Monday, June 28, 2010

Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon: August 3


Tuesday, August 3, 2010. Hyatt Regency McCormick Place. Wanna go? Register HERE.

A nifty Big Ten schedule chart is available; the ES will adjust this later on by locking in Sagarin ratings so we can compare strength of schedule. This year, expect MSU and its pansy-scheduling to get lots of shame.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

"I am here for life at MSU." Izzo Press Confernece 8:30 EST.

Tom Izzo Stays at Michigan State.

Press conference to be on Big Ten Network, scheduled 8:30 pm EST.

Comments from Izzo. My God, he is a GEM.

"...this opportunity was uniquely intriguing. There was a lot of information to gather and consider and some of it wasn't easily obtainable. But when making a life decision, I owed it to myself and my family to do my due diligence. From that I never wavered. And I'm pleased to say I am here for life at Michigan State.

"We have a great team returning next year with incredibly high goals. I've repeatedly said I have greater goals for our program and that remains unchanged. Tops on that list is becoming one of just seven schools with three or more NCAA Championships. I'm also driven to continue to raise the perception of our program to an elite level.

"The entire Michigan State community has been terrific. I'm almost embarrassed by some of the acts of support, but I'm certainly touched. I tried to approach this decision in a rational manner, but my heart was always at MSU.

"My goals are not limited to Spartan basketball. I want to do whatever I can to make our entire athletic department and university better. Most important is helping Mark Dantonio and his football team attain its goal of winning a Big Ten Championship and playing in the Rose Bowl.""

Michigan State President Lou Anna K. Simon:

""I personally want to thank the many people who expressed their faith in and support of Tom through spontaneous grassroots appeals. I also want to acknowledge the great leadership of Mark Hollis throughout the process.

""Tom's integral role and respect at MSU earned him the right to take the necessary time to reach his decision. Like others, I wanted the good news earlier, but the wait was worth it. Tom did what Tom does best: he devised a rigorous and thorough game plan that put him, his family, and this university in the best position to win. His decision is a winner for all of Team MSU, the state of Michigan, college basketball, and intercollegiate athletics in general.""



Just announced in East Lansing, 6:45 pm on Tuesday. WILX TV-10 with Tim Staudt (link here).

GO WIN A NATIONAL TITLE. WE LOVE YOU TOM! No money in the world can take you way from the East Lansing community that loves and cherishes you so much!

Confirmed reports of discussion with Board of Trustees earlier in the day.


Where else are you gonna get this much love, signs and rallies just to keep you around, and go out on your career on TOP as one of the greatest ever.... the risk is too great, and it is something you can't buy. Coach, you belong at Michigan State, you have built this program into an empire, and this year may be the greatest team you've ever had. You are MSU, and we Spartans are proud to acknowledge it.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

WE LOVE IZZO photos - it is everywhere

WE LOVE IZZO spreads across Michigan

The "WE LOVE IZZO" campaign is in full bloom. AS noted in today's Lansing State Journal, thousands of signs, banners, and what-have-you-nots are decorating the greater Lansing area in a sway to KEEP IZZO AT MICHIGAN STATE. The ES saw signs up and down Okemos Road by the Meridian Mall, just this afternoon.

Check out the website and support the cause, anything we can do to keep our beloved coach from making a decision that speaks to his and our hearts - Izzo BELONGS at Michigan State.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Izzo to Cleveland: a "heartbreak"

Best commentary yet on Izzo and MSU vs Cleveland:

The Outcome

The objective sports fan has to wonder, is this really about money? Tom Izzo makes more than three million a season in Michigan and lives like a king. A move to the NBA could be a mistake. While his large bank account would get even bigger, what if it didn't work out?

Just as LeBron James belongs in a Cleveland Cavalier uniform, Tom Izzo should be seen pacing the sidelines of the Breslin Center. If Tom Izzo leaves this school, it will be a mistake for his career and heartbreak for the loyal fans of Michigan State.

Tom, if you're reading this, please do the sports world a favor: Stay in East Lansing where you belong and bring the MSU another national title.

As one MSU grad stated today, "The waiting is the hardest part." Good luck Mr. Izzo. In every sense of the word, the ball is in your court.
Click here to find out more!

Texas, Oklahoma to Big Ten?

Sources to the ES are stating that Texas is mulling an olive branch from the Big Ten and that the UT-Oklahoma link is solid. Texas A&M Also may follow suit and join the Big Ten. This is also being reported over at KCTV-5, though that station has OU heading to the SEC. But Texas is the Big Enchilada, and its regents will decide on Tuesday to accept an invitation to the Pac 10, apply to the Big Ten, or remain in the Big 12.

According to the sources, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delaney has been given the go-ahead to make contacts and gestures on behalf of Big Ten presidents, led by Big Ten Presidential Committee chair, MSU president Lou Anna Simon. These are no formal agreements... but rather setting the stage for adept, and quick formal negotiations.

My oh my how it gets interesting and more interesting. A Texas/Oklahoma/Nebraska addition to the Big Ten would be major shift and domination among one conference in NCAA athletics, particularly in football. it may be worthy of 2 automatic BCS bids.

If this is the case, don't be surprised to see Kansas/Kansas State/Missouri/Iowa State head to the Mountain West.

Stay tuned.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Izzo to Announce on Saturday

Izzo will make announcement on Saturday. MSU or Cleveland Cavaliers?

As Tom Waits says,

... and so you ask me
what I'm doing here
holding up a lamp post
flippin this quarter,
trying to make up my mind

and if it's heads I'll go to
(Cleveland), and tails I'll (stay at State)...
if it lands on the edge
I'll keep talking to you

LIVE on BTN - Nebraska announcement 6 pm EST

The Big Ten Network will have live coverage of Nebraska Chancellor Harvey Perlman and Athletic Director Tom Osborne's press conference beginning at 5 p.m. CT (6 pm ET).

Check back with for live video streaming of the press conference.

And, this upcoming Tuesday, regents at the University of Texas are meeting to likely jump ship. Bye, bye, Big 12, it was nice knowing you. And, both Oklahoma and Oklahoma State will quickly follow the lead of Texas.

Boise State University has accepted an invitation to join the Mountain West Conference in 2011.

Boise State, currently a Western Athletic Conference member, would become the Mountain West Conference's 10th member. The move would be effective July 1, 2011.

Izzo and Conference Realignment

Here is an idea - is Izzo in a secret meeting, in negotiations to create his own superconference?

Maybe Tom Izzo is working to be the commissioner of the Izzoopolis Conference, with Michigan State, Missouri, Kansas, Kansas State, Baylor, ....

Izzo in closed door meeting: Friday afternoon

Izzo only got fitted for his championship rings with the players, but likely gave them a hint of what is going on...

WDIV TV-4 in Detroit

UPDATE: Izzo Back To Work At MSU
MSU Group Organizes Impromptu Rally

POSTED: Wednesday, June 9, 2010
UPDATED: 4:47 pm EDT June 11, 2010
EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan State Basketball Coach Tom Izzo is back to work in East Lansing and has meet with the basketball team.

Izzo was at his office at the Breslin Center and the team showed up at 3:20 p.m.

After the players left the closed-door meeting, the players would only tell Local 4's Katrina Hancock that they were there to get fitted for their Big Ten Championship rings.

None of the players would comment on Izzo.

Izzo returned home to Lansing Thursday around 11:30 p.m. not saying much, but plenty of apologies after meeting with the Cleveland Cavaliers about a possible job as head coach.

"I'm sorry I can't tell you guys more," Izzo said.

Uh oh. Not good news.

UPDATE: Izzo Calls Team Meeting
MSU Group Organizes Impromptu Rally

POSTED: Wednesday, June 9, 2010
UPDATED: 3:39 pm EDT June 11, 2010

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan State Basketball Coach Tom Izzo has called a closed-door team meeting Friday afternoon.

Izzo lead the team into the basketball operations building at 3:20 p.m.

There is no word on what he is talking about with his team, but Local 4's Katrina Hancock is outside of the building waiting for public comment.

Izzo returned home to Lansing Thursday around 11:30 p.m. not saying much, but plenty of apologies after meeting with the Cleveland Cavaliers about a possible job as head coach.

"I'm sorry I can't tell you guys more," Izzo said.

Izzo, his wife, Lupe, and their two children returned on a private jet from touring the Cavaliers facility, got into their car and drove off.Izzo said he was not aware there was an impromptu rally.

MSU basketball fans held an impromptu rally outside the Breslin Center in East Lansing to persuade Izzo to stay at the school.

ESPN said it appears Izzo is very close to moving ahead and is mulling over a contract worth $6 million.Overall, he declined to discuss the trip, but when asked about a timetable, Izzo said. "It's not gonna be forever, that's for sure."Local 4's Katrina Hancock went to Cleveland.

Nebraska has joined the Big Ten/12

Nebraska has joined the Big Ten, accepting an invite as of this morning. Board of regents were in closed session beginning 1 pm this afternoon. A news conference is scheduled for 4:45 p.m., according to a source in the NU athletic department.

According to Huskers Extra, "a packed house has filled the meeting room in Varner Hall today to hear a regents’ resolution that will carry Nebraska forward to the Big Ten."

Nebraska is 728 miles from East Lansing. The have 21 total sports, and their current ranking in the Learfield/SearsDirector's Cup is #36). Former Conference: Big Twelve. Another long-time AAU member. One of the historically strongest athletic programs in the nation. Strong football, and Olympic sports. 21 total sports. At one time, the ES had Nebraska as #7 on his list of expansion possibilities.

So, now the Big Ten stretches 1,088 miles from State College, PA (Penn State) to Lincoln, NE (Nebraska). Geographically, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa State, Pittsburgh all make sense. These are all AAU members.

It's only 200 miles from Lincoln to Lawrence, KS. 324 miles from Lincoln, to Columbia, MO. Kansas is right in between the two. Its only 314 miles from Lincoln to Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Izzo: MSU vs Cavaliers. Still a jump ball.

No decision by Izzo yet: Larry Lage, AP report.

Michigan State coach Tom Izzo writes in a text message to The Associated Press that he still hasn't made a decision about coaching the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Izzo's text message was received late Friday morning.

The longtime Spartans' coach flew to Cleveland on Thursday and visited with members of the Cavs' front office and coaching staff. He returned to Lansing, Mich. late Thursday night.

Welcome, Nebraska!

And, Missouri, and likely Kansas, Syracuse, and Pittsburgh; maybe Texas A&M. The ES still has a tough time believing Rutgers or Iowa State.

But, Nebraska gets the first nod as the Big Ten's twelfth addition. Someone got a new logo for the Big 10/12? If so, post it somewhere and comment on the link to it.

But, it won't last long. Oh, no it won't. Colorado is now at the Pac-11/16. They'll add lots of Texas schools. Don't be surprised to see Texas A&M go to the Big Ten.

Nebraska board of regents will vote today (Friday) at 1 pm.

It won't solve the problem of finances in college sports - it just means more money to be made and spent on college sports, and more of the smaller schools (MAC, WAC, C-USA) will be further behind. But, who cares, right? Hell, MSU and Texas A&M were made for each other.

Realistically, Notre Dame is OUT and the Big 12 has vanished. I see the Big 16 and Pac 16 beginning in 2012.

And, this is all about football - nothing more. Basketball, who cares? All the other 20+ sports? Doesn't matter. Because football is money.

Hey, I've traveled to Penn State; I've been to Nebraska twice. They're about equal when it comes to campus environment and geographic location: a long way to go see a cool football game.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Big Ten 14 or 16 team alignment

The Big 12 is dead.

Y0ur new Big Ten in 2012? I say count Notre Dame out; they won't join, they have a superiority complex and a stick so far up their Catholic butt that money don't matter. The key here is all teams in consideration: Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse -- all are members of the AAU. One other school to consider would be Iowa State, if the Big Ten decides to nix the Big East and just steal from the Big 12.

16 teams:



Michigan State
Ohio State
Penn Sate

14 teams:



Michigan State
Ohio State
Penn Sate

Kickoff times updated

Michigan State's Sept. 11 game against Florida Atlantic at Detroit's Ford Field will be televised by ESPNU, with kickoff set for 12 p.m. EDT. ESPN2 previously announced that it will televise MSU's Sept. 4 season and home opener against Western Michigan at 12 p.m. EDT. ABC will broadcast MSU's Sept. 18 home game against Notre Dame in prime time, with kickoff set for 8 p.m. EDT. The Big Ten Conference also previously released 12 p.m. EDT start times for MSU's Oct. 16 Homecoming game against Illinois and its Oct. 23 game at Northwestern.

No heir apparent at MSU

Here it why Izzo must stay. Best article yet on the "coaching crater" that Izzo would leave behind if he splits town.

Bottom line: He has yet to establish an heir apparent, and the timing is very poor for Michigan State in trying to find a replacement for the upcoming season -- beyond Brian Gregory at Dayton.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Follow your heart.

Tom Izzo: one word of advice.


Hate Watch: Dan Gilbert

I hate Dan Gilbert. He is not a Spartan, he is a villain. He is attempting to steal from his alma mater. Does he really love Michigan State? If so, get Calipari or some other college coach... but you don't take a bulldozer to your own house.

Screw the Cleveland Cavaliers and all that NBA stuff. They are now my most hated team in professional sports.

Best article written yet is in the Akron Beacon Journal:

The owner of the Cavaliers was in the midst of an intense playoff game Monday night in suburban Detroit when news of the team's interest in Tom Izzo spread throughout Cleveland and Michigan.

This wasn't the NBA Finals, it was the Little League playoffs, where Dan Gilbert is just another coach on just another dusty field. He said on Tuesday he has been too busy lately to check his e-mail or messages. That might be a good thing.

Gilbert is caught between his past and his present. In order to salvage one, he might have to destroy the other.

Should Gilbert and the Cavs sway Izzo to leave Michigan State, it will come at a steep price, not only in salary, but also in stature.

Gilbert will become to his alma mater what Art Modell is here. He will be the villain who stole the franchise.

Does that matter to him? Not if the end result is an NBA championship.

If Phil Jackson isn't coming, Izzo might be the next biggest name available. But at 55 and without any NBA experience, there is plenty of risk involved on both sides. Izzo is a proven champion in college, coaxing an injured team devoid of its best talent to the Final Four in April. He has reached the Final Four in consecutive seasons now and six of the past 12.

That doesn't make him ready for the NBA, where the only recent college coach to successfully make the leap was Larry Brown. The list of failures is much longer, but that doesn't seem to be scaring away the Cavs.

"It's finding the right guy," new General Manager Chris Grant said. "When we hired Mike Brown five years ago, a lot of you might have said, 'Who's Mike Brown? Can he really coach LeBron?' Right now we're open to anything: assistant coaches, college coaches . . . When you go into a coaching search, hiring the head coach is always the most important hire because it is the most important job."

Gilbert said seven coaches have won 28 of the past 31 NBA titles. That number won't increase this season, since Doc Rivers and Jackson are already champions. Is Izzo, college hero, really the guy to break that trend?

"He doesn't know the NBA game," said one source close to Izzo, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "I would hope he knows that after a timeout, you get the ball at halfcourt.

"What Tom is great at is getting a team to play hard and rebound. There's nobody better. In terms of two for ones at the end of the game or going at a guy in foul trouble, that's not his strength."

Izzo is the most iconic figure on a campus Gilbert once roamed. When Izzo speaks, people around East Lansing listen. When he shows up at a fundraiser, donations increase.

"The things he does best, of all the things he does, is off-the-court stuff," the source said. "That's really important at a university, where he's raising money. Every time a professor comes to campus, they want to meet him. Is that really going to matter that much in the pros? You're judged on wins and losses there. Nothing else."

In the NBA, Izzo is just another coach trying to coax James - should he stay - to buy into his ideas. Mike Brown had James' trust for a while, until James and the rest of the players seemed to ignore him as the conference semifinals circled the drain.

If Gilbert is convinced Izzo is his man, he won't stop until he gets him. It will get to the point where Izzo will be so overwhelmed financially, he'll either succumb to the money or run from Gilbert, insisting on staying put simply to win another national championship.

"If I were Dan and I cared about Michigan State at all, I'd try to find another coach," the source said. "If he thinks this is the guy to lead them to three world championships, then God bless him. He's gotta do what he's gotta do for his business."

The collision between Gilbert's past and present is nearing. Two cities, desperate to save their stars, eagerly await the result.

Will he stay or will he go?

Choice 1: East Lansing, $3 million/year, NCAA, ready for another title run in '11

Choice 2: Cleveland, $6 million/year, NBA, LeBron James

Tom Izzo – win another title! Please stay.

"I've taken the no-comment-on-all-of-it policy, which is a little bit unlike Tom Izzo," he said on WILS radio in Lansing, Mich. "But I've been very consistent with that. And maybe to close it up, I would just say there are so many things out there that are so far-fetched right now.

"I'm the Michigan State coach and that's what I'm going to do right now. Who knows what the future brings? But it sure isn't at all like it's maybe being speculated."