ESPN’s College Gameday Loves Michigan State x4.

GAMEDAY

Yes, for the fourth time this year, ESPN’s College Gameday will be on-hand at a Michigan State football game.

First was in East Lansing at the Oregon Game. The Spartans won.

Second was in Ann Arbaugh for the Michigan Game. The Spartans won again.

Third was in Columbus for the Ohio State game. The Spartans won that one too.

This time, number four, is in Indianapolis for the B1G Conference Championship Game with East Division Champs Michigan State taking on West Division Champs Iowa.

Lee Corso is 0-3 in picking the winner as he has picked against the Spartans each time. I hope he picks the Hawkeyes, he apparently is the kiss of death.

Love the love from the Worldwide Leader. Keep it coming.

Go GREEN!!!

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B1G Championship Game Featured on Winsipedia.

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Have you checked out Winsipedia? It’s a pretty cool site that has a nice format for comparing teams. In this case, the Spartans and the Hawkeyes are featured as they will be facing off in the B1G Championship Game this weekend in Indianapolis.

A couple of highlights:

  • Iowa leads the series with 23 wins, Michigan State has 20 and there are 2 ties
  • State won the last meeting 26-14 in 2013 at Iowa.
  • State has an all-time win record of .603, Iowa is .535
  • State has four National Championships to Iowa’s one
  • State has 10 Conference Championships to Iowa’s 13
  • State has zero Heisman winners to Iowa’s one

Anyway, it’s a nice little comparison site, check it out here.

Go GREEN!!!

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Michigan State 55, Penn State 16; The Spartans are 11-1, 7-1 in the B1G and B1G East Champions.

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This was an if you win, you’re in situation in terms of the B1G Championship, and the Spartans won. In fact, it was a ass-kicking. The Lions came to play but the Spartans came to win. The MSU seniors are now tied with the 2013 and 2014 seniors having earned 42 wins, and with at least two games to go, it’s possible this could be the winningest senior class in Spartan history.

OFFENSE

First off, kudos to the o-line as they dominated the line or scrimmage throughout the game. The kept their QB clean and untouched and provided time for him to do his business. Blocking for the run game was excellent as well, and the Lions are no push-over in that area.

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Our man Connor Cook was back (yes!) and although his shoulder seemed a bit tender, he was confident in the pocket and throwing the ball with authority. Cook went 19-26 for 248 yards and three TDs. I have to say I’m really happy he never got hit, I’m confident in his throwing but I’m not sure how durable he is right now.

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The receiver corps really showed up and get the job done. Senior Aaron Burbridge had a great Senior Day with six receptions 75 yards and a TD. That TD catch was spectacular and the run was inspired.

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Mr Everywhere, R.J. Shelton, had four catches for 74 yards and a TD and Tight End Josiah Price had three for 33 yards and a TD. Tailback Gerald Holmes also had three catches for 36 yards in a stellar performance. In total, seven Spartans had 19 receptions for 248 yards averaging 13.1 per catch. Nicely done Spartans.

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On the ground, the Spartans had 38 running plays for 188 yards and three TDs. Gerald Holmes led with 12 carries for 64 yards and a TD but right behind him was LJ Scott with 11 carries for 41 yards and a TD. And holy shit if senior Center Jack Allen didn’t take a handoff for nine yards and a TD in the fourth quarter; the big boy has got some scoot and a solid stiff arm to boot.

Overall, the Spartan offense dictated the game. They had a very clean game and they continued to gain momentum throughout. It was great to see the seniors go out with a big win and so many excellent plays.

DEFENSE

The Spartan defense demonstrated a bend don’t break philosophy allowing the Lions to make some plays and gain some yards, but rarely allowing them to score or even threaten to score.

Between Hackenberg and McSorley, the Lions threw the ball 47 times which is 20 more than the Spartans. They connected 27 times for 296 yards, two TDs and two glorious picks. Hack was under pressure much of the time and the receivers were mostly well-covered. And when they did make a mistake, the Spartans took advantage. Arjen Colquhoun’s interception in the end zone in the first quarter was a thing of beauty and it set the tone for the rest of the game: If you hurl it downfield, you will be picked off. The other interception was a blocked pass by Shilique Calhoun that was snagged by Malik McDowell for a 13 yard pick-six. That pick-six triggered an avalanche that covered the Nittany Lions and held them helpless for the remainder of the game.

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Let’s celebrate some hard-hitting defensive effort on this glorious day. How about Darian Hicks and Montae Nicholson each with nine total tackles, and Riley Bullough and Demetrious Cox each with seven total tackles. A shout-out to Lawrence Thomas and Malik McDowell who each had a sack. The Spartan defense held the Lions to 122 yards rushing on 25 attempts, and zero TDs. That some good, tough footballing right there.

SPECIAL TEAMS

The kicking game was relatively uneventful although Michael Geiger did miss his first PAT attempt, but I will say that the snap was bad and it seemed to throw the timing off. That one point was a non-factor in the end.

I did like seeing the kick-off team hustle downfield because you just never know what’s going to happen. Case in point, Penn State failed to secure the return and put the ball on the ground just as the MSU defenders arrived which allowed Jermaine Edmondson to fall on it for Spartan ball on the nine yard line (and the Jack Allen TD on the next play).

SUMMING UP

The Spartans routed the Nittany Lions and clinched the B1G East and a spot in the B1G Championship Game against the undefeated Iowa Hawkeyes out of the West. Michigan State seems to be playing it’s best ball at exactly the right time which is a credit to a solid team mentality fostered by outstanding senior leadership and excellent coaching. 2015 is already a success but there is so much still to play for. The sky is the limit for the Spartans right now. Reach higher boys.

Next up is Iowa and they are always a difficult team to beat. Dantonio-coached Spartans are 3-4 against the Hawkeyes, so this is an opportunity to even up the record. Beyond the B1G, this is being called a play-in game to the College Football Playoffs. This is bigger than a Rose Bowl, this is a chance to compete for a national championship. This is the rarefied air that the Spartans haven’t breathed since the 1960s, so this is special. This is historic.

GAMEDAY

Oh, and ESPN’s College Gameday will be there too covering the Spartans for a fourth time this year. I’m hoping Corso picks the Hawkeyes.

I’m planning to be there for the B1G Championship Game, but I need to buy tickets, get a hotel, book flights, etc. I’ll be there, and I’ll be going freakin’ nut-balls crazy rooting for my Spartans. I wonder how Iowa will show for this one? My guess is pretty solid since they’ve known about this for a while and it’s been a good while since they’ve been in the discussion. This is going to be a great experience and I suggest every Spartan make the trip, it’s so worth it. See you there.

Go GREEN!!!

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B1G Week #13 Winners, Losers and the Point Spread.

My gut tells me I was awful on my picks, but you know what? I don’t care because Michigan State beat Penn State to win the B1G East and punch there ticket to Indianapolis next weekend. Congrats to the Spartans on another 11-win season and for beating quality, ranked teams like Oregon, Michigan and Ohio State. And congrats to Iowa for going undefeated for the first time in school history, that is awesome.

In regards to picks, I’m sitting at 59-46 going in to this final week of the regular season. My gut is that I went 3-5 or 2-6 this week. Let’s find out…

Hawkeyes Huskers

#4 Iowa @ Nebraska – Iowa is 2-point favorite and they win by three in OT, and cover.  There was no OT as Iowa handled it’s business on the road in the Hero’s Game. Iowa wins by eight and covers. 60-46

Buckeyes Wolverines

#8 Ohio State @ #10 Michigan – Ohio State is a 1-point favorite but (sadly) I’ll take Michigan and the points, Michigan wins by 10.  Ha ha ha, I hate Michigan. I can’t count on the Wolverines to do anything for me, ever. And I should have known that the Bucknuts would be fired up after the loss. Ohio State destroys Michigan winning by 29 and easily covers. 60-47

HoosiersBoilermakers

Indiana @ Purdue – Indiana is a 7-point favorite and they win by 10 and cover.  The Hoosiers are a much better team than the Boilermakers, so this was an easy pick for me. Indiana wins by 18 and covers. 61-47

TerpsKnights

Maryland @ Rutgers – Rutgers is a 1-point favorite and they win by three at home and cover.  In the battle of who could care less, I went with the home team. I was wrong. The Terps scored 19 points in the fourth quarter to win this one. Maryland wins by five. 61-48

LionsSpartans

Penn State @ #5 Michigan State – Michigan State is an 11-point but they win by 10 and don’t cover.  I don’t even mind being wrong on this one. Sure, I picked the Spartans to win, just not to cover, but boy did they cover. Awesome game. Michigan State wins by 39 and way covers. 61-49

BadgersGophers

Wisconsin @ Minnesota – Wisconsin is a 3-point favorite and they win by seven and cover.  I was hoping the Gopher would get bowl-eligible, but I didn’t see it happening against the Badgers. And then Wiscy scored three times in the second quarter. Ouch. Wisconsin wins by 10 and covers. 62-49

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#16 Northwestern @ Illinois – Northwestern is a 4-point favorite but they win by 14 and cover.  Looks like this one had to move indoors with Chicago weather being Chicago weather. I’m not sure why some folks had the Illini winning this one, I just couldn’t figure that one out. Northwestern wins by 10 and covers. 63-49

I did a bit better than expected this week, I was 4-3 which brings my final tally up to 63-49 or 56% for the year. I ended up 14% below my goal of 70%, but still above water and a bit better than last year. Not too shabby I guess.

Great job this year by all the B1G squads, everyone had there ups and downs but overall there was some great football and we have a bunch of ranked teams and bowl-eligible teams, so that’s great news. There’s but one more B1G game to be played, and it will be a doozy in Indy, make sure you tune in or show up for that one. And as always…

Go B1G!

B1G

2015 Week #12 Rankings & Ramblings & Standings.

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Wow, the B1G now has four squads in the Top10, and five squads ranked. That’s impressive.

Hawkeyes

The Iowa Hawkeyes are tops in the B1G moving up from #5 to #4 putting them in the College Football Playoffs for now.

Spartans

The Michigan State Spartans move up four spots from #9 to #5 after beating the Buckeyes.

Buckeyes

Likewise, the Ohio State Buckeyes tumble from #3 to #8 following their loss to the Spartans.

Wolverines

The Michigan Wolverines move up two spots from #12 to #10.

Wildcats

The Northwestern Wildcats jump up four spots from #20 to #16 after knocking off the Badgers.

Badgers

The Wisconsin Badgers fall out of the rankings after holding down the #25 spot for two weeks

And in the AP poll…

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The Hawkeyes move up to #3, the Spartans are #6, The Buckeyes slide to #8, the Wolverines are#12 and the Wildcats are #17. In the almost-but-not-quite-ranked category we have the Badgers at #30.

Turning to the conference race, this is a pivotal final week heading in to the B1G Championship game.

EAST

Michigan State takes command with a 6-1 / 5-0 record and head-to-head wins over Michigan and Ohio State. Ohio State and Michigan are tied for second at 6-1/4-1. A win for the Spartans will put them in the Championship for the East, but a loss will knock them out and the winner of the Buckeyes-Wolverines would go.

WEST

Iowa has locked up the West 7-0/5-0. Nice job Hawkeyes, get ready for Indy.

Spartans VS. Hawkeyes

If the B1G Championship were being played today, it would be Michigan State versus Iowa.

2015-16 Football Standings

EAST DIVISION
Overall Conference Division
W-L % W-L % W-L %
1. Michigan State 10-1 .909 6-1 .857 5-0 1.000
2. Ohio State 10-1 .909 6-1 .857 4-1 .800
Michigan 9-2 .818 6-1 .857 4-1 .800
4. Penn State 7-4 .636 4-3 .571 3-2 .600
5. Rutgers 4-7 .364 1-6 .143 1-4 .200
6. Indiana 5-6 .455 1-6 .143 1-5 .167
7. Maryland 2-9 .182 0-7 .000 0-5 .000
WEST DIVISION
Overall Conference Division
W-L % W-L % W-L %
1. Iowa 11-0 1.000 7-0 1.000 5-0 1.000
2. Northwestern 9-2 .818 5-2 .714 4-1 .800
3. Wisconsin 8-3 .727 5-2 .714 3-2 .600
4. Nebraska 5-6 .455 3-4 .429 1-4 .200
5. Illinois 5-6 .455 2-5 .286 2-3 .400
Minnesota 5-6 .455 2-5 .286 2-3 .400
7. Purdue 2-9 .182 1-6 .143 1-5 .167

I figured there would be some shaking up going on and that has proven to be true in the East. This final week has the potential for even more movement, but I’m hoping that the Spartans pull off the win against the Nittany Lions and punch their ticket to Indy in the process. A Michigan State-Iowa B1G Championship Game would be awesome. Hell, I’d probably buy a ticket and book some travel and get out there for it. Sounds like a blast to me. And as always…

Go B1G!

B1G

 

B1G Week #13 Picks.

This is it. This is the final week of the 2015 regular season. Can you believe it is here already? This season has flown by. It’s been fun and crazy and exciting and frustrating and awesome and… you get the idea. It’s football!

For my picks this year, I’m way off of my 70% goal with no chance of getting there. I’m 59-46, or 56%, against the spread. At one point 55% seemed out of reach, so I don’t feel all that bad about where I’m at. Picking against the spread is way tougher than picking winners.

Speaking of winners, let’s see if I can pick some winners as we head in to rivalry week…

HawkeyesHuskers

#4 Iowa @ Nebraska – Friday, 3:30pm on ABC.  The battle of the corn fed. Nice, a Friday game following turkey day; awesome. Folks are pretty split on this one because very good and very bad at the same time, and Iowa is undefeated but has had a pretty easy path to where they are at. Offensively, they net out about the same with a slight edge to the Huskers. The Hawkeyes are more proficient on the ground and the Huskers like the air. Defense is where we see a distinct difference. Iowa is much better at defending against the pass and in total allows about 100 yards less per game. That’s key. Also, Tommy Arm-so-strong likes to turn that ball over, and that will cost them. But then, it’s a road game in Lincoln which is not a friendly place to go play. This is tough. Does Iowa’s perfect season get busted here? Iowa is 2-point favorite and they win by three in OT, and cover.

BuckeyesWolverines

#8 Ohio State @ #10 Michigan, Noon on ABC.  The Game. I hate Michigan so I’m rooting for Ohio State. Both of these teams are on Michigan State’s heels right now so I wish I could root for both of them to lose; in my dreams. Let’s forget stats for a second and think about emotion and attitude. The Buckeyes just came off a tough loss, there first in 23 games, and there was a lot of evidence that the “team” isn’t as solid as you might think. Zeke Elliot and Cardale Jones already announced there done at OSU, Coaching and play calling has been called in to question and the DC is rumored to be leaving for a head coaching gig too. That’s a lot of trauma that doesn’t align with the notion of a focused, primed and hungry team ready to travel to a hostile environment and slay their rival. If you do look at the stats, these teams are really, really close; it’s a wash. The Bucknuts are an emotional wreck and the game is being played in Ann Arbaugh. I don’t think this is good news for Coach Meyer. Ohio State is a 1-point favorite but (sadly) I’ll take Michigan and the points, Michigan wins by 10.

HoosiersBoilermakers

Indiana @ Purdue – Noon on BTN.  The battle for second best. In-state rivals battle it out for the bragging rights in the state that Notre Dame owns. The Hoosiers are a flawed team, but there is more goodness there than they credit for. Hell, they took Michigan to double overtime and were within a score against Iowa. They have certainly gotten better as the season progressed. The Boilermakers are all over the damn map. The beat Nebraska but get spanked by Illinois… there is no rhyme or reason. The Hoosiers are better on paper putting up about 120 more yards on average but giving up about 70 more also. Bottom line, the Hoosier score more points, and the road game isn’t a big factor in this one. Indiana is a 7-point favorite and they win by 10 and cover.

TerpsKnights

Maryland @ Rutgers – Noon on BTN.  The battle of the B1G newbies. Neither team is to be trusted. Neither team is very good although Rutgers does have one B1G win, so that is a boon. Simply put, the Terps hit really hard, and that’s about it. The Knights are better at putting up points. I wish I could just take the fifth on this one… Rutgers is a 1-point favorite and they win by three at home and cover.

LionsSpartans

Penn State @ #5 Michigan State – 3:30pm on ESPN.  The battle of the Land Grant Universities. This games means everything for the Spartans. It’s a ticket to Indy and a chance at the College Football Playoffs. It’s all about reaching higher and getting to the next level. It’s all within State’s grasp, they just need to reach out and take it. The Lions have struggled at times but they are not a bad team by any stretch. In fact, I would say they are dangerous in this situation as they have nothing to lose. Statically, not much difference between these teams with MSU being a more productive on offense and PSU being a bit stingier on defense, especially against the pass. The big question is will Connor Cook play and if so, will have have velocity? I’d love to see the Cook-to-Burbs connection in full force today. I’d also like to see the Spartan offensive and defensive lines dominate like they did last week. If the battle is won in the trenches, then I think the Spartans have the advantage at Spartan Stadium on Senior Day. Michigan State is an 11-point but they win by 10 and don’t cover.

BadgersGophers

Wisconsin @ Minnesota – 3:30pm on BTN.  The battle of midwestern nice. A lot has changed for the Gophers this year with their much beloved Coach Kill retiring mid-season, but their spirits seem high and they continue to fight hard. The Badgers seem to be struggling to keep it together week in and week out. They are very good and then they aren’t. No telling when or where. The stats are pretty close in terms of total yards and yards allowed, but the Badgers are better at putting up points and holding opponents to fewer points. There is an intangible there that the numbers don’t communicate and it is an advantage for Wiscy. Wisconsin is a 3-point favorite and they win by seven and cover.

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#16 Northwestern @ Illinois – 3:30pm on ESPN-U.  The battle of Chicago. This game will be played in Chicago at Soldier Field with both teams sharing the same sideline; It should be really cool to see. With nearly opposite offenses, look for the Wildcats to run the ball while the Illini will go to the air with it. The difference maker will be offense where the the Cats have an advantage in terms of stopping the pass and the run. In-state match-ups are tough to predict, but I think Coach Fitz has his time fired-up and they come in swinging. Northwestern is a 4-point favorite but they win by 14 and cover.

And there you have it, the final week of the regular season all predicted and ready to roll. Best of luck to all of the B1G this week as we wrap it up and prepare for the B1G Championship, College Football Playoffs and a whole slew of awesome bowl games. And as always…

Go B1G!

B1G

Michigan State 17, Ohio State 14; Spartans are 10-1, 6-1 in the B1G.

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That was a great game. I knew the Spartans could win, but didn’t want to talk about it. I didn’t even really want to think about it. I knew they could but I just didn’t know if they would. I felt the same way for the B1G Championship Game back in 2013. Sometimes you just need to keep quiet, pull for your guys and let it all play out.

Michigan State remains the only B1G team to beat Ohio State in the Meyer era. Urban Meyer is 2-2 against the Spartans and 29-0 against the rest of the B1G. MSU just ended a 23 game winning streak which. Back in 2013 we ended their 24 game winning streak. It’s just a little thing we Spartans like to do for the Bucks.

Oddly enough, we never held a lead in this game. It was tied three times, and the Bucknuts had the lead twice, but MSU never had the lead. The FG sailed good as time expired. Even more odd, the same is true for the Michigan game.

In a nutshell, Michigan State dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides, which basically shut down the OSU offense and slowly wore down and pushed over the OSU defense. It was methodical, it was intentional, and it was effective. MSU outplayed and out-coached OSU, plain and simple. Take away a few huge errors on State’s part and the score probably wouldn’t even had been this close, but that’s just speculation.

OFFENSE

No Connor Cook. That scared the shit out of me. But it was also sideways freezing rain so the passing game was going to be limited anyway. Tyler O’Connor and Damien Terry are fine QB’s albeit with limited game experience. They stepped in with confidence and ran the show. It wasn’t high-flying by any means, but it was solid. The Spartans ended up with 294 yards of total offense; two TDs and a winner of a FG. 17 points never felt so good.

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Although the pass numbers aren’t spectacular or even really good, keep in mind that the weather was terrible. O’Connor was 7/12 for 89 yards and a TD. Terry, before going out with an ankle injury, was 1/4 for two yards. Both QBs ran the ball when needed and both came up with eight carries for 25 yards. Nice symmetry.

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The running backs were heroes as they ran in the face of a solid and formidable Buckeye defense, and they did it time and time again. It wasn’t always pretty but Pound Green Pound was the game plan and over the long haul it worked as the Spartans netted 203 yards on 51 carries. Gerald Holmes ran hard and often, especially in the first half getting 14 carries for 65 yards and a TD. LJ Scott took over later in the game with 13 carries for 58 yards including a 20-yarder late that help sustain momentum and extend the final drive. R.J.Shelton ripped of a nice 19-yard run too. All of the MSU backs ran low, hard and with great purpose.

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The Spartan receiver corps made the best of a bad situation with eight receptions for 91 yards. Aaron Burbridge was doubled and blanketed most of the game but still managed four catches for 62 yards. Big boy Trevon Pendleton only had one catch, but it was big one for a 12-yard TD.

Shout out to the Michigan State offensive line, those guys blocked, protected and fought hard all day. Kudos Spartans!

DEFENSE

Plain and simple, the Spartan Dawgs kept the Bucks offense off of the field; OSU time of possession was 21:50. The Spartan defense held Ohio State to only five first downs total. Most impressive of all, Michigan State held Ohio State to only 132 yards of offense, that is the least productive of any Urban Meyer coached offense at any school he has coached at. Basically, the Spartans shut the Bucknuts down. All day.

 

The defense was awesome. Shut the front door awesome. Montae Nicholson had eight tackles, Jon Reschke had six including one sack for a big loss, and Darien Harris had six also. Riley Bullough, Craig Evans and Demetrious Cox all had four tackles. Everyone seemed to be zoned-in and playing heads-up. Great communication and cooperation. That’s the kind of defense that made Michigan State what it is today.

The secondary didn’t really get too much of a challenge as Ohio State rarely tried throwing the ball downfield. The weather may have had a lot to do with that. I think MSU benefitted from the storm, but hell, the Spartans had to play in it too.

SPECIAL TEAMS

I fucking drilled it!” is what kicker Michael Geiger shouted on the radio following his 41-yard winner of a field goal.

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How about that. No, there wont be any FCC fines, that’s not how they roll. But boy was Geiger fired up.

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He ran the length of the field doing this crazy pointing / Pete Townsend windmill kind of thing while screaming his head off. It was magic. Magic enough to make us forget the 43-yarder he missed in the first half. Hell, we’ll take it.

Less exciting and awesome was Macgarrett Kings Jr. flubbed punt return which resulted in a turn-over giving OSU the ball on the six yard line, which then resulted in a TD. This can’t happen. I’ll just say it was terrible weather and maybe the ball was tough to see and track? Maybe? It was painful.

SUMMING UP

 

I just can’t say enough about how well the Spartans played facing some crazy adversity. Kudos to the coaching and to the team execution. Michigan State now controls their own destiny in terms of the B1G and the CFP. Keep winning Spartans, and some really good things will happen.

Next up is Penn State in East Lansing. The Lions are not great this year, but they aren’t terrible either. They certainly aren’t to be take lightly. PSU is 7-4 and 4-3 in the B1G. It will be Senior Day at Spartan Stadium which is always a good thing. Let’s hope Connor Cook is back in the captains chair steering the ship, but if not I feel that O’Connor can build off of the Ohio State win. Let’s finish strong Spartans and lock in that spot in Indy. 11-1 would be nice. Real nice.

As a final thought, how about Lee Corso going 0-3 by not picking the Spartans this year. Corso picked Oregon, Michigan and Ohio State on the three ESPN College Gameday appearances by Michigan State. Corso has been awful this year on his picks so we should all fade him on his picks. Not so fast…

Go GREEN!!!

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B1G Week #12 Winners, Losers and the Point Spread.

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I’ve no idea how I did this week as I was too captivated by the Michigan State win over undefeated Ohio State. I’m 53-45 coming in to this week and I’d guess I’m about 50/50 in my picks, but who knows. Let’s take a look shall we…

Knights

Rutgers @ Army – Rutgers is a 4.5-point favorite but they win by seven and cover. God help me. I know I’m not supposed to ever trust Rutgers but Army is for-realz bad, so I took the bait. This time, it was the right choice, but this changes nothing in how I feel about Rutgers. Rutgers wins by 10 and covers. 54-45

BoilermakersHawkeyes

Purdue @ #5 Iowa – Iowa is a 22-point favorite and they win by 27 and cover. I really thought that the Hawkeyes would roll the Boilermakers as they build up speed heading toward Indy. Sure they won, but they didn’t roll. Iowa wins by 20 and doesn’t cover. 54-46

HoosiersTerps

Indiana @ Maryland – Indiana is a 2.5-point favorite but they win by seven and cover. The Hoosiers are not a complete product, but they are good and certainly much better than the Terps this year. I was kind of surprised that the spread was this low. Indiana wins by 19 and covers.55-46

IllinoisGophers

Illinois @ Minnesota – Minnesota is a 4.5-point favorite but they win by seven and cover. I’m really glad that the Gophers finally got a win, I just wish it had been against Michigan. Minnesota wins by nine and covers. 56-46

WolverinesLions

#12 Michigan @ Penn State – Michigan is a 3.5-point favorite but they win by 10 and cover. I hate Michigan. Why can’t someone do me a favor and beat them. Please! I would have loved to have been wrong on this one. Michigan wins by 12 and covers. 57-46

SpartansBuckeyesGAMEDAY

#9 Michigan State @ #3 Ohio State – Ohio State is favored by 14-points but I’m taking Michigan State and the points; Michigan State wins by three. Three times ESPN’s College Gameday covers the Spartans and three times the Spartans have won. This was fun. Michigan State wins by three. BINGO! 58-46

WildcatsBadgers

#20 Northwestern @ #25 Wisconsin – Wisconsin is a 10-point favorite but they win by three and don’t cover. This was a tough game to call and I didn’t really believe in the Badgers to cover 10 points. I took the Wildcats and the points and even though I thought the Badgers might win a close one. Northwestern wins by six. 59-46

Hell, I had one of my best weeks yet. I went 6-1 on this weeks picks bringing my total up to 59-46 or 56%. With one week of the regular season left, the best I can hope for is maybe 57% and I don’t even know if that is possible. I’m happy with anything over 55% based on how low I had gotten about mid-season.

Next week is it. The last regular season games for the B1G and it’s a pretty darn good slate. Of course, there is The Game which is suddenly skewed very much towards Michigan as they are at home and Ohio State’s soul seems to be dead. If Urban Meyer can get them fired up and winning next week I will be very surprised. I hate Michigan, so I hope he can do it. Also, we have Iowa at Nebraska which could be really interesting, Penn State at Michigan State (Go GREEN!!!) and Wisconsin at Minnesota. Soak it in B1G fans as it’s almost over. Have fun, stay warm, and as always…

Go B1G!

B1G

B1G Week #12 Picks.

It’s the penultimate week of the regular season and I’m conflicted. I want this season to resolve but, as always, I sort of never want it to end. I also need to build on the great week of picks I had last week to help move the needle on my win percentage. I’m currently at 53-45 or 54% for the year.

Oh, and yeah, this is a big-ass week for Michigan State. A win this Saturday changes everything. Go GREEN!!!

Here is what we have to work with this week…

Knights

Rutgers @ Army – Noon on CBS-SN. It’s so odd to me to have a non-con this late in the season, but maybe this is what Rutgers does. Knights vs. Knights, pretty cool. Oh, but these two teams are really not good. I’m so tempted to go with Rutgers but we must always remember to never trust Rutgers. Rutgers is a 4.5-point favorite but they win by seven and cover. God help me.

BoilermakersHawkeyes

Purdue @ #5 Iowa – Noon on ESPN-2.  The Hawkeyes are in a great place. No shit, they simply need to keep winning and the world is their oyster. A 2-8 Boilermaker squad isn’t going to get in the way. The only real question is will Iowa cover all of those points? They took Maryland by 24 and Northwestern by 30, so they certainly have proven that they can do it. And I think they will do it. Iowa is a 22-point favorite and they win by 27 and cover.

HoosiersTerps

Indiana @ Maryland – Noon.  Not televised, not even on BTN? So strange. Kind of sad even. The Terps are having a tough season going winless in the B1G, but they play hard-hitting, angry football. If you can’t win, you might as well be remembered for crushing hits. I respect that. The Hoosiers are winless in the B1G also but they played Michigan in to OT last week and kept it really close with Iowa, Rutgers and Ohio State as well. Both teams have bright spots but neither has the entire package. In the end it will be the Hoosiers offense that will carry the day. Indiana is a 2.5-point favorite but they win by seven and cover.

IllinoisGophers

Illinois @ Minnesota – Noon on ESPN-News.  The Gophers just can’t seem to get a break with Coach Kill retiring and hanging in and almost winning against Iowa and Michigan; they’re kind of breaking my heart this year. The Illini actually have two B1G wins but they’re coming off of a beat-down last week from the Buckeyes. This is going to be a very cold game in Minneapolis with a ton of rushing plays which gives Minnie the edge. Minnesota is a 4.5-point favorite but they win by seven and cover.

WolverinesLions

#12 Michigan @ Penn State – Noon on ABC.  I hate Michigan, and probably more this season than in the last five years. I would like nothing more than to see the Lions crush them in Happy Valley today. That would be glorious. Statistically, the Wolverines are the better team. Neither team has really beaten anyone all that good although Michigan did beat Northwestern. Harbaugh has the Wolverines playing their best ball, but they are probably paying to much attention to Ohio State. Are they focused on the Lions? I think they stumble but comeback for the win. Michigan is a 3.5-point favorite but they win by 10 and cover.

SpartansBuckeyesGAMEDAY

#9 Michigan State @ #3 Ohio State – 3:30pm on ABC.  This the game of the week and not just for me as a rabid Spartan fan, but in college football. ESPN’s College Gameday is in town and the world will be watching as this is the featured afternoon game. The Buckeyes are heavily favored and all of the talking heads feel that they will win. Yes, this is just the situation Michigan State likes; the Spartans love being the underdog. The only problem is that the Spartans are mighty banged-up with injuries in all facets of the game. The other problem has the initials E.E. and we need to respect and pay attention to that dude. If the Spartans can slow down Elliot and not allow explosive passing plays, and maybe luck out with a few turn-overs, I think Sparty might can get it done. Go GREEN!!! Ohio State is favored by 14-points but I’m taking Michigan State and the points; Michigan State wins by three.

WildcatsBadgers

#20 Northwestern @ #25 Wisconsin – 3:30pm on BTN.  This game is at Camp Randall and the Badgers are playing some pretty good ball. Northwestern is having a good season but look at their performance against really good teams like Iowa and Michigan, they got blown out. I just don’t see the Wildcats getting the big win on the road, but what about the points? Wisconsin is a 10-point favorite but they win by three and don’t cover.

How do I feel about these picks? I feel like I could be in terrible shape. Why is it this tough this late in the season? This week it’s the match-ups, they’re pretty competitive and the spread makes it impossible. Enough complaining, the picks are in and it’s time to get ready to watch some great B1G action today. You know I’ll be glued to the MSU-OSU game, that is THE game today. Go GREEN!!! Go WHITE!!! Go SPARTANS!!! On the banks of the Red Cedar… As always…

Go B1G!

B1G

ESPN’s College Gameday Loves Michigan State.

GAMEDAY

For the third time this season, ESPN’s College Gameday will be onsite for a Michigan State game. First was in East Lansing for the Oregon game. Second was in Ann Arbaugh for the Michigan game. Now it’s Columbus for the Ohio State B1G East Showdown.

The winner on Saturday will most likely go on to represent the East Division in the B1G Championship Game. The winner of the B1G will most likely make it in to the College Football Playoffs. So yes, this is the biggest game of the season. Winning over Oregon and Michigan helped to make this THE Big Game, so let’s not diminish the “big games” that it took to make this one THE Big Game.

A couple things to think about…

  • The Spartans have played a much more difficult schedule than the Bucknuts, and even with one loss some could argue there season is more impressive.
  • Only one B1G team has ever beaten Ohio State under Coach Urban Meyer. Yep, you guessed it: Michigan State.

It’s a 3:30pm kickoff, so get your steaks cooked, your beers chilled and your celebratory whiskey at the ready. I’m hoping for a competitive, exciting, and not-decided-by-a-ref game.

Go GREEN!!!

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