further adventures in Jed York being unsuited for his position
Despite its weak offensive output, MSU has only one loss this year, mainly due to its aggressive, physical defense. However, MSU's aggressive, physical defense has led them to becoming the 117th worse NCAA team (out of 125) for penalty yardage [70 yards/gm].
At ND, MSU's aggressiveness on defense led to numerous key defensive penalties which gave away the game to the Irish.
After the ND game, MSU AD Mark Hollis made an inquiry to Big Ten officials regarding the penalty calls against the Spartans. Mark Dantonio was quoted by the Detroit Free Press as questioning whether the penalty calls against his DB's reflected a change in standards for pass defenders. Many media members questioned the calls against MSU. In MSU's most recent home game vs. Purdue, MSU was only called for 2 penalties for 14 yards.
I think the key determinant in Michigan's upcoming game at Michigan State will be whether the refs fairly call MSU penalties, especially for pass interference/defensive holding and roughing the passer. If Big Ten officials continue to experience a "backlash" effect and exhibit reluctance to fairly call MSU penalties in East Lansing, it will doom Michigan's chances for a big road win. In addition, excessively rough play by MSU (as has occurred in past match-ups) could also result in injuries to Michigan's key players.
Not to put more MSU stuff on the board, but this is something that actually affects their on-field performance and Michigan, so I think it's worth it. It appears Michigan State's starting right tackle, Skyler Burkland, has taken a medical DQ. IMO, he really wasn't that good of a player, but MSU has very little depth at OT and this probably forces them to put the really slow footed Dan France back out at OT. It is unfortunate that any player from any team has to end his career due to injuries, so I feel bad in that regard.
In less "I feel bad", they now have about '08 Michigan levels of depth along the o-line, minus having a Schilling-level guy (though I guess their LT could be about equal to an out-of-position Schilling), which won't help their poor performance in both run blocking and pass protection from last year. Look for Maxwell (or whoever they put at QB) to be even more shaken and in a hurry, and look for a weaker interior line to get even less push. Their only upgrade over a unit that looked like it couldn't get any worse last year is their LT, the rest of the unit is still extremely weak.
Since Indiana just lost to OSU tonight, I was wondering what the Big Ten Tournament seedings could be. This is the schedule for the remaining Big Ten conference games and the winners of each game in my completely subjective opinion:
Michigan @ Purdue
Minnesota @ Nebraska
Wisconsin @ Michigan State
Penn State @ Northwestern
Minnesota @ Purdue
Nebraska @ Iowa
Indiana @ Michigan
Northwestern @ Michigan State
Illinois @ Ohio State
Wisconsin @ Penn State
This would result in a 4-way tie atop the conference between Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, and Ohio State. According to the tiebreaking procedures from last year's tournament, the seeding would work out as follows:
|1. Indiana||7. Iowa|
|2. OSU||8. Illinois|
|3. Michigan||9. Purdue|
|4. MSU||10. Northwestern|
|5. Wisconsin||11. Nebraska|
|6. Minnesota||12. Penn State|
Here is the 2013 Big Ten Tournament bracket. In the scenario I described, Michigan would be playing the winner of Minnesota vs Nebraska. If I made a mistake, please correct me.
EDIT: Fixed. I think UM would be the 3 seed by virtue of losing the comparison to OSU against Wisconsin.
Some more changes for Spartans 2013 offensive strategy.
And is Dantonio pursuing future endeavors elsewhere?
Tom Izzo has announced that sophomore SF Brandan Kearney is transferring from the MSU program. He was a 3-star from Detroit Southeastern and was considered to be a key piece down the road for the Spartans.
Looks like Izzo will need to scratch even harder to fill a one- or two-man class for next year.
Unfortunately, the only link currently available is from the Freep:
With that Butch Davis back in the picture and Tuberville slapping graduate assistants live, starting a player straight out of jail or making cracks at an opposing players height isn't an issue anymore. Or ever was, according to some MSU fans.
Also, Dantonio probably knows by now he's at a huge recruiting disadvantage with Hoke and Meyer offering every elite player in sight, and if Bielema can get hired at 3 million plus a year, he's not gonna be there much longer.
Odds on him opening 2014 as MSU's coach? If not what school could fire their HC next year look for a defensive minded coach?