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Date Title Body
11/23/2014 - 12:20am We mortals are but shadows and dust, shadows and dust.

Nations rise and fall.

History proved. 

 

Borders pulsate.  Counties are devoured.  New boarders arise, rise, then fall.  It's history in a nutshell.

Is it really any less true for college football? 

Yes and no. 

 

Ground up.

             

                

10/02/2014 - 12:20am Hi Barabra

Mem'ries,
Light the corners of my mind
Misty water-colored memories
Of the way we were
Scattered pictures,
Of the smiles we left behind
Smiles we gave to one another
For the way we were
Can it be that it was all so simple then?
Or has time re-written every line?
If we had the chance to do it all again
Tell me, would we? Could we?
Mem'ries, may be beautiful and yet
What's too painful to remember
We simply choose to forget
So it's the laughter
We will remember
Whenever we remember...
The way we were...
The way we were...

10/01/2014 - 3:55am Nerds! Nerds! Nerds! Nerds! Nerds!

Anyone remember Revenge of the Nerds?

Just be Northwestern.  Be the real champions, not the meathead champions.  Football players were they guys that tormented you alums back when you had an army of shinny forehead and chin zits to match your equally embarassing physiques.

Just be done with it.  Count this fall as a blessing, and concentrate on completely socializing this country once and for all, and printing more fiat money faster than stupid lazy impregnated-so-I-can-get-married-and-still-live-rich women can spend it, so this country can fall too.  That way, we can go way back to the big hairy dudes and their 20 ACT score great leader big hairy dude ruling.  It will seem more natural and acceptable then.

This whole thing is hilarious.  The WHOLE thing.

FTW. 

09/27/2014 - 2:48am I'm right there with you.

I've been following MSU for decades.  The MD era has far surpassed our expectation.  It was, and still is a lot of fun.  But, what the hell are we doing?  All of us.  So much stress and emotional investment over essentially nothing.  Highs and lows over a game played by other people.

If your team is really good, then most games are boring and pointless.  If you're mediocre, then you're pissed at the fact that a no-name opponent is an important game.

And, as you implied, only one team can win it all.  It's a fools passion.  To follow this game, I have to look at it as an excuse to get friends and famly together, enjoy the ups, and not care so much about the downs.  I'm pretty much already there.  So many wasted and ruined weekends.  Finally putting things into perspective.

I can't really call myself a Lion's fan anymore.  That 0-16 season was the final straw.  I thought of all of the wasted weekends, essentially for nothing.  Ruined weekends.  I cut it down to college football, and to a much lesser degree college basketball.

I'm now, for the most part, a fair weather fan.  It's the only intelligent thing to do as a sports fan.  But right now, the weather is really nice, so I'm going to enjoy.

I used to follow the Wings, the Pistons, the Lions, and the Tigers.  I can't tell you more than 10 names of players for all teams combined now.  I don't even want to know more than that.

09/27/2014 - 1:28am I'm beginning to wonder if this is all worth it.

I graduated from MSU.  I'm a huge fan, and I come here to bs about MSU and UofM football.

The "good enough for your father" comment didn't bother me a bit.  I'm usually slow to get offended.  But, I think this didn't really get me going because it's par for the course.  And by that, I mean that ripping on other people or institutions that people are affiliated with have become far more common than the positive and the objective neutral comments combined.

Just think of the actual and entire accomplishments and long-term results for both Michigan and Michigan State Universities.  Thatt should at least be a source of mutual gratitude. 

I love college football, so I'm not going to stop watching any time soon, and I'm not going to stop checking out message boards because some of it is still part of the entertainment and has become part of the football experience, but I think the latter is having a negative affect on me.

I know the whole rivalry thing is fun.  It is.

But, this experience has become more and more negative.  Win or lose.  Negative entertainment, similar to how reality TV is negative entertainment.  Judgment and hate over the outcome of a bunch of kids colliding into each other, and the occasional negative but highly reported behavior off the field.  Hot seat charts and articles for head coaches?  It makes me feel silly getting as caught up as I do, sometimes.

08/11/2014 - 12:36am Yep.

Absolute truth.

Positive quotes, hope, hype.  Everyone is a fan in August.

All weight changes are good, everyone is better than last year, all position changes are no-brainers.  August is the best time to be a fan.  And as cynical as this sounds, I love August "football".

07/24/2014 - 10:55pm Exactly right on maxing out on weight.

There's a trick to recognizing that early on, maybe.

Some guys come in as LB's and end up DT's.  There are countless examples of guys that stay within or go beyond the playing weight.

Same with finding the right position.  It takes until Sr. year for some to finally find a home at their "correct" position.  Usually a pleasant surprise, but disappointing considering they often get only one or two years to make an impact.

There is no science behind it.
Too hard to recognize until 1,2, or 3 years of eligibility have been wasted through trial and error while looking for the right combo of size and best suited position.  Well, I guess that is the scientific method - sort of.

 

 

05/01/2014 - 2:45am Unless they somehow

are able to have death row inmate gladiator fights for spring "seasons", and are able to change the name from Silverdome to Thunderdome, it's just going to be a decaying monument of what was.

I give you...the barbarian horde.

Something for an archaeloogist after fallout to figure out.

 

Honestly, I can see this kind of think continuing.  Alabama is having trouble selling out home games against no-name teams.  The Tide is religion down there.  I'll take my man cave over nearly every fall game in a stadium.  I wouldn't have said that a few years ago.  I know the silverdome is dead because the Lions moved, but consider stadiums in general... 

Hockey has it right, almost.  Not a huge stadium - compared to football and baseball.  Those can sell out without having a spectacular team.  Where they have it wrong is having so many games.  I can't get up for a hockey, basketball (pro), or baseball game until it starts to really matter.  There are just too many for an individual game to mean much.  Yeah, it's all revenue, but I wonder if interest fades with so many meaningless games to the point where it actually does harm to the point where interest drops out and people see it as it is - a business.  It's so obvious already.  I actually try to not look further than coaches salaries because the plenty rest of it makes me feel like a dumb ass for even stressing and certainly spending $'s following it.

But consider your 60 inch 1080ppi screen, normal priced beer you can drink to your content, a nice couch, a private bathroom, no drive, no parking $'s, no prep, no crouds, no deafeningly loud stadium music, basically free to watch, sleeping in on Saturday morning (a personal treasure for me).  Just you, or you and your buds/family.

Football is different, but not entirely.  College or Pro - every game counts.  A football Saturday or Sunday is an event - well, the first game against a no-name team, and the bigger games.  Tailgating, the game, post tailgating.  But even the Purdue type games can be an event.  It's worth the cost and inconvienence.  But I no long get season tickets.  I typically go to a couple games every year, and enjoy watching most of the games in comfort at home or at someone else's home.

PS - I'm a Sparty (and thank you for giving us that national brand ;) ).  I only bring this up because those back to back 11 wins seasons were different; a caveat.  Then, it was an amazing experience to actually be at those games.  Understand, it was an awesome community experience being at Spartan Stadium when we were turning the corner into uncharted territory.  We had a good season every ten years or so, but this felt different.  That's when it's worth the cold and rain, and everything else - when confidence was gaining that corner was being turned, and being at the stadium with fans that suffered through mediocrity (at best sometimes) for decades.  People - strangers - everywhere would literally turn around and hug each other after big wins.  Trust me, our fan base has desperately wanted, and have for so long waited for this.  I've never experienced anything like those back to back seasons, compared to all of my many seasons at Spartan Stadium.  2013 was no different - although I didn't make a game last season.  There was that same feeling at work and elsewhere.  Actually, it was the same thing, but better.  Everyone thought we were a 6-6 team after the first two games - a mid-MAC level offense.  Then, it happened again.  Even if UofM is the bigten champ next year, I would assume it still wouldn't compare to MSU's 2010, 2011, and 2013.  Count yourselves lucky you don't know what I mean.  But that's the one time where, IMO, season tickets, and even away games are no contest worth it.  Now, I'm afraid that we've come to expect that as the norm.  It won't feel the same, and losses against really good teams become depressing.  But there's something exceptional about being right there when you're turning the corner and knocking out the heavy weights when you just recenlty were thought of as fodder. 

Okay, back to my point.

The Paradox of Choice right here.  Back when most college games weren't on TV (I'm old), and I was a kid, I loved every moment (except for losing) when I went to football games.  Now, I weigh the options, sometimes wish went when I didn't, and sometimes wish I stayed home and recovered from the work week with an easy day on the couch watching not just my game, but catching other game highlights.  Just tired by early Saturday night when I needed to relax.  Almost doesn't make sense to sit through a rainy or freezing game on a metal bench when the next best thing is actually better - and essentially free.

And "old" matters.  Look at how many old dudes sit through college games.  That is part of their culture.  I wonder if the younger dudes today are going to put up with cold, rain...all the stuff I mentioned above when their future improved 3D 4000ppi (something like that is already in the works) 90 inch screen will put them right there.  Now, consider the other sports that are essentially also rans to football for most sports fans.

Consider the bigten network price (probably already with the package you'd have anyway) vs season tickets - not to mention all of the other costs and inconveniences.  I'm thinking a couple regular season games per year is what most younger fans will want in the not too distant future.  Students don't count.  They will drink and go to the games as long as their team can still be bowl eligible. 

Massive stadiums may well point to a time when TV's were low def boxes that got 3-channels, entertainmet was relatively scarce (certainly by today's tech world), sports was king, admisson was much more reasonable, a parking pass didn't require a obscene donation just to make you eligable to then pay another obscene amount to park, pro players retired with the teams that drafted them - hard to be loyal when the players aren't, when kids didn't have "drive me to and pick me up" weekend activities all year, and chilling out from work on a Saturday or Sunday wasn't quite as necessary.  

Or maybe it's just me.

04/28/2014 - 3:45am It was a split squad game.

Your line about more potential...well, that's certainly possible.  Considering the youth and high school ranking, that seems like a fair statement.  But I think if you saw an O vs D game instead of a split squad, you may have a different opinion about the two teams being even.

Finely is behind - that was evident.  But he's the 4th best OT on the team.  And a solid JUCO OT is coming in this fall that will likely (eventually) hold that spot - 4th best OT.

The starting interior is Allen, Jackson, and walk-on Kruse (a SR who has played often and solidly).  That will be a strength.  No concerns with Conklin.  Clark is at least serviceable as the other starting OT.

Keiler had a decent game - a RS frosh OT. Probably the 3rd best on the team.

McGowan and Higgins are interior backups - both RS Sophs.  Both seem to be playing well enough for backup.

Most are saying the OL won't be worse than last years, and probably better.

Cook will do just fine.  He does take chances, but he's a gamer.  Tough to change that style.  I see some picks this year, but it's give and take.

Burbridge is playing well - better than that..  Kings and Arnett sat out, and both are playing very well this spring - especially Arnett, and Kings is already a playmaker.  Lippett, Mumphrey, and Kings are likely starters, but those other two are right there, and no reason to think they won't be starting eventually.  Shelton will see plenty of action as well.

Kittridge was listed as a starting DT last year, but sat out with an injury.  He's back to full form - actually a little bigger.

Ed Davis didn't play - and he's very good.  Taiwan Jones is a MLB now.  Good marks so far, but he likely has a ways to go before he's like Bullough.  He's 250+ and can really move.  Damien Harris will likely be the other OLB.  Lots of fighting for positions/playing time from the younger guys.

The DL will be fine.  Callhoun is already proven.  Cooper - not just against Finley in the scrimmage - has been getting rave reviews at rosebowl practice and all spring.  Rush is Rush - good.  Heath moved inside to DT, and getting high marks.  Lots of backup help at DT - maybe even a freshman will get his feet wet this year. Knox and Clemons are likely backups.  Knox saw plenty of solid time last year. Thomas will play.  Still has a high ceiling.  Kind of a DE/DT twinner.  Extremely quick for a big guy.  He could shine or bust.

The DB's are going to be good.  Drummond is one of the top safety's in the league.  WIlliamson and Cox are battling it out, and Williamson was a very good backup last year. And RS freshman Powell is apparently impressing beyond those two.

Waynes is as good as anyone in the league, and Darian Hicks will likely be the other corner - but there's still quality competition with 3 other guys.

RB:  It will likely go Langford, then Williamson.  That should do just fine.  Holmes and Hill will see time too.  None of these guys are (appear) to be NFL guys, but all get the job done.

TE: Yeah, Price isn't a great blocker - he'll be a soph this year.  He does have good hands and some running ability. Gleichert is back.  They were the top two last year.  There are other guys battling it out.  Lyles is up to 250 and is making noise this spring.  But, when Butt returns, UofM has the better TE.

Geiger and Sadler make a great kicking combo.  A great D and a great K/P combo can win games with a dud O vs most of the bigten.  But this O will not be a dud.

MSU got a fantastic D recruiting class for 2014 - which of course doesn't mean anything until they produce.  2015 is looking good so far, and MSU is in on a lot of guys that used to be pipe dreams.

This is not the MSU program you grew up with.  And this is not the UofM program you grew up with.

Honestly, it's all about UofM's OL.  If they can improve a decent amount each year, 2015 and especially 2016 could be fantastic years.  But I don't see it happening in 2014.

 

 

04/03/2014 - 1:41am Sam Webb should man up and cover Malik's summer tuition.

This was Webb's doing.  He keep this thing alive, made Malik's family story a national story, and ruined what should have been one of the best times of Malik's life.  That can't be undone.

Shame on you Sam Webb.

03/17/2014 - 3:02am Good analysis.

I 'm not a big fan of Valentine's play.  I don't feel comfortable when he has the ball.  Lots of freshman-like decisions.  Not cluch.  Not the guy I want to see with the ball in a close game.  Hoping for big improvement next year - which has to be a given if MSU is going to be a factor.  The potential is probably there for a gamer, but same goes for at least half of the scholarship sophs/freshman in the bigten.

 

FWIW, I do buy the comments I've read about how a jump shooting team with a game 3 motor running on empty is less favorable than a team that's bigger down low and has a more balanced attack.  So, this game was a bit of an anomaly, and doesn't compare to either the regular season or the NCAA tournament.

Neither team had legs for 3-pt/outside shooting, so that gave MSU a decent advantage.

 

IMO, there should not be a 3-straight days tourney.  I've played a lot of pickup hoops.  One more game - always.  That's when injuries happen - when we should have quit a half hour ago.

 

Yeah, I can see if Payne has to spend his load early, well, it might be spent.

Anything can happen.  This tournament is the best thing in sports - and I'm more of a football guy.  6-games, one and done, winner take all.

Nice chatting with you.  Have fun at the dance.

 

 

 

 

 

03/17/2014 - 12:43am I like your trading philosophy, and have used it way back in the

day for easy locks.  They overhyped teams a few games (football was where I could recognize it) every year.

But I don't think 10/1 is that far off for MSU. 

PS - I'm an MSU fan.

 

Payne had his third day in a row, and had a tough matchup vs Wisconsin the day before.  Might not mean much for his lungs, but he played a hard 29 minutes game vs UofM the next day.  Just look at the rebounds, points, the quick moves late in the game, and the late 5-5 freethrows (tougher when your tired).  He can play winded.

Payne may breakdown by the end of a tough game, but Dawson won't  - he'll pick up slack if Payne's struggling.  And the big-man bench isn't great, but it's deep.  He'll get breathers. 

A great freethrow shooting, big, tough, skilled center would be trouble. But, MSU is much more than Payne.

The fire is back.

The players are mostly healthy again. 

But, of course, that's the kind of thing people ride - the excuse; the thing that changes the Vegas odds.  Is the excuse valid?  Is MSU back to that form?  Fifteen, 10  games ago, clearly not.  Today? Yesterday?  Are UofM and Wisconsin legit 2 seeds?  If so, then likely.

A fan is usually the worst person to ask about odds for that particular team.  Except for, maybe, a rival fan.  I even knew that way back then.  Didn't touch MSU, UofM, or the Lions.

Personally, I think Wichata State, at about 11/1 (depending on the odds maker) is the best hype team to bet against.  Not really much hype for a 1 seed - at all.  But, they're not a legit talent 1 seed, although still getting reasonable 1 seed respect with 11/1.

But yes, bet against the hype - especially when odds are in play.  Can't fault your method - as long as the analysis concerning the overhype is objective.

 

02/17/2014 - 7:11pm Puppet?

Hello.

02/15/2014 - 3:29am No doubt, that's any awesome memorial.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKQRLo5C9yo

 

 

02/02/2014 - 3:38pm Really...

because that reply comes off as written by a 10th grader.

 

02/01/2014 - 4:26pm May be true, but sad.

He want's to play for MSU.

His mom won't sign the LOI.

He should play where he wants to play.

Sometimes, you have to tell Mommy Dearest you're going to live your own life.

Everyone should be on board with that.

01/02/2014 - 2:55pm Trae Waynes is a weak spot?

Stanford was also fortunate at times.  The Langford fumble - that could have happened to any RB. They had no answer for MSU on that drive.

Stupid inexperience pressure pass by Cook directly results in 7 pts the other way. No luck with the pressure, but the panic floater pass to the OL was incredibly lucky for Stanford.

 

Overall, Stanford and MSU looked about equal on O, but MSU has a much better D.  Score didn't reflect that - should have been more lopsided.

01/02/2014 - 2:40pm Waynes is also a 2 star.

And four young 3* guys you've never heard of fighting for Dennard's vancantcy.

Barrnett - MSU's DB coach - is impressed with all of them.

I guess it's scouting, scheming, coaching up, practice, experience, repetition, and eventually understanding.

Pretty sure Lewis is MSU's only 4* DB since Dantonio arrived (not counting this current class).

I don't know.  Go ahead and look back at the DB's UofM signed since 2007 that were also offered by MSU.  Probably the majority of them.  Then, look at the DB's MSU signed since 2007, but were NOT offered by UofM - possibly all of them.

Dantonio wanted/offered lots of guys that ended up at UofM.  Not quite as true the other way around.  Gotta have talent,but gotta have the right scheming, coaching up, and game coaching.

 

12/30/2013 - 3:16am 6. Sort of.

Bullough, Dennard, Lewis, Reynolds, Jones and Hoover.  That's 6.

Ed Davis played OLB a lot this year.  And he was very good.  No major drop off, if at all.

Hoover was out much of the season.  Reynolds was not a starter until Kittredge was out for the season with an injury - and Kittredge is back.  Knox and Scarpinato were basically co-starters at DT, and their true DT starter (Kittredge) is back.  Again, no real drop off.  They had a field day with UofM's interior.

Lewis will be replaced by Williamson.  Williamson had a great game vs NW (Lewis was injured), and they tried to pick on him, but gave up after they realized we wasn't a drop off.

Dennard will be a major drop off.  But so will Gallon.

Yeah, Max will be a loss - won't deny that.

If you think MSU will have a major drop off in D next year - especially vs UofM - consider how well Lewan and Schofield did against two very good DE's in Rush and Calhoun.  Controlled them better than any OT combo MSU faced all year.  Now, consider Calhoun and Rush vs UofM next year.

Moving Magnuson to OT from OG - well, now there's a hole on the interior OL.  Who's gonna fill that?  And Magnuson (sorry if misspelled) in his first year at OT will likely not be like either of the OT's you're losing.  Who's the other OT?  Braden?  That's the real drop off when considering MSU's D vs UofM's O.

 

 

12/30/2013 - 2:35am MSU probably won't be better,

but better would be playing for the national title.

Losing Max Bullough will sting, and the backup MLB is a Sr.

Byron Bullough or Jon Reschke are the likely competition.  Bullough (Max's brother) was slated as the #2 MLB, but he played some RB/FB.  He was moved back to MLB late in the season, but not as #2.  He'll be a RS soph next year, but missed out on game-time and practice experience.  Reschke will be a RS freshman.  So yeah, it's concerning.  Whoever plays there can expect to get picked on early as a potential weak link. Ed Davis and Taiwan Jones are back on the outside, and are very good.

CB Waynes is a soph.  He's back.

There are some older guys in the system, but Darian Hicks is really impressing the coaches at CB.  Apparently considered pulling his redshirt, but there was hardly a need for that - outside of experience for next year.

Lewis (safety) is gone.  Williamson had a great game when Lewis sat out with a minor injury.  Saw a lot of experience in other games too.  Cox (RS soph S) is apparently, and consistently pushing, but being held off by Drummond - for two years.  So he must be a pretty good safety.

Reynolds and Hoover are off the DT rotation.  Both saw plenty of action, although Hoover was out for a good part of the season.  DT's Knox and Scarpinato (Jr's next year) both played well and saw a lot of action this year.  Jr DT Kittridge was listed as a start before the season, but didn't play because of an injury.  But he's back.  MSU fans are waiting for Lawrence Thomas to blow it up on the DL. Talk of him moving outside to DE.

Both DE's are back, and Heath (backup) saw a lot of action.  Lewan/Schofield were a tough matchup for Calhoun/Rush.  My guess is next year they will both will make some noise vs UofM.

Lose 3-starters from the OL, sort of.  One OT, and two guards.  Allen (starter) and Jackson both played a lot with the interior OL.  Both are good interior guys, and are back.  Conklin was a steal OT.  Unranked (zero stars) RS freshman and played way ahead of schedule. OT Fonoti will be hard to replace.  Lots of contenders, including a JUCO from this current class. Talk of Brandon Clemons (DT) moving to OG - his natural position (4*OG, FWIW).  Clark is a natural OG, but may have to play OT, as he did as a backup this year.  OL should not drop of much, if at all. Likely not much better.

The skill players on O are all returing, except for WR Fowler.  WR Arnett redshirted this year, and has apparently improved his play and attitude significantly.  WR Burbridge was injured for much of the season, but he'll be back.  Kings turned into a playmaker, and Mumphrey turned into a very reliable WR.  Lippet went from Featherstone to Mr. Reliable - all back.  The massive improvement of those last three guys mentions, along with Cook, and Langford too, turned the O from horrible to better than average.  And that was enough.  And now there's some chemistry.  The OL improved too - not fair not to mention them.

Geiger is back (K), and he's good.  Losing Sadler (P) will hurt a bit.  Great punter, and MSU plays a D control/field position kind of game.

Cook appears to have found his game.  Scares me somtimes. Takes a lot of chances with covered WR's.  But no doubt he improved dramatically.  No idea where his peak is, or if he already hit it.    

Long post, I know.

12/28/2013 - 1:55am As a Sparty that's been treated with the utmost grace from

this site (and thank you mods for letting speak my, for the most part, mind), I'm going to take a chance here.  You two sound like the proverbial little brother - regardless of the regionality (not an Oxford word, I know).

Yeah, MSU fans were probably pulling for Texas....whenever that was.  Welcome to the JLS era.

 

The truth is, if you want UofM to get national respect, (as in a BCS bowl for the losing team in the BigTen champs game, or a MNC contender for the BigTen champ), and one way or another it will eventually happen for UofM - YOU NEED A STRONG BIGTEN BOWL GAME SHOWCASE ON AN ANNUAL BASIS.

That's all.  You may not like it, but OSU and MSU wins mean the BigTen aren't pretenders.  Have some faith in your program.  UofM will be back in the mix - one way or another

The other bowls (Minnesota) don't really count.  WE (just talking about the bowling season) need to beat the media handjob teams.

 

12/28/2013 - 1:22am It's sad.

That guy is football. Coulda been a MLB on any nearly any team.  And any University would have loved having Max as their MLB.  Had a Spielman like play, tenacity, understanding, and love of the game.  It's sad that he lost his chance, by his own doing,  to play in a Rose Bowl.  For him, and his family.  He'll regret this for the rest of his life.  I am sure his extended family was so proud watching him play this year.  Must be heartbroken. 

Whatever happened, I hope he gets help if necessary, learns, and moves on and forward.

12/20/2013 - 12:30am It's a mixed bag.

I think the comments from die-hard, and/or fair-minded albeit disappoited UofM fans concerning the talent to win ratio, allow for the following comment:

It is a mixed bag.  Dantonio called Calhoun MSU's next Julian Peterson on signing day.  Lofty words for sure for a 6'5" 225 5.5 3* DE. 

Dantonio was Saban's DC when Peterson (something you may like here) ruined OSU's national champs season (again:) ). 

OSU was ranked #1 late in the season when Peterson came off the bench in the 3rd quarter for an injured IIRC Desmond Thomas.  He turned the game around, single handedly.  And that win put Saban on the map in a prime-time nationally televised football game.  We were supposed to get slaughtered.  Cooper's statement before the game: "Well, they're all scholarship players".  That's what a coach says with a freak team playing IU.

Jack Conklin, Le'Veon Bell, Dennard, Waynes...these were recruiting wins - yes, against no one.  But that's where he shines.  Diamonds in the rough.  His 3* list, has guys all over the NFL. Coaching up? Latent but unknown talent? Both?

MSU sources say that Sweat (2*) will be one of them, among a few other 3* guys in this class.

But like you said, there is plenty of development going on.  MSU's starting D averaged exactly 3 stars.  Is it just coaching up?  Schemes? Play by play improv? Scouting steals?  I think it's a mixed bag.

No one knows what the future of college football will hold.  Nations rise and fall.  Always have, always will.  College football programs can't count themselves untouchable, or expect to see trends continue even 3 or 4 years into the future.  But I don't see MSU not (yes, double negative) being a respectable and competitive program as long as Dantonio and much of his staff are still in place.

One note - I live in MI.  You probably do to, if not at least 80% of the guys on here.  We all know, have tollerable relationships, and likely have friends on the other side of the fence.  It's fun having an instate rival.  Don't have to like, and sometimes okay to hate.  That's all.  Not sure where I'm going now.  Just having fun with this rivalry.  If it's not fun, or it at least doesn't  fall somewhere between entertaining and frustrating, then it's not worth following.  And we're all Lions fans.  We all get it :(,  :).

12/19/2013 - 11:48pm At the risk of being negative pointed to death...

I'm a Spartan fan that loves to come here.

I freely admit it's a great site, and I'm a huge college football fan.  I consider UofM our obvious #1 rival, so I like to read up on the latest rumors and insights.  I do try to keep it civil, and occasionally add to the conversation without being a P.I.A.

 

But, I was thinking EXACTLY what you were thinking - after reading the informed post from the insider a few posts up top.  The next Denicos Allen.  I'm sure he was recruited as a safety, and Wr, as he was told.  He'll likely get his chance to shine there.  But, at his height, size, and apparant ability within this scheme, a position "might" become available to his best interest.

All is fair in recruiting and college football.  Well, at least in the SEC.

Unlike Allen, he has much better NFL height/frame, and from the film I saw - speed, again...for an NFL future.

My hope sees him as an absolute stud at Safety or hybrid LB.  But stud is as stud does.  We'll see.

And studs find a way into to the NFL.

Saw some film.  Already really, really fast 6'2 202 guy with great instincts - O and D.  4-5 years from now....? 

Color me green, but not with envy:)

There's at least 4 positions I can see him excelling at - and CB would be possible a 5th.

Unforunately, this moves MSU up to the 36th ranked class on Rivals.  A couple more stud, and we may move below the 30's.  Our best classes, and most of our NFL drafted players - Jr's and Sr's alike, typically come from our 30's and 40's ranked classes.  Getting a little nervous.

Hoping for a couple grossly underrated/under-scouted 2* guys like Sweat to round out the class.

(Smart ass falls just short of P.I.A.,right?:) )

12/19/2013 - 11:16pm MSU alumi foundation contacted Lloyd's of London...

on a policy for Bullough balls.

Gotta keep them gems insured.

 

 

12/19/2013 - 11:08pm Lets try that again.

Check out the youtube link.  Type in #6 Montae Nicholson s,cb,wr. Click on the top option.

Here's a sample of the film that scholarship offering schools (like FSU, Miami Fla, OSU, Penn St., Oregon, and other bowling teams) saw.

Spoiler alert - he has more than one tackle.

And if you care to watch, MSU told him he can play both Safety and WR.  May want to save him from playing K/P return, but he's clearly solid there too.

 

This is a bigtime pick up.   

 

Edit: Dangit. Thought I you were talking about Nicholson.

Point remains.  He's a big time player.

12/18/2013 - 12:59am Oops:)

Well, the other Harris still is getting attention with that tweet.

Okay, my bad.

12/18/2013 - 12:29am Already decommitted from MSU.

I think he's a wait until signing day prospect.

Whatever sold him to drop MSU and "commit" to UofM...well, it might not have the same value at this point.

Yeah, kind of a strange thing to tweet.  If he wants attention, he got it.

In this era of following any gesture from commits, he may have wanted to qualify what he was talking about.

 

12/17/2013 - 1:51am Didn't know he is already in a grad program....

But, chances are his true grad program is NFL'ology.

It's just a guess - 60% he goes, 40% he stays.

Which, of course is no different than saying 90% he stays and 10% he goes, or 90% he goes and 10% he stays. (You're always right when you give statistical probability, as long as you stay away from 100% & 0%).

Next years story will not be Gardner or Morris, or Chesson, or Ryan, or Green and/or De'Veon.

It's 99% how Magnuson and Braden (I guess) play OT, and how much the interior improves.

I'm hinging 90% of my Gardner prediction on him predicting a 70% chance that the OL will not be overall better, and a 25% chance the OL will be worse.

And my written predictions are at least 55% accurate.

 

 

12/17/2013 - 1:12am Read the article and my first thought was "transfer".

The article in MLive stated that he is now graduated.

I didn't think that was writen idly.

Gardner took a beating this year.  The interior line was a sieve, and he loses his two OT's to the NFL.

Maybe, there's a program out there with an OL that can give him a moment in the pocket that has a Master's program that UofM doesn't.  My guess is double digit programs.

If he's thinking NFL, and why wouldn't he, he may be thinking "Russell Wilson did it, so can I".

He needs to get that stock back up.  Not sure next year's OL will be any better - possibly worse.  And no Gallon...

Hoke: "you'll have to ask him"

That's miles different than what he said last time when asked about Gardner.

One way or another, I think he's gone.

 

11/29/2013 - 2:03am Now that's funny.

It's how reality is today.  Everyone who saw this OP, even just the title, on the Recent Post board has now read mention of the rumor that Shane might start.  If not for the long weekend, that could have literally been enough to start a substantial rumor by gameday.

And for those who read the post:

Arm in sling.  Morris with the majority of snaps.  Gardner's "comments".  It all adds up.

Maybe Shane does start.

Or maybe it's nothing.

Or maybe most comments are nothing.  Maybe not even maybe.

 

11/10/2013 - 3:49am MSU's #1 rated D - in the country - averages exactly 3 stars.

Waynes and Dennard were both 2 star guys.  They're the reason MSU can blitz at will....or Devin.

It's not hard science.  It's hardly science.

 

I will admit that 5 star guys, and high (6.0) four star guys tend to pan out far better than others.

But, for most of the others, it's an educated guess as to how they will perform at the next level.

 

Oh, coaching matters.  Development, schemes, adjustments. 

Not to mention the little things - like playing the best guys and putting the team first.  Keeping them humble but confident at the same time.  Not settling, or letting them settle.  Making sure they believe in them.

And character, when using the term related to football, definitely matters.

40 times are important, if you can hit the hole - if there is one.  Or if you can run a route and sell a fake.  If you can take a hit as well as you give one.  If you can...pick up a blitz.

Strength matters, if you have quick feet and a quicker brain.

Size matters (oops) if it fits the scheme.  More like if it fits the play, and everything else is in place.

 

Ask Mack Brown with run of consistent top 5 recruiting classes how important recruiting rankings are.

 

11/07/2013 - 1:16pm I don't know.

That was probably the most out of place thing I have ever seen.

11/05/2013 - 5:16pm How about cherry picking MSU?

RS Freshman 2 star Conklin starting LT.

RS Soph 3 star starting center Allen.

Lossing RS Soph starting LT Schofner before the season started due to repeated injuries (apparently considering a return).

Landing (still) undersized 3 star JUCO OT Fonoti, and making him effective.

Two true freshman RB's getting quality time/production.

First year starting RS Soph QB that has improved dramatically within a few games.

WR dropsies and route running improve dramatically, within a few games.

Turning ATH Langford into a reliable RB within a few games.

A starting D that averages exactly 3 stars, and leading the nation in overall D.

MSU had a spread O with Stanton running as often as he passed (probably).  Dantonio turned that 4-8 spread team into a bowling pro-style 7-6 team in one year, and continued to improve with JLS's 40 WR roster.  Dantonio had to spend 9 redshirts his first season, including two DT's - and those DT's saw lots of action.  I think both were starting by the end of the season.

One top 20 recruiting class (17th) since he got here.  2009.

We all know how it's gone from there.

Someone here quoted Bum Phillips referring to Don Shula awhile back (and all of you long time fans know who they are:)).  It's worth repeating:

He can take his'n and beat your'n, and take your'n and beat his'n.

It's not youth, it's coaching.

11/04/2013 - 6:40pm How many years have I been reading posts just like this one?

MSU has lost two coaches since the MD hire - hired as head coaches.

MSU is finally paying their big-time coordinators/position coaches.

And not only are people saying Narduzzi loves it here, it's becoming more and more clear that he's MSU's heir apparent head coach.

 

Ahhh, the high school recruiting *'s.  You guys still follow that?  It must be far beyond disappointing by now.  Can't see how you could still get excited about a 4/5 star verbal.

Ahem...

Dennard and Waynes - both 2*'s. Best CB tandem in the country. Drummond - 3*.

Taiwan Jones and Denicos Allen - both 3*'s. Yeah, Bullough was a 4*, but those 3 are the best trio in the bigten.  Backups Ed Davis and Darien Harris - 3*'s.  Ed Davis was the guy that got those sacks on Saturday - and was at the right place and time all game.

Isiah Lewis is a 4*.

Backup S Williamson - 3*.

DE's: Calhoun, 3*.  Rush, 3*. Drone and Heath are 3*'s. 

DT's Reynolds and Hoover - 3*s.   Scarpanito and Knox - 3*'s. I believe Kittredge was also  3*.  He transfered from Vandy.

That's the #1 rated D in the nation - starters and subs.

Since star ratings began, UofM has never had starters and subs rated that low as recruits.  Probably not even close.

And as far as offense - MSU plays two true freshman RB's.  Their star ratings added nearly equal you're one freshman RB, and he can't beat out Fitz.  And Fitz can't block.  Oh, Lanford is also a 3*.

OL?  MSU is STARTING a RSFR left tackle.  He was a 2*.  RSSoph Jack Allen - 3*.  Young guys can actually play OL.

BTW, many of those players mentioned above were recruited when they were 2*'s and got a bump up to 3*, often long after they verballed.

Here's one for you...MSU just today picked up Madre London - 3* RB, ranked #49 RB overall. He'll sign with another 3* RB in this class - a Caulcrick type of back.  I'm completely satisfied with picking up both of them.  I used to be concerned with stars and ratings, and that UofM was out recruiting MSU, but now I am perfectly content with the guys MD picks up.

Yes, UofM does have a lot of underclassmen.  But other than your WR and TE (or is he a WR now), and probably Ross, I'm not seeing anything positive from Hoke's all-world recruiting classes.  Oh, I'll give it up to Countess too.  He'd likely be a two deep guy at MSU.

And you're bottom heavy.  You want to spread it out.  If these amazing classes don't pan out - and I'm hardly sold on the assumption that it will happen, it's gonna get really rough, and very few ships to offer.  But, on the bright side, you will be really young again in about 5 years.  So go ahead and get another 10 rated class.  It doesn't matter anymore.  Considering the recruiting, I (and you) figured you'd have a monster running game by now, with a future Heisman QB doing more than just getting his feet wet and falling face down.  Maybe Magnuson and Braden pan out.  Granted, they do have as much experience as Conklin (the 2* RSFR), but they are still young. 

But back to my subject title - been hearing this for years.  The only thing different now is instead of the next year mantra, this troll has gathering enough input to assume that you folks are now thinking two years from now.

My final input is that UofM needs to stop the, "Sorry if this is arrogant, but we're Michigan", attitude.  You haven't been that Michigan for a decade.  You need more 3* Jake Ryan types, and less hype.

             

 

11/01/2013 - 12:39am Relax.

I'm just skywriting "GO GREEN" over the Mgoblog site.

10/30/2013 - 1:52am Honest assessment deserves an honest reply.

First, I'm a Sparty.  Not playing games.

Okay, my biggest concern about this game is which Gardner shows up.  Then, which Borges will show up.  "A" games from Gardner and Borges vs a "C" Cook game will mean UofM wins.  That could happen.

What caused me to write the post is the meat of your post - at least how I read it.  MSU is, and has been, clearly getting crushed in recruiting rankings vs. UofM.  So how on earth does MSU have these consecutive D's?  (And what's the deal with UofM's D...in comparison).  Not one starting 4* on the DL.  One starting 4* (Bullough) at LB.  One 4* DB (Lewis).  2 2* CB (both likely playing on Sunday's in the near future).  And plenty of subbing.

Is it scouting?  Is it coaching?  Giving up less than 100pts after 8 games?  Giving up a total of three points in the last 2 games?  With DL injuries? Kittridge and Hoover as the starters (DT's) nursing injuries.

I think it's safe to say that MSU has something going on the D side of the ball.

 

MSU clearly wanted a LOT of guys UofM got over the recent years, but still...

Even on O, to some degree.  3* unknown true frosh RB getting real, productive playing time.  5*, #1 rated RB at UofM reeeeeally under-achieving.  Unknown, un-recruited freshman OT playing + football, but all-world Oline recruits getting shuffled every week at UofM. 

Out of nowhere, 3* soph QB with decent production with 3* WR's and no-name TE's?

One 4* DT on the OL.  The rest are 3's or 2's.

Only one top 20 class (17th) in Dantonio's head coach career.

Yeah, now I'm just being a douche.  But, what is it?  Scouting, coaching, luck?

And what about UofM?  Talent, talent, talent, but not scaring anyone. 

10/30/2013 - 1:52am Honest assessment deserves an honest reply.

First, I'm a Sparty.  Not playing games.

Okay, my biggest concern about this game is which Gardner shows up.  Then, which Borges will show up.  "A" games from Gardner and Borges vs a "C" Cook game will mean UofM wins.  That could happen.

What caused me to write the post is the meat of your post - at least how I read it.  MSU is, and has been, clearly getting crushed in recruiting rankings vs. UofM.  So how on earth does MSU have these consecutive D's?  (And what's the deal with UofM's D...in comparison).  Not one starting 4* on the DL.  One starting 4* (Bullough) at LB.  One 4* DB (Lewis).  2 2* CB (both likely playing on Sunday's in the near future).  And plenty of subbing.

Is it scouting?  Is it coaching?  Giving up less than 100pts after 8 games?  Giving up a total of three points in the last 2 games?  With DL injuries? Kittridge and Hoover as the starters (DT's) nursing injuries.

I think it's safe to say that MSU has something going on the D side of the ball.

 

MSU clearly wanted a LOT of guys UofM got over the recent years, but still...

Even on O, to some degree.  3* unknown true frosh RB getting real, productive playing time.  5*, #1 rated RB at UofM reeeeeally under-achieving.  Unknown, un-recruited freshman OT playing + football, but all-world Oline recruits getting shuffled every week at UofM. 

Out of nowhere, 3* soph QB with decent production with 3* WR's and no-name TE's?

One 4* DT on the OL.  The rest are 3's or 2's.

Only one top 20 class (17th) in Dantonio's head coach career.

Yeah, now I'm just being a douche.  But, what is it?  Scouting, coaching, luck?

And what about UofM?  Talent, talent, talent, but not scaring anyone. 

10/30/2013 - 1:09am It's just marketing. Gets the refs looking in one direction.

And quite possibly the weakest scheme in the proud history of UofM football.

And during the week of the #6 rated rivalry game, er...non-rival game.  This is too much.  What happened to you guys? 

Try scheming O and D game plans, and leave influencing the refs/media to bush-league teams.

Was that really Lewan's statement?  Was that a Brandon script, or was that actually Lewan offering the now-popular bullying line?  Lewan is a victim of bullying?  Can't believe Lewan was actually the spokesman to start this tactic.  Anyone realize how absurd that is?

So UofM is being bullied by MSU?  Any idea'r how hilarious that is?  Could anyone imagine Bo saying that OSU/Hayes is bullying UofM?  Even if MSU gets a couple cheap call against them as a result of this campaign, any long-time UofM fan has to feel embarrassed with this strategy.  Lewan is being bullied.  Honestly, I want to hear more.  I want to read more.  Bullied?  Ha!!! Wow.  Bullied by "little brother".  This is too funny.

I never thought I'd see the day when UofM football would go to the recess lady about being bullied...by their non-rival little brother.  This is too much:)

 

 

10/14/2013 - 11:31am I did that with the lions. 

I did that with the lions.  Had to.  After 0-16, I decided they were going to have to win me back.  And they did.

Not quite the same as a fair weather fan.  If your pro team has no chance, don't bother.  If your college team should at least go bowling - stick with them.  Yeah, even Michigan.  The past 8 years have not been your glory years, but that's no reason to quit.  But to your point - tone it down a bit...yes.  I did that with MSU last year.  It's almost like cheating, in a sense.  Enjoy the win, and blow off the losses.  That's kinda the right way to live life.

And, anything short of a bigten tiltle will mean depression otherwise.  At best, for UofM, that's maybe 4 times a decade - even in a good decade.  The odds are stacked against you if you don't lower your expectations.

Twelve (fourteen) bigten teams with scholarship players every year.  Lots of guys UofM passed on were far from reaching their man-size/speed/maturity.  I understand it's fun to follow great recruiting classes, but it isn't until game-day - a few years down the road - that recruiting shows it's true face.

I've learned how to have a great Saturday with or without a win.  Hang with the right people, have a few drinks, and keep perspective.  I love football, but it's just football.

 

08/22/2013 - 1:08pm Yeah.

Yeah.  Following the preseason.  All qb's, including Maxwell, are playing better than last year.  Wr's catching the ball.  Biggest problem from last year is getting much better.

 

08/22/2013 - 1:09am Not looking that way.

Hill's best attribute is his speed.  Langford if faster and getting a LOT more carries in scrimmages than Hill - and he's producing.  Hill has trouble breaking tackles.  Langford is breaking tackles.

Langford was an ATH recruit.  Tried a few positions.  Now, making a really strong push for the starting RB roll.  Holmes (true freshman from Flint) is making some noise too.

Hill will probably be a return guy.

As for the passing game (as someone stated earlier), the WR's are catching the ball much more consistantly. 

MSU's back 7 on D are as good as any in the bigten.  Maybe the best in the bigten.

The front 4 are heavy in depth, but don't seem to be as good as recent years.  Calhoun is a projected breakout player.  Gholston sat a lot of 3rd downs last year, and Calhoun capatilized.

Lawrence Thomas at DT is the X-factor.  If he breaks out, like predicted, the front 4, with Rush, Calhoun, Thomas, and Hoover or Reynolds should be a +.

The corners are beyond solid, so there's room to blitz Allen - a natural blitzer.  And blitzing Allen freed Rush during his freshman year to make a lot of noise.

MSU will be better this year.

06/27/2013 - 12:42pm I'm thinking in terms of his

I'm thinking in terms of his ratings.  Those matter to many recruits.

06/27/2013 - 4:15am A Spartan reply.

My Predictions:

MSU is impossible to predict.  Possibly best D, possibly worst O. Very good punter, unknown highly ranked true frosh kicker.  Two new coaches.  But, it's hard to see 6 losses on that fairly easy schedule.  So, my impossible prediction is 8-4, give or take 3.

UofM is a year away from being a very good team.  Lots of highly rated but fairly raw guys. Not sold on the DL this year.  Or the OL for that matter...or the QB...and many more.  But the bigten is still fairly weak. 9-3.

Game prediction - UofM has no answer for Braxton - OSU wins THE GAME.  Picking OSU to beat whoever they play in the title game.

Sorry - OSU is going undefeated for the regular season.  They lose the national championship game to one of at least 5 better teams out there.

ND (because they were mentioned a lot ) goes 9-3.

Suppose I should predict the MSU/UofM game.  6-6 at the end of regulation.  18-15 MSU in tripple overtime.  The final play of the game:

MSU's ball.  Third and long on the 22.  UofM up by 3.  Tough angle for the kicker on 4th down if MSU doesn't get closer to the middle of the field.  Hand-off to...someone.  He (I imagine the RB will at least be a dude) runs behind the OL toward the middle of the field.  Safety bites on the run.  Burbridge feigns a block on Countess.  Countess blows past Burbridge toward the RB.  RB pitches back to...a QB.  Toss to...uh...toward Burbridge.  Wide open.  Makes a miracle one handed grab for a TD.  Mike Sadler is awarded Player of the Game after punting for a combined 500 yards.  Dantonio names the game winning play, "The Flea Flicker".  MSU coaches make a hard push for freshman shot putter Riley Norman to play OT.  Narduzzi hires a real estate agent.  Shane Morris is disheartened by not having a chance to win the game for UofM, does some soul searching, and confounds UofM nation by dropping out of school to pursue a career as a stand-up comedian.  Changes his name to Dat's BullShane.  UofM nation tries to urgue that he has a much better chance to make it as an NFL QB than as a stand-up comedian. All sorts of colorful charts and graphs begin to pop up everywhere to prove their point.  But the UofM nation is eventually comforted by the idea that a new scholarship has opened up.

Illinois has another bad year and can't recruit Chicago studs.  Things start to really get dirty on the recruiting trail. Less wins - More losses.

Wisconsin goes back to a team with a huge OL and a good big RB.  They still win, but it gets really boring in Madison.  A typical easy non-conference schedule, and an average conference schedule puts them at 9-3.  Offers a scholarship to Shane Morris next spring.

Iowa loses to Western Michigan and has 6 conference game loses.  Get slaughtered by UofM and Neb to end the season. 5-7.  The fan base is completely deflated.

Penn State stays competitive. Some two deep guys learn both O and D positions.  Enough talented players to beat the little guys - now, and throughout the sanctions.

NW is not as good as billed.  A fun team to cheer for when not playing your school, but just outmatched vs the better teams in the league. But not bad.  8-4.

Minnesota.  Just too low of a ceiling.  Not just talking about the cloud cover.  Their Super Bowl is any bowl. 4-8.

Indiana.  Their ceiling is "decent".  I don't see that changing any time soon.  Gets a good class occasionally, lots of classes with potential players, but they're somewhere in the bottom half this year and beyond.  No win/loss prediction, just predicting they'll be bad again.

Nebraska.  A chance to win their division.  Neb, UofM, or MSU wins it.  Nebraska plays a no-name non-conference schedule.  Very reasonable conference schedule.  10-2/9-3.  Over rated top 10 team by late Oct.  Then, NW, at UofM, MSU, at PSU.  

Purdue.  Sleeper.  8-4.  Pulls a big upset.  I'm hoping vs Nebraska.  So are you.

 

 

06/27/2013 - 2:01am Maybe.

Needs to get the 40 time lower before the scouts see him again.

Consecutive slow 40's at camps will drop him regardless of how well he plays.