I'm curious to what degree referees take the history of two teams into account in how they call a game. When there is a lot of tension and aggression, and a history of dirty play either between two teams, or from at least one of them, don't the referees pay attention? More specifically, especially given the coach comments out of MSU calling for "60 minutes of unnecessary roughness," I could see next year's game between MSU and Michigan called much more tightly. I'd imagine that behind closed doors, several refs are hearing about their failure to eject Gholston or to keep an eye out for what happened.
I don't know whether Gholston, Worthy, or Rush will be playing for MSU next year. However, if they are still on the team, isn't it possible that the officiating crew will be instructed to keep a close eye on them and not to let the game get out of hand?
If that were the case, I could see an automatic ejection from the game for a punch, or helmet twist, or arm bar, etc., in addition to a 15 yard personal foul penalty and automatic first down. If they lose too many players that way, it is Sparty being Sparty, helping Michigan to win the game and calling Dantonio to task for not better coaching and policing his own team.
I'd like to hear from a ref or two on this.
Currently the division standings are as follows:
- MSU (2-0)
- Michigan (2-1)
- Nebraska (1-1)
- Iowa (1-1)
- Northwestern (0-2)
- Minnesota (0-3)
This week, MSU plays Wisconsin, Iowa plays IU, PSU is at Northwestern in cross-divisional play. As always, we want teams from our division to lose to cross-divisional opponents. Nebraska also plays Minnesota in divisional play, and we could really benefit (in the short term at minimum) from a Minnesota upset.
Realistically, it looks like Wisconsin will take down MSU, Iowa holds serve and Nebraska cruises. This will result in a four-way tie for first place at 2-1 (but with MSU holding the only tiebreaker so far).
Predicted division after this week:
- MSU (2-1)
- Michigan (2-1)
- Nebraska (2-1)
- Iowa (2-1)
- Northwestern (0-3)
- Minnesota (0-4)
At this point, we need MSU to lose one more game (IU, Minnesota or Northwestern seem to be the most helpful for us, since it doesn't guarantee a win for Iowa or Nebraska) and Michigan needs to take care of business against our remaining schedule, especially Iowa and Nebraska [obligatory OSU is a must-win here].
Possibly helpful games (cross-divisional games and winless divisional teams):
MSU: Wisconsin 10/22, Minnesota 11/5, Indiana 11/19, Northwestern 11/26
Nebraska: Minnesota 10/22, Northwestern 11/5, PSU 11/12
Iowa: Indiana 10/22, Minnesota 10/29, Purdue 11/19
BTCG Berth Tiebreakers:
- Conference record
- Head to head
- Divisional record
- BCS ranking
Sorry for everyone sick of the MSU/Gholston talk. This just broke, and is relevant regardless of what some people will say. Gholston might be out because of the Michigan game, and him being out might hurt MSU which directly impacts Michigan in the division standings.
Anyways, on the Depth Chart released today, Tommy Gholston is listed as the starter. It appears that at the press conference today they'll be announcing that he was made a captain, or called a racial slur (which we know is untrue, but maybe Saint D saw a way out of of suspending his favorite defensive player by claiming this and is taking it).
LINK to news, not depth chart: https://twitter.com/#!/mattcharboneau/status/126319468858191873
UPDATE: Apparently, MSU is looking into a possible infraction in which they were made aware of (maybe they didn't watch the game). Also, it looks like they're only looking at one play. I wonder if it's the punch or the helmet twist.
Bigger joke than I thought. They're basically downplaying the whole thing, saying it's possible & only one play. I just hope the Big Ten Offices aren't as blind & stupid about this whole thing. Either way, we'll find out soon as the Big Ten only gives teams a few days to announce either way before they make their own announcement.
UPDATE 2: "I wouldn't characterize it as dirty play, I would characterize it as reaction." -Mark Dantonio
For those of you interested in what the announcers keep referring to as the "Wide Nine formation" in Lions games, here is Chris Brown's take on the topic. Basically, it's nothing new, nothing special; just telling your DEs to get really aggressive.
I just stumbled on this and found his rec for 4th and one scenarios to be ironic indeed!