleekness and modernity.
SPARTAN BRONZE: Symbolically represents strength and integrity, and was used as a material in Spartan armor.

Primary Identity
A consistent primary mark - the Spartan helmet logo - to represent the school clarifies the university's identity. The Spartan helmet logo is timeless, unique, and strong. Reinforcement of the primary identity will build worldwide brand equity.

A custom display face (Spartan Bold), which is used in the MICHIGAN STATE and SPARTANS logos, has been designed to enhance the overall identity system by using inspiration from Greek architecture and the Spartan ethos of simplicity and strength.

Tertiary Mark
The MSU Shield logo is inspired by Spartan battle weapons, and uses the university acronym as the base identifier. The mark's shape and color reflects Spartan shields, which were typically made of a wood core and then faced with bronze for strength.

Spring Game in the Rain or at home on BTN - a Preview

Today is the Spring Game for Michigan State. In year's past, the weather has -- for the most part -- been absolutely beautiful. 70 degrees and sunny is not uncommon. However, today, the forecast is dim: 60 degrees, thunderstormsrain. Oh well, you can't win them all and mother nature always wins.

But, luckily... we have the Big Ten Network. Michigan State's spring game will be streamed live on (1:30 pm on Sunday) and will air on delay at 5 PM/ ET on Sunday, April 25.

Here is a review below from Mark Dantonio; thanks to the folks over at LSJ for capturing the video.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Sparty or Block S at Breslin Center? MSU to unveil branding

The MSU Athletic Department will unveil its brand identification for ALL SPORTS this afternoon at 3:15 pm.

The big question is: will Michigan State keep the "Block S" on the Breslin Center floor and the center of the Football Field, or will it move to the "Sparty" head?

Mark Hollis wants everything consistent, and it should be for MSU brand identity sake. All uniforms, playing surfaces, everything needs to be consistent -- and over time, brand identity will grow.

There is concern that there are enough "Block S" images out there (Syracuse, Stanford, NC State, Mich St) that to use it as a primary identifier... well Michigan State just does not stand out. But, there is the point of legacy and history to also consider. The ES digs the Block S -- I like it.

We already know this -- the color will be a dark green, the same shade of dark green that was displayed by the men's and women's basketball teams this year. The ES loves dark green - it's the opposite of blue.

As stated in the release: "student-athletes, representing football, men's basketball, women's basketball, hockey and volleyball, will be on hand to model new uniforms for the 2010-11 season. These uniforms will incorporate consistent use of colors, logos, lettering and numerals. A brand and identity standards manual also will be presented that provides guidelines for the appropriate use of logos."

This is a huge positive step forward for Spartan athletics. The ES is looking forward to it.

ES 2010 College Football Preseason Poll

OK, so the ES scoured the Internet and found preseason rankings from about a good dozen credible sources... and averaged them out to compile a list of ranked teams. Note that many of the major preview magazines (Athlon, Lindy, Phil Steele, Street & Smiths, etc.) have yet to publish, and will do so by early June. But, there is still good data out there, and the ES gave the appropriate ranking per team -- if a team wasn't included in a poll, they were given a score of 26 in the poll.

Predictions included:,, Mark Schlabach/ESPN,,, San Jose Mercury News,, College FB Saturday, Associated Content, College Foot Blog.

Big Ten teams in bold.

Rank School (first pl. votes)
1 Alabama (9)
2 Ohio State (1)
3 Boise State (1)
4 Oregon 5.36
5 Texas 6.73
6 Iowa 8.55
7 Virginia Tech 8.64
8 TCU 8.73
9 Florida 8.82
10 Nebraska 10.55
11 Wisconsin 10.91
12 Oklahoma 12.45
13 Georgia Tech 13.00
14 Miami-Florida 15.00
15 Southern Cal 15.64
16 LSU 17.55
17 Penn State 18.00
18 Arkansas 18.36
19 Oregon State 18.91
20 Pittsburgh 20.00
21 North Carolina 21.18
22 Cincinnati 21.45
23 Georgia 22.91
24 Florida State 23.64
25 Houston 24.18
26 West Virginia 24.27
27 Connecticut 24.45
28 Stanford 24.64
29 Navy 24.82
30 South Carolina 24.82
31 Utah 24.82
32 Auburn 25.09
33 BYU 25.09
34 Missouri 25.09
35 Tennessee 25.27
36 California 25.45
37 Texas Tech 25.45
38 Arizona 25.73
39 Michigan 25.82
40 Temple 25.91
41 Nevada 25.91

So, what stands out?
  1. Yes, Boise State at #3.
  2. The Big Ten looks to be the Big Four (Ohio St #2, Iowa #6, Wisconsin #11, Penn St #17) and Little Seven.
  3. The Big 12 is the Big Three (Texas #5, Nebraska #10, Oklahoma #12) and Little Nine.
  4. Only the top 14 teams were included in every single poll.
  5. Nebraska is back (#10).
  6. Notre Dame is not.
  7. With all the talk of giving non-BCS teams a better shot at the national title game, only three made it in the preseason Top 25: Boise State #3, TCU #8, and Houston #25.
  8. Conferences with most teams in Top 25? ACC and SEC each have five teams.
  9. The death of the Big Least? Pittsburgh led that sad conference at #20, Cinci at #22, and West Virginia just out at #26. Why would the Big Ten raid the Big Least? Certainly not for football.
  10. Oregon at #4 is ranked ahead of Southern Cal (#15).
Big non-conf games to watch:

TCU at Oregon State (Sep 4)
Boise State at Virginia Tech (Sep 6)
Penn State at Alabama (Sep 11)
Miami-Fla at Ohio State (Sep 11)
Miami-Fla at Pitt (Sep 23)
Oregon State at Boise State (Sep 25)
West Virginia at LSU (Sep 25)

Interesting non-Notre Dame, Big Ten non-conference matchups:

Northwestern at Vanderbilt (Sep 4). All-brains bowl.
Illinois vs Mizzou (Sep 4). When-will-Illinois-compete-in-this-rivalry? bowl.
Penn State at Alabama (Sep 11). Wisdom vs. Lack-of-integrity bowl.
Miami-Fla at Ohio State (Sep 11). All-cheaters bowl.
Southern Cal at Minnesota (Sep 18). 180-degree weather bowl.
CMU at Northwestern (Sep 25). Spread-offense bowl.
Arizona State at Wisconsin (Sep 28).
Illinois at Fresno State (Dec 3).

Indiana's non-conference schedule is one of shame:

Towson (Sep 2)
at Western Kentucky (Sep 18)
Akron (Sep 25)
Arkansas State (Oct 16)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

NCAA mens tournament to expand to 68 teams; new TV deal

Breaking news from NCAA (link here) - as it states below, the NCAA men's tournament will only expand to 68 teams and not 96; and the cost of the tourney, while it goes up, will be split between CBS and Turner Broadcasting. The people - college sports fans - have sounded loud and clear not to mess up the current structure.

NCAA signs new 14-year TV deal for DI men’s basketball

CBS and Turner join forces to pay $10.8 billion for tournament rights fee

The NCAA on Thursday announced a new 14-year television, Internet and wireless rights agreement with CBS Sports and Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., to present the Division I Men’s Basketball Championship beginning in 2011 and continuing through 2024 for more than $10.8 billion.

As part of the agreement, all games will be shown live across four national networks beginning in 2011 – a first for the championship.

CBS Sports and Turner Broadcasting also have been licensed and will collaborate on the NCAA’s corporate marketing program.

Late Wednesday, the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee unanimously passed a recommendation to the Division I Board of Directors to increase the tournament field size to 68 teams beginning with the 2011 championship. The Division I Board of Directors will review the recommendation at its April 29 meeting.

The new agreement sustains the long-term financial stability of the Association. About 96 percent of all NCAA revenue, including money generated from this new agreement, is used to benefit student-athletes through either programs, services or direct distribution to member conferences and schools. The agreement also ensures student-athletes across all three NCAA divisions will continue to be supported through a broad range of championship opportunities, access to funds for personal and educational needs, and athletically related financial aid in Divisions I and II.

Beginning with the 2011 Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, opening- , first- and second-round games will be shown nationally on CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV. CBS and Turner will split coverage of the regional semifinal games. CBS will provide coverage of the regional finals, as well as the Final Four (including the national championship game) through 2015. Beginning in 2016, CBS and Turner will split coverage of the regional finals with the Final Four and the national championship game alternating every year between CBS and TBS.

CBS Sports has broadcast the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship since 1982.

Under the new rights agreement, NCAA March Madness on Demand − the Emmy Award-winning video player that provides live streaming video of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship − will continue to be launched from and Turner also has secured the rights for any Time Warner digital property. The player will be operated and developed by Turner and have enhanced digital rights, allowing the NCAA to deliver content for multiple Turner and Time Warner platforms.

“This is an important day for intercollegiate athletics and the 400,000 student-athletes who compete in NCAA sports,” said NCAA Interim President Jim Isch. “This agreement will provide on average more than $740 million annually to our conferences and member schools to help student-athletes in 23 sports learn and compete.

“We’re excited this agreement continues our long-standing relationship with CBS, a partner company that has captured the unique spirit of the collegiate model of athletics, and brings a new partner in Turner Broadcasting to the championship and NCAA basketball.”

Sean McManus, president of CBS News and Sports said: “This agreement with our colleagues at Turner and the NCAA secures CBS’s standing as a year-round leader in sports television well into the next decade. In this agreement, we have created a new strategic partnership that not only makes this prestigious property an ongoing core asset in our stable of major television events but a profitable one as well. We look forward to working with our friends at Turner as together we combine our industry-leading media assets to maximize the value of this great NCAA championship.”

David Levy, president of sales, distribution and sports at Turner Broadcasting, also praised the new agreement.

“This is a landmark deal for Turner Broadcasting and we’re extremely pleased to begin a long-term relationship with the NCAA and our partners at CBS and to have a commitment that extends well into the next decade,” he said. “The NCAA men’s basketball tournament has a rich tradition and is one of the most talked about sporting events every year, highlighted by the Final Four and the national championship game.

“We are well-positioned to monetize our investment in NCAA programming across three nationally distributed networks. With the combined linear and digital assets of these two large media companies we’ll be able to maximize the exposure of the tournament, as well as provide incomparable access for viewers.”

An NCAA Division I committee headed by Harvey Perlman, chancellor of the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, will study and recommend prospective revenue-distribution formulas to the Division I Board of Directors.

Currently, 96 percent of all NCAA revenue is returned to membership either in direct payments or in programs and services; 60 percent is distributed to directly to Division I members through a series of funds.

The committee will follow principles of the current formula that ensure access to funds by student-athletes for educational, personal and emergency needs; that favor a broad-based approach to sports sponsorship; that continue to encourage more grants-in-aid rather than less; and that promote enhanced academic support of student-athletes.

Additionally, the committee will examine the need to strike a balance between Division I Men’s Basketball Championship performance and academic achievement through either the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate or Graduation Success Rate metrics or both.

ESPN, the longstanding home for NCAA championships such as the Division I Women’s Basketball Championship, the College World Series, the Men’s Frozen Four and others, will continue to broadcast a full complement of events over the coming years.

“The economic challenges of the day are being felt on campuses across the country,” Isch said. “The amount of revenue from this agreement isn’t the focus of this moment; rather it is the long-term security it provides, as well as what is done with the money. We put our money where our mission is…supporting student-athletes so they can be successful in the classroom and in life.”

NCAA media contract to be announced

Just received word that the NCAA will announce a new media rights contract at 12:30. Stay tuned

Confirmed: MSU - ND kickoff slated for 8 pm

As mentioned by the ES back on April 18, the Michigan State - Notre Dame tilt will be the Spartans lone night game for 2010.

Here is the release from MSU Media Relations: "Michigan State's Sept. 18 home football game against Notre Dame will be televised by ABC, with kickoff set for 8 p.m. EDT. In addition, ESPN2 will carry the reverse mirror of the prime-time telecast. It marks just the ninth night game in the 87-year history of Spartan Stadium."

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Delaney on BTN tonight at 9 EST

How much do you NOT want to learn about Big Ten expansion?

Will in case you are interested in hearing nothing new, Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany will talk with Dave Revsine on Big Ten Tonight at 9 PM ET. Topic: the latest news pertaining to the possibility of Big Ten expansion.

Adam Rittenberg: I told you so

In reference to Big Ten expansion talk and it taking it's own sweet time... I hate to tell Mr. Rittenberg, "I told you so, Adam"... but, as reported in USA Today, I TOLD YOU SO. "We have not accelerated anything," said Big Ten conference commish Jim Delany.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Adam Rittenberg's Rumor Mill

The funny thing here is that's Adam Rittenberg doesn't pay attention to the same things he writes and reports on. OK, Big Ten officials and institution presidents may be attending an AAU meeting, but they won't make any decisions on Big Ten expansion this weekend... or in the next two months. Why? Because, as Rittenberg hisself reports, "The Big Ten said in December its expansion study was expected to take 12-18 months."

With schools of this size, you just can't get approval for anything that large in less time. And, every other conference is waiting for the Big Ten's move to see what it will do... so, wait we will, until the study is delivered no sooner than December 2010 and Big Ten school leaders review it a few months following. ES sez any expansion will take place no sooner than June 2011.

Adam needs to stop the rumor mill, innuendos, and conjectures and pay attention to his own reporting.

Keith Nichol impresses as WR... Can you say "pass rush"?

Looks like the biggest take-away from Spring Ball 2010 is that Keith Nichol is fast approaching a go-to role as the Spartans' top receiving threat, just a year away from being the team's potential top QB entering the fall.

Said QB Kirk Cousins, "At 6-2, 220 pounds and possessing a 38-inch vertical, he's absolutely a mismatch receiver. Guys like that don't grow on trees. Keith did a great job today in using his body to go up and catch the football in traffic. " Coach Dantonio just gushed superlatives about Nichol following the latest practice game, in which Nichol caught four passes for 39 yards, but with two spectacular TD grabs. Cousins was 14-of-24 passes for 156 yards, 2 TDs and 1 INT; backup Andrew Maxwell was 17-of-30 throws for 220 yards 3 TDs and 1 INT.

At wideout, Bennie Fowler led the receivers with six catches, for 66 yards and a touchdown. Mark Dell had five catches for 94 yards, Keshawn Martin had five catches for 71 yards.

On the ground, Larry Caper was injured - status is unknown, but early signs are that it isn't a significant injury. As a result, tiny true freshman Nick Hill (5-6, 182, Fr.) led all rushers with 79 yards on 17 carries and two TDs. Edwin Baker (5-9, 199, So.) rushed 15 times for 73 yards, while Le'Veon Bell (6-2, 230, Fr.) gained 36 yards on nine attempts, including a 20-yard TD run around left end.

On defense, yes there was a pass rush - both Cousins and Maxwell acknowledged the heat all game long. Tyler Hoover had a pair of sacks, Greg Jones had eight tackles, four of which were sacks, and linebacker Chris Norman added two sacks.

Other Notes: The defensive backfield is becoming solidified with Johnny Adams at CB and Trenton Robinson at safety. Robinson was very wishy-washy last year and blew multiple coverages in the Alamo Bowl, but the coaches believe he has made significant strides... let us hope so. Freshman offensive tackle David Barrent, who had back surgery in December, has been cleared to participate fully for the rest of spring practice. ... Redshirt freshman defensive end Denzel Drone continues to impress ... If opening day kickoff were tomorrow, the first-string offensive line would be: D.J. Young at left tackle, Joel Foreman at left guard, John Stipek at center, Chris McDonald at right guard and Jared McGaha at right tackle.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Night Game vs Notre Dame

What is the one night game this year for Michigan State? Yes, it will be the ND game on Sept. 18.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Spring practice features SKILL

As noted in the most recent posting at, the Big Green machine went through a three hour scrimmage last Saturday. What did we learn?

DEFENSE - Mitchell White seems like a playmaker in the defensive backfield, returning a Maxwell pass back for six points. We need playmakers at DB, badly. Marcus Hyde also returned a pick-six, and we know he can already lay the lumber at his safety spot. Defensive end Denzel Drone seems to be the real deal, making plays along the line. He's a projected starter at this point... let's see what happens when blue-chipper William Gholston gets to campus.

OFFENSE - Both Kirk Cousins (19-30-188-2-2) and Andrew Maxwell (15-27-199-2-1) seem to have the grips on the QB spot. We have lots of depth there. Keith Nichol is settling into his WR role, and Keshawn Martin is now the real deal as a huge playmaker on offense - 12 receptions for 109 yards for Martin. The Spartan running game churned out 135 yards, with 47 for Larry Caper on 10 carries. Coach Dantonio was very pleased with the offensive production. However, what is concerning is no mention of TEs... something that was not utilized enough last year and with significant depth we need to see TEs as a more significant part of the offensive production beyond blocking.

FIELD GOALS - Dan Conroy converted his first four field-goal attempts (from 23, 38, 44 and 44 yards) before missing the potential game-winner from 41 yards out in overtime. Meanwhile, newbie Kevin Muma made 1-of-2 field-goal attempts, coming up short on a 49-yarder and hitting from 33 yards.

Monday, April 12, 2010

JLS finds his way to Fayetteville

Thought y'all might find this amusing. It's spring, so why not share the sillies... Maybe it is old news, but with all the hoops hoopla, the ES missed it.

"Smith joins Razorback coaching staff"

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Spartan spring football update & ES fall lineup projection

Coach Mark Dantonio addressed the media on Thursday about the Spartan gridders, and hilighted strengths at the skill positions - particularly QB, RB. The Doctor said that Cousins has had an excellent spring, and that both Maxwell and Boisture look excellent so far and will have a jump start in the fall. Keith Nichol is getting 80% of his reps at WR and is improving rapidly... he looks like he may be the featured slot receiver this fall.

A few players also made comments. Charlie Gantt stated, "I want to make sure I finish off my blocks." Larry Caper said he was trying to improve on "running strong after contact." DJ Young said that the team is working on a priority of "run block first, pass block second."

Below, the ES has his projected starting lineup this fall; unless incoming blue-chipper William Gholston cracks the defensive depth chart early, expect not too many upsets here. But, Gholston does have a shot to play as a true freshman: Michigan State lacks depth on the offensive and defensive fronts, again this year.


OL Henry Conway has a neck injury and is out for the Spring.

(bold indicates previously started sometime at MSU)

OFFENSE (10 returning starters)

QB 8 KIRK COUSINS (6-3, 202, Jr.)
10 Andrew Maxwell (6-3, 200, Fr.)

FB 44 JOSH ROUSE (6-3, 235, Sr.-5)
47 Adam Setterbo (6-3, 228, Jr.)

RB 22 LARRY CAPER (5-11, 220, So.)
4 EDWIN BAKER (5-9, 199, So.)

Z 82 KESHAWN MARTIN (5-11, 185, Jr.)
3 B.J. Cunningham (6-2, 206, Jr.)
13 Bennie Fowler (6-1, 206, R-Fr.)

X 7 KEITH NICHOL (6-2, 220, Jr.)
2 Mark Dell (6-2, 197, Sr.)

LT 59 D.J. YOUNG (6-5, 315, Sr.-5)
71 John Deyo (6-6, 294, So.)
79 David Barrent (6-8, 312, R-Fr.)

LG 67 JOEL FOREMAN (6-4, 306, Jr.)
68 Ethan Ruhland (6-5, 290, So.)

C 66 JOHN STIPEK (6-5, 292, Sr.-5)
72 Nate Klatt (6-4, 290, R-Fr.)

RG 61 ANTONIO JEREMIAH (6-5, 360, R-Jr.)
77 J’Michael Deane (6-5, 312, Sr.-5)

RT 75 JARED MCGAHA (6-6, 295, Jr.)
73 Henry Conway (6-6, 306, R-Fr.)

TE 83 CHARLIE GANTT (6-5, 255, Sr.-5)
80 Dion Sims (6-5, 275, So.) or
88 Brian Linthicum (6-5, 240, Jr.)

DEFENSE (8 returning starters)

DT 52 DENZEL DRONE (6-2, 252, R-Fr.)
87 Todd Anderson (6-2, 240, Jr.)

DT 96 KEVIN PICKELMAN (6-4, 278, Jr.)
60 Micajah Reynolds (6-5, 302, R-Fr.)

NT 93 BLAKE TREADWELL (6-3, 277, So.)
97 Dan France (6-6, 283, R-Fr.)

DE 91 TYLER HOOVER (6-7, 270, So.)
63 Corey Freeman (6-2, 235, So.)

LB 43 ERIC GORDON (6-0, 228, Sr.-5)
36 Jon Misch (6-3, 206, Sr.-5)

LB 53 GREG JONES (6-1, 235, Sr.)
40 Max Bullough (6-3, 235, Fr.)

LB 10 CHRIS NORMAN (6-1, 225, So.)
28 Denicos Allen (5-10, 215, R-Fr.)

CB 5 JOHNNY ADAMS (5-11, 170, R-So.)
12 Dana Dixon (6-2, 173, R-Fr.)

CB 29 CHRIS L RUCKER (6-2, 195, Sr.)
32 Mitchell White (6-1, 172, So.)

FS 39 TRENTON ROBINSON (5-10, 190, Jr.)
21 Patrick White (5-11, 194, R-Fr.)

SS 11 MARCUS HYDE (6-0, 202, Sr.-5)
26 Jesse Johnson (5-10, 188, Sr.-5)


The Green-White intrasquad game will be held Saturday, April 24 at 1:30 p.m. in Spartan Stadium. Parking is free (in Lots T-79, A-62, S-56, P-39/40, H-63 and M-66), and the stadium gates (Gates B, C, J and K) open at 12 p.m. Admission is free. Prior to the spring game, MSU's coaching staff and players will conduct a free youth football clinic (no registration required). Children, ages 8-12, are invited to attend the youth clinic from 10-11:30 a.m. on the grass practice fields behind the Duffy Daugherty Football Building, located at the corner of Chestnut Road and Shaw Lane.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Michigan State hoops 2009 & 2010 - a collage

How good were the past two years? Michigan State finished in the final polls, #2 in 2009 and #4 in 2010. Chock, out in San Francisco, was kind enough to pull together a pair of collages from each of the past two years. Click on each of the images to enlarge. Thanks, C.


Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Spartan football press conference Thursday

There will be an updated Spartan football conference on Thursday, with a status on everything in spring ball so far. The main highlight to date is former backup QB Keith Nichol at WR. Looks like he will be Michigan State's wild card this fall on offense, doing lots of things from a variety of positions. We'll have a better, more in depth report on how players are faring when we hear the press conference tomorrow.

The two main things to be concerned about in Dantonio Year #4: defensive backfield, and the offensive/defensive interior. If those are average, MSU should notch at least 8 wins.

Remaining practice schedule:

April 8, practice #7
April 9, practice #8
April 10, practice #9
April 13, practice #10
April 15, practice #11
April 17, practice #12
April 20, practice #13
April 22, practice #14
April 24. Spring Game, Spartan Stadium. 1 pm EST.

Huge wins lamest interview ever:

On the Huge Show today, Bill Simonson had about the most pathetic interview I ever heard with Michigan head coach RichRod. He once again demonstrated his love for Michigan athletics by swallowing his tongue: "Will you win a BCS or Big Ten Titles?" "Have you talked to the new Athletic Director and what did he say?"

I was just expecting RichRod to say, "I expect to be a total failure and never contend for championships." And, "I never even met the new AD. He has shown zero interest in me and my program, which is the way I want it."

Funny thing is, he thought it was so great, he played it twice, in the 3:00 and 5:00 hours. Pathetic.

The "Huge" wasn't even close to "Big, Bad, Huge". He was small, and was a wiener. Today, his show was so dumb-ass, and U-of-M-loving. He showed his true colors today.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

MSU likely #1 hoops team next year

Who will be the preseason #1 men's hoops team next year? ESPN's Eamonn Brennan says either Michigan State or Butler.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Butler & poor Spartan shooting ends MSU season

Oh, well. A 52-50 loss to Butler to finish the season.

Bottom line: 1) Raymar Morgan foul trouble made it more difficult for MSU to flex its muscles down low. 2) MSU really missed Kalin Lucas and his ability to slice & dice defenses; unfortunately, too many stupid turnovers, something that the Spartans corrected the rest of the NCAA tourney. And, 3) if you can't hit shots, you'll lose. MSU had plenty of open shots, but just couldn't hit the broadside of the barn in the second half.

Anyhow, congrats to MSU on a great season and congrats to Butler -- one helluva good defensive team. I hope they beat Duke. The ES hates Duke.

On to football season - a spring report will be posted this week.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Time to play the game. I'm bored And the barrel is ready.
ES hates Attuck class of 1955
Human interest stories suck.

Predictions & Previews: Michigan State to defeat Butler.

#5 Michigan State (28-8) vs #5 Butler (32-4)
NCAA Final Four
Saturday, 6:07 pm
CBS Sports

Odds: Butler is a 1 point favorite.

Weather: OK, the game is indoors... but, outside in Indy it will be 70 degrees with a good chance for thunderstorms.

Best preview: With all due respect to the Free Press, the Detroit News outdid them in today's paper leading up to the game... including using the Sparty "S" for the "s" in News on their website, and better articles about the whole state pulling for MSU, and Wojo's excellent 64-60 prediction of an MSU win.

Predictions: LSJ/Rexrode (MSU 64-59), Chicago Tribune (MSU) Lions Den (Butler), Associated Content (MSU), New York Post (Butler 74-72), Gottlieb/ESPN (MSU), Dick Vitale/ESPN (MSU), Bet Firms (Butler), Midwest Sports Fans (MSU 63-61), (Butler), Cappers Picks (MSU 67-61), Bet US podcast (Butler), Bleacher Report/Kevin Berger (Butler by 6), Bleacher Report/Sam Kline (Butler 66-63), Raleigh News Observer (MSU), Freep (Albom: MSU 72-64, Rosenberg: MSU 68-62, Sharp: MSU 61-59, Snyder: MSU 65-60), DetNews/Wojo (MSU 64-60), NCAA preview

ES Prediction: Forward Gordon Hayward of Butler (18 ppg) has come alive in this tournament as one of the best players in the nation; guard Shelvin Mack is a steady ball handler and a top-notch defender at the point. Matt Howard is a foul-prone, yet solid center in the post. Unfortunately for Butler, after these three, the offense tails off rather considerably. Butler is a GREAT defensive team, as demonstrated by their shutting down Kansas State... but, that plays into Michigan State's preferred grinding style.

MSU is also a great defensive team, and they are the most physical team left in the field. MSU's bench is very deep, particularly with the bigs. Raymar Morgan and Draymond Green are having excellent tournaments, both extremely physical and shooting very well. But, it is their dominant rebounding that has MSU where they are today. Delvon Roe is having an awesome tournament defensively, despite playing 20+ minutes with bumb knees. Off the bench, Nix, Thornton, and Sherman have all given MSU quality minutes on defense. And, just wait until Butler gets a load of our rebounding... Korie Lucious and Durrell Summers are on fire offensively, and if they hit half as many shots today vs Butler it will likely be enough.

It is tough for the ES to see Butler hanging in as the game goes along, particularly with Izzo's style of throwing in waves of players at opponents to physically wear them down. Michigan State's athleticism and rebounding dominance will be too much to handle. This is honestly not the best matchup for Butler, and Tennessee was a more difficult opponent for MSU than the Bulldogs. The ES sees the Spartans pulling away in the second half and cruise to a 67-61 victory into the national title game.... and, yes, Morgan and Green will again be the game MVPs, as Butler doesn't have an answer for them.

ES sez: MSU 67, Butler 61.

NCAA Tournament Matchup Stats (over four games). Offensive stats favor MSU, Defensive stats favor Butler.
  • Off rebouding margin: MSU +2.75, Butler -2.0.
  • Turnover margin: MSU -2.75, Butler +4.5
  • Off FG%: MSU 45.6%, Butler 42.3%
  • FT%: MSU 74.5%, Butler 65.9%
  • Offensive Efficiency (pts/100 poss): MSU 112.2, Butler 101.5
  • Effective FG%: MSU 52.8%, Butler 50.4%
  • Turnover% (TO/possessions): MSU 19.5%, Butler 16.9%
  • Off Rebounding% (off rebounds/total rebounds): MSU 37%, Butler 26%
  • FT rate (FT made/FG attempts): MSU 42.5%, Butler 44.5%
  • Defensive Efficiency (opp pts/100 poss): MSU 106.9, Butler 89.6
  • Effective Def FG%: MSU 50%, Butler 48.3%
  • Def Turnover % (Opp TO/poss): MSU 15%, Butler 25.9%
  • Opposing Rebounding%: MSU 29.6%, Butler 31%
  • Opp FT rate: MSU 40.3%, Butler 24.5%
Game Stats:

MSU vs: NMSU, Md, NIU, Tenn
Butler vs: UTEP, Mur St, Syr , KSU

Butler Season Stats:

Gordon Hayward3533.
Shelvin Mack3631.
Matt Howard3625.711.
Willie Veasley3531.
Ronald Nored3629.
Zach Hahn3615.
Shawn Vanzant3614.
Avery Jukes3610.
Grant Leiendecker142.
Andrew Smith225.
Chase Stigall143.
Nick Rodgers111.
Garrett Butcher325.
Emerson Kampen81.
Alex Anglin121.
Team Averages36-69.432.612.612.21/17.02.318.1.449.739.3451.39

Friday, April 02, 2010

10 Reasons why Michigan State will win the National Title

You read it here last. Michigan State will win the National Championship, and here are 10 reasons why:

1. Why? MSU is the most experienced team standing, even sans Kalin Lucas.

2. Why? MSU has Tom Izzo the best X's and O's coach in the land.

3. Why? MSU has the deepest bench remaining, with injuries, and with the best 6th man in the land, Draymond Green.

4. Why? MSU has the best mix of talent left in the field and with that can play to any style.

5. Why? MSU has more raw talent than any other team in the field.

6. Why? There was a reason MSU was ranked #2 pre-season; Duke, WVU, and Butler were all ranked below Michigan State. Funny how chickens come home to roost.

7. Why? MSU was in the Final Four last year with this same team, and has only one way to go. Up.

8. Why? MSU is the best defensive and best rebounding team left in the tourney, led by Raymar Morgan. We'll drag any of the Final Four teams into a dog-fight, and works to our favor.

9. Why? MSU just played its toughest game of the tourney, vs. Tennessee. Each of the remaining teams, with all due respect, won't punch MSU in the mouth as much as did Tennessee.

10. Why? Michigan State is playing its BEST basketball of the season right now.

ES will have an MSU vs Butler prediction later. But, GOD this is great.

Preview a 96-team tourney bracket: it is a done deal. MSU to win title sez LSJ, USA Today

Check out the NCAA Tourney coverage at the State News. Pretty good, for student pay. Also, Joe Rexrode at LSJ predicts a Big Green national title; as does Steve Weiberg at USA Today.


You can COUNT on expansion to 96 teams. It is a done deal (or read here, or here, etc). As the NCAA renegotiates its basketball contract with CBS, the unsustainable financial structure that exists today in college sports is pushing the tournament to expand another 32 teams. It won't fix the problem, but that is beside the point. And, it will happen.

How will this work? The top 32 teams will get a first-round bye -- so, the first round of games will likely be covered by another network (ESPN), while the second round and on, which will be a resulting 64 games (as is the current case), will be covered by CBS.

The ES went ahead and seeded it out as it was today and you can see what a full tourney bracket looks like below... click here to see an enlarged version.

and, yes the NIT would be gone. The NCAA purchased the NIT for $40.5 million back in 2005, and this essentially absorbs and eliminates it.

62% of MSU Final Four players graduated

It must be database day. The Indy Star put out a fascinating piece today, a database of the graduation status of all the students who played in the Final Four from 1991-2007. So, the ES types in "Michigan State", and...

"Michigan State appeared in the Final Four four times during the period studied (1999, 2000, 2001, 2005). 62 percent of Final Four players received a degree from Michigan State. Michigan State ranks 12th in graduation rate of Final Four players compared to other schools in the study."

Ager, MauriceMichigan State2005No Details
Anagonye, AloysiusMichigan State2001Yes Details
Anagonye, AloysiusMichigan State2000Yes Details
Anderson, AlanMichigan State2005Yes Details
Ballinger, AdamMichigan State2001Yes Details
Ballinger, AdamMichigan State2000Yes Details
Bell, CharlieMichigan State2001Yes Details
Bell, CharlieMichigan State2000Yes Details
Bell, CharlieMichigan State1999Yes Details
Bograkos, TimMichigan State2005Yes Details
Brown, ShannonMichigan State2005No Details
Chappell, MikeMichigan State2001Yes Details
Chappell, MikeMichigan State2000Yes Details
Cleaves, MateenMichigan State2000No Details
Cleaves, MateenMichigan State1999No Details
Davis, DougMichigan State1999No Details
Davis, PaulMichigan State2005Yes Details
Granger, A.J.Michigan State2000Yes Details
Granger, A.J.Michigan State1999Yes Details
Hill, ChrisMichigan State2005Yes Details
Hutson, AndreMichigan State2001Yes Details
Hutson, AndreMichigan State2000Yes Details
Hutson, AndreMichigan State1999Yes Details
Kelley, ThomasMichigan State1999 Details
Klein, JasonMichigan State1999Yes Details
Naymick, DrewMichigan State2005Yes Details
Neitzel, DrewMichigan State2005No Details
Peterson, MorrisMichigan State2000Yes Details
Peterson, MorrisMichigan State1999Yes Details
Richardson, JasonMichigan State2001No Details
Richardson, JasonMichigan State2000No Details
Smith, AntonioMichigan State1999Block Details
Smith, BrandonMichigan State2001 Details
Taylor, MarcusMichigan State2001Block Details
Thomas, DavidMichigan State2001 Details
Thomas, DavidMichigan State2000 Details
Torbert, KelvinMichigan State2005No Details
Trannon, MattMichigan State2005No Details