Friday, November 24, 2023

ES Preview: Let's Get This Season Over in Detroit

Michigan State Spartans (4-6, 2-6) vs #11 Penn State Nittany Lions (9-2, 6-2)
November 24, 2023.  7:30 pm.
Ford Field, Detroit

Weather: it's in a dome doesn't matter.  Outside, it's 32 degrees and sunny.

Sagarin Ratings: Penn State #6, MSU #73
Line Outta Vegas: Nittany Lions by 23

Just waiting to anoint Jonathan Smith as our new coach. Thank God this season is coming to an end.   MSU, while playing better as of late, just isn't good enough to hang in with Penn State.  The Detroit Lions' Thanksgiving magic will rub off on the Spartans. 

ES sez:  Penn State 32, Michigan State 10. 
Cat says:  Penn State 34 - 7

Saturday, November 18, 2023

The Toilet Bowl: Michigan State at Little Pink Houses

The Toilet Bowl is being hosted in Indiana today at noon!  Tune in, or clean up!

Michigan State Spartans (3-7/1-6) at Indiana Hoosiers (3-7/1-6)
November 18, 2023.  12 noon.
Memorial Stadium, Bloomington, IN

Weather: 50 and sunny

Sagarin Ratings: MSU #79, Indiana #86
Line outta Vegas: Mellencamp favored by 3.5

So, we welcome the Toilet Bowl.  Who is the worst team in the Big Ten?  Is it Indiana and their precursor to Kid Rock, John Cougar Mellencamp?  Or, is it Michigan State, which spent yesterday on the ice hockey surface in East Lansing beating #1 Wisconsin?  (ES was there, what a GREAT game).  By the way, MSU beat Indy's neighbor, Butler, by 20 on the hard court last night as well with its men's team.  Can MSU make it a trifecta with hockey, hoops. and football???  That's our only hope.

Who is worse on the gridiron? 

We should be focused on other things than football.  If you are one of 50,000 people to tune into the game on BTN, you're a solid alumni homer.  

This should be a game filled with errors on all sides of the ball. It will be like watching a volleyball game, and not a football game. 

ES sez: No Bowling Mark Cuban 19, No Bowling Magic Johnson 16

Saturday, November 11, 2023

ES Preview: Spartans at the Buckeyes

Michigan State Spartans (3-6, 1-5) at #1 Ohio State  (9-0, 6-0)
November 11, 2023.  7:30 pm ET.
Ohio Stadium, Columbus, OH

Weather: 42, clear skies.  No wind.

Sagarin Ratings: MSU #75, OSU #2
Line outta Vegas:  OSU by 31.5.  Yup, that's a 5+ TD favorite

We won!  Yup, the Spartoonies limited their turnovers vs Nebraska, collected some turnovers, and hung on late to win 20-17.  It is now officially NOT the worst season for MSU in 100 years.  Whew. 

Unfortunately, now we travel to face #1 Ohio State... in Columbus.  Gulp.

Not much to write about here - a complete and utter mismatch, and the Buckeyes should clean up.  It was hopeful that Rutgers (who MSU shoulda beat) hung on for some time last week against OSU... but that was in New Jersey.  In Ohio, with a struggling Spartan team facing the top team in the land.  MSU's defense is the lone bright spot this year.  But, ya gotta score.  The offense has been horrific.  MSU is playing better than earlier in the year... but against #1 OSU: this ain't Nebraska, Rutgers, or Minnesoter. This is a juggernaut. Not much chance in this one. Don't think I have ever in my life seen 98% on ESPN's matchup predictor... 

ES sez...  Ohio State 41, MSU 10. 

Saturday, November 04, 2023

ES Preview: MSU battles the Corn

Michigan State Spartans (2-6/0-5) host Nebraska Cornhuskers (5-3/3-2)
November 4, 2023.  12 Noon ET.  
Spartan Stadium, East Lansing.

Weather:  50 and cloudy.
TV:  FS1.

Sagarin Ratings: Nebraska #49, MSU #80
Line Outta Vegas: Corn by 3.5

First off, sorry about last week: the ES was out in Washington State helping out with some family issues.  Think that might be the first time the ES missed a game preview in the 22 years of existence.  I did watch the game in Port Angeles, WA, the day after my laptop was stolen.  Back in Michigan now, back on my feet. 

As for the game this week, there again doesn't seem to be much hope.  MSU is having its worst full season since 1982 under Muddy Waters (2-9, but the wins were in the Big Ten), or since 1917 under Chester Brewer (0-9).   MSU can change that narrative with one more win in the final four: the Corn, the Bucks, the Hoosiers, and the Lions.  It is an uphill climb for a team that is not very good. 

The problem with Nebraska today is the Corn have won three in a row: Purdon't, NW, Illini.  Momentum is on their side.  Yet, the Corn were beat down 45-7 by scUM, similar to MSU's drubbing.  Does that provide hope?

Nebraska and MSU both have decent defenses.  Both defenses are stout but make mistakes, and both offenses are offensive.  MSU's special teams have been a disaster with mistakes, despite the big legs of our kickers.  And, the coaching of Barnett & Co. is not situational and is instead reactionary, leading to mistakes in the 4th quarter.

The ES is gonna sit this one out and watch at home.  

Nebraska 17, MSU 13.