Wednesday, November 30, 2011

RE: Twisted

This got too long for a comment, so it's a post instead. I think I realized this issue before, but now that I'm staring it in the face I'm really appreciating it. As you said, MSU and Wisconsin seem to clearly be the best teams in the conference (though not necessarily by a lot), and one of them is going to be penalized while a team that didn't defeat either of them is going to benefit. It doesn't seem fair, but I don't think the problem is so much the BCS as the "logic" that the polls use. Those voting in the polls vote certain ways because that's the way it is done, not because they actually think a team is better. Does anyone think Michigan is a better team if MSU loses to Wisconsin? How about South Carolina? Baylor? Did Florida State get better because Notre Dame lost to Stanford? And so on. I'm sure this won't change, so there probably isn't a good answer. As I heard on Mike & Mike last week, whatever you do, don't lose late.


I think it is unfair that the loser of the Big Ten Championship game will be penalized in the BCS rankings if they lose. The idea that a MSU/Wisconsin team will have 3 losses and a 2-loss Michigan team will jump ahead is not right. It's not right because only two teams are playing (risking a loss) and someone has to lose. It almost rewards a team for not being in a conference title game. Wisconsin and MSU are the two best teams in the Big Ten. Just because one of them loses on Saturday doesn't necessarily mean Michigan is now "better" than them because of the loss column...except in the Alabama-Georgia scenario. Georgia isn't the second best team in the SEC. But it's not Georgia's fault the way the division is set up.

Dream Season

Here is my dream. That one year Michigan and OSU will enter the final regular season game undefeated (assuming they are the top ranked teams) and the home team wins by 1 point or overtime. Regardless of the result, they are also in the Big Ten Conference Championship game at a neutral site. Now I want the other team to win by 1 point or overtime. Then I want everyone to be screaming their heads off for ANOTHER rematch for the National Championship game.

I hate the argument that Alabama isn't the best team in their conference so they shouldn't be allowed in the Championship game. What if Alabama is the second-best team in the world? Who cares if they didn't win their conference championship game. What if UCLA beats Oregon? Then they get to play in the Rose Bowl and what if they win that? UCLA is terrible. They only got in because of the USC sanctions.

Here is what would be awesome: If LSU loses to Georgia on Saturday...UH-OH! Now what? If Alabama was in the other division, then we'd possibly have a dream-come-true based on the above scenario. Alabama, given a rematch on a neutral site, wouldn't shock anyone if they beat LSU. If that happened, you'd still have to say LSU and Alabama were the two best teams...and DESERVE TO PLAY AGAIN FOR THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP.

Let it be noted that I'm not in favor of four super-conferences with two eight-team divisions in each conference. You'd have eight total division champions, which makes four super-conference championship games. Then you'd have four conference champions for a 4-team playoff format. I don't like that because if Alabama is in the same division as LSU, like they are now, they still wouldn't be in any of the conference championship games, let alone the playoff, yet THEY'D STILL BE THE 2ND BEST TEAM IN THE COUNTRY!

Coach 'em Up!

With Jack Del Rio getting the axe, I did a little background search on his coaching resume. While doing that, I ran across Mike Tomlin and John Harbaugh. One would think they have a clear progression up the coaching tree. Basically Tomlin was a Defensive Backs guru and Harbaugh was a special teams guy. Then bam, all of a sudden they apply for a head coaching gig and are tearing it up. They aren't even former players of "The Shield." Obviously there is no set criteria for determining what will make a great coach and what will make a loser. The ingrediants are different for all of them. Why one succeeds and another fails usually comes down to the groceries, but how do you explain Jim Harbaugh and Brady Hoke in their first year success?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Primetime Overkill

I did some research today because of curiosity. It sure seems like the NFL schedule contained a lot of weeks that featured a team that played back-to-back weeks on primetime and/or national television. (I will be using "primetime" and "national TV" synonymously.) What spiked my interest was the tiresomeness of seeing the Jets in so many primetime slots. I decided to dive into the NFL schedule and here is what I found:

On 10 occasions, an NFL team played back-to-back weeks in the national TV spotlight. I consider primetime to be they are the only game on during that time slot.

IND: Wk 3 and 4
CHI: Wk 5 and 6
PHI: Wk 8 and 9
JETS: Wk 10 and 11
NE: Wk 10 and 11
KC: Wk 11 and 12
NYG: Wk 11 and 12
NO: Wk 12 and 13
DAL: Wk 14 and 15
PIT: Wk 14 and 15

Is this normal? Is it on purpose?

I did some more digging. 27 of the 32 teams had at least one primetime game. That seemed high to me, considering the length of time the Lions went without a primetime game BESIDES the Thanksgiving game. (I consider the Thanksgiving game a primetime game.) You would have thought that if in every season 27 teams get a chance to be in the national TV spotlight, what are the odds the Lions are one of the five teams to continuously be excluded? Did KC and JAX deserve THREE primetime games this year? I realize KC made the playoffs in 2010 and that has a ton to do with it, but are those markets bigger than Detroit?

Out of the 27 teams that received a primetime game, 12 play at least 25% of their season in the national spotlight. I don't have a problem with the NFL trying to focus on a select group of teams to sell their product. They all deserve it. But do the JETS deserve 5 games? Do we deserve to have to watch 5 JETS games? That's the bigger deal.

Here is the schedule breakdown for some of the 12 teams that received at least 4 primetime games:

New Orleans, Green Bay, Jets, Philadelphia, B-more, Pittsburgh, and Indy all received 5 games.

"America's Team" received 6.

Also interesting is 7 of the 12 teams come from the NFC.


I heard some interesting thoughts on sports radio today:

1. If the incident would not have been on Thanksgiving and/or national television but instead just a regular 1:00pm Sunday afternoon game, would that have changed things?

2. If he would have owned it right from the beginning instead of the denial, same penalty?

3. If it was any other player in the league and/or without the "dirty" player reputation, same suspension?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Rumbling, Stumbling Joel Foreman

If you check out the box score for MSU's game against the Hoosiers yesterday, besides a lot of Spartan scoring you'll see that Joel Foreman had one carry for 3 yds. That doesn't seem too unusual as the game was a blowout and many backs had a chance to handle the ball. But Foreman is a guard. Like the '97 CC vs. Marlette JV game, the coaches drew up a play for the senior co-captain. After the play Foreman went to midfield, saluted the Spartan logo, and ran to the sidelines. Not a bad way to end your last career home game.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Congratulations to Michigan State Spartans, especially the record-breaking seniors, on winning the Big Ten Legends Division. And, of course, the Old Brass Spittoon.

So, think I should get tickets to the Championship Game?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Do you think Boise State's loss to TCU today validates what many people, including me, have said about undefeated teams in non-automatic qualifying conferences?

Cousins' "I Agree With Kirk" Speech

I Agree with Kirk... from AIA on Vimeo.

Thoughts on the Carrier Classic

-It's disappointing to see the Spartans lose, but that was still very, very cool.

-Mark Hollis deserves a lot of credit for actually making this thing come together. It was a crazy idea that ended up working fantastically.

-The presentation of the evening colors was a great inclusion to the broadcast. I'm glad they showed it instead of running commercials.

-While MSU and UNC were excellent choices for this game, I wish it had happened when they were a little closer together in talent and experience. It's tough to start the year against a team that everyone is ready to give the trophy to in November.

-And Duke next. You certainly can't fault MSU for playing a soft schedule.

-At least the Spartans actually looked like an MSU basketball team. I'm less and less of a basketball guy all the time, but I sure love watching MSU beat someone on the boards.

-I'm no fan of the President, but I was willing to listen to him until he started talking legislation and turned his comments into a campaign speech. Was that really necessary?

-I'm pretty tired of hearing the media, even Dick Vitale, talk about how attractive and glamorous Michelle Obama is. Come on. I'm sure Brooklyn Decker was drawing many more glances than Mrs. Obama.

-Is the U.S.S. Carl Vinson available as a venue in a video game yet? I would play every game there.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Common Denominator

The opening sentence of an article in the Detroit News about the struggling Spartan offense: "First-year Michigan State offensive coordinator Dan Roushar can't pinpoint a common denominator for the Spartans' poor offensive performance on the road this season." I've got a common denominator for you: Dan Roushar.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Quote of the Day

We came out kind of flat, and when we had our backs really up against the wall, you know, middle of the second half, you're kind of saying, 'Holy crap, we gotta get going.'

-Max Bullough, Spartan LB, referencing the 31-24 win over Minnesota on Saturday, via the Detroit News

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

I Agree With Kirk

Kirk Cousins is going to be speaking at the MSU Auditorium about his faith. You can read a little of his testimony here. It sounds like the event has caused a bit of a stir on campus this week, Coach Dantonio was even asked about it at the weekly press conference. Obviously Cousins is catching some flack for it, for example a comment on a State News story: "Is he trying to be the next Tim Tebow?" I'm behind him 100%. Of course now I really hope he plays a good game against Minnesota because I'd hate his critics to have that ammunition.