Friday, September 29, 2017

Enlightened Preview: Michigan State hosts Iowa

Michigan State (2-1, 0-0) vs. Ugly Chickens (3-1, 0-0)
Sagarin Ratings: MSU #37, Ugly Chickens #31

September 28, 2017.  4:00 ET
Spartan Stadium
East Lansing, MI

Weather:  61 and sunny
TV:  Fox

Yes, we are the whipping post for the nation.  Against the Irish, the ES wanted to projectile vomit after the first period.  There's nothing like laying an egg on national television.  That was wonderful. 

It was amusing seeing how Coach Dantonio took a page out of the ES’ playbook from TWO WEEKS AGO and finally encouraged LJ Scott to carry a football around campus all week.  It was, unfortunately, A WEEK LATE… Scott is so talented, he just can’t keep fumbling into the end zone.  

On the coaches show yesterday at Reno’s, with co-defensive coords Harlon Barnett and Mike Tressel, they were singing the praises of Dave Warner (what????) and that “we believe we could have beaten ND without all the mistakes.”  

The new helmet for the Spartans with the coaching staff in stained air
What were they smoking?  What was the final score????  38-18 Irish, right?  Was I in the same stadium?  And, the Spartans had two weeks to prepare for that drubbing?  

MSU O-Coordinator Dave Warner is a buffoon.  His quote after the game ““Change our approach? Maybe. Because what we are doing is not working… We are doing what we have been doing, for years and years around here. Protecting the football. It’s not taking place right now.”  Do something different?  DUH.  No shit, Sherlock. 

Hey, Dave: here’s another idea.  Practice and play the fundamentals instead of using all these reverse read-options.  It looks stupid, and it ain’t working.  If it didn’t work against the Friggin’ Irish, it sure won’t work against Iowa.   Warner has GOT TO BE FIRED.  

Interestingly, the bookies in Vegas are smoking the same thing as Barnett and Tressel - they have made the Big Green three point faves.  Excuse me while I put my mortgage, my car, and my kids college funds on an Iowa team that lost to Penn State on the last play of the game -- although statistically, the Ugly Chickens were thoroughly dominated, doubled up in total yards (579-273 PSU), possession (39:39 - 20:21 PSU), and tripled up in first downs (29-11 PSU).  

Still, that’s the easiest bet the ES has ever made.  


Sloth: 24-7, Chickenhawks.
Ham: Warner has to go. Michigan state won't be able to beat any proper competition with him running the offense. State will continue to be bad until he's gone.
Australian Paul: MSU 41- IOWA 0
Not-even-21-yet Greg: 31-24 Iowa
RGM3: We will NOT have a repeat of last year. MSU will come back with a performance Msu fans need to see. With that I have MSU 31 Iowa 17
Big Joe & Phantom 309: MSU 17- Iowa 14, it'll be a tough slog of a game and I don't anticipate any scoring until the second half
Everything's Big in Texas Deb:  MSU 28-24
G:  Sparty rights the ship, 24-17 MSU
Sluggo: Another shitty year for MSU. Head coach on the chopping block. Pun in there somewhere
Zzzzz-ech:  Iowa 37-20

ES sez:  Sorry, Spartan fans.  After witnessing the debacle against ND, this Spartan team just is not talented enough and is NOT getting any better.  Don’t see how the Big Green TD Machine can pull this one off.  Ugly Chickens 31, Dave Warner 17.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Make White Trash Great Again! NOT!!!! GO BIG GREEN

Michigan State (2-0, 0-0) vs. Notre Dame (2-1, 0-0)
Sagarin Ratings: MSU #27, Potatoes #16

September 21, 2017.  8:00 ET
Spartan Stadium
East Lansing, MI

Weather:  80 sunny & warm
TV:  Fox

Depth Charts:  MSU, ND

Thy shall loathe thine Irish.  As chimed by Shane MacGowan and his Pogues:

And Brian Kelly never had it so good
"We had one million bales of the best Sligo rags
We had two million barrels of stones
We had three million sides of old blind horses hides,
We had four million barrels of bones.
We had five million hogs, we had six million dogs,
Seven million barrels of porter.
We had eight million bails of old nanny goats' tails,
In the hold of the Irish Rover.

There was awl Mickey Coote who played hard on his flute
When the ladies lined up for his set
He was tootin' with skill for each sparkling quadrille
Though the dancers were fluther'd and bet
With his sparse witty talk he was cock of the walk
As he rolled the dames under and over
They all knew at a glance when he took up his stance
And he sailed in the Irish Rover"

So, the halftime show for the MSU-ND game is... the Pogues!  For the first time in recent memory, Michigan State University has decided to hand over its halftime festivities to the trovelling band, The Pogues - in honor of our Irish guests.   So, with a spoonful of sugar, and a pint of Guinness, let's break down the realities of Saturday:
  • Lewerke's name (MSU QB) is not Irish.  Actually, after spending 25 minutes in The Riv trying to figure it out... I have no idea where the hell he is from - other than it ain't Asia.  But he will live a long time, pending any issues with a bus or train: 
  • So, here's a nice pic of South Bend, home of Notre Dame University (below).  It explains everything.  Crappy town, it is near (or in) the home of the National RV Hall of Fame!!!  I wonder what their role is in Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, etc?  Using a Donald-ism "we will be the GREATEST WHITE TRASH ON EARTH!  MAKE WHITE TRASH GREAT AGAIN!" 
  • And, on and on we go.  Here's some predictions:
  • RGM3: 28-24 ND
  • Greg (go back to GVSU homie): 35-24 ND 
  • Joe (from the Italian Stallion who got laid today on snapchat):  28-17 MSU 
  • Brock: 28-24 MSU
  • Leslie (hottie from Riv): 21-17 MSU
  • Deb Chang (hottie from MSU HALE): 24-20 MSU
  • Matt (from Iowa): 23-20 ND
  • Keith: 24-23 ND
  • Paul (Australia): 23-17 MSU
  • Kelly (Butt :): 27-24 MSU
  • ES sez: MSU QB Lewerke underrated, ND overrated (each year).  No Fly Zone back in play... Home, 80 degrees with humidity. On natural turf.  Picking out 4-leaf clovers.  Dear Sweet Jesus...It's simple.  MSU 23, ND 21. 

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!