Rankings & Ramblings: 2013 Season Final.

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There are no final BCS rankings so the AP Top25 will have to serve as the final-final on 2013…

Michigan State #3, up from #4 after beating Stanford in the Rose Bowl.

Ohio State drops to #12 from #7 after losing to Clemson in the Orange Bowl.

Wisconsin drops to #22 from #19 after losing to South Carolina in the Capitol One Bowl.

In the almost-but-not-quite-ranked category you have Nebraska at #26 and Iowa at #32.

The #3 Spartans finished this season higher than any season since 1966 when they finished #2 in the AP poll. Look at that ramp-up starting Week #9 and not slowing down until they won the Roll Bowl. That is a thing of beauty right there.

Ohio State took a mighty tumble but that’s what happens when you loose your final two games and everyone felt your were overrated with a cake schedule. Plus nobody like Urban Meyer so they like to stick it to him whenever they can.

Too bad Nebraska didn’t squeak back in like they did in Week #8. It would have been better to have four B1G squads ranked instead of just three. Oh well.

It will be very interesting to see the 2014 pre-season rankings. I wonder if the Spartans will be top-10 or top-five even? I bet Ohio State will be one below MSU no matter what, just a hunch. And Michigan will be ranked because they are always ranked. That is all months away so I’ll just enjoy the #3 ranking, the Rose Bowl Champions, the B1G Champions, undefeated in-conference, etc. So amazing.

Go B1G!

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All-Time Winningest College Football Programs (1869-2013)

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Holy shit, it has finally happened. I don’t want to get ahead of myself…

The 2013 season is in the books so it’s time to look at the all-time winningest college football programs. Using the NCAA as the source, here are the top 10 college football progams based solely on the percentage of winning games:

  1. Notre Dame  73.301%
  2. Michigan  73.244%
  3. Oklahoma  71.955%
  4. Ohio State  71.762%
  5. Texas  71.492%
  6. Alabama  71.387%
  7. Nebraska  70.127%
  8. Southern Cal  70.102%
  9. Tennessee  68.186%
  10. Florida State  67.354%

There is only one change from a year ago in terms of the order and that is Notre Dame overtaking Michigan to become the new all-time winningest college football program. Michigan is no longer #1! Ouch Wolverines. Oh Shit Victors. Hail no!

For the record, Michigan State moves up three spots to #25 at 59.737%.

Other B1G squads include Penn State at #11, Wisconsin at #39, Minnesota at #40, Iowa at #60, Purdue at #61, Maryland at #63, Illinois at #69, Rutgers at #72, Northwestern at #101 and Indiana at #105.

If you want to see the big list, click here.

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B1G Results: Bowls.

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Once again, not a great showing for the B1TG. Two wins and five losses is no way to represent. Let’s take a look at my picks and see what went wrong…

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Texas Bowl – Minnesota vs. Syracuse  I really believed the Gophers were a better team than their record and a better team than the Orange. In this game, they just couldn’t score the ball until late and by then it was too late. I picked Minnesota by 10 and it was Syracuse by four.

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Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl – Michigan vs. Kansas State  Lord, how I hate Michigan, but now I’m starting to feel sorry for them. Shake it off. The Wildcats had better stats and they finished the season with a full head of steam whereas the Wolverines sort of petered out. I picked Kansas State to win by six and it was Kansas State by 17.

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Gator Bowl – Nebraska vs. #22 Georgia  Both of these teams lost their star QBs during the season and both team under-performed versus expectations. I felt that the Bulldogs had the momentum and a slight edge against a Cornhusker team that seemed troubled. I picked Georgia by 17 and it was Nebraska by five. Nice win Nebraska!

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Capitol One Bowl – #19 Wisconsin vs. #9 South Carolina  I really felt that the Badgers would run hard on the Gamecocks and pull out the win. Why? They haven’t won a bowl game in ages and South Carolina is tough. I guess I just trusted my gut too much. I picked Wisconsin by three in OT and it was South Carolina by 10 (no OT).

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Outback Bowl – Iowa vs. #16 LSU  Iowa is so-so and LSU is solid but not stellar. I believed there was no way the Hawkeyes get a win here. I picked LSU by 21 and it was LSU by seven. My apologies to Iowa, they put up a good game.

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The Rose Bowl – #4 Michigan State vs. #5 Stanford  No pick on this one, I never pick MSU games. But a GREAT game it was. The Spartans and the Cardinal battled it out in a power football match-up for the ages and in the end, MSU came away with the win. Way to go Spartans.

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The Orange Bowl – #7 Ohio State vs. #12 Clemson  I knew that the Buckeyes could run on Clemson, and they did. I also knew that the Tigers could throw on Ohio State, which they did. I thought it would be close, which it was. And I predicted that Ohio State would score a late, game-winning TD which they did didn’t do because Braxton Miller threw a pick instead. I took Ohio State by seven and it was Clemson by five.

Michigan State and Nebraska got it done. Ohio State, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota let us down. Come on B1G, we are better than this. I still love you but come on y’all.

Our bowls are done and the 2013 season is officially over. Non-con, conference, con-championship and bowls, all in the books. My beloved Michigan State is certainly the cream of the B1G this year, I don’t think anyone can argue against that. It was a special year for the Spartans. It looked like a special year for the Buckeyes but it ended with a dull thud unfortunately. But the Buckeyes will be back. The Badgers will be back. The Wolverines will be back. The Cornhuskers will be back. The Hawkeyes will be back. This all starts again when the reset button is hit and Fall camp begins. As always, I can’t wait.

Go B1G!

B1G

#4 Michigan State 24, #5 Stanford 20; Spartans are 13-1, undefeated B1G Champions and Rose Bowl Champions.

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Holy heck, what a game. What a season. What a team!

13-1 for the season. Undefeated in the B1G by double-digits in every game. B1G Champions beating #2 and undefeated Ohio State. And Rose Bowl Champions beating #5 Stanford as a six-point dog. This is one of the greatest Spartan teams of all time. Just let that soak in for a bit.

Stanford is big, strong and powerful and that is how the play. Straight at you, straight through you and with bad intention. I like these guys and I like this style of football. No smarty-pants schematics or sneaky-pants read-options, just manly-man in-your-face football for men. The key is that Michigan State also plays this style of football, so this match-up was perfect. Two elephant guns pointed at each other.

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Let’s talk about the defense first. I love the SpartanDawgs and I’m not afraid to say it loud and say it proud. Sure we missed Max Bullough, but Kyler Elsworth was the next man up and he did indeed man-up. That last stop on Stanford’s last play was simply beautiful. Their best versus our best and the Spartans got it done. MSU held Stanford to 305 total yards with 143 in the air and 162 on the ground. Most of that came in the first half and mainly the first quarter. The Cardinal only had 11 first-downs with only three third-down conversions and no fourth-down conversions. The Spartan defense just kept getting better as the game progressed. Guys like Taiwan Jones, Darien Harris, Denicos Allen, RJ Williamson, Marcus Rush, Trae Waynes, Shalique Calhoun and Darqueze Dennard all played an amazing game. No Fly Zone indeed. Nice game/year SpartanDawgs!

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On offense, the Spartans have been getting better and better all season long and this game was one of their best. 397 total yards with an amazing 332 in the air and a hard-fought 65 on the ground. Who thought MSU could put 332 passing yards on Stanford? Amazing. Connor Cook went 22 for 36 with two TDs. He averaged 9.2 yards per reception witch is about twice what we were getting in September. And the Spartan receivers looked awesome catching everything thrown their way and then some. Bennie Fowler had two for 97 yards, Tony Lippett had five for 94 yards and a TD, MacGarrett Kings Jr. had four for 52, Fullback Tony Pendelton had two for 21 and a TD, Keith Mumphery had one for 20, etc. Great hands all around and really nice runs after the catch and after initial contact.

On the ground it was tough sledding. Stanford is no joke when it comes to stopping the run. Jeremy Langford had 23 carries for 84 yards and a TD. I was disappointed that he couldn’t keep his 100-yard streak alive, but not surprised. Langford is going to be a beast next year!

Special Teams came through as well with Mike Sadler averaging 45.5 yards per punt and putting three of them inside the 20 yard line. And how about true freshman Michael Geiger making a crucial 31-yard FG just when we needed it. Both of these guys have been absolutely money all season.

That was the best Rose Bowl I’ve ever seen including the 1988 game when MSU beat USC and I was there. The power and the control, the patience and the urgency, it was all there. The tension was high but somehow I was less nervous. I had confidence and I had faith. These guys have earned that from the Spartan faithful.

Thinking about next season I have to feel sad for all of the great players that are moving on. I’ll do a post on the seniors soon, but just know that there is a lot of heart and soul that will be missed next year. But can the Spartans reload? I think so. So many great players coming back. And the coaching staff looks like it will stay intact and those guys are all getting raises and bonuses, which is very, very good. I think next year could be a great year too but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Lastly, how do you think MSU will be sitting in the final BCS rankings? I think #2. Alabama will certainly drop and the loser of the BCS Championship game will probably too. No lower than #3 but I think #2. And that is the last BCS Ranking forever, right? Cool.

It’s good to be a Spartan.

Go GREEN!!!

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Today is the day.

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Happy New Years! And what better way to ring in a new year than with the Rose Bowl.

I remember being in Pasadena on this day in 1988 to watch Michigan State beat USC and it was a truly amazing experience. Lorenzo White, Bobby McAllister, Percy Snow, Tony Mandarich, Blake Ezor, Andre Rison… it was a great team. The defense was excellent and took on the nickname Gang Green. The offense was mostly one-dimensional with Heisman finalist Lorenzo White racking up the yards per carry, but McAllister would connect for a few key passes exactly when they were needed. This was a great Spartan team and one I will never forget.

And today an equally great Spartan team will take the field against Stanford. Darqueze Dennard, Connor Cook, Jeremy Langford, Shallique Calhoun, Mike Sadler, etc. These guys are all outstanding but their legend is still under construction. Today is building day. Fire up the forges and let’s cast some new all-time greats. Cut lose the SpartanDawgs and let them eat. Put the No Fly Zone in effect and shut down all air traffic.

This is a special day. It’s been too long, but we are hear now. Fire up Spartans. Get pumped, get angry, get serious, get intense. Today is your day.

Go GREEN!!!

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