Thursday, January 10, 2013

Catching Up With Catching Up

Writing and previewing all the B1G bball games that MSU plays is hard to do.  Even if they have not played in nearly week.  MSU should go into Iowa and crush them.  Though Iowa played Indiana down to the wire.  A lot of writers are calling this a must win.  Including The Only Colors and Joe Rexrode.  Sure it's a must win, but you can win other games too.  Let's say MSU looses this game, what if they run the table the rest of the way?  For MSU to win this game, they need to run and out athlete Iowa.  With that, they need to keep the turnover machine low.

That is for you guys to discuss. 

I wish Will Gholston took advice from whomever gave Taylor Lewan advice because Taylor is coming back.

With regards to players going to the NFL. It is a good net benefit for MSU to send players to the NFL, especially if they play.  I can see Sims having the best pro career out of Bell, Gholston and Sims.  Regardless, it has to be a good selling point to recruits that MSU is sending them to the NFL. Although, winning 11 games and going to the Rose Bowl would have helped too. 

I have been thinking about writing a lengthy MSU v. UM nfl draft article.  I PROMISE to get it up this weekend. 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Appeasement of the Masses

The clamoring of our readership for a post has been heard echoing through the mountains and the foothills.  I now make my triumphant return to lobbing occasional pot shots at lil bro and unwavering faith in Michigan being the best program in all of college football.  

Hey guys, I have come to a recent conclusion that breaks my heart and will be massively insightful yet disappointing news: the B1G is awful at football.  It has traveled beyond Big East level shittiness now where I wouldn't even be confident if this bowl season was a Mountain West vs Big Ten challenge.    It doesn't help that two of the best teams in the league are ineligible for a bowl game.  Slide everyone down a peg or two and things would look slightly less abysmal.  We can all agree that MSU would have handled their MAC opponent in the Motor City Bowl appearance they truly earned this season. 

As things stand, Sparty did pull off the victory over a Big 12 team in what may be the only B1G victory this bowl season.  Here's a quick rundown of the remaining B1G schedule.

Wisconsin vs Stanford in the Rose Bowl
The Grandaddy of em all is aptly named for it's decrepit B1G representative which is the sickly version of the Wisconsin juggernaut that couldn't win this game the previous two seasons anyway.  The nice thing, Wisconsin will have a chance against a Stanford team who seems to just want to be Wisconsin when they grow up.  Let's not forget that Wisconsin is no longer being led by their prick of a coach Beilema.  I don't know if this helps or hurts the Badgers.  Hopefully this limb doesn't snap off too violently...Wisconsin 20 - 17

Purdue vs Oklahoma State in the Heart of Dallas Bowl
Purdue made it to a bowl game?  #HALOL  Oklahoma State 41-14

Northwestern vs Mississippi in the Gator Bowl
Hey, the Wildcats beat Vandy, maybe they can take down another bottom tier SEC squad.  Probably not though.  The REAL MSU 31-28

Nebraska vs Georgia in the Capital One Bowl
Is there a team more disappointed in its bowl appearance than the Cornhuskers?  As a team that represented the Legends division in the B1G championship game it's odd that I don't think Nebraska has much of a prayer against a Georgia team I think is criminally overrated themselves.  Georgia 35-20

Michigan vs South Carolina in the Outback Bowl
Confidence is not flowing freely though I am simply excited to watch Denard play his final game and see how Gardner plays.  If Devin leads Michigan to a victory my optimism for 2013 will surely spin out of control as I'll be predicting his Heisman winning campaign and a B1G championship for the Wolverines.  South Carolina 22-17

Thus concludes the worst Big Ten football season in my memory.  2-5 is actually a decent record for these teams.  Big Ten conference basketball season begins this week and the Wolverines are the #2 team in the country.  Basketball school!?!?   

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Bowling for Chicken Wings

Back again.  Back both for the blog and for the bowls.  This game is kind of a big deal.  7-6 vs. 6-7.  No one wants to be below .500  at one point over on The Only Colors (before the Nebraska game had ended) that 6-5 would be no different than 7-4.  Well, with that, there is a huge difference between being above .500 or below.   Recruits want to play for a winning team, it looks better for future bowl games, and it puts you in a more positive light on national media spots.   I dont want to listen to Herbstreet talk about how we blew it this year.  I would rather hear about redemption, or salvation, or whatever winning this game would mean.

What will have happened through the bowl practices to put MSU in a position to win?  The first thing is that the passing game needs to come together.  With all the extra reps, hopefully any issues that were prevalent through the season (drops, miss communication) are sorted out.  Along with that, the offense line should have tightened up.  That will help execute in the pocket.  More time to drop back = more time for the receivers to get open.

A second point will be what kind of change will Bell have made to benefit him?  He tweeted that he plans to play at his lightest since his freshman year.  Will this be a good a thing?  It seems like he is best when he can absorb blows and get yards after contact.  The TCU defense will be attacking the line to try to drop Bell in the back field.  Hopefully the lightened load means more speed and more shift.  My biggest complaint about Bell this year is that he would miss cuts up the field to try to get the edge.  He would either get that edge or get dropped on the sideline.  But those cuts he was missing looked like he could break a long one.  I would have to assume that a lighter Bell can make those cuts, and accelerate through the hole.

Now what about the defense?  Johnny Adams has turf toe, Lawrence Thomas is playing on the defensive line, and Gholston needs to play like his preseason hype.   The defense should be well prepared for TCU as they run a similar offense to Northwestern and Nebraska.  Their backup quarterback has struggled this year when he had to come in mid season.  The extra practices should eliminate that.  MSU got burned defensively by Nebraska but was able to limit Northwestern.  What will show up for this game?

With Maxwell coming in looking to silent his critics, (especially those on message boards) he comes in and tosses 2 touchdowns and no turnovers.  Bell has a solid game but the lighter load will leave him getting tackled on hits he used to turn for 3 yard gains.  Call this one 24-17 MSU

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Non conference

Means non writing. Bottom line we should smoke a mediocre bowling green team. See you for Texas. And some football posts.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Week Seems Like A Year

As you know a lot has happened in the B1G and for MSU over the last week.  Pat is still AWOL and there are no signs of his return, at least until he gets back to California.  Maryland and Rutgers to the B1G (ugh) MSU eeked one out past Minnesota (yay).  michigan lost to OSU (meh).  Coupled with that have been some basketball games.  Where MSU has won some close ones, lost a sloppy one and cruised to a victory.

This MSU basketball team is the tale of two teams.  A team with a backup point guard and a team without.  MSU looks a lot better when Trice is playing.  Trice is a career (approximately)  48% three point shooter.  Last year he shot just over 40% and this year is shooting 56% (though his total shots this year are hardly enough to predict season results).  But this is what Trice can bring to the MSU team, a three point threat (and a breather for Appling)  Should Trice keep up his current pace of 1.6 threes made per game.  That would likely land him in the top ten in the B1G.  That seems like a stat he is more likely to upkeep versus the 56% made.  For comparison sake, Trice made .93 threes per game.  Even if he were to land somewhere in the middle of .93 and 1.6 that would be an extra dimension that seems to be missing (hopefully Byrd can get going, get some confidence). 
(make more of these please)

The Spartan Football team was able to make a bowl game!!!! WHOOO HOOOOO.  Pat and I both had the Spartans pegged for 9-3.  We were just a bit off - a call or a field goal away from being there though.  I guess that's sports.  The defense was every bit as advertised - in some aspects better and some aspects worse.  What was shockingly poor was the offense.  Line injuries, I feel, really hampered the development of the passing game.  I am 100% not in the Spartan camp that thinks we should have been playing Connor Cook.  Those people are loony.  Where do go from here though?  Well, we go to a bowl game.  The Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl against TCU.  Seems winnable. More on that later.  What I would like to talk about is next year.  Or as Mark Dantonio said at the team banquet "You will be the ones. And you know what I mean by that" (thank you Joe Rexrode twitter).  So what is meant by that?  Winning football games, duh!  MSU is looking to bounce back from a meh 6-6 season.  I would love an 8-4 year next year.  Looking ahead, the schedule is more favorable for MSU (the problem with that is that the only good home game is against UM).  With road games at Notre Dame and Nebraska. 

Tonight MSU basketball plays Arkansas Pine Bluff in what should be a sleeper of a game.  No sense in writing a write up for this game.  Especially since I will be at work missing most of the game.

Coming up next on the blog, is MSU Football entering a Wide Receiver apex?  Was this really a down year for the B1G?   Will Pat ever blog again, or is he resting on his past accomplishments, like a typical michigan fan?

Saturday, November 24, 2012

MSU v. Minnesota

Well this is it, one more game to get bowl eligible.  Some players on MSU were talking about national championship gam before the season started.  Now were talking about the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.  That sounds more tasty than fun to play.  But the game itself isnt what this team needs as much as it needs the bowl practices.  We are still a young team and as many players that can get reps as possible is a good thing (that was a clunky sentence).

OFFENSE:  There are a few things that the offense needs to show.  After last week this team needs to show that it can score in the redzone (and in general hang on to the ball).  The Minnesota defense is less than stellar so there should be plenty of opportunity to move the ball around within the 20.  Along with that, the MSU passing game need to keep taking steps forward.  This does not mean that Maxwell needs to drop back 50 times, if  he is, that will mean the score is close.  Instead  it means that the passes need to completed, they need to come on tough catches, maybe a long one or two.  One more point is getting the run game going.  MSU needs to control the clock and there is no better way to do that than running the ball and getting first downs.  With the Gophers giving up over 340 yards per game, MSU should have plenty of opportunity to move the ball

DEFENSE:  I have heard rumblings on MSU Rivals that Gholston is staying for his senior year. This should be a good thing as Gholston needs to get his stock higher.  Every game he plays in he needs to play like his life depends on it.  The Gophers are without their starting quarterback Gray and recently lost the top wide receiver.  AJ Barker recently left the team citing verbal abuse from coach Jerry Kill.  This is a huge blow for the Gophers.  It also allows the MSU defense to  focus in on fewer people.  Look for the MSU defense to attack attack and attack.  MSU will allow their cornerbacks to be one on one deep to make the young Minnesota QB beat them deep.  If he cant make the throws, this game will get ugly early.  Look for a lot of push from the interior defense line as the gopher pass game is disrupted.  Do not expect many rushes up the middle for large gains.  This will have to be an outside edge attack for the Gophers where Allen and Jones will be there to eat.

PREDICTION:  At a lovely Minnesota stadium on a cold but sunny day, the Spartans will come to town and do what they need to to get bowl eligible.  With that, I think MSU will put up a good game offensively call it 31-14 MSU

Monday, November 19, 2012

Northwestern Recap

This won't be much of a recap.  After the loss I was pretty shocked.   There is not a lot to say at this point.  We have lost 7 games by 4 points or less.  Outside of that, what else can you say?  Some fans are calling for Roushar to be fired.  These people are morons.  Some fans think that we should bench Maxwell and get Cook out there.  These people are bigger morons.  If MSU makes a hand full of field goals, we have a couple extra wins.  No one is yelling for MSU to cut the kicker.  On top of that, the offense has looked pretty solid recently especially in the second half of the Northwestern game.  MSU averaged about 4.5 yards per play in this game.  However they had 5 turnovers.  You won't win many games with 5 turnovers. Right now, I cannot pick MSU to be beat Minnesota, regardless of what the Vegas line is.  Coach D has spoke countless times this season about being resilient.  I guess we will see what happens. 

I had grand plans to write a full recap but I just can't, this is all you get. 

So how about those Terrapins?