Friday, September 08, 2017

ES Preview: Spartans to Buck the Broncs or Play Patty-cake?

Time for some Kentucky Fried Horse on Saturday
Michigan State (1-0, 0-0) vs. Western Michigan (0-1, 0-0)
Sagarin Ratings: MSU #32, WMU #68

September 9, 2017.  3:30 ET
Spartan Stadium
East Lansing, MI

Weather:  65 sunny
TV:  Big Ten Network

Depth Charts:  MSU, WMU

WEAR WHITE ON SATURDAY!!!!  The Spartan gridders will be sporting an all-white uniform, including a white helmet (first time with a white helmet at home since 1954???? In 1954, MSU was 3-6 overall, 1-5 Big Ten with victories over Indiana, Washington State, and Marquette.  Ahem!) 

  • Big Bob, WMU 31-28.  Did you see the wmu-usc game?  MSU will get its ass kicked if it can't stop fumbling.  WMU 31-MSU 28. Sorry to rain on yer parade but, remember, Bob Wills is still the king regardless of the outcome.

  • Sloth, MSU.  I predict LJ Scott will fumble away 2 TD's.  Malik McDowell will show up on an ATV and limp around on the sidelines all game, same as he did last season.  The good news is that WMU is less than great on defense, our biggest defensive weakness is pass coverage and WMU is less than great in the passing game.  So long as we keep WMU to less than 150 yards rushing, State wins this game going away.  Otherwise, it will be a loooooooooong Saturday afternoon and it will feel like 1983 all over again.
  • RGM3: 24-21 msu. Game winning fg
  • Ronnie: 28-17 bog green
Chew 'em up, Cole!
  • ES sez:  Did anyone see LJ Scott this week around campus?  Was he carrying pigskin to class?  Was he going to class?  

    Well, the ES met Cole Chewins (OL, 6-8, 284) today at the Mark Dantonio show at Reno’s East.  ES said, “Damn, you are tall!  Go get ‘em buddy.”  Good kid. Coach D said he came MSU at 232 pounds - so he added 52 pounds in 2 years!  Chewins said all he does in eat (he’s CHEWIN!) all day long, and in class, etc.  Hopefully, Lewerke doesn’t hit him in the back of the head with some passes.   More impressively?  He’s a Finance major.  Nice, the ES could use him come tax season...  

    Dantonio provided his usual coaching insight, blah blah blah, that you or I or any other person who watches football could say in their sleep:  “We will need to keep on our toes.  They have an athletic, mobile quarterback with dangerous running backs.”  As if the stats don’t lie with the Broncos’ performance vs Southern Cal.  The problem is what coach D also said, in response to a question from a caller: “one of our goals on defense is to create turnovers. When we win the turnover battle we are 52-9, when we don’t we are 25-25 in our 10 years here.”  Well, Big Green had a pick-six vs Bowling Green, but gave up three turnovers to lose the TO battle at -2.  This must change.  

Roly Poly... Average age & weight in attendance at the MD show at Reno's?  78 y/o and 295.

Problem with WMU is their defense gave up over 280 yards to 10 receivers from SC.  Now, the Spartans don’t have the depth at receiver as do da Trojans… but the Big Green better figure it out.  While MSU hit 10 receivers last week (as did SC), only five had more than one catch, and, the ES is noting several drops.  Derrell Stewart (impressive) and Felton Davis (acrobatic despite drops) seem to be the go-tos to take advantage of a weak WMU secondary.

Enuff said.  Methinks the Spartans, with Hartbarger, at worst can punt MSU into good field position on the day.  Stop fumbling!  Any field goal kicking?  Naah.  Move to 2-0 and next week bring on the Firkin Irish stumbling into EL with their bruises after a loss to UGA.

FINAL SCORE: Chewin' Finance Major 35, Dangerous Running Backs with No Secondary 28.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Winning B1G is fun


There are few things better in life than a convincing win from your alma mater on the gridiron.  That was exactly the case yesterday, as our Big Green Touchdown Machine dispatched Bowling Green in easy, simple fashion.  The ES wuz surprised at how well the MSU defense played - and there were certainly some pluses and minuses.  

Looking to next week:  MSU is favored by a TD over Western. 

Beyond all of this - WOW - the B1G Ten (11-3 in week one) looks by far to have the best conference top to bottom in the land.  Maryland beating Texas… in Texas????  Who dominated in the Big Ten? Michigan State, Ohio State, Wisconsin, MARYLAND, Michigan, Penn State, Iowa. Even Purdon’t (loss to Louisville) hung around.  Wow. This was easily the greatest opening weekend of college football in what remains of my memory.  Big Ten schools that struggled: Nebraska, Northwestern, Illinois, Minny, and of course, Rutgers (loss).

A fairly full house on a beautiful Saturday for football!

Ahem.  Pretty!
The ES breaks down our win over Bowling Green:

Biggest surprise:  The defense.  Other than the bomb on BGSU’s first drive, the Spartan defense controlled the game.  First downs: MSU won the battle, 25-9. Only 9 FDs!  And, MSU gave up just 212 total yards, 67 on the ground - 2.8 average per carry.  The defense was stout - surprisingly very good.  

Best play: In the third quarter, with MSU up 21-3, LB Chris Frey busted around the right end, threw the tackle aside, and hit the BGSU quarterback straight up.  It was - WOW - a great, athletic play.  Almost a safety - that was when you knew the game was over.  

Biggest disappointment:  LJ Scott.  If Coach D doesn’t make LJ carry a football around campus all week - and sleep with it - then he should be fired.  Scott had a fumble on the one yard line - a NO-NO -and then BGSU’s only TD was off another Scott fumble.  That guy needs to get a GRIP.  He has too much talent to be afflicted with fumble-itis. 

Best stat: MSU 8-of-15 on third downs.  This was a real problem area for MSU all season last year.  No problem against BGSU - MSU looked comfortable on third downs for the balance of the game. 

Not on the bandwagon:  Felton Davis (#18) made some GREAT catches.  He also dropped a few.  He can’t drop those passes if we are going to beat Michigan or Ohio State.  You wanna keep those dreadlocks?  Fine, CATCH THE BALL. 

On the bandwagon:  Chris Frey (#23) and Jake Hartbarger (#2).  Frey was flying around the field (5 tackles), as the field general of the defense he looked good!  Harbarger punted a 57 yarder that had great hang-time… that can be a potential deadly weapon in tight games.  

Crowd:  It was 12 o’clock on a Saturday.  The regular crowd shuffled in. There was an old man sitting next to me.  Bitching about tonic and gin.  It was GREAT to see the usher (for 50+years) up in section 125, and of course, Dieter.   About 71,500+ - pretty good for Bowling Green.  

A comment from my Italian friend, Joe: “First half sloppy offense, too many fumbles, second half they pulled their shit together like I expected:” 

 Total Yards: 465-212, another Spartan victory.  Stats are what they are: 

Team Statistics (Final) 
The Automated ScoreBook 
Bowling Green vs Michigan State (Sep 2, 2017 at East Lansing, Mich.)

 Team Totals BGSU MSU 
   Rushing 13 
   Passing 11 
   Rushing Attempts 24 46 
   Average Per Rush 2.8 4.7 
   Rushing Touchdowns 
   Yards Gained Rushing 78 244 
   Yards Lost Rushing 11 29 
   Completions-Attempts-Int 10-31-1 22-36-0 
   Average Per Attempt 4.7 6.9 
   Average Per Completion 14.5 11.4 
   Passing Touchdowns 
   Total offense plays 55 82 
   Average Gain Per Play 3.9 5.7 
Fumbles: Number-Lost 0-0 4-3 
Penalties: Number-Yards 4-20 4-25 
PUNTS-YARDS 8-369 6-294 
   Average Yards Per Punt 46.1 49.0 
   Net Yards Per Punt 44.2 40.7 
   Inside 20 
   50+ Yards 
   Fair catch 
KICKOFFS-YARDS 3-161 6-367 
   Average Yards Per Kickoff 53.7 61.2 
   Net Yards Per Kickoff 34.0 41.5 
Punt returns: Number-Yards-TD 1-10-0 3-15-0 
   Average Per Return 10.0 5.0 
Kickoff returns: Number-Yds-TD 5-93-0 2-34-0 
   Average Per Return 18.6 17.0 
Interceptions: Number-Yds-TD 0-0-0 1-38-1 
Fumble Returns: Number-Yds-TD 2-76-1 0-0-0 
Miscellaneous Yards 
Possession Time 21:59 38:01 
   1st Quarter 5:06 9:54 
   2nd Quarter 4:13 10:47 
   3rd Quarter 5:19 9:41 
   4th Quarter 7:21 7:39 
Third-Down Conversions 2 of 13 8 of 15 
Fourth-Down Conversions 0 of 2 0 of 0 
Red-Zone Scores-Chances 1-1 4-5 
   Touchdowns 0-1 4-5 
   Field goals 1-1 0-5 
Sacks By: Number-Yards 0-0 1-10 
PAT Kicks 1-1 5-5 
Field Goals 1-1 0-0 
Points off turnovers 10 

Saturday, September 02, 2017

MSU vs Bowling Green

Michigan State (0-0) vs Bowling Green (0-0)
BGSU picked for 3rd in MAC East
MSU picked for 4th in B1G Ten East
75 degrees and sunny
MSU favored by 17

Sagarin Ratings:  Michigan State #33, Bowling Green #109


Picks:  Keith 32-10

ES Sez: A healthy dose of LJ Scott, a splash of Elwerke, and breaking in our receivers lead to a closer that expected MSU win, 28-24.

Friday, September 01, 2017

Enlightened Spartan Preview 2017-18

It's the End of the World as we
Know it, and I feel fine!
The ES is in his 18th year publishing Spartan predictions on-line! We are talking the LONGEST COLLEGE FOOTBALL BLOG in history.

The ES is partial on the Big Green this year. Check out this picture from Dantonio’s first radio show at Reno’s. Well, things are just looking up peachy at MSU. What a great year!!!! The ES invites anyone with a beating heart to look at the lovely facilities built for the Athletics Department on South Harrison.

You can’t miss it - Mark Hollis with his binoculars should keep a tight eye on the actions of our coaches, and in most proximity, Mark Dantonio. He should get his henchmen in order, and create a KGB-culture spy ring to figure out what athletes are disrespecting women on our campus - and to punish them! “Education”? Meh. When Coach D mentions “we got education” it is demeaning and empty with respect to what actually needs to be done proactive towards student development. Gimme a break.

Mark Hollis: Welcome to 1855 Spartan Plaza!!!!!
(look across west side of Breslin)

Where the hell did you go???? 
OK, now that the ES got that off his chest - how will this stained-football program fare in 2017-18? I welcome my prognosticators who are more well endowed in football lore than the ES. My queries: 1) Final record W-L; 
2) Big Ten record W-L; 
3) Bowl game??? 
4) Best Win; 
5) Worst Loss; 
6) General commentary on MSU debauchery...
  • SMIG 1) Final record 8-4; 2) Big Ten record 6-3; 3) Bowl game - Yes 4) Wisky 5) Ohio State 6) Looking forward to watching some football on Saturday. 
  • KEITH 1) Ditto w ChicagoBro: 7-5. 6) team will gel but administrative heads will roll...maybe some coaches too. 
  • CHICAGO BRO 1) Final record 7-5 2) Big Ten record 4-5 3) Bowl game - Yes 4) Best Win - vs Iowa 5) Worst Loss - at Minnesota 6) General commentary on MSU debauchery... off field troubles are past 
  • BIG BOB 1) 6-6. 2) 4-5. 3) MSU will turn down the offer to play in the inaugural Barnyard Bowl played on the High School field in beautiful Elmore, OH. 4) Bowling Green. 5) Western Michigan. 6) Students boycott all games and only talk about upcoming hoops season. 
  • JACK 1) 6-7; 2) 3-6; 3) loss @ Ford Field; 4) charges dismissed; 5) Rutgers (because I will be there, and last time I was there Dowdell was QB); 6) can it get worse that last year and the off season? 
  • KELLY BUTT 1) 7-6 (best case) How many fake punts ??? 25 Chances of First play...hand off to the the right..?? 100% 
  • SLOTH 2) 3-6 3) Lmfao 4) The end of the season comes without any more violent crimes being committed 5) Michigan 6) This season feels like what 2003 would have felt like had BW been allowed to come back. We are the biggest joke at the college level right now, and it is only going to get worse. Coach D will be gone by January 1. 
  •  RGM3 7-5. Upset v Penn St or Ohio St. MSU will have a winning record in the Big Ten. Loss to Notre Dame. Biggest win is Penn St at home. BWW Bowl against Texas Tech with a victory. MSU will finish in the Top20 in 2018-19.
Da ES:
  • Is this John L Smith all over again?  Or, as the Sloth, pointed out; "what does it take to get a guy fired around here?"  OK, here's my take.   HARUMPH.  I've heard Indians, Pakistanis, Chinese, Japanese, Brazilians, Peruvians, Russians, Egyptians.  They all say the same thing. 6-6 record.  Then again, the Indians and Pakis thought I asked about cricket, and responded 264-6 wickets.  Whatever that means. 
  • 1) Final record W-L: 6-6.

  • 2) Big Ten record W-L: 3-6
  • 3) Bowl game: BWW - I want Asian Zing. 

  • 4) Best Win: Notre Dame. 

  • 5) Worst Loss: Maryland (again).

  • 6) General commentary on MSU debauchery... Coach D wins his job for another year. Barely. Stop the rape!!!!
Tomorrow morning for the first game prediction of the year!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Fire Tom Anastos. Immediately.

UPDATE (1/15): After this past weekend, MSU has now lost 9 in a row, is 4-15-1, and outscored 43-18 over that period. 

Rarely does the ES post about the Spartan ice hockey team, but now is the time.  Sorry, this is an ugly post, but my Green & White pride demands it.


This evening, at the $20 million restored Munn Ice Arena, MSU got whipped again, 5-2, against mighty Penn State.  Sorry, coach, the restoration was NOT a "game changer" with you in charge. MSU is now 4-13-1 overall, has not won in its last 7 games, being outscored 33-13 in that period of time. Can we reach our 10-23-4 record from a year ago?  The ES doubts it.

My, my how the mighty have fallen.  Let's share some comments from the master to prove the point.

The ES with Ron Mason, Dec 2015
In mid-Dec. 2015, the ES went to Reno's and it just so happened to be the Tom Anastos show.  The ES bellied up to the back bar instead of listening to Anastos' drivel...  guess who popped into the seat next to him?  The late, great Ron Mason - greatest collegiate hockey coach of all-time. Here's where the conversation went:

ES: "Howdy, coach! Welcome back to town! We miss you."
RM: "Thanks so much. It's good to be back, although it's a little cold."
ES: "No shit. Aren't you down in Florida these days?  What're ya doing?"
RM: "Yeah, I'm off West Palm Beach.  I've got a fishing boat and go deep-sea fishing every day."
ES: "What do you catch?"
RM: "Maybe some swordfish, [some other fish I can't remember].  I couldn't do it when I was working, but I do it every day now."
ES: "Awesome. Take advantage of retirement. What do you think of our hockey team these days?"
RM: "It's sad and unfortunate.  To see that program I helped build up to be one of the best year-in-year out, and now that legacy is ruined. I'm glad to be fishing."
ES: "I couldn't agree more.  I miss your teams. You been to Munn since they redid it?"
RM: "It's great.  Too bad we don't have a hockey team good enough to deserve it.  We don't even fill the place any more."
ES: "I know. When you were coaching, I had to scalp tickets to get in.  Maybe we should just talk about fishing?"

etc, etc.

Uhhhhh, yeah.  Ron Mason is turning in his grave right now seeing how this hockey team is stinking it up.  I have had several conversations with a few other Spartan hockey alumni who believe the same thing.

*ES at the MSU/Minny game
on the glass, Dec. 9
Let's just consider the home games this season:

Oct. 21. Denver. L, 1-2. Attendance: 5,419
Oct. 22. Denver. L, 1-3. Attendance: 3,003
Oct. 28. Princeton, W, 6-2. Attendance: 3,079
Nov. 4. Michigan Tech. W, 3-2 OT. Attendance: 3,339
Nov. 5. Michigan Tech. L, 1-5. Attendance: 4,038
Nov. 10. Ferris State. L, 1-4. Attendance: 3,169
* Dec. 9. Minnesota. L, 2-4. Attendance: 5,869
Dec. 10. Minnesota. L, 2-4. Attendance: 5,420
Dec. 18. Northeastern. L, 2-6. Attendance: 3,536
TOTAL: 2-7. Score: 19-32. Average Attendance: 4,097

Of 6,450 capacity at Munn, the Spartan hockey team is averaging 63.5%... or, with an average ticket price of $15 (between $10 and $22), that's a loss of an average of $35,295 per game.  Under Mason, the Big Green Hockey Machine was sold out for 323 games in a row (from 1985 to 2004).

And, in the Pairwise rankings, Michigan State is ranked #50 out of 60, behind #49 Arizona State, #48 Colgate, #47 Sacred Heart, #45 Mercyhurst, #44 Bentley, and our mighty #35 U.S. Military Academy (Army).  Thank the Lord we are ranked ahead of #55 Alabama-Huntsville (for now).

Don't wait until the end of the season, Mr. Hollis.  This team is getting worse, not better.  Unfortunately, the Anastos hire did not work out - he should have stuck to pushing papers.  Why wait?  This marriage is over.

So, who would be interim coach?  Get a player to coach the team; or,  Kevin Miller, since he's in town.  Or, anyone named Miller.  Good God.

Sharpen that axe and let it fall.  It's time to start OVER.  Immediately. It's embarrassing.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Speciality environment losses pile up

OK, the ES loves Mark Hollis with respect to him scheduling all these "specialty" games at unique environments.  But, at this point, they are a guaranteed loss.  Today's hoops game between Michigan State and Penn State was ugly.  "Bucket List"?  Let's take a look...

Tie - The Cold War (ice hockey in Spartan Stadium, world record crowd. MSU vs UM).  
Loss - Basketbowl (basketball at Ford Field, world record crowd.  MSU vs Kentucky). 
Loss - The Big Chill (ice hockey at Michigan Stadium, world record crowd. MSU vs UM).  
Loss - Carrier Classic (basketball on USS Carl Vincent.  MSU vs UNC).  
Loss - Armed Forces Classic (basketball in hangar at Ramstein AFB, Germany.  MSU vs UConn). 
Loss - At the Palestra (basketball at iconic arena in Philadelphia.  MSU vs Penn State).   

Is the ES missing something?