This list is completely arbitrary and not a genuine analysis of the relative merits of state fossils.
MSU curses, the Satan Saban, and Dantonio’s Inferno
When I heard the cry of BCS injustice from QB Kirk Cousins. I was so concerned about his emotional distress that I sought to understand why MSU deserved a BCS Bowl game.
Maybe MSU was deserving because of all of its success in recent bowl games.
I checked it out. In their last 5 Bowl games under Dantonio, they are 0-5; in their last 6 bowl games, they are 0-6; essentally, they are zero-for-the-decade, when you consider their absence from any bowl for the other 4 years.
Unable to understand why MSU deserved a BCS bowl, I asked: what explained the MSU failures over the past decade?
Certainly, the failures could not be their fault…
Their failures must just be all bad luck. Remember 2010, when they lost out the Rose Bowl to Wisc—who they beat—and lost the other BCS bid to Ohio---which took MSUs possible spot in the Sugar Bowl with ineligible players, then vacated the game. Then. recall from 2011, the last-minute, game-deciding running into the kicker penalty in the B1G title game vs Wisc. Certainly, that penalty could not have been their fault. MSU players were incapable even of personal fouls. How could they possibly mount an assault on a helpless kicker? Maybe an MSU player was blocked into the Wisc kicker by an unseen, evil spirit.
And what could explain MSU’s absence from the BCS over its entire 13 years, in which no less than 8 B1G teams have gone to a BCS bowl?
Again, I checked it out. This seemingly interminable drought in MSU’s history corresponds with the departure of Nick Saban, who left MSU for LSU and now ALA. Since Saban left, the latter two teams have won multiple national titles—even playing each other for the title now-- yet MSU has not even been able to get to any BCS game at all.
So, is MSU haunted by the ghost of Nick Saban—or since he is alive—is Saban himself the devil? (note that his name is only one letter removed from “Satan”).
Witness the well-known curse, caused by the departure of Babe Ruth from the Red Sox. When Babe Ruth left the Red Sox for the Yankees just before 1920, the Sox had 5 World Series wins, the Yankees had none. But after that, the Yankees won 26 titles and the Red Sox failed to win a single title for almost 90 years. The Boston fans then ascribed their failure to a demon—the ghost of the Bambino. So, was MSU now suffering from the curse of Satan---I mean, Saban? MSU has not won a bowl game for 10 years, since they played in the seldom-attended and now-defunct Silicon Valley Classic.
But sadly, the Saban/Satan jinx could not alone explain the MSU’s sorry history. Looking back much further, we find that MSU actually has not played in or won a Rose Bowl in nearly a quarter of a century.
On the surface, that particular failure seems to be a clear-cut case of another curse: the SI cover jinx. Indeed, MichiganState has not appeared in a single Rose Bowl since their 1988 star, Tony Mandarich was featured on the cover of SI. On that cover, he was called the "best offensive line prospect ever." Mandarich weighed 304, ran the 40 in 4.65 sec, and bench pressed 225 pounds an unheard-of 39 times. Before the NFL Draft, he was called the “Incredible Bulk.” Yet, after being cut, he was called the “Incredible Bust." Having been drafted ahead of Barry Sanders, Andre Rison, and Neon Deon Sanders, MSU’s Mandarich became regarded as one of the 5 biggest busts in NFL history. And since then, MSU still has not appeared in a single Rose Bowl.
But were these failures a simple case of the SI jinx?
No. As I looked deeper into history, the story began to sound more like Faustian bargain: a deal made with a drug-peddling devil. Mandarich eventually revealed his longstanding abuse of drugs and steroids since his MSU days—in fact, faking a drug test before that fateful, last MSU Rose Bowl back in 1988. Moreover, he substantiated prior allegations that “steroid use was rampant among his teammates at Michigan State on that Rose Bowl team.”
Therefore, if we believe Mandarich, the last real, non-steroid-inspired Rose Bowl for MSU was over a half century ago--in fact, 54 years ago, in the days of Duffy Daugherty. That dought would be equalled by only one other B1G team (Minn).
But certainly, we can't tell Kirk Cousins that the fault for this epic failure lies with MSU. Should we then blame the failures on MSU players, who made a Faustian bargain and sold their souls to a drug-peddling Devil? Should we blame the SI jinx? Should we blame the departed coach, whose name sounds a lot like Satan?
I don’t know. I am ordinarily not a superstitious man. But we can tell Kirk Cousins that he is lucky he graduates. Pity those who must remain in East Lansing. What good can possibly come to them or to MSU, when the name of the current coach, Dantonio, sounds a lot like the author of Dante’s Inferno.