Thursday, December 31, 2015

Cotton Bowl Preview: Michigan State vs Alabama

Here it is! Cotton Bowl Preview! The ES is at the Peanut Barrel and then heads to Dallas to  banter with an Alabama rooter.   Video footage from East Lansing and Dallas as well as guest predictions! Enjoy...   Predictions:

ES:  MSU 20-18.   Joe: MSU 21-10  Shea:  MSU 26-23  Tim:  MSU 27-24.  Howard:  Bama 42-10.

Go Green! Roll Tide!

The Enlightened Spartan in Dallas the day before the Cotton Bowl with Howard, a Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer supporter.  Howard predicted a 42-10 victory by Alabama over Michigan State.

Monday, December 07, 2015

How rare is a top 3 ranking in football and basketball; Couches ablaze

Spartan Nation... When was the last time any school was ranked #1 in men's hoops and in the top 3 in football in the same week during the season?   The ES wuz trying to figure this out with Joe, Scooz, and Rod at the Peanut Barrel.  Hmmm.   Florida in its last year of football under Oscar Meyer?  Maybe Oklahoma in early 2000's (that's a stretch with basketball); potentially Michigan (Cheating Five; Remedial Robinson title) in the late 80s/early 90s?  Ohio State (Greg Oden and the sweater)?  Outside of these schools, one might have to go back to the mid 60s with the UCLA hoops teams that were #1 forever under John Wooden and went to a Rose Bowl or more.     


The ES wuz in Indy and was in his own blazing glory of beer and victory, so didn't get to see the fires and partying in East Lansing after the B1G Ten Title victory over Iowa.  However, after returning later on Sunday and walking through town... Linden Street seemed to be ablaze with couches early Sunday morning.  

Corner of Linden and Division

Further down on Linden

Damn straight it is GREAT TO BE A SPARTAN.  

Sunday, December 06, 2015


The ES was in Indianapolis, in Lucas Oil Stadium, on his hands and knees, once again in tears of joy, as our Michigan State Spartan football team won its second Big Ten title in three years and advance as the #3 seed to the Cotton Bowl in the National Playoff to take on the Great Satan - Nick $aban and Alabama.  We're a 9-pt underdog.

I have lived my life for 47 years and have dreamed of this moment - to have a shot of getting to the Promised Land.  Our moment is at hand.

If you are a football purist, for all those purveyors of good old-fashioned football, then this Michigan State Spartan team is your dream, it is an early Christmas gift that keeps on giving - we get to continue to watch this team as it pounds its way to Glory.  The Big Ten Championship win was dominated by MSU up front in tough, ugly fashion, in a bare-knuckles fight against the Iowa Hawkeyes.

The football gods once again shined on MSU at Lucas Oil Stadium
State seemed to move the ball between the twenties but poor play calling on third downs and tight defense by Iowa kept the Big Green from doing nothing but kick field goals.  Michael Geiger, who kicked the winner at Ohio State, hit three but missed a 45-yarder wide and hit the crossbar on a 53-yarder.

Iowa - give them credit - they are a DAMN FINE TEAM.  They are playing in the Rose Bowl... and they should.  That's the best team Michigan State faced all year.


What was pure beauty to watch - what makes MSU the most fun team to watch in the country - was the final drive, the longest drive I've ever heard of or witnessed.  It has to be the drive with the most plays in Big Ten history.  A bone-crushing 22-play, 82 yard drive (just 3.7 yards per play) that took... get this... 9:04 out of the final 9:31 of the game.  The drive forced Iowa to burn all their time outs.  Connor Cook, who played OK for much of the game (16-31, 191 yards, and his usual boneheaded INT), played exceptionally well on the final drive, with a laser-beam toss to Aaron Burbridge on third down and the critical 3 yard gain to the 2 yard line on 4th down with 55 seconds left.


Not sure who made the MVP decision for the game, but they must be smoking crack.  Cook played fine, but not great.  However, LJ Scott played well whenever inserted into the game.  He ran 14 times on the final drive, and the winning TD was sheer brilliance - all Scott as he spun through three Hawkeyes and reached the ball into the end zone for the winning score.  THAT was an MVP performance.


The Spartans had far too many penalties (8 for 80), and the Big Ten referees remain incompetent. Once again, John O'Neill and his crew (which blew the call in the Nebraska game) remain inconsistent, blind, and questioning their own decisions. First, one can question a phantom defensive holding call on Hicks in the 4th quarter that added to an Iowa drive; second, consider the terrible offensive pass interference call on Burbridge for throwing a pick that didn't exist.

But... what really gets my ire is the puzzling decision by O'Neill to review the video on the Burbridge out-of-bounds catch that resulted in a penalty AFTER THE REFS ALREADY RULED IN-BOUNDS.  Even O'Neill didn't know what to do and called up to the conference office to see if they could even review the play...  What?  How can you not use video to overturn the stupidity in the Nebraska game, but you can to overturn and penalize MSU for its out-of-bounds catch by Burbridge on the final drive.  This once again leads the Spartan Nation to believe MSU is targeted by the Big Ten conference as a team the conference office really doesn't want to win and will use the referees as a way to try and impose its way.

The refereeing in the Big Ten Conference is a national embarrassment and must be overhauled.  Jim Delaney... wake up.  This stinks like bad fish.


When you do look at the stats, you can see that the Big Green dominated Iowa along the front lines (MSU 174 yards rushing, Iowa 52 yards rushing).  Look at this gem:
                                    MSU     IOWA
FIRST DOWNS...................       20       13
RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............   46-174    24-52
PASSING YDS (NET).............      191      216
Passes Att-Comp-Int...........  33-16-1  27-18-1
TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS.....   79-365   51-268
Fumbles-Lost..................      0-0      4-2
Penalties-Yards...............     8-80     5-45
Possession Time...............    36:38    23:22
Third-Down Conversions........ 10 of 20  3 of 12
Sacks By: Number-Yards........     3-20     2-10

Other than the blown coverage by Darian Hicks on a very well thrown, 85-yard TD bomb by Iowa QB CJ Beathard that gave Iowa a 13-9 lead into the fourth quarter... Iowa was basically shut down all game long.

The ES to $atan:  You better get ready... Bring it, you traitor!

Yes, #2 Alabama is a 9-point favorite over #3 Michigan State.  Perfect, we have them right where we want them - come join the ES in Dallas as the Spartans ruin the Great $atan's season.

Friday, December 04, 2015

Enlightened Spartan Preview: #5 Mich State vs #4 Iowa Uglybirds

Sagarin Ratings:  MSU #11, Iowa #14

MSU: 11-1/7-1. Iowa: 12-0/8-0
Saturday, December 5, 2015. 8:17 pm ET.
Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN.
Weather: Doesn't F'ing matter. But outside, it will be 50 degrees earlier.  
Line:  MSU favored by 3-1/2

GO BIG GREEN!  Watch this sheisse.  ES and April are joined by Ronnie and Nicole as they yeeee-haw toward the Big Ten championship.   One note;  Rod of the PB predicts at Michigan State 36-35 win over Iowa.   ROD IS ALWAYS RIGHT.  Enjoy this video.  :)