ES Preview: Pinstripe Bowl vs Wake Forest The Enlightened Spartan: ES Preview: Pinstripe Bowl vs Wake Forest

Friday, December 27, 2019

ES Preview: Pinstripe Bowl vs Wake Forest


Michigan State Spartans (6-6/4-5) vs 
Wake Forest Demon Deacons (8-4/4-4)


December 27, 2019.  3:20 pm ET.
TV: ESPN
Pinstripe Bowl. Yankee Stadium, New York City
Weather: 52, cloudy.

Sagarin Rankings:  MSU #37, Wake Forest #58
Vegas Line:  MSU by 4


The Spartans rang the opening bell at the NYSE on Dec. 26. 

Their stock this year was disappointing.

Well before the bowl selection show on December 8, the Michigan State Spartans knew they would be slotted to play in a baseball stadium as their final game of the year.  MSU football's statistical rankings compare similarly to that of the Detroit Tigers - for instance, the Tigers losing 114 games in 2019, and the Spartans ranked 107th in scoring offense in the NCAA.

NY Yankee's Randy Levine
New York Yankee president Randy Levine expanded on why the Yankees fought hard to outbid other outstanding bowl competition from the Quick Lane Bowl, Cheeze-It Bowl, Camping World Bowl, and others: "We learned our mistakes back in the Gotham Bowl in 1962: too much offense," said Levine. "The New York Yankees now have a laser focus to find at least one team that best resembles the scoring output of our Yankee team - last year, the Yankees scored nearly six runs a game [5.8], and Michigan State's scoring output is a proper fit."

One particular bowl stood out in Levine's comments in trying to land the Spartans: "As a historically successful franchise, we used our tough negotiation tactics with the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl to land the Spartans," added Levine.  "As a compromise, Titus (O'Neill, the Gasparilla Bowl Chairman) said we'd have to also select an unknown basketball school.  Wake Forest was the obvious other choice."

The Yankee organization released information with further notes on why they worked so hard to select Michigan State, comparing the team with similarities to the Detroit Tigers: the Tigers being sued for wrongful termination, the Tigers finishing last in scoring in the AL, the Tigers sporting ugly uniforms; and, the Spartans being sued for wrongful termination, the Spartans finishing last in scoring among true Big Ten teams, the Spartans sporting ugly uniforms.

"The bowl selection process worked as well as it ever has," concluded Levine.



Steely Dan is to perform "Deacon Blues" at halftime.

Baseball yes, football no? Yes, Yankee Stadium was meant to be for today's matchup.  Today's starting lineup:

P - Brian Lewerke
SS - Cody White
1B - Elijah Colins
2B - Jalen Nailor
3B - Matt Seybert
LF - Josiah Scott
CF - Kenny Willikes
RF - Tyriq Thompson
DH - Raequan Williams
Bullpen - Rocky Lombardi, Theo Day

Outlook:  The ES expects Brian Lewerke to have several wild pitches in this game, as he has for much of the season.  If Lewerke can get the ball over the plate on a regular basis, unfortunately we can expect many errors from Spartan fielding, with drops by Collins, Nailor, White, and Seybert leading the Big Ten this season.  At the plate, Raequan Williams and Kenny Willikes have also been a disappointment with few home runs in big games, registering just one sack each against nationally-ranked competition in 2019.  Godforbid the Spartans actually get to their Detroit Tiger-inspired bullpen, with incompetent pitching of backups Rocky Lombardi and Theo Day.  In sum,  expect an error-filled, offensively offensive game from the Spartans.

Predictions:

Smig:  Rutgers wins in the cold
Big Bob: Lewerke throws for 637 yards and the Spartans win 52-0.
Oakland Ronnie: Wake forest wins 45-24 all points coming from Theo day entry into the game in the third quarter on.
RGM3: MSU 24-21. Game winning fg as time expires.  Theo Day throws for 180 and 2 TDs.
Big Joe and Phantom 309: MSU 27-14
GVSU Gregger:  MSU 21-17
The Duchess of Kirkaldy:  Wake 27-14

ES sez:  Wake 27-17

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