I’m fired-up and I’m nervous as hell. But mainly, I’m excited to see our Michigan State Spartans kick-off the 2012 season.
College football technically starts tonight. But for us, it starts tomorrow when our Michigan State Spartans fun out on to the grass in Spartan Stadium to face the Boise State Broncos under the lights. To say I’m ready for some football is like saying breathing helps me get through the day.
Here’s to a great football season.
Kirk Herbstreit honors what he considers to be the best-of-the-best in college football with his annual Herbie Awards. Maybe it’s not the most coveted of awards, but it’s still fun to see your team included. And Michigan State was included this year, check it out…
Best Defensive End: #3 William Gholston
Best Defensive Back: #5 Johnny Adams
Best Kept Secret: #1 Le’Veon Bell
Looks the Part: #1 William Gholston
Throwback Player: #4 Max Bullough
Ahead of the Curve: #2 Andrew Maxwell
All-Herbie Team – DL: William Gholston
Conference Prediction – B1G Champion: Michigan State Spartans over Wisconsin
That’s a lot of love from Mr. Herbstreit. In fact, the Spartans showed up more than any other B1G school (MSU:8, Ohio State: 6, Wisconsin: 5, Michigan: 3 and Purdue: 2). The fact that Kirk picked MSU to win the B1G when most folks are thinking Michigan or Wisconsin is pretty awesome. Basically, it just feels good to have the media actually saying positive things about the Spartans. Bring the love.
Wisconsin seems to be more interested in transferring in veteran quarterback from other temas then in developing quarterbacks out of high school. They’re not doing anything wrong, it’s perfectly legal. And it worked out really, really well for them last year. But the question in my mind is “why?”
Danny O’Brien heads to Madison with two years of eligibility left. Make no mistake, O’Brien is no Russell Wilson. He’s a 56% passer with more picks than TDs last year (10 interceptions to seven touchdowns). And he’s not a runner. Really, not a runner at all. He led Maryland to two wins last year in an awful 2-10 season including losses to Temple and Wake Forest. And he missed three games, so maybe not all that durable either.
So why? Wilson made sense in a way, why not backseat your guys for a guy with massive talent that can bring you instant success. But Danny O’Brien? Are you sure that one of the pine-riders you have on scholarship couldn’t throw-up O’Brien caliber numbers.
To give the benefit of the doubt, maybe when you put Danny O’Brien behind the Badgers’ massive offensive line, he’ll finally have the opportunity to make something happen. Maybe. Doubt it. Would I be surprised if he get’s pulled mid-way through the conference season (as Wisconsin has the cakiest of cakewalk non-conference games)? No, I almost expect it.
And a note for hotshot high school QBs considering B1G schools, don’t bother with Wisconsin unless your goal is to lead the scout team every week.
But for you fifth year seniors or recent graduates with a year of eligibility left… how’d you like to start over?
You can take the boy out of the Spartans, but you can’t take the Spartan out of the boy.
Kirk Cousins, former best-QB-ever at Michigan State is now the #2 or #3 QB behind RG3 on the Washington Redskins. And in their loss last weekend, Cousins had a pretty dang good game: 18 for 23, 264 passing yards, and three touchdowns. Not bad for the backup, or the backup to the backup. But Kirk is humble and Kirk is a team player. When questioned about a possible QB controversy, here is what Cousins had to say:
I think that this is Robert’s team. This is Robert’s opportunity. The coaches have made that very clear. It’s my job to do the best I can in my situation and in my opportunities. And that’s what I’m trying to do.
Cousins had to make his way in High School, and again at MSU. I think he’s comfortable earning his stripes with excellent play and quality leadership. He may not unseat RG3, but that’s not his goal. His goal is to play his very best and help his team in whatever way he can.
Best of luck Kirk!
I watched Denard Robinson’s B1G Media Day speech today. I’m not even sure why I watched it, but it made an impact.
Look, do I think Robinson is a polished speaker and delivered an important message? No. But he spoke from his heart and he got up and made a big speech on a very B1G stage. He showed real character and class. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like Michigan even one little bit, and I don’t think Robinson will have the Heisman-winning year that Michigan fans are salivating for. But I do respect him. As an athlete and as a person. Football is football, and life is life.
The Associated Press rankings came out today and AP has Michigan State at #13. No surprise here, although I was thinking #12 personally. The #13 is consistent with the USA Today Coach’s Poll. The AP has five B1G teams are ranked which beyond MSU includes Michigan (#8), Wisconsin (#12) and Nebraska (#17) and Ohio State (#18).
Here’s the B1G AP Rankings Chart for you visual folks out there:
And here is the AP Top 25 listing in it’s entireity:
I don’t put a ton of stock in pre-season polls, but this doesn’t feel too far off. I don’t really think Michigan will live up to the hype, but that’s simply based on the talent they’ve lost and how much tougher their schedule is than 2011’s cakewalk. And no Notre Dame in this list? The Irish are #26 currently. No other B1G schools received any votes.
The B1G has five teams in the Top 25, but the SEC and Big XII both have six, but who cares about that kind of stuff at this point in time anyway.
To all the schools, Top 25 or otherwise, best of luck to you this season. Win or lose, I love me some college football.
Normally I do my picks the day before or the morning of game day. But with only two weeks to go, I’m getting too amped up to wait. So I’m going to call these my “Pre-Picks” which means I reserve the right to change them up right up to the first kick-off. Speaking of first kick-off…
August 31, 2012
Michigan State vs. Boise State – 8:00pm on ESPN. I don’t pick the MSU games, never have. I will say that both teams had great QBs that have since moved on to the pros, so we’re going to be test-driving some new guys in the key position. Andrew Maxwell is a a long-time Kirk Cousins protege and all indicators are that he’s going to be great. He knows the players, he’s been in games, he knows the playbook better than anyone, etc. etc. etc. But he’s a first time starter, so he’ll likely need some time to settle in and develop some confidence. I’m glad the defense has tons of experience and should as good if not better than 2011. I’m also glad the game is at Spartan Stadium with 75,000+ Spartan fans supporting our boys. GO GREEN!
September 1, 2012
Minnesota @ UNLV – 11:00am. Looking at the stats from 2011, these teams are pretty evenly matched. Both teams ran for more yardage than they threw for. Both teams we’re pretty low scoring and got scored on a lot. Coach Kill seems like a good guy and he’s working hard to re-create something that hasn’t really existed in years. But on the road? The Gophers? I’m going with UNLV in a close one.
Northwestern @ Syracuse – Noon on ESPN-2. Coach Fitzgerald is taking the Wildcats up to New York for there opener against the Orange. This should be a pretty good game but Northwestern is the better team. Persa’s gone and Colter’s back. Kain is an okay passer and a good scrambler / runner. I think he’s going to come in to his own in his junior year. I’ll go with Northwestern by 10.
Illinois vs. Western Michigan – Noon on ESPN-U. The Fighting Illini started so strong with six wins, and then flagged so hard as they ended the regular season with six losses. But, alas, they did beat UCLA in their bowl game, to 7-6 it was. One of those wins in 2011 was against WMU; they squeaked it out 23-20. Bottom line, the Illini don’t score enough points. The defense is good, the running game is serviceable, but the air attack is flaccid. But I think Scheelhaase will be better this year. I say he throws 18 TDs this year. I say Illini over the Broncos by 17.
Ohio State Vs. Miami (Ohio) – Noon on BTN. Urban Meyer is a douche. Not as much of a douche as Lane Kiffin, but still a douce. The biggest douche in the B1G without question. Pleated pants and a sweatshirt? Gaw. But the word has it he’s a really good coach. I get that. I believe it and I respect it. His team will win games. And they will beat the RedHawks (sorry Coach Treadwell). But I say Zac Dysert out-guns Braxton Miller by a longshot, and if he steers clear of picks, might keep it close. Buckeyes by a pair.
Penn State vs. Ohio – Noon on ESPN / ESPN-3D. Finally, the Nittany Lions in the press for something other than NCAA sanctions and pedophilia. Those poor fans. It’s not over, not even close. But once football resumes, the healing and moving on will have begun. What a mess. Anyway, I think the Bobcats seriously challenge the Lions in Happy Valley.
Pat Mygroin Matt McGloin isn’t all that and Tyler Tettleton is really good. The Lions will rally hard in the second half but they lose in OT by three.
Iowa vs. Northern Illinois – 3:30pm on ESPN-U. Ugh, the Hawkeyes. Not a fan. Don’t like the team, the colors, the logo, nuthin. Yuch. And the Huskies are going to run hard on them, and score points. But it won’t be enough because the Hawkeyes are going to be good this year. Iowa by 10.
Nebraska vs. Southern Miss – 3:30pm on ABC / ESPN-2. Oh T-Magic, you say you learned how to throw in the off-season. Maybe, but doubt it. You just keep running it and you’ll be okay. The Golden Eagles are a good team, but the Nebraska defense cuts them down to size. The Husker offense has just enough to win the opener by a score.
Purdue vs. Eastern Kentucky – 3:30pm on BTN. Boiler Up because you’ve got Notre Dame on the road in week two. Eastern Kentucky is like playing the late-night staff of your local KFC, so this game should be a breeze for the Boilers. Purdue handles this one easily winning by 21, even with Danny Hope’s scary stache.
Wisconsin vs. Northern Iowa – 3:30pm on BTN. Uni at Wisci… yawn. Barry, really? UNI? Not even going to try on this pick if the Badgers aren’t even going to try to play real teams. Bucky wins, whatever.
Michigan vs. Alabama – 8:00pm on ABC. This is more like it. This is a football game. I don’t know why it’s being played in Arlington, TX, but it’s cool that there is no home field advantage. The Wolverines hype bubble doesn’t usually burst until they play MSU, but this year they’re given a free pass because nobody expects them to beat the Tide. And they won’t. Denard get’s picked off three times. In the first half! Bama by 17.
Indiana vs. Indiana State – 8:00pm on BTN. The game no one will watch because of Michigan-Bama. The Hoosiers were terrible in 2011. They can’t hardly be worse in 2012. They tie their 2011 win record in the first game so they get off to a good start. Hoosiers by 10.
Well let’s kick these picks around a bit and we’ll tune them up before kick-off as needed. Let me know what you think too, I’m always open hearing what you have to say. All my picks may be way off, but one thing that is for damn sure is that college football season is about to start and for that, we all win!
In exactly two mother-lovin’ weeks we’ll be watching our Michigan State Spartans take on the Boise State Broncos in primetime. Finally, football is back. Or it will be in two weeks, and that practically right now.
Pre-season AP rankings come out tomorrow. I think we’ll see the Spartans between #10 and #14. They might surprise me and break the top ten, but it’s a longshot. Michigan is getting a lot of pre-season hype so I’d guess they might be in the top ten. Maybe Wisconsin too. All Ohio State has is hype right now, so if they make in to the top ten (or really the top 25 even), it’s 100% the Urban effect.
I’ll start working on my picks for week one for the B1G and get that out soon.
This is real people, this is happening.