Posts tagged ‘Michigan State Spartans’

December 30, 2011

A special year in college hoops?

Scoop Jardine and The Orange are the top ranked team ... for now.

One third of the hoops season is done for most teams. Solid non-conference matchups, coaching milestones and a brawl have been just a few of the several highlights of the season so far. One of the TYS’ hoops junkies ponders about what happened and if the stage is set for one of the more competitive college hoops seasons in recent history.

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October 28, 2011

Halftime for the Legendary Leaders: Big Ten 2011 Midseason Summary (Part 1)

Written Ramblings by AH and DJ

This picture will be shown for a while around the Big Ten.

Gameday got it right this time around. The Bucky – Huskers game had all the hype about a month ago with Fowler’s crew roaming the streets in Mad-town. But that was a terribly disappointing game in terms of sheer entertainment value. Four weeks later, Gameday ventured out to Big Ten country again and this time NOBODY was upset about the way the game finished. Obviously Bucky fans weren’t too happy about the outcome but the game was legendary. Big Ten Network will show the heck out of this game for years to come. The game had everything … or did it??

There was only one move that could have made this game better – Gus Johnson. I love the Herbie/Brent combo but the last call and the entire 4th quarter was made for the Gus. This was the perfect game that could use Gus as a “pinch announcer” towards the end. This theory has been mentioned in the past and I hope someday it will come to fruition. If you know the game has the making of a classic, then you ought to be able to pull the current announcers and bring Gus from the bullpen. He doesn’t even need to be there, he can just call the game from the studio. Even better, the viewers can have the option to listen to the current announcers or switch the Gus call on their TV. No idea why anybody would use the other option but there are some interesting people around I suppose. DirectTV can make this happen; it is only matter of time. Comcast/AT&T or any other cable provider will have no chance to compete if DirectTV ever made this move. All you need is Gus to be ready in the studios all day on Saturday. It can be called the “Gus Johnson Redzone Channel” . . . instead of just touchdown calls; the viewer can have him for the entire 4th quarter for the selected games. The producers will decide which game gets Gus but I think the logistics can work out. We potentially could have had this call last Saturday:

“Cousins steps back. Avoids the rush. Heaves the ball …”

“Knock it down, knock it down … A!@#%%$#%^#$^^%$&^” (static on the TV b/c Gus potentially exploded) … “Keith Nichol!! Unbelievable … unbel …” (more static)

One can only hope that this channel will come around someday.

We are almost at the halfway point of the Big Ten season. Three games for some teams, four games for the others. It is time for the half time report on the Legendary Leaders conference. Because not every team has reached their halfway point in the Big Ten season, we will split the midseason summary into two parts. The second part of this post will be continued after this weekend’s games. And there are some pivotal games this weekend. Here is AH’s view of the conference season so far …

Best Surprise Team

AH: Lots of options here. But the designation has to go to a team from Michigan at this point. Which one of the two? Sparty. Why Michigan State? Because they are only one victory from being undefeated in the conference with their lone loss on the season against Notre Dame. They get it done with defense and turnovers. Kirk Cousins was somewhat overlooked in the Big 10 after a decent 2010 and isn’t doing anything to hurt the Spartans. But the defense is bringing it and ranks first in the conference in points against and seventh in the country. With games against Minnesota, Iowa, Purdue and Northwestern to end the year, their season comes to the matchup with Nebraska this week.

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October 13, 2011

“Little Brother” growing up? A look into Wolverine vs. Sparty football.

Written Ramblings by JS and DJ 

Tom Izzo hanging with the one and only ..

Tony Kornhieser from PTI once said that the University of Michigan only cares about accomplishing three tasks in a football season: beat Ohio State, win the Big Ten and sell out the Big House every single game. If you ask any Michigan fan … heck, any college football fan about their rival, the answer is unanimous.  Brady Hoke refers to them as “that school from Ohio.”  There is a close fourth item on the list that TK did not mention … Michigan can’t stand losing Michigan State.  Michigan leads the overall series 67-31-5.  That’s about 70% of the games.  Obviously not that close … but why do they care about the game with Sparty every year?  Or do they even care? This “rivalry” has always intrigued me because mathematically it doesn’t suggest to be one.  I bugged my buddy JS who pees maize (if I said yellow that would be rude) about his take on this subject.  I have my own view as an outsider.  Here we go …

1. Let’s start with the Michigan State side.  Does this matchup mean more for them than Michigan b/c historically they appear to be an inferior program.

JS: In general, I would have to say yes. Michigan State has always looked to be considered equals on the football playing field with Michigan for quite time. However they just can’t quite get it done. To me, I think the most telling story of this issue is when Nick Saban left Michigan State to go and try and resurrect then-mediocre LSU. Why leave Michigan State to go to LSU? While bringing LSU back to national prominence is a good story, a bigger and more grandiose story would have been if he had built Michigan State into a football juggernaut on par with Michigan. THAT would have been the turning point in the rivalry. When Bo Schembechler came to Michigan, he elevated the Michigan – Ohio State rivalry to new levels. Who has done that for Michigan State? No one*. That person should have been Nick Saban and instead he left because (no one from East Lansing wants to admit this) he believed LSU was the better job.

* Sorry to burst your bubble, State fans, but Mark Dantonio does not count. Has he beaten us the last three years? Yes. But ask yourself this – who hasn’t beaten us in the last three years? We also don’t count the 2000 win because of the blatant clock mismanagement that gave Smoker one miracle lob shot to TJ Ducket in the end zone. The time keeper would do the same thing to help MSU basketball steal a win and he subsequently got fired.

DJ:  How does a college football program get recognized by the media (not me) historically? Titles, coaches and great college players (e.g. Heisman winners).  Feilding Yost, Bo Schembechler and Lloyd Carr (yes, he did win an NC so he was good) vs. John L. Smith and Bobby Williams? Duffy Daughtrey actually won a couple of championships in East Lansing but the program was not able to build upon that foundation.  Schembechler’s foundation was continued by Carr. The fan base is just as loyal on the east side of Michigan.  They just haven’t had that one icon or an event attached to the program which makes it inferior and this shows in terms of recruiting and media coverage.  Nick Saban could have been that guy …

Sparty football is analogous to Texas A&M.  The Aggies – Longhorns rivalry is more than 100 years old.  However, Texas dominates both on the field and in terms of the media coverage. They have the iconic moments and titles … A&M did have one of those icons but couldn’t retain him.  Can you imagine if Bear Bryant stuck around College Station instead of heading over to Tuscaloosa?? Wouldn’t we be looking at that program the same way as Texas?  Abso-freaking-lutely.  Sure, one can say that about just any other school that Bryant would have vacated but it stings more for the Aggie fans b/c they are just as passionate about football as their peers who like to hook ‘em.

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