Friday, August 31, 2012

ES Game Day: Michigan State vs Boise State

#13 MSU Spartans (0-0) vs #22/24 BSU Broncos (0-0)
Friday, August 31. 8 pm
Weather @ kickoff: HOT, 82 degrees
Line: MSU by 7

The skinny on the Broncos? Read up at the Idaho Statesman, this is good stuff:

1) on Mr. Confident, QB Southwick, 2) looking at Boise State's battle in the trenches, 3) Players to watch; 4) and this may be Boise's "Biggest Test Yet"

Predictions, seemingly ALL in MSU favor except The Blue Turf's 38-6 BSU blasphemy:

The ES: Well, aren't championships won on defense and in the trenches? The matchups along the front heavily favor veteran Michigan State on both sides of the ball against an experienced, but younger Boise State squad. MSU's defense is deep throughout, and should pressure Boise QBs for most of the game... hurried throws may mean easy picks for MSU lock-down corners Johnny Adams and Dequize Dennard. The Boise running game will have a tough time of it against the Spartan front four and the fantastic MSU trio of linebackers. But, Boise always seems to have a high-flying team. The Boise defense will be better than advertised, and it will be interesting to see how the under-appreciated Andrew Maxwell will direct MSU's passing offense. With huge Dion Sims at TE and a veteran front, it should give Maxwell enough time to spread the ball around and have a balanced offense. The Spartans very much have the advantage in kicking, (Dan Conroy), punting (Mike Sadler), and the return game (Nick Hill).

On paper, a heavy MSU advantage... but Boise has a string of upsets in season-openers on the road at BCS schools. However, their losses at key positions, and especially at QB, RB and across defense, will allow MSU to dictate after a rocky first quarter. Expect an MSU defensive touchdown in this game.

ES sez: MSU 24, Boise State 13.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Blue Turf predicts Boise 38, MSU 6... and a "Seth pool"

The ES had a lovely Q&A with the Blue Turf, digging into the Xs and Os, and the culture of the schools. What's to know about Boise football on Friday night, and what about Boise State University itself? The ES asks...

To read the ES's response to the Blue Turf, link here. Yes, there are no typos ("Seth pool", you gotta be kidding me) - take that for an Idaho edukation. :)

1 – Why doesn’t Boise State have orange turf? Or, green turf? Or grass (bluegrass from Kentucky, that way you can say it’s blue but really green)? Why the blue? Orange really?

BT: Green we don’t wear green uni’s like MSU does, so we wouldn’t be able to blend in. While I had never played on the Blue Turf in High school I had played on the old green turf and in 1985 it was time for a new turf and then Boise State AD Gene Bleymaier had a brilliant idea for a marketing ploy why not a Blue Field

2 – Michigan State is green and plays on a green field. But, Boise’s blue on a blue field is unique. Have you ever heard of the leather patch and the hidden ball tricks used by Carlisle to defeat Harvard? Why should Boise be any different with blue uniforms to hide their players on a blue field?

BT: LOL we often in Bronco Nation make jokes about people complaining about the uni’s and the field while it might provide for difficulties with video view special consider blue like green is a masking color(if you go any video editing you’d know what I mean by masking for the rest of you look it up I’m trying to keep my answers short.

3 – Is there a QB shuffle in Boise since the departure of Kellen Moore (who incidentally was picked up by our Detroit Lions), and what impact will that have on the matchup vs the Spartans?

BT: Thats a great question the answer is nope Boise State has a history of producing outstanding QB’s and certainly since 2001 and the arrival of Coach Pete it only seems to improve. While I read every day in the freep and other Detroit rags about Kellens arm not being in league with superman’s, I suspect why Kellen has had so many dropped passes by his team mates that have hit them dead in both hands has more to do with their inability to catch a pass with left handed spin on it. As for the next Boise State QB this we know for sure he will be taller he will have a stronger arm and he will have more game time experience then Kellen had when he went into Oregon and done what no school has ever been able to do and that is Beat the Ducks on their home turf. That all being said I would say we might see and even more balanced run pass offense then years passed but I digress dispite having possibly the deepest RB’s core Boise State has ever had the fact is they have two world class sprinters at WR and neither of their names are Miller, Boldewijn nor Moore, stay tune for my secret weapons post game day to learn who they are. SO I suspect that Boise State will remain a 50/50 run pass team as they have been in the past on I also suspect they yardage average will go up as compare to the past.

4 – How can your OL stop the Spartan defensive front (our best in 25 years) from breaking your quarterbacks in half?

BT: HAAHA, Lets see we are returning 8 guys with starting experance some of whom have been playing against top level NFL #1 draft picks as long as 4 years ago in BCS bowl games ( you guys know what a BCS Bowl game is right I know you’ve never been to one) over those years Boise States Line has given up a grand total of 5—6 & 7 sacks keep in mind that’s is with the slow footed short Kellen Moore back there so I suspect they will handle Sparty’s Line just fine special when Gohlston is in while he might be very tall his upper body strength is obviously week and his first step is very much lacking as it also appears he not only takes plays off but has a bad temper I believe due in part because he’s such a poor player and gets owned a lot. I know 40 times and size and all but folks watch the tape the kid is not good against average OT’s

5 – The ES had a helluva time trying to find results from the first year Boise played football (in 1933)… what gives? Why not put all of the results in the media guide, regardless of your competitive level – y’all hiding something? Seems as if everything before 1968 is embarrassing or unimportant…

BT: HAHA common cry of Boise State haters special from fans that are about to witness a quality program first hand is schedule , It should be noted first that while the MeatChickens and the Heathen of Notre Dame site 1 and 2 with life time win % Boise State is only hundredths behind in 3rd.

6 – If the ES were to go to the MSU @ Boise game in 2022… what bar that exists now that hopefully will exist, and at age 54, will enlighten the ES to the bubbles of Boise?

BT: Well it should be known I live right here in Michigan, that being said there are many Bars that have been around since even back in my playing days , All depends what you are looking for.

7 – OK. Boise State and the Transcontinental Football Conference. The WAC one year, the Mountain West the next, and now the worst of all - The Big Least. Why join that sorry conference?… trying to stir up a football rivalry with Rutgers? I guess not enough interested fans in the Great Northwest? If Boise's intentions were for anything other than opportunism and BC$ money…then join in all sports, not split between a 1,500-mile weekly trip to the Big Least in football, then stepping down a notch to the Left Coast with Big West games in all other sports. In other words, Boise is hiring the football players to be sent out East for more money, and more difficult studying experiences, to help fund the experiences of non-football players? It all smells, well, like potatoes. What say you Boise nation?

I believe this link is the best way to answer that question.

8 – What crowd can the Spartans expect from the Boise nation (how many Boise fans are traveling to East Lansing) when it opens the season along the Red Cedar River?

BT: A mixed one a knowledgeable one and I know that MSU has given Boise additional tickets since the first 2,500 sold out in like 1 hour. While Boise as a school sold all it’s a lot meant to every major travel game east ward and to the BCS bowl(see meatchickens had to pay to play in sugar 2012 sugar bowl) I would suspect about 4,000 will be coming from Idaho another 4-6 thousand from the Midwest. Example though Toledo came on the heels of the Georgia game we still had over 2,500 there and of those there 80% where from either Michigan or Ohio. See video of example

I understand most people from Michigan don’t travel outside the state much other than to corn country but what you will quickly learn is some basic economic facts. 1. Idaho has more Millionaires per capita than any state in the Union, Boise has been home to more Fortune 500 companies then any other city to include New York and the state of Delaware for over 15 years, also ranked the #1 city these last 10 years running as the best major city over 100k to raise your family and start a new business in by Forbes . So what am I getting at well they will be better educated than most all sparty fans certainly have way more cash in their bank account, they have very high standards and great morale character so all in all not people you guys are use to seeing. Some drink like fishes others don’t drink at all and all will be packing they have no illusion about the Seth pool they are coming to. They’ve seen hard core pawn they know you are broke both financially and morally.

9 – What is the best burger in Boise?

BT: Well the last time I had a burger in Boise was 13 years ago and the place has only gotten more famous since then, I recently seen them on a great eat food channel show , hands down in Boise it would be Big Juds they serve up a 3lber if you can eat it in 30 minutes it’s on the house. That Being said the best burger I have every eaten in my life comes out of Pocatello Idaho from a little family place that’s been there for ever called Nicks Burgers hands down cream even the best you can get at Red Coat tavern on Woodard in Royal Oak.

10 – Who is a famous, non-athlete alum from Boise State, and do you count them as an alum if they graduated or attended prior to 1968?

BT: There are many great ones and all would come long before Boise State was even a college many who help make the school today and without which you couldn’t eat your dinner, nor have that lovely smart phone you use. As someone from Michigan I am always quite amazed at the ignorance and lack of knowing just what a shit whole state you live in because well you’ve never experienced anything outside of your Mercury poisoned rivers and lakes who’s only real native fish is nothing more than a large minnow! Yet you dare call it a trout LOL , with all the acid rain that’s been falling on your heads since birth I have no wonder hy Michigan has been such a failed state for so long :D

11 – Which playmaker on the Bronco offense is most likely to burn the Spartan defense?

BT: WOW I really don’t want to answer that question because we are keeping that a secret, I will say this in camp William Rhodes has been a holy terror and if this young man see the field which I believe he will he can take it to the house every time he touches the ball.

12 – Who on the Bronco defense should the Spartan offense be most concerned about?

BT: Bacon! Gavin! Taylor, Hightower, Smith Ricky I could go on. I guess Taylor though Bacon can ruin a person whole day That’s a hard question really we have so many play makers on D despite what the espn writers tell you we are loaded on D.

13 – The past two seasons, Michigan State is 14-0 at home, and 22-6 overall. What is Boise’s key to being the first team to defeat the Spartans in East Lansing since 2009?

BT: Just be Boise State, come in likes it’s just another business trip and take care of business because that’s what they do.

14 – Ummm, final score prediction?

BT: I’ve thought about this much over the last 2 months. When you look for comparison games it would seem for Boise State this game match more to the 2008 game against the Ducks,(that was the last time the ducks lost at home by the way) Though in the end the scare appeared close it was only really close in the first 7 minutes after that Boise State blew them out and after knocking out their and his back up Oregon was force to burn they’re studs red shirt, the kid who blew up Wisconsin last year in the Rose bowl you can blame Boise State for why he has another year . Kellen being a first year QB and all and playing a ton of freshmen Iloka, Winn, Taylor, Cory DJ Haper, yep that’s right DJ Harper and Jamar Taylor both played in that 08 game and both will be starting August 31 as well. At the same time many want to look to the 09 game against the Ducks and eventual pac champs, low scoring defensive domination game, many see the game that way because of the lack of depth for MSU at WR and an inexperienced QB for both teams. So over the last 2 week I have dove into a ton of MSU tape as much as I could get my hands on, and after hearing from the BSU players I know, reports I see leaking out and the current injury prone MSU OL a QB who’s last meaningful pass was a pick 6 for a loss in his last high school football game in the state playoff game none the less in which that pick six was the difference and his inability to convert a 2 point conversion losing 26-19 , I also watch he foot work very poor kid seems like a klutzs in the back field add in he’s from Midland of all place then there is zero experience at WR and one RB sorry unless someone brain farts for Boise which could happen I just don’t see sparty getting in the end zone with the first team anyway. Now on the other side Boise is so loaded with play makers and the play book to make it happen I see either a kick return (opening kick that is) or a punt return going to the house in this one possibly early I see a couple pass plays going the distance a couple nice runs as well so on the conservative side 38-6 if I was a liberal 54-13. I should add Boise State is real keen on building up games with all their special uni’s most of which they have yet to wear and I have to believe with coach selecting just the normal away White jersey’s with the Blue helmet and orange pants he see the same thing I do when looking at the tape this game other then it’s BSU’s first trip to East Lansing is nothing special.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Enlightened Spartan 2012 Preview for Michigan State Football

OK, so here is the ES season preview below. The ES and The Blue Turf (Boise State) are working on a salvo of banters about our teams and campuses. That should be posted by tomorrow morning (Aug 30). In the meantime, the ES chimes in, along with ChiSpartan, Chock, Big Bob, and Swiss Sloth. Enjoy the predictions; the ES Game Day preview will be up Friday morning.

2012 Enlightened Spartan Season Preview

MSU 12-2 overall, 10-2 regular season. Rose Bowl champions, defeating Oregon.

With all due respect, this is the greatest season ticket package in Michigan State season history: Boise St, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Iowa, Nebraska, Northwestern. Another word: WOW.

BOISE STATE. W. This ain’t Atlanta, this is Spartan Stadium, and a feroucious defense feasts on the Boise backfield. MSU offense scores one TD, the defense scores two en route to a sounding defeat of the Bronco potato-heads.

@ Central Michigan. W. Unlike the Ann Arbor stick-my-nose-in-the-air rodents down the road, the Spartans share the wealth and give CMU a home game to pad its departmental budget. The Chips need the padding, as they are mauled in a big loss at home.

NOTRE DAME. W. The Irish are overrated again, but a very tough s chedule inspires the Catholics to a tough fight for their lives, early on the road in a night game. Doesn’t matter as Sparty’s defense shuts down ND in a low-scoring contest, making it 11 of the last 16 for Michigan State. Another TD for the Spartan D.

EASTERN MICHIGAN. W. The question: against whom will the Spartans score the most points? CMU, EMU, Indiana, or Minnesota.

OHIO STATE. L. Spartans shocked at home, suffer first home defeat since 2009 and giving Urban Meyer the first feather in his cap.

@ Indiana. W. See the intro “@ Indiana”? Enough said.

IOWA. W. ‘Tis interesting the decline of the Hawkeyes and the rise of the Spartans, no? Spartan defense should manhandle the Hawkeye front – a reversal of roles from a decade ago. Rising = Dantonio; Falling = Ferentz.

@ Michigan. W. Denard who? The hype is squashed for the third straight year. Last two years, Spartans viciously ended any Heisman talk, knocking Robinson into another world, with unHeisman-like stats (rush: 39-128 yards-3.3 avg; pass: 26-53-338-4 INTs)…... Defense wins championships, watch Robinson’s cage get rattled again. Spartan defense scores a pair of TDs to shut down Michigan Heisman talk. Again.

@ Wisconsin. L. Michigan State suffers loss number two, on the road, in a tight, heated rivalry that is the 21st century version of the B1G Ten glory that used to be Woody & Bo. The two squads will meet later…

NEBRASKA. W. Spartans defeat the Huskers for the first time. ES suffers a heart attack upon learning the win actually isn’t a replay of the 55 point shellacking the Spartans suffered to Nebraska in 1996.

NORTHWESTERN. W. Even though the Cats have had a great rivalry in recent years, they’ve been lucky not to schedule Michigan State on its current stretch. Read that: current stretch. This is a Wildcat offense and defense that, on its best day, just isn’t in the same league, even if in the same conference.

@ Minn. W. The days of old Metropolitan Stadium return in a -10 degree blizzard in Minneapolis. Bud Grant would love the weather, but not the result.

B1G CHAMPIONSHIP. W. Michigan State turns the table, avenges its loss to Wisconsin earlier in the season and in last year’s B1G title game with a Rose Bowl-clinching victory. Montee Ball runs for 210 yards for the game; but, on the last play, fumbles into the arms of Johnny Adams, who runs it back 98 yards for the winning score.

ROSE BOWL. W. Michigan State beats Oregon in the fourth meeting of the two teams witnessed by the ES. With a month to prepare, Andrew Maxwell gets his moxy and Spartan receivers have a field day… as do Duck receivers. But, this is the Spartans’ year.

NOT ON SCHEDULE: Purdue, Penn State, Illinois.


Swiss Sloth:

1. Total # wins: 8
2. Bowl: Outback bowl v auburn
3. Toughest game: Michigan cuz it’s on the road
4. How much would you bet on MSU to win the Big Ten if in Vegas? 0, but I never bet on anything
5. Score for MSU vs Boise? 24-14 for the good guys!!!
6. Season total TDs vs INTs for Maxwell? 18 td’s, 15 int’s


1. Total # of MSU wins: 11
2. Bowl game for MSU (vs who?): Rose Bowl vs Oregon
3. Toughest game for MSU on schedule: Wisconsin
4. How much would you bet on MSU to win Big Ten in Vegas? 5,000,000 Vietamese Dong
5. Score of MSU vs Boise game 24-10
6. Total # of TDs vs INTs for Maxwell : 20 TDs and 7 Ints

Chock (with welcome commentary!):

1. total # of MSU wins: 8 wins for an 8-4 record not counting the bowl game. I think 9-3 is a good, educated guess and I even think that 10-2 is definitely achievable. But we will lose at least one because of inexperience by our rookie QB. Cousins was really, really good and we’ll miss that.
2. bowl game for MSU (vs who?): Capital One bowl vs. Arkansas and MSU fans relish the return of John L Smith with a second straight bowl victory after Smith’s team crumbles around him at the end of the season
3. toughest game for MSU on schedule: @ Wisconsin
4. How much would you bet on MSU to win Big Ten in Vegas? $100 … although I’m much rather spend my Vegas dollars betting on the opening weekend of the NCAA tournament
5. Score of MSU vs Boise game: MSU 27 – Boise State 24
6. Total # of TDs vs INTs for Maxwell: 24 - 11

BTW, you didn’t ask, but Nebraska wins the Legends and Wiscy wins the Leaders. Nebraska beats Wiscy in the B1G Championship game and goes the Rose Bowl and shits the bed vs. USC. Kill, William, Kill, and Pound, Green, Pound!!! Go State…

Big Bob:

1. total # of MSU wins - 11
2. bowl game for MSU (vs who?) - Rose v Oregon
3. toughest game for MSU on schedule - at Wisconsin
4. How much would you bet on MSU to win Big Ten in Vegas? - $123.45
5. Score of MSU vs Boise game - 20-17. MSU
6. Total # of TDs vs INTs for Maxwell - 24TDs, 13INTs

Smigdiggler (with more commentary!):

MSU WestCoast Correspondent - Smigdiggler Sees positive things from the Spartans this year. with the favorable home schedule with a tough spot right in the middle of the season with UM followed by Wisky on the road, back to back.
1. total # of MSU wins 10
2. bowl game for MSU (vs who?) I want rose bowl, but due to some kind of BCS logic they will be relegated to the Capital One bowl. What's in your wallet?
3. toughest game for MSU on schedule - At Wisky a week after beating the tar out of those scUM bastards in the big sh!t house
4. How much would you bet on MSU to win Big Ten in Vegas? $100.00
5. Score of MSU vs Boise game This will be higher than most people think. MSU-28 BS-21
6. Total # of TDs vs INTs for Maxwell - Going Big - 27/9

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Video: Spartan Band practice march to stadium

Wanna get fired up... well... So here was ES and Big Bob heading onto MSU campus to hurl the pigskin, just three days before the season opener. And, the Spartan marching band shuts down the streets in its practice entry to the Stadium... "Go State, Beat the Broncos." Beautiful, 300+ strong band all jacked up - with a nice crowd watching.

Gets da ES all fired up for football on Friday!

Monday, August 27, 2012

2012 FB rules: 15-yard penalty to jump over someone to block a kick!

The NCAA was very light on rule changes this year. Most significant is placing the ball at the 25 after kickoff/safety touchbacks (not punts, fumbles, or INTs). The rule changes are:
  • Kickoffs will be moved up to the 35 yard line from the 30.
  • The kicking team will only have a five yard running head start on kickoffs.
  • Touchbacks will move from the 20 yard line to the 25 yard line only on kickoffs and free kicks after a safety.
  • On onside kicks, teams can't kick it into the ground first.
  • Players cannot leap over other players when blocking punts (see photo: that's a no-no #99). That's a 15-yard penalty.
  • Players who lose their helmets during a play (except when caused by fouls) will have to leave the field for one play.
  • Offensive players in the tackle box at the snap who are not in motion are allowed to block below the waist legally without restriction. All other players are restricted from blocking below the waist with some exceptions (i.e. blocking straight-on).

Herbstreit picks Spartans to win Big Ten

So ESPN leads off with the Little Sister down the road, the cheating Buckeyes, and the horror story at Penn State. With Herbie picking MICHIGAN STATE as the Big Ten Champs.


Watch the ESPN Big Ten preview, and see Kirk Herbstreit endorse Sparty for a BCS game.

Friday, August 24, 2012

One week til kickoff! Current odds... MSU a TD fave over Boise

Here is what the oddsmakers out of Vegas have today for week 1 of college football:

Michigan State favored by 7 pts over Boise State; Minnesota favored by 8 1/2 at UNLV; Penn State favored by 6 at home over Ohio; Illinois favored by 9 1/2 at home over Illinois, Nebraska favored at home by 19 1/2 over Southern Miss; Iowa favored by 9 1/2 at Northern Illinois; Alabama favored by nearly 2 TDs (12 1/2) over Michigan at Texas Stadium;

Sunday, August 19, 2012

WOW - Spartan Stadium scoreboard all lit up!

Well... this afternoon (Sunday), the ES was again heading over to hurl the ball around, this time at Munn Field (before the students return and take it over)... and wouldn't you know it but the folks over at Spartan Stadium were testing out the scoreboard.  So, the ES took some pics.  Check it out - and just hope their ain't a power outage:  all of the sponsorships, stats/time/score, and video are all interconnected on one HUGE flat screen.  Very slick.  Click on all these photos to see a large version.

Testing, 1-2-3... It's all on huge digital screen.  Wow

Can you believe how big the screen is??? Wow.

From the bike path near the Red Cedar.  The screen is HUGE. Zoom in!

How big is this?  Check out the two workers on top right

Friday, August 17, 2012

Let us learn more about Boise Potato Heads

Who is and what is Boise State University football?  Let us learn more about their history, the football team began immediately in 1933 in the first year as a junior college, being founded upon the earlier St. Margaret's School, an Episcopal school founded in 1892 in nearby Christ Chapel.  

What to follow -(fyi, check out the Recent News link below on the Broncs losing their starting Center and Wideout)

About BSU Stadium: 37,000 (and they want to be BCS?), just a wee-bitty smaller than the Big Green Gridiron Palace, only 48% the size of Spartan Stadium.

Football history (ahem!): Boise State University’s first football season was in 1933, with a 1-2-1 record.  At that time, BSU was Boise Junior College by the Episcopal Church. Boise played junior college football until 1968, when it vaulted into independent status, then joining the Big Sky in 1970. Boise Junior College played in the Potato Bowl in Bakersfield, California in 1949, 1951,1954,1957 and again in 1965. In 1950 Boise Junior College played Long Beach City College in the biggest Junior college bowl in the country, the Junior Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.

Let us compare the football schedules for 1933 between Boise JUCO potato-men and the Michigan State Spartans:

Boise State (1-2-1) schedule in 1933 (link here):

St. Joseph Academy, L 0-7
College of Idaho reserves, W 25-6
Albion Normal Teachers, L 6-7
St. Joseph Academy, T 0-0

Michigan State (4-2-2) schedule in 1933 (link here):

Grinnell, W 14-0
Michigan, L 6-20
Illinois Wesleyan, W 20-12
Marquette, W 6-0
Syracuse, W 27-3
Kansas State, T 0-0
Carnegie Mellon, T 0-0
Detroit Mercy, L 0-14

The future?  The Spartans will travel to Boise in 2022, with the Broncos returning to East Lansing in 2023.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

SI ranks MSU #8, Boise State #23: Analyzing the matchups

Bronco Nation beware: William Gholston is a beast
Sports Illustrated's Top 25 has the Michigan State Spartans listed at #8, and the Boise State Broncos at #23.   Let's look at their analysis, and what this all means on a matchup basis.

On offense, Michigan State's biggest weakness entering the season was a lack of experience at QB, and lack of experience at wide receiver.  The offensive line is the most experienced, with three returning starters (Blake Treadwell is out for at least the first one to two games with “a stress fracture or hairline fracture in his tibia”).  The running backs are deep, with All Big Ten Le'Veon Bell, former starter Larry Caper, and the swift and speedy Nick Bell. The Spartans return 9 of 11 on defense, the best linebacking corps in the nation, a pair of lock-down corners, and a deep and talented line in the trenches led by a pair of ferocious pass rushing ends: All Big Ten Marcus "Whatttta" Rush and All America William "I'm gonna get you sucka" Gholston. For more, read

Boise State also returns an inexperienced quarterback, but a deep receiving corps and a more than capable RB in DJ Harper.  As noted by SI, "Not only did 12 players sign NFL contracts, but offensive coordinator Brent Pease left to become the offensive coordinator at Florida. There are all of seven returning starters; Boise State lost nine of its top ten tacklers, its leading passer, rusher, receiver, and even its punter." Read more:

So what does this all mean?  It's a home, night game for the Spartans - which means with its new scoreboards the crowd will be fueled and loud. On offense, MSU has an advantage with its running game with a solid line against and inexperienced Boise defensive front.  While the Spartans may not have an experienced QB-WR tandem, a healthy dose of Le'Veon Bell and maybe some tosses from QB Andrew Maxwell to TE Deon Sims can loosen up that Boise defense.  On defense, MSU has a strong advantage with its depth across the board.  Expect the Spartan defensive front and LB corps should be able to plug holes and shut down the run game while pressuring the inexperienced Boise QB, probably redshirt junior Joe Southwick, who has appeared in 16 games.  Southwick can throw to talented wideouts... if he has the time.  The Spartan secondary is among the best in the nation, and with that vaunted Spartan pass rush the secondary will minimize the Bronco damage.

MSU has an advantage in its punting and kicking game, and in its return game with Nick Hill.  The Spartans are favored by 7, and when you look at it on paper you can see why.  If the Spartan defense comes with its A-game, the ES doesn't see Boise scoring more than 2 TDs.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

UFO seen at Spartan football practice... is it a Boise spy toy?

Anyone see the UFO across from Spartan Stadium today, next to the football practice field?  So, here was the ES with Big Bob, again hurling that pigskin at Ralph Young Field (field hockey stadium), and all of a sudden there was this whirring noise.  Sssswhirrrrrrrr.... The ES looked over toward the International Center, and up in the air was this this THING that looked like an upside down spider, a metal thing with someone sitting in the middle. The ES lost his good camera, so he took this with his iPhone, then zoomed in best he could with Photoshop:

Was it a spy from Boise State looking at the Spartan gridders in practice? Or was it some Spartan booster with too much money that decided to spend it on a toy for Dantonio to film practice in one-minute spurts (it was only airborne for a minute at a time)? Were the Spartans just testing this thing to use to spy on future opponents? Or was it an educational, engineering experiment? God only knows, but it was WIERD. Anyone have a clue? Post on the ES message board....

The thing shot up to a few hundred feet real fast, and came down real fast. Loud, like metal rotors purring...

Scoreboard... she's a beauty, eh?

It looks freaking brilliant - our Spartan Stadium scoreboard  Thanks to Melissa L. for allowing the ES to use this shot. I was riding back home from the MSU Library and from football practice with Big Bob yesterday, and at night the entire stadium lit up like a XMas tree. I'll try to take some night shots to share with you tonight. Simply spectacular. Wait til the potato farmers from Boise get a load of this at night....

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Spartan Stadium scoreboard update... and an A-10!

So, the ES was hurling ball with Big Bob over at the Field Hockey stadium, next to Spartan Stadium today... very very impressed with the scoreboards.  Check them out below.  The South Scoreboard is the largest in the state of Michigan, the two at the north look great - love the Spartan logo.  And, on the north there is a scoreboard ring around the top as well.  Very cool.  If you look at the second to the last photo, coming from the Main Library across the Red Cedar river, you can not only see the two smaller north scoreboards, but also the south scoreboard peering over the top.

Then, walking back, Bob and I heard a pair of A-10s screeching across EL for the Folk Festival, around 500 feet in the air.  I only had my damn iPhone, so the last photo has a shot of it - but it ain't worth putting up there.  Instead, I found a shot online which looks EXACTLY like what that A-10 did, bounding left above Beaumont Tower.

Here are pics of the big hooka scoreboard on the south end:

North scoreboards are below:

Here is a photo of what we saw flying overhead today! Nice beauty and LOUD A-10!

Michigan State Depth Chart shows... depth, and lots of it

ES is checking out the published depth chart for the Big Green this fall.   Below are the positions entering the fall and don't include Spartan freshmen or walk-ons.  The ES has highlighted in bold those returners who saw significant playing time (that the ES remembers), particularly in big games in 2011. In two positions (C and FS) there is some experience, but not listed as starters; thus that position was not bold-faced.  Lots of talent in the trenches for Michigan State, and the depth is outstanding on the defensive side of the ball.


10 Andrew Maxwell (6-3, 212, Jr)
18 Connor Cook (6-4, 222, R-Fr)
38 Niko Palazeti (6-1, 250, So)
37 Trevon Pendleton (5-11, 248, R-Fr)
24 Le’Veon Bell (6-2, 244, Jr)
22 Larry Caper (5-11, 222, Sr)
20 Nick Hill (5-8, 190, So)
59 Dan France (6-6, 315, Jr)
70 Skyler Burkland (6-7, 315, So)
64 Blake Treadwell (6-3, 300, Jr)
66 Jack Allen (6-1, 295, R-Fr)
63 Travis Jackson (6-3, 280, So)
68 Ethan Ruhland (6-5, 290, Sr-5)

62 Chris McDonald (6-5, 298, Sr-5)
72 Nate Klatt (6-4, 290, Jr)
51 Fou Fonoti (6-4, 296, Sr)
77 Henry Conway (6-6, 330, Jr)

80 Dion Sims (6-5, 285, Jr)
42 Denzel Drone (6-2, 260, Jr)

13 Bennie Fowler (6-1, 218, Jr)
14 Tony Lippett (6-3, 190, So)

25 Keith Mumphery (6-0, 208, So)
21 Andre Sims Jr (5-9, 182, R-Fr) OR
5  DeAnthony Arnett (5-11, 170, So)


44 Marcus Rush (6-2, 250, So)
89 Shilique Calhoun (6-4, 240, R-Fr)
98 Anthony Rashad White (6-2, 330, Sr)
93 Damon Knox (6-4, 278, R-Fr)
60 Micajah Reynolds (6-5, 318, Jr)
91 Tyler Hoover (6-7, 310, Sr-5)
99 James Kittredge (6-4, 272, So)
2 William Gholston (6-7, 278, Jr)
92 Joel Heath (6-6, 266, R-Fr)
8 Lawrence Thomas (6-3, 295, R-Fr)
10 Chris Norman (6-1, 233, Sr)
45 Darien Harris (6-0, 210, R-Fr)
34 Taiwan Jones (6-3, 230, So)
40 Max Bullough (6-3, 252, Jr)
50 Steve Gardiner (6-1, 224, Sr-5)
49 TyQuan Hammock (6-0, 245, Jr)

28 Denicos Allen (5-11, 225, Jr)
41 Kyler Elsworth (6-1, 220, Jr)

31 Darqueze Dennard (5-11, 188, Jr)
15 Trae Waynes (6-1, 175, R-Fr)
6 Mylan Hicks (5-11, 192, So)
27 Kurtis Drummond (6-1, 200, So)
26 RJ Williamson (6-0, 205, R-Fr)
12 Dana Dixon (6-2, 176, Jr)
9 Isaiah Lewis (5-10, 205, Jr)
23 Jairus Jones (6-1, 207, Jr)

5 Johnny Adams (5-11, 177, Sr-5)
32 Mitchell White (5-11, 185, Sr-5)


17 Kevin Muma (6-0, 195, Jr)
4 Dan Conroy (5-10, 186, Sr-5)

4 Dan Conroy (5-10, 186, Sr-5)
17 Kevin Muma (6-0, 195, Jr)

3 Mike Sadler (6-0, 180, So)
17 Kevin Muma (6-0, 195, Jr)

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Just got 'em!

Tickets to the most celebrated and hallowed ground on God's GREEN Earth. GO GREEN!

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Big Ten schedule strength: Illinois is Biggest Wimp; Michigan State schedules strong

Scheduling Charleston Southern? Gotta sell tickets somehow!
What is the top cupcake schedule in the Big Ten, and what school should be rewarded by having the most competitive schedule?    The ES looks at this every year, and prefers using Jeff Sagarin’s ratings from the previous year… because, it is the only rating system that includes all Division I-FCS team rankings with Division I-FBS rankings.  Because playing inferior FCS teams is becoming more commonplace among Big Ten teams, trying to see how they rank compared to FBS opponents provides an interesting unit of measure of schedule strength.    

Michigan State has a decent schedule overall, fourth toughest in the Big Ten, scheduling against an average opponent rank of 59.5  The matchups against CMU and EMU are gimme-victories; but, bulking up against Boise State and ND make up for scheduling these other sins.  The braggadocios down the road scheduled defending national champ 'Bama, giving them the toughest schedule.

Ranking schedules by team, and legends (L) have 5 of the 6 most difficult schedules in the Big Ten heading into 2012.

1. Michigan 54.3 L
2. Nebraska 55.6 L
3. Penn St. 58.6
4. Mich St. 59.5 L
5. Minnesota 60.3 L
6. Iowa 62.0 L
7. Ohio St. 62.6
8. Indiana 63.9
9. Northwestern 63.1
10. Purdue 66.7
11. Wisconsin 66.8
12. Illinois 70.8

WIMPY ILLINOIS GETS THE CUPCAKE NOD: Looking at Sagarin, the ES is most offended by Illinois, scheduling woeful Charleston Southern in week three.  The Buccaneers sported a lovely 0-11 record last year as a member of the Big South.  Their schedule is anything but a strength, a conference-worst 70.8 average.

SOME DANDY MATCHUPS:  The best non-conference matchups for 2012 jumped right out.  Get tickets to these games.   These were placed in order by looking at the difference in Sagarin ratings between the football teams. 

1. Nebraska (25) vs S Miss (24).  -1.
2. MSU (18) vs ND (26).  +8.
3. MSU (18) vs Boise St (9). -9.
4. Mich (11) vs Alabama (1). -10.
5. Ohio St (49) vs Cal (38). -11.
6. Mich (11) at ND (26). +15.
7. Purdue (65) at ND (26). -39.

PATHETIC CUPCAKE SCHEDULING ABOUNDS.  The most pathetic non-conference matchups for 2012 were determined by looking at the difference in Sagarin ratings between the football teams.  Each of these institutions should be ashamed for scheduling down to such low levels.

1. Illinois (55) vs Charleston Southern (237). +182.
2. Nebraska (25) vs Idaho St (205). +180.
3. Mich (11) vs UMass (150). +139.
4. MSU (18) at CMU (137). +119.
5. Ohio St (49) vs UAB (152). +103
6-t. Purdue (65) vs E. Kentucky (153). +88.
6-t. Iowa (45) vs CMU (137). + 88.
8. Minn (88) at UNLV (155). +67.

PLAYING WAY DOWN TO ANOTHER LEVEL: Notably, there are eight games against Division I-FCS institutions in the Big Ten this fall: Northern Iowa (#75) is lucky to schedule two Big Ten teams, vs Iowa and vs Wisconsin, New Hampshire (#120) vs Minnesota, Idaho State (#205) vs Nebraska; South Dakota (#130) vs Northwestern; Charleston Southern (#237) vs Illinois; Indiana State (#117) vs Indiana; and, Eastern Kentucky (#153) vs Purdue.

FULL SCHEDULE STRENGTH LISTING:  Below, here are the schedules for each of the teams in the big ten, and their final Sagarin ranking from 2011 next to the name of each team, followed by the schedule strength (SS) average.


IOWA (#45, SS# 62.0)
1-Sep    vs N Ill    47
8-Sep    Iowa St    53
15-Sep    N Iowa    75
22-Sep    CMU    137
29-Sep    Minn    88
13-Oct    at MSU    18
20-Oct    Penn St    28
27-Oct    at NW    58
3-Nov    at Ind    139
10-Nov    Pur    65
17-Nov    at Mich    11
24-Nov    Neb    25

MICH (#11, SS# 54.3)
1-Sep    vs Alabama    1
8-Sep    Air Force    72
15-Sep    Umass    150
22-Sep    at ND    26
6-Oct    at Purdue    65
13-Oct    Ill    55
20-Oct    MSU    18
27-Oct    at Neb    25
3-Nov    at Minn    88
10-Nov    NW    58
17-Nov    Iowa    45
24-Nov    at Oh St    49

MICH STATE (#18, SS# 59.5)
1-Sep    Boise St    9
8-Sep    at CMU    137
15-Sep    ND    26
22-Sep    EMU    119
29-Sep    Oh St    49
6-Oct    at Ind    139
13-Oct    Iowa    45
20-Oct    at Mich    11
27-Oct    at Wis    8
3-Nov    Neb    25
17-Nov    NW    58
24-Nov    at Minn    88

MINN   (#88, SS# 60.3)
1-Sep    at UNLV    155
8-Sep    New Hampshire    120
15-Sep    WMU    78
22-Sep    Syr    86
29-Sep    at Iowa    45
13-Oct    NW    58
20-Oct    at Wisc    8
27-Oct    Purdue    65
3-Nov    Mich    11
10-Nov    at ill    55
17-Nov    at Neb    25
24-Nov    MSU    18

NEBRASKA (#25, SS# 55.6)
1-Sep    S Miss    24
8-Sep    at UCLA    66
15-Sep    Ark St    67
22-Sep    Idaho St    205
29-Sep    Wisc    8
6-Oct    at Oh St    49
20-Oct    at NW    58
27-Oct    Mich    11
3-Nov    at MSU    18
10-Nov    Penn St    28
17-Nov    Minn    88
24-Nov    at Iowa    45

NORTHWESTERN (#58, SS# 63.1)
1-Sep    at Syracuse    86
8-Sep    Vandy    42
15-Sep    BC    90
22-Sep    S Dakota    130
29-Sep    Indiana    139
6-Oct    at Penn St    28
13-Oct    at Minn    88
20-Oct    Neb    25
27-Oct    Iowa    45
10-Nov    at Mich    11
17-Nov    at MSU    18
24-Nov    Illinois    55


ILLINOIS (#55, SS# 70.8)
1-Sep    WMU    78
8-Sep    at Ariz St    41
15-Sep    Char Southern  237
22-Sep    La Tech    48
29-Sep    Penn St    28
6-Oct    at Wisc    8
13-Oct    at Mich    11
27-Oct    Indiana    139
3-Nov    at Oh St    49
10-Nov    Minn    88
17-Nov    Purdue    65
24-Nov    at NW    58

INDIANA (#139, SS# 63.9)
1-Sep    Ind St    117
8-Sep    at Umass    150
15-Sep    Ball St    100
29-Sep    at NW    58
6-Oct    MSU    18
13-Oct    Oh St    49
20-Oct    at Navy    74
27-Oct    at Ill    55
3-Nov    Iowa    45
10-Nov    Wisc    8
17-Nov    at Penn St    28
24-Nov    at Pur    65

OHIO ST  (#49, SS# 62.6)
1-Sep    Miami OH    98
8-Sep    C Fla    77
15-Sep    Cal    38
22-Sep    UAB    152
29-Sep    at MSU    18
6-Oct    Neb  
13-Oct    at Ind    139
20-Oct    Pur    65
27-Oct    at Penn St    28
3-Nov    Ill    55
17-Nov    at Wisc    8
24-Nov    Mich    11

PENN ST (#28, SS# 58.6)
1-Sep    Ohio    68
8-Sep    at Va    71
15-Sep    Navy    74
22-Sep    Temple    46
29-Sep    at Ill    55
6-Oct    NW    58
20-Oct    at Iowa    45
27-Oct    Oh St    49
3-Nov    at Pur    65
10-Nov    at Neb    25
17-Nov    Ind    139
24-Nov    Wisc    8

PURDUE (#65, SS# 66.7)
1-Sep    E Ky    153
8-Sep    at ND    26
15-Sep    EMU    119
29-Sep    Marshall    79
6-Oct    Mich    11
13-Oct    Wisc    8
20-Oct    at OSU    49
27-Oct    at Minn    88
3-Nov    Penn St    28
10-Nov    at Iowa    45
17-Nov    at Ill    55
24-Nov    Ind    139

WISCONSIN (#8, SS# 66.8)
1-Sep    N Iowa    75
8-Sep    at Oreg St    87
15-Sep    Utah St    80
22-Sep    UTEP    92
29-Sep    at Neb    25
6-Oct    Ill    55
13-Oct    at Pur    65
20-Oct    Minn    88
27-Oct    MSU    18
10-Nov    at Ind    139
17-Nov    Oh St    49
24-Nov    at Penn St    28

Friday, August 03, 2012

MSU ranked #13 by coaches to kick off 2012 season

The Spartans start out the 2012 season with the coaches giving Michigan State gridders a preseason #13 ranking, right behind #8 Michigan and #12 Wisky.  Nebraska is #16 and Notre Dame is at #24.  Coaches love that big Spartan Defense as well as our coach, the Doctor Mr. MD.  GO BIG GREEN!

1LSU (18)0-01403
2Alabama (20)0-01399
3USC (19)0-01388
7Florida State0-01055
9South Carolina0-0981
11West Virginia0-0833
13Michigan State0-0717
19Oklahoma State0-0476
20Virginia Tech0-0461
21Kansas State0-0398
22Boise State0-0271
24Notre Dame0-0166
  • Others receiving votes: Washington 64, Louisville 46, Georgia Tech 35, Cincinnati 32, Texas A&M 28, Baylor 23, Utah 22, Mississippi State 21, SOUFLA 12, NCSTATE 11, Louisiana Tech 10, Brigham Young 10, Virginia 9, Houston 7, Southern Miss 6, Rutgers 5, UCF 5, Tennessee 3, Missouri 3, FLAINTL 3, Northern Illinois 2, TEXASTECH 1