As I comb through all the msm stories about today's game, the majority of them seem to be about respect. Michigan State wants respect. And they seem to want our respect. They want us to acknowledge them and the game we play against them every year. They wanted to make a statement today with their physical play because, dang, why doesn't anyone respect us??
The funny thing is, they don't seem to care about the rest of the Big Ten. They're sick and tired of not getting our respect. So now they've won four years in a row, and STILL, this respect thing. Why is winning not enough? Why the huge need to make a a big, physical, over-the-top statement that may or may not hospitalize our players? Why is winning not enough?
Respect will not come this way, Michigan State. Respect is earned, and never forced. I have never respected anyone who tried to force it on me, and neither have you. Maybe we're different than most, but Michigan fans respect sportsmanship. Competitiveness with good will. Winning and losing with grace. And we respect the rules, we really do.
So if it's our respect you want, try some of those things. It just might work next time.
So some may think this is sour grapes after a humiliating loss, but I think this is the mountain top for the MSU progam as the recruiting landscape has, and continues to change dramatically back to a more recognizable view for Michigan fans.
Recruiting is the lifeblood of any program as is often said. In the last several years there has been much made of the recruiting preferences of the last staff, and how they were not successful with recruting the region mostly because they chose not to be. Enter Hoke and staff and his primary recruiting base being the Midwest again. Of our 23 commits right now 18 are from Michigan or Ohio with atleast one more one the way . . . Mr. Dunn. State in past years usually had to settle for the second and often times third best after both OSU and Michigan got the best of the area. This reality led to traditional wins for us, and unbriddled inferiority for our little squirt kid-brother down the hall.
IMO there are multiple guys on MSU's roster that would be elsewhere if we would have gone directly from Carr to Hoke or something similar. Granted this year is a bumper crop year for talent in Ohio and Michigan but do you really think that we would have dipped into Harrison High to grab Funchess, and Ojemudia if we still had RR an the helm? I wanna say RJS somewhere in his recruitment talked about the fact that if RR had still been coach there was no way we would have pulled the Detroit 3 in Stone, Ross, and Richardson. 15 total kids of our 23 had MSU offers and chose us. You can spin that any way you want if you are a Spartan fan, but deep down you know the business thats comin' your way.
A perfect case study ready over diagnosis is the recruitment of Sevon Pittman. He would have been part of the class at OSU save their monetary misappropriations and such. He then moves to trying to commit to Michigan, but alas we are full having taken what we want. He then moves on to his final choice MSU. As we speak the 5-star DT Washington kid from Cinncy area has or will Officially visit MSU. Why you ask, because of the same reason Pittman will sport the green and white . . . and gold and black and green . . . man those were ugly!!
Of the 18 commits from Mich/Ohio how many do you think had MSU offers as well? 14 of those 18 also held MSU offers if Scout is correct, 14!! Lets look at MSU and their 14 commits to date. All are 3 star to Scout accept 2, Pittman and Burbridge who are 4 star recruits. Pittman was talked about earlier, and Burbridge woulda, coulda, shoulda been a part of our class if not for issues with grades. Even saying that, there are still certain people who work at WTKA, write for the DET news and Scout that think there is still an outside chance he still comes to Mich, I did say outside now as did Sam Webb.
Having said all this, MSU has reached the top of their little mountain and I for one think it starts to go down from here. Cousins is the best true QB to come through there in 10 years so him leaving is a big deal. They will still be OK-good because Dantonio isnt a horrible coach. They do a good job with what they have. What they have though is the key, and I think that all changes this year.
IMO, the deciding factor in today's game was the Defensive Line of MSU. MSU typically controlled the line of scrimmage when we had the ball.
MSU has one of the better Dlines that we will see all year, however, quite a few teams left on our schedule also have good Dlines - if not as good as MSUs.
What can we do to mitigate a good Dline?
More shotgun, more option, more protection int backfield?
Today was obviously painful, but it’s important on days like this to take a step back and look at the state of the program. The future is bright. After sweating out bowl eligibility the past two years (and not making it in 2009), Michigan is already there. Mattison has taken one of the worst defenses in the country and turned it into a respectable unit in seven games. Borges had his troubles today but has generally shown a broad knowledge of offensive football and a large amount of flexibility. Coach Hoke has already shown himself to be a great bearer of the combination of toughness and class that makes Michigan what it is. More, the staff already has one top-notch recruiting class of verbal commits and a head start on 2013 in the person of Shane Morris.
The team is obviously a year or more away from being the Michigan of old, but that’s okay. Remember that Bo’s 1969 team didn’t dominate. It took Bo some time to get the Wolverines to their rightful place. The current staff will have to have a couple of years of recruiting to fill in the defense and offense with the kind of players that will fit the current systems. Once they do – and there’s every reason to think that they will – Michigan will be back. Remember that SDSU Coach Rocky Long said that it’s not if but when Coach Hoke will win a national championship at Michigan.
If you’re not convinced that it’s great to be a Michigan Wolverine right now, think about Michigan State: Their fans just emerged from their garbage-strewn stadium, having watched their team make a mockery of themselves, and they’re on cloud nine about a season that isn’t going any farther than a bad loss to Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game. MSU supporters are thrilled about at a team that would make Michigan fans embarrassed. MSU gained a victory today, but the arc of college football history bends back toward Michigan as of right now. MSU will not be able to compete with the realities that I mentioned above.
In summation of this somewhat jumbled collection of thoughts: Michigan has a top coaching staff, great recruits are on the way, and the Michigan emphasis on winning the right way endures. Today was just one small stumble on the long road to Michigan football being Michigan football again. In the grand scheme of things, even today is a great day.
I was at the game and could not see the attempt to break Denard's neck. Just back home and this was the single worst behavior I have ever seen on a football field. This was a deliberate attempt to injure a defenseless player that was on the ground. This incident needs to be shown to EVERY coach in college football and then the B1G and the NCAA need to let Gholston know that he is permanently banned from playing college football. The NFL would ban him for this behavior - intentionally attacking a defenseless player with the sole intent of injury (or worse) as Denard could have been permanently injured.
I pray that ESPN and B1G Network take the lead by showing the replay over and over so that every college football coach and fan knows exactly what Gholston did.
(847) 696-1010 - Jim Delany's Number (http://www.bigten.org/school-bio/big10-school-bio.html)
Today, many of us witnessed a few players of a single football team aggresively attack players of the opposing team with obvious intent to injure. There is no way to factually state that these attacks affected the outcome of the game. However, that is not the goal of my proposal. The student-athletes had their safety put at risk today due to lack of appropritae officiatings by both referees and coaches.
1. William Gholston purposely and violently twisted Denard Robinson's neck at the end of a play. There is video evidence of this.
2. William Gholston purposely and violently punched Taylor Lewan in the throat away from the focus of the play. There is video evidence of this.
3. Marcus Rush continued a string of late-hit penalties focused on quarterback Denard Robinson, eventually resulting in his injury. There is video evidence of this and prior late-hits.
Let Jim Delany know how you feel. Spread the word to all B1G schools (MSU included) to voice our disgust in the lack of any sort of authority preventing or appropriately penalizing the aforementioned violence.
This isn't about winning or losing. This is about the safety of the student-athletes who expose themselves to injury for our entertainment benefit. Do them all a favor and make sure that this sort of behavior is not tolerated in any future Big Ten football games. It is dangerous to the student-athletes themselves to allow this behavior to continue.
Call Jim Delany (847) 696-1010. Reinforce the idea that the student-athletes are truly top priority in the college football world.
I'm calling him right after I click "Save"
*UPDATE* I modified the thread title for clarity. By "not Victory" I meant our OWN theoretical victory based on the typical post-game anti-officiating banter proposing we would've have won if x=/=y, Not MSU's actual victory.