Saturday, November 30, 2013

WOW! What a day for college football, Big Green style!!!!

Today is unbelievable, like watching Raiders of the Lost Ark.  Up and down and all around, what a ride.

Michigan State whipped Minnesota, 14-3 today.  But, it is everything else across the nation that is giving #11 MSU a chance to really move into a solid standing.  '

First off, Ohio State needed a bone-headed call by Michigan coach Brady Hoke at the end of the game to win, 42-41 (umm, State gave up just 6 points to the Wolvies).  This makes the ES felling even better about our chances in the B1G Title game next week.  If OSU is favored by more than 3 points, the ES will eat his socks.

And, even if we lose (the Big Green won't), the BCS bid for Big Ten's second place team grew brighter with a #15 Wisky loss to Penn State today - at home!   Wow, that was a shocker if the ES ever saw.

#1 Alabama lost to #4 Auburn on a 109.75-yard FG return on the last play of the game, something that even the $6 million man should know:  PREPARE YOUR TEAM for returns.  Saban's look was fantastic at the end of the game:  looked like he was slapped in the face.  Can't happen enough to the former Spartan coach.

Elsewhere, the ES is giddy.  The ES is rooting for #21 Texas A&M is at #5 Mizzou; #6 Clemson is at #10 SoCarolina, one of them will lose; #25 ND is at #8 Stanford - the Big Green can really get a lift from an Irish win at the Trees; and, Rich Rod's Zona is at #12 Ariz State, with a loss to the Devils providing more distance between the Big Green and other BCS contenders.


Friday, November 29, 2013

ES Game Day: Spartans to shutout surprising Gophers

#11/11 Michigan State Spartans (10-1, 7-0) vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers (8-3, 4-3)
Time:  12 pm ET
Location: East Lansing, Michigan
Weather:  35 and cloudy,  13 mph winds
Line: MSU by 17

  • The ES has scoured the internet for the past two days, and cannot find one single prediction from the state of Minnesota on the Gophers vs Spartans football game.  How pathetic for the Land 'O Lakes.  
  • Merriman, MSU 34-10; Bardo, MIN 21-20; Dienhart, MSU 37-3; Yarina, MSU 24-7
  • CFN/  MSU 27-10
  • Detroit News: Charboneau, MSU 31-10; Niyo,  MSU 27-10; Wojo, MSU 27-10
  • ESPN:  Rittenberg, MSU 24-10; Bennett: MSU 17-6
  • MLive: MSU 20-6
  • and Prediction Tracker:  MSU will win by 15.5
  • all six pick MSU
  • MSU, 24-6
  • The Detroit Sports Site: MSU 30-10
  •  Feldman:  MSU 17-3; five of six pick MSU
  • Athlon:  Gall, MSU 34-13; Light, MSU 30-13; Lassan, MSU 31-13; Fox, MSU 38-10
ES sez:

What A Great Dayyy Forrr Footballlll!!!!  It will be a cold affair, but some sun will show up to help bring the temps to just above freezing.

This is one of the more interesting games of the season.  Minnesota's 8-3 record is among the greatest surprises in college football.  But, let's look more closely at common opponents... which the performance clearly favors the Spartans.  Minny's season was headlined with a 34-23 win at Nebraska.  But, the 'Huskers were whipped by Iowa today (we whipped both the Corn, 41-28, and Iowa, 23-7, on the road).  The Gophers slipped past Northwestern by 3 (who we killed in Chicago by 25 points), and snaked past Indiana by 3 (who we also hammered by 17 pts).   And, of course, the big difference - Minny lost to Michigan by 29 points; we absolutely annihilated the Wolverines by 23.  

Minny off vs Spartan def:  Minnesota's offense has quietly performed very well on the ground, with David Cobb running for more than 1,000 yards so far; but, his most recent peformance of 17 carries for 68 yards vs Wisconsin in more likely to be similar to what he will expect at Michigan State and the nations' best rush defense giving up just 59.4 yards per game.  Minnesota will likely be forced into a pass game, which is already ranked just #116 in the nation at 154 yards per game.

QB Phillip Nelson has a 9 TD vs 4 INT ratio, and completing 53% of his passes.   The Spartans are giving up just 177 yards per game, ranked #9 in the nation.  The Big Green has the best secondary in the land with Darqueze Dennard (4 INT, 7 PBUs), Kurtis Drummond (4 INTs, 5 PBUs), Trae Waynes (5 PBUs).  To boot, the Spartans' sport a nice pass rush with Denicos Allen, Shalique Calhoun, and Marcus Rush adding to 25 sacks.

Spartan off vs Minny def: The Gopher defense is giving up a reasonable 376 yards per game, ranked #46 in the nation. They are giving up 150 yards on the ground per game, and another 220 through the air per game.  These are respectable against respectable opponents. But, Minnesota's defense doesn't seem to work well against tough, grinding teams like Michigan State, with tough defenses.  Let's look at a comparable opponent to Michigan State on the road - such as last week's Gopher stint at Wisconsin:

1st Downs1811
Total Yards324185
3rd Down Conversions4-163-13
4th Down Conversions1-21-3
Minny couldn't get over the hump; just 185 total yards, and just 82 through the air.  More importantly: three stats stand out.  3-13 third downs (23%), an 11-minute TOP advantage to Wisky, and a 3-1 turnover advantage to Wisky.  This means that Wisconsin controlled the game on both sides of the ball, including on offense.

To that end, I see a similar effort out of Michigan State and the Spartans' ability to run the ball with success. To add to Spartan RB Jeremy Langford's 1,000 yard season, Michigan State is surging with its pass game, averaging 199 yards per game, but coming off a career-best 293 yards out of QB Connor Cook in a frozen, windy tundra at Northwestern.  If anything, MSU has turned out to have the most balanced offense, with the least mistakes, of any in the Big Ten conference.  Give Spartan receivers credit for making big plays in recent weeks:

at Northwestern -  (rec, yds, TD, long)
Lippett, Tony           3   64    0   48
Price, Josiah           3   35    1   15
Fowler, Bennie          2   99    1   87

at Nebraska -
Lippett, Tony           4   67    0   34
Kings, M.               3   37    0   17
Fowler, Bennie          2   29    0   16
Mumphery, Keith         1   27    1   27

vs Michigan -
Fowler, Bennie          6   75    1   25
Lippett, Tony           5   62    0   21
Kings, M.               2   14    0   10

And, in seven games of Big Ten play, Connor Cook is an impressive, 61% completion percentage (124 of 203), with 11 TDs, 3 INTs, 1,565 yards.  Wow. 

Special teams:  Minny's kicker Chris Hawthorne has hit on 12 of 15 FGs, 4-of-5 from 40-49, but 0-fer-2 from 50 out.  Their punter, Peter Mortell, has kicked 17 of 51 inside the 20, with a long of 62 yards. Our kicker, Michael Geiger, has hit 12 of 13 FGs, including 6-of-6 from beyond 40.  Sparty's Mike Sadler  should win the award for the best punter in the nation. 27 of his 59 kicks have been placed inside the 20, with a long of 69.  A big time advantage to the Spartans here

History: Since the Doctor showed up, the Spartans have handled the Gophers pretty well. MD has a 3-1 record, including the last three: 31-8 and 31-24 wins at home, and a 26-10 win in Minneapolis last year. The ES hates most of the teams in the Big Ten, but it is tough to dislike the ultimate underdog, of which the Gophers rank near the top because of their disgusting play on the gridiron for most of the last 70 years.  The ES is really rooting for Jerry Kill and his staff; Kill's continued seizures, and how his staff has overcome the situation has been truly inspirational. Further, coaching way the hell up where Bud Grant used to coach, and in an outdoor stadium, is an endorsement of the thick-skinned nature of football.

Final:  ES sez, it is senior day, and watch Max Bullough go out playing ape-shit.  Michigan State 22, Minnesota 0.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Michigan State moves up to #11, favored by 14 over Minny after dismantling NW

Spartans ARE OFFICIALLY GOING TO INDY for the Big Ten Championship... and so is the ES!

#11 Michigan State is an early 14 point favorite over Minnesota in its season finale - Kickoff is noon; on BTN. Nebraska is favored by 3 at home over Iowa; Ohio State is favored by 12 at Michigan; Northwestern is favored by 3-1/2 at Illinois; and, Indiana is favored by 20-1/2 at home over Purdue. 

And, yes, our Spartans moved up to #11 in the AP Poll

AP Top 25
1Alabama (56)11-01496
2Florida State (4)11-01444
3Ohio State11-01375
7Oklahoma State10-11177
10South Carolina9-2960
11Michigan State10-1929
13Arizona State9-2690
16Fresno State10-0619
18Northern Illinois11-0470
19Texas A&M8-3429
25Notre Dame8-368
  • Dropped from rankings: Ole Miss 24
  • Others receiving votes: Georgia 15, Cincinnati 10, Texas 10, Ole Miss 7, Arizona 6, Nebraska 6, Minnesota 5, East Carolina 1, North Dakota State 1, Vanderbilt 1

Wow, what a butt-kicking of Northwestern yesterday.  The ES is giving hisself credit:  a 30-6 final; the ES guessed 31-3... nicely done ES!  On offense, the Spartans had career days out of Jeremy Langford on the ground (25-150, 6 yards a pop) and QB Connor Cook through the air (16-24, 293 yards, 0 INTs and 2 TDs).  Just a methodical dissection of the Wildcat defense all day long.

Defensively, MSU manhandled the Wildcats, and gave them a consistently very long field to play on.  While NW managed 19 yards and 319 total yards, the reality is their starting field position was poor for much of the game, thank you to Mike Sadler.  Northwestern gained only 85 total yards in the second half.  Wow.   Darqueze Dennard and Kurtis Drummond played lights-out, total lock down corners all day long for the Spartan secondary.  It was incredible to watch.   You could see NW wear down as the game wore on.  Here are the NW drives for the second half... Nada.

NU       3rd N25  Punt           7-29   3:00
NU       3rd N25  Interception   6-25   1:21
NU       3rd N48  Downs          6-20   2:50
NU       4th N35  Interception   1-0    0:05
NU       4th N16  Punt           3-7    0:56
NU       4th N40  Downs          8-13   2:10
NU       4th N24  Interception   3-1    1:24

Here are the final stats for the game.  Another impressive effort out of the Big Green.

1st Downs2019
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
Total Yards464319
Yards per pass
Rushing Attempts
Yards per rush
Fumbles lost
Interceptions thrown

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The House of Payne

In men's hoops... Adreian Payne destroyed Virginia Tech tonight. #1 MSU won 96-77, but my God, look at his stats.

Adreian Payne, F10-154-65-528103130229

Friday, November 22, 2013

ES Game Day: Michigan State Spartans to DESTROY undermanned Northwestern

#13/13 Michigan State Spartans (9-1, 6-0) at Northwestern Wildcats (4-6, 0-6)

Time:  12 pm ET
Location:  Evanston, Illinois
Weather:  25 and cloudy,  BRUTALLY COLD
Line: MSU by7

ES sez:

It will be a cold, windy, miserable day in Chicago.  This will be one time the Spartans will absolutely roll.  A struggling Northwestern offense against such a stellar defense the likes that the Wildcats have yet to face this year.  Against this defense, that spread shit ain't worth a lick: ask Devin Gardner.   The Cats won't know what hit them in the face.  Watch for HUGE games from Calhoun, Bullough, and Dennard.  Also, don't be surprised at a Denicos Allen backside hit for a fumble-TD recovery.  At the worst of the Spartan offense, when in doubt, punt it with the nation's best in Mike Sadler and give NW the long field against this crazy-good Spartan defense.   Time, and time, and time again... as MSU did to Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Nebraska... etc.  

The NW defense has played fine... when given the chance.  In this game, they'll have no chance, and will be forced to stop a surging Spartan OL, giving Spartan QB Cook protection and a better run game in support.  Sorry, this one is just a BAD matchup for Northwestern.  It'll be a whooping, much like the Michigan game.

Michigan State 31, Northwestern 3. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Spartans ranked #1 USAT hoops, #13 BCS football

Wow.  Lookie here.  Tom Izzo's hoop team is ranked #1 in the land.  Mark Dantonio's gridders are ranked #13 in the BCS and climbing.  Hell, even the Big Green field hockey team defeated Syracuse in the NCAA tournament, ending the 'Cuse's 45 home game win streak (although we lost in the second round).

What a great year to be a Spartan.

USA Today Coaches Poll - M HOOPS
1MICHIGAN STATE (22) 3-0789
2Louisville (8) 3-0761
3Kansas (2) 2-0735
8Ohio State3-0597
9Oklahoma State3-0541
10Virginia Commonwealth3-0443
16Wichita State4-0330
19North Carolina2-1208
20New Mexico2-0180
  • Others receiving votes: Marquette 71, Iowa State 49, Virginia 42, Boise State 21, Harvard 20, Pittsburgh 19, Georgetown 14, Notre Dame 13, Colorado 10, California 9, Tennessee 9, Saint Mary's 8, Massachusetts 8, Saint Louis 5, Missouri 5, Belmont 5, Arizona State 3, Villanova 2, Brigham Young 1, Utah State 1
  • Dropped from rankings: Marquette 17, Notre Dame 22, Virginia 25


BCS Harris Poll USA Today Computer Rankings
2Florida State.9661222517.958921487.95941221211.980
3Ohio State.8869332375.904831404.90585434657.850
10Oklahoma State.58901291660.632491030.66451412121520818.470
11South Carolina.588310121459.555811882.5690101091111710.640
12Texas A&M.539411101626.619410928.598717161816131914.400
15Fresno State.413414141126.429016622.401316181913251313.410
16Northern Illinois.37291518864.329121418.26971221101214316.520
17Arizona State.34141922570.217122352.227111112210101411.580
24Ole Miss.1048NRNR110.0419NR35.022619222024161819.250

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Spartans move up to #13, favored by TD at Northwestern

The 9-1/6-0 Michigan State Spartans move up to #13 in the AP Poll, after pounding Nebraska yesterday, 41-28.  The ES WILL be going to the B1G Ten Championship game in Indianapolis. 

The early line out of Vegas is the Spartans as a 7-1/2 pt favorite at Northwestern; kickoff is set for noon ET, and the game is on ESPN.  Other odds for this weekend's lineup:  Illinois by 7 at Purdue, Ohio State by 33 home vs Indiana, Wisconsin by 14-1/2 at Minnesota, Iowa by 5-1/2 at home over lowly Michigan,

Here is this week's AP poll... creeping up, up, UP!!!

AP Top 25
1Alabama (55)10-01495
2Florida State (5)10-01445
4Ohio State10-01343
9Texas A&M8-2956
11Oklahoma State9-1889
12South Carolina8-2870
15Fresno State9-0572
19Arizona State8-2430
20Northern Illinois10-0426
24Ole Miss7-3119
  • Dropped from rankings: Texas 23, Miami (FL) 24, Georgia 25
  • Others receiving votes: Minnesota 77, Notre Dame 11, Texas 10, Georgia 5, Cincinnati 1, Nebraska 1

Saturday, November 16, 2013

POUND THE CORN. Spartan Punter Sadler is game MVP

We took that Corn, ground it into Cornmeal, and ate it alive. 

Today's MVP for Michigan State? Just lookit the stats.  Punter Mike Sadler - who hit 4 of 7 punts inside the 20, and another 59 yarder.  Just WOW.  He completely changed the field and gave the Huskers a very long field against the best defense in the nation (MSU).  The ES would say this should be enough to anoint Sadler as game MVP... but,

Best play?  Another wow, again by Sadler.  Give it up for the fake FG called by our amazing coach Dantonio; a run early in the 4th stanza by Mike Sadler, who ran a beauty 3 yard run after faking the hold and followed a lead block by our kicker, Mike Geiger.  Those three yards were important as they led to the eventual GORGEOUS TD pass from Cook to Mumphery on a third and long. 

Beauty is... as the ES predicted, MSU's Jeremy Langford outrushed Nebraska's Abudullah, 151/Langford, 123/Abdullah. We are a team of destiny! Go GREEN!

This is OUR YEAR.

What were the most impressive of the final stats below, other than the 5-0 turnover ratio? ES sez... 38-21 in Time of Possession!

1st Downs 18 19
3rd down efficiency 11-21 5-12
4th down efficiency 1-1 1-1
Total Yards 361 392
Passing 193 210
Comp-Att 15-32 17-32
Yards per pass 6.0 6.6
Rushing 168 182
Rushing Attempts 48 32
Yards per rush 3.5 5.7
Penalties 6-60 3-30
Turnovers 0 5
Fumbles lost 0 4
Ints thrown 0 1
Possession 38:37 21:23

Lovely. See ya in Indy!!!! Wahoooo!!!

Friday, November 15, 2013

ES Game Day: Spartans v Corn

#14/16 Michigan State Spartans (8-1, 5-0) at Nebraska Corn (7-2, 4-1)

Time:  3:30 pm ET
Location:  Corntown, Nebraska
Weather:  65 and windy, chance of showers
Line: MSU by 6

  • Merriman, MSU 24-17; Bardo, MSU 24-21; Dienhart, MSU 27-14; Yarina, MSU 20-17 
  • Freep:  Rexrode, MSU 19-10; Sharp, NEB 17-16; Seidel, MSU 27-21
  • DetNews, Wojo: MSU 19-13
  •, Feldman:  MSU 17-9
  •  All six pick MSU. 
  •  Bennett, MSU, 17-13; Rittenberg, MSU 20-13
  • NewsOK (Oklahoma):  NEB 19-14
  • Prediction Tracker:  MSU +4.19; the standard deviation is just 2.69, the lowest of all games this weekend; meaning this game has the greatest number of pundits most confident in the Spartans winning by between 1.5 and 7 points. 
  • Rant Sports:  MSU 28-24
  • Athlon:  Gall, MSU 27-20; Light, MSU 24-20; Lassan, MSU 27-20; Fox, MSU 21-17
  • Rexrode, MSU 24-16; Snyder, MSU 21-17; Sharp,  MSU 15-9; Seidel, MSU 17-14
  • MSU 20-10.
  • WhatIfSports:  MSU 23-17
ES sez:

Well, whenever I think of Lincoln, I think of the best song from an album of said name:

I'm going down to Cowtown
The cow's a friend to me
Lives beneath the ocean and that's where I will be
Beneath the waves, the waves
And that's where I will be
I'm gonna see the cow beneath the sea

They Might Be Giants - "Cowtown" from Lincoln (1990).

For me, Corntown is Cowtown.  The ES expects Michigan State to catch and gut that cow beneath the sea.  'Tis well documented by the aforementioned pundits, that Nebraska is one-dimensional on offense with a stellar running game, and an average defense.  The Corn offensive line took a serious blow this week, with junior OG Mike Moudy's shoulder injury in practice making him one of three questionable starters on the line, along with another out for the year.

Michigan State's defense has to be licking its chops.  Its strength is its top-ranked, #1 rush defense with a spectacular pass rush and secondary defense; the Spartans are balanced on offense, and have made very few mistakes this year.  One can argue the Spartans are the most improved team to date above and below both land and sea.

The only hitch?  Big Green has never defeated Big Red.  We're 0-7, never won in EL or in Corntown.

There has to be sometime.  This is the year, and the Spartans are a team of destiny. The Corn have not been dominant against good competition, slipping past a Michigan team that the Spartans thoroughly ripped to shreds.  Expect another dominant performance out of Michigan State defense, but expect RB Abdullah from Nebraska to get a TD and near 100 yards.  Still, that won't cut it against this Spartan defense, the most consistent unit in the nation.  Not this year.

Big Green Touchdown Machine 20, Corntown 13.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Nebraska jokes, har dee har har

Great, fantastic Nebraska jokes.  Just in time for a butt-whoopin' at the hands of Michigan STATE.  Thank you to
Q: Did you hear about the fire in University of Nebraska's football dorm that destroyed 20 books? 
A: The real tragedy was that 15 hadn't been colored yet.

Q: If you have a car containing a Cornhuskers wide receiver, a Cornhuskers linebacker, and a Cornhuskers defensive back, who is driving the car? 
A: The cop.

Q: Did you hear that the governor's mansion in Nebraska burned down?
A: Almost took out the whole trailer park.

Q: What's the difference between an Nebraska Cornhuskers fan and a carp? 
A: One is a bottom-feeding, scum sucker, and the other is a fish. 
Q: Why does all of the corn in Iowa lean to the east? 
A: Because Nebraska blows and Illinois sucks! 

Q: What's the best thing to come out of Nebraska? 
A: I-80 

Q: What's the most popular pick up line in Nebraska? 
A: Nice tooth! 

Q: Why do folks from Nebraska go to the movie theater in groups of 18 or more? 
A: 17 and under are not admitted. 

Q: What does a Nebraska Cornhuskers fan do when his team has won the BCS championship? 
A: He turns off the PlayStation 3. 

Q: Why did Nebraska raise the minimum drinking age to 25? 
A: They wanted to keep alcohol out of the high schools! 

Q: How can you tell if someone in Nebraska is married?
 A: The tobacco spit stains are on both sides of his pickup truck.

Q. What does a Nebraska Cornhusker do on Halloween? 
A. Pump kin! 

Q. How do you know the toothbrush was invented in Nebraska? 
A. If it was invented anywhere else, it would have been called a teethbrush. 

Q: Why couldn't the baby Jesus be born in Nebraska? 
A: Because they couldn't find 3 wise men or a virgin. 

Q: What are the best four years of an Nebraska Cornhuskers life? 
A: Third grade 

Q: What does a Nebraska native and a bottle of beer have in common? 
A: They’re both empty from the neck up. 

Q: What do tornadoes and graduates from the University of Nebraska have in common? 
A: They both end up in trailer parks. 

Q: What is the definition of safe sex down in Nebraska? 
A: Placing signs on the animals that kick. 

Q: How do you castrate an Nebraska Cornhuskers fan? 
A: Kick his sister in the mouth


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

I loathe Calipari; MSU vs Nebraska bigger than Kentucky

Everything wrong with college sports can be found with the two major college basketball teams in the state of Kentucky. Exhibit A: John Calipari, head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats.   The ES hopes Michigan State teachings the young one-and-dones a lesson tonight.

What is a bigger game this week:  #2 Michigan State vs #1 Kentucky in men's hoops .... or, #14 Michigan State vs Nebraska in football?

The game against the Corn is the more important game.  Who knows where these hoop teams will be in March, but we know the Spartans will likely be a Final Four contender.  But we know the Spartans need to beat Nebraska to have a chance at roses.

I still hope we embarass the Cats and teach the 17 year old diaper dandies how to play hoops.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Spartans favored by 3-1/2 over the Corn; move up to #16 in BCS

The Big Green soundly defeated Bye this week, vaulting to #14 in the Associated Press poll, and #16 in the BCS.  Next up:  at Nebraska, a team Michigan State has never defeated in seven tries.  The ES says:  bring it on.  If State is to advance to the Big Ten title game, it has to win these tough tests on the road.  Timing is very good, with the Spartan defense surging and the offense with Connor Cook improving.  MSU and Nebraska will kickoff this Saturday at 3:30 pm ET on ABC.

As such, the #14 Spartans are early 3-1/2 point favorites at Nebraska.  Other odds (the ES is using the early "Open" line from Vegas Insider), include: Wisconsin by 18-1/2 hosting Indiana; Penn State by 20-1/2 hosting Purdue; Michigan by 1 at Northwestern (although the alternate line shows NW by 3); Ohio State by 32 at Illinois.

Below is the AP Poll.

AP Top 25
1Alabama (56)9-01472
2Florida State (3)9-01418
3Ohio State9-01310
10Texas A&M8-2909
11South Carolina7-2857
12Oklahoma State8-1780
14Michigan State8-1633
16Fresno State9-0588
20Northern Illinois9-0396
21Arizona State7-2362
24Miami (FL)7-2121
  • Dropped from rankings: Notre Dame 24, Texas Tech 25
  • Others receiving votes: Ole Miss 68, Minnesota 60, Nebraska 16, Duke 11, USC 10, Washington 9, Ball State 7, Virginia Tech 5, Brigham Young 3, Notre Dame 2, Houston 1
And, below are the BCS standings, notably sans Michigan, sans Notre Dame, sans Southern Cal, and sans Florida.  Thank goodness.   Big Green is at #16. 

BCS Harris Poll USA Today Computer Rankings
2Florida State.9619222514.957721485.95812221212.970
3Ohio State.8926432373.904031401.90394444653.870
10South Carolina.558412121417.539812830.53551010912131012.600
11Texas A&M.547315101582.602711898.579413151613121714.460
12Oklahoma State.467114111545.588610965.622622142018NR2225.190
14Fresno State.431716131124.428214646.416814171711251213.450
15Northern Illinois.35051818825.314321445.28711424122017610.450
16Michigan State.341717151090.415216620.400021182115222322.210
19Arizona State.28332222475.181022262.16901211231091815.500
23Miami (FL).14711123457.174123228.14712521NR2121NR24.120

Friday, November 08, 2013

Michigan State to erect statue in honor of U-M's Mike Hart

A statue of a rival?  You gotta be kidding me.  Check this press release out - GO GREEN!!!!

(EAST LANSING, MI)---Nearly a week after the Michigan State University (MSU) football team annihilated its rival, the University of Michigan (U-M), 29-6, the institution called a press conference for 4 pm ET on Monday.

"The university has decided to erect a statue in honor of former Michigan running back, Mike Hart," said Joe Smothwick, spokesperson at Michigan State University.  "It is not often that a university builds a statue in honor of a student-athlete from another school, let alone a rival athletic program.  But, the recent context and the history of the two programs made it overly apparent that we had to appropriately recognize his achievements to this rivalry."

The statue will be erected on the south end of Spartan Stadium, directly in front of Gate A, where the student body enters the stadium.  "We want MSU students to see Mr. Hart in perpetuity and make their own judgements about his contributions before they enter the stadium.  The decision is as much an honor as it is an educational exercise."  The university has requested bids from artists on the style, size, and consistency of the statue.  However, a budget was not released. 

"We welcome input from the proud Spartan alumni on the material to be used to construct the statue," added Smothwick.  A survey will be released to ask for public input on several different substances to be used in the construction: maize, straw, timber, or solidified manure.  These materials were considered based on Michigan State University's agricultural history.

The rationale for the decision was stated by Smothwick as he referenced comments from 2007.  At that time, Hart called Michigan State University the "little brother" of the University of Michigan; and the stinging response by MSU coach Mark Dantonio, who was in his first year as MSU head coach: "The pride comes before the fall."  On the day of Hart's comments, MSU lost to U-M in a heated contest, 28-24. Since that point of time, the Spartans have defeated the Wolverines in five of six meetings, including last Saturday - the largest margin of victory for the Spartans over the Wolverines since 1967. 

"President Simon and her cabinet have discussed this periodically in each of the past three years; obviously, those plans were put on hold a year ago" (following U-M's miraculous 12-10 victory without a touchdown in 2012), said Smothwick.  "But, after Saturday... well, there's no doubt we need to honor the man for his contribution to Michigan State football."

Smothwick referred to tensions between the rival football powers, which heated up after current U-M running back Mark Touissaant referred again to MSU as "little brother."  Touissant was a non-factor in the recent contest, gaining just 20 yards on eight carries as the team rushed for -48 yards, the fewest in the history of the storied program. Noted current MSU linebacker Denicos Allen after the obliteration on Saturday: "You can call us what you want, call us little brother, big brother. But when it is on the field we show who is the big brother is and who is the little brother."

The decision was prompted by recent collaborations among the presidents of the two schools, LouAnna Simon at MSU and Mary Sue Coleman at U-M.  For instance, there will be a swap of each president to each other's institution as honorary commencement speakers this fall.  The positive dialogue between the presidents has helped to quell the tensions in athletics... leading to this olive branch from Simon to Coleman, but instead in the shape of a statue. 

"On Monday, President Simon contacted President Coleman, and both agreed it was the right thing to do to honor Mike Hart.  It's unanimous: we Spartans are proud of Mr. Hart's contributions to Michigan State football."


Sunday, November 03, 2013

The victory formation

The best formation in the history of football.

And, the iconic photo of the final score and brutalizing statistics...

Spartans jump to #18 in AP Poll after whipping Michigan

Spartans leap to #18 in Associated Press poll after 29-6 defensive obliteration of Michigan in East Lansing.  Michigan State has a bye this week - so let's see what the Vegas odds are for those who are in action this week:  Iowa favored by 14 at Purdue; Indiana by 9-1/2 at home over Illinois; Minnesota by 1-1/2 at home over Penn State; Wisconsin by 7-1/2 at home over Brigham Young; and Michigan by 6-1/2 at home over Nebraska. 

AP Top 25
1Alabama (52)8-01491
2Oregon (2)8-01418
3Florida State (6)8-01409
4Ohio State9-01315
11Texas A&M7-2861
13South Carolina7-2769
14Miami (FL)7-1737
15Oklahoma State7-1662
17Fresno State8-0493
18Michigan State8-1478
22Northern Illinois9-0322
23Arizona State6-2197
24Notre Dame7-2164
25Texas Tech7-2102
  • Dropped from rankings: Michigan 23
  • Others receiving votes: Texas 34, Georgia 32, Brigham Young 28, Ole Miss 17, Houston 9, Minnesota 7, Washington 6, Michigan 6, Ball State 4, Duke 1