2016 Week #8 Winners, Losers and the Point Spread.

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Coming in at 33/29 so I need some wins today. I don’t know why I expect to do better, I haven’t changed up anything. I’m not doing more research or following experts. Nope, I just do the minimum amount of looking at the teams and then shoot from the hip. Sometimes I hit my foot.

Okay, let’s get in to the match-ups.

Rutgers @ Minnesota – Minnesota is a 19-point favorite and they win by 20 and cover. Oh Gophers, how could you? You’re not very golden on this day. It took a last second FG to win this one. Against Rutgers. Yes, Rutgers. Sheesh. Minnesota wins by two and does not cover. 0-1 / 33-30

#10 Wisconsin @ Iowa – Wisconsin is favored by 4.5-points but they win by seven and cover. The Hawkeyes never scored a TD. It’s not the Badgers offense was romping either. Classic B1G defensive battle just like the good old days. Wisconsin wins by eight and covers. 1-1 / 34-30

Indiana @ Northwestern – Northwestern if a 2.5-point favorite but they win by 10 and cover. Bingo, I nailed this one. On. The. Nose. Bam! Nice job Wildcats. Northwestern wins by 10 and covers. 2-1 / 35-30

Illinois @ #3 Michigan – Michigan is a 39-point favorite but they win by 51 and cover. Of course Harbaugh and the Wolverines didn’t cover. Fucking hate Michigan. Michigan wins by 33 and does not cover. 2-2 / 35-31

Purdue @ #8 Nebraska – Nebraska is a 24-point favorite and they win by 27 an cover. Really Nebraska, that was not your a good showing. You’re #8 in the country and you are down to the Boilermakers at the half? At least you won in the end. Nebraska wins by 13 and does not cover. 2-3 / 35-32

#2 Ohio State @ Penn State – Ohio State is a 19.5-point favorite and they win by 21 and cover. Wow, what an upset. The Lions score 17 in the fourth and the Bucks score zilch. Welcome to the club Penn State, you are one of two B1G schools to beat Urbz’ Ohio State squad. Ohio State loses by three and does not cover. 2-4 / 35-33

Michigan State @ Maryland – Michigan State is favored by three but they win by a score and cover. Just kill me. Please. Fuck. Michigan State loses (again) by 11 and does not cover. 2-5 / 35-34

This season is really sucking the very life from my soul. What is up with the world. My picks are terrible and MSU is terrible. I’ll continue to make my picks and pull for the B1G (except for Michigan, I hate Michigan), but this is really getting difficult. Talk about a down year. Damn. Oh well, I’ll try to muster some enthusiasm and remember to…

Go B1G!

B1G

2016 Week #7 Picks.

Last week pretty much sucked for me. The Spartans lost, my FFL team lost and I went 2-4 in my picks. I’m sitting at 30-26 or 54% which means I need to do much better if there is any hope of hitting my 60% goal. I’m feeling it this week though, so I’m positive. I think the Spartans win this week and I think my pick win-loss ratio gets much better.

Let’s shake this shimmy…

Illinois @ Rutgers – Noon on ESPN-News. Boy, the Knights are probably still pretty butt-sore from the pounding they took last week and the week prior. That was a soul-crushing and an embarrassment for the program. I wish that on no team. The Illini had a shot against the Boilermakers but came up just short. So, who’s mentally and physically more prepared this week? This could be a close game but I think the Illini have the edge. Illinois is favored by 6-points and they win by seven and cover.

Minnesota @ Maryland – Noon on ESPN-U. QB Leidner is out which is an issue for the Gophers offense. The Terps are running pretty well although their air attack is lacking, but they did take a beat-down against the Lions last week. I see the Gophers on the road without their starting QB struggling and faltering. It won’t be pretty but the Terps get the win at home. Maryland is favored by 6.5-points and they win by 10 and cover.

Iowa @ Purdue – Noon on ESPN-2. What’s up with the Hawkeyes? They are clearly not the same team as last year. But this is the Boilermakers and you should never lean on the Boilermakers. I’m going with the little-Steelers for this one. Iowa is favored by 12-points but they win by 14 and cover.

Northwestern @ Michigan State – 3:30pm on BTN. I’m sorry Wildcats, but this is where it turns around for the Spartans. This is where we see some key changes, few mistakes, and a few more things going State’s way. Yes, this is your best chance to beat the Spartans in a long time, but with all respect, it’s not going to happen. Michigan State is favored by 4.5-points and they win by 14 and cover.

#10 Nebraska @ Indiana – 3:30pm on ABC / ESPN-2. Check out the Huskers being all Top10 and undefeated! Nice work over there boys. And yet Vegas is calling this one a close one against the Hoosiers in Bloomington. I just don’t see it that way. What am I missing? Nebraska is favored by 3-points but they win by 14 and cover.

#2 Ohio State @ #8 Wisconsin – 8:00pm on ABC. Yes, this is a good match-up and I’m very happy that it’s in Madison. The Badgers are coming off of a close, low-scoring loss to the Wolverines, but they showed everyone what their defense can do. If only that had a little more offensive firepower. The Bucknuts offense is potent as hell, and they’ll challenge Bucky big time. In the end, Urbz’s boys are too much and they scoot out of Wisconsin with the win. Ohio State is favored by 10-points but they win by 14 and cover.

Bye this week: Michigan and Penn State.

Okay, that’s how we do that. I feel confident on abut 70% and less so for 30%, but what the hell. Sometimes you just have to dare to be great, go for broke, reach for the stars, etc. And alway remember to…

Go B1G!

B1G

 

#8 Michigan State 6, #11 Wisconsin 30; The Spartans are 2-1, 0-1 in the B1G.

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Props to the Badgers, they played a better game in all aspects. Their playmakers made plays and the Spartans were flat. Wisconsin is a very good, very solid team so I don’t feel that terrible about losing, but I do feel deflated in that we never made it a game. Every time that MSU had some momentum, they either stalled out or made a huge mistake. Feels like a classic rebuilding year storyline to me, and maybe that is where the Spartans are at in 2016. Only time will tell, and how they recover and respond is crucial.

A few tale-aways…

  • Michigan State never scored. Michael Geiger contributed all of the Spartan’s points with two FGs. Thank you Geiger, you did your part.
  • The Spartan running game was ineffective with 27 carries for 75 yards. If it wasn’t for a last minute 16-yard scramble by Lewerke, it would have been only 59 yards. I attribute the failure to run the ball to poor line play and the need to abandon the run in an attempt to dig MSU out from the ever deepening hole they were in.
  • L.J. Scotts’ fumble was of the kind that is not really his fault, but the fact that the Badger returned it for a TD is a disaster. This cannot happen.
  • The Spartan passing game was not great with 2o attempts for 250 yards, and Donnie Corley showed some promise, so there is that. Tyler O’Connor went 18-38 with three picks. THREE PICKS!
  • Lewerke looked kind of good, maybe. Whatever.
  • The Spartan defense actually played an okay game. If the offense had done their part, this effort might have been good enough. The defense allowed 195 yards through the air and 122 yards on the ground with one INT and one fumble recovery.
  • The roughing the kicker penalty seemed kind of like bullshit to me since the defense never touched the kicker and it was the kicker whose foot landed on the defenders helmet while he was on the ground, but who really cares with such a lop-sided game. Anyway, failure on special teams.
  • Failing grades on offense, defense and special teams. MSU got what it deserved in this one. They simply must play better than this.

The Spartans shit the bed in this game and they very well may drop out of the rankings although I think they’ll hang in around #23 or so. They were utterly out-classed by Wisconsin and that is just a fact. No hype, no controversy, just a loss at the hands of a team that had better concepts and better execution. Time to take stock, dig in to the tape and come back next week as a better team.

Next week the Spartans are on the road against the Hoosiers under the lights. Sparty needs some redemption to get this season back on track so it’s time to do some soul searching and head to Indiana with some anger and some skill. It’s always tough to take a loss, but it’s about how your respond that defines your season. Buckle-down Sparty, time to get serious.

Go GREEN!!!

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2016 Week #4 Rankings & Ramblings.

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Somehow I missed putting up a rankings post last week. Maybe because Michigan State didn’t play (and I was traveling and generally super busy), I just skipped it? My bad, it (probably) won’t happen again.

Okay, three weeks of play in the books and that brings us to the week #4 AP rankings.

Ohio State moves up from #3 to #2 with a solid and impressive win over Oklahoma.

Michigan hangs at #4 with win over Colorado. That shaky first quarter and having to come from behind is what opened the door for an impressive Louisville squad to jump in to the open #3 spot.

Michigan State jumps up from #12 to #8 after defeating a ranked and hyped Notre Dame squad and basically killing their season.

Wisconsin drops from #9 to #11 after a close game with lowly Georgia State. That’s not too bad actually, I expected a middle-teens spot after that game.

Iowa free-falls from #13 to unranked after a surprise loss to North Dakota State. I honestly didn’t see that loss coming. Splat.

And a B1G welcome to Nebraska entering the rankings at #20 after beating Oregon. Nice work Huskers.

In the Almost-But-Not-Quite-Ranked category we have Iowa at #30 and Maryland at #42.

Five out of 25 are from the B1G and two in the top five, three in the top ten. Pretty good I’d say.  The conference slate starts next week and that is always interesting and somehow more important. We are still a good while away from selection committee rankings, but they’re the ones that really matter at the end of the day. Stay tuned. And as always…

Go B1G!

B1G

 

 

2016 Week #3 Picks.

Week #2 was deadly for me. My picks were trrrrrble. I went 5-8 last week bringing me to 13-13 overall and dropping me from 62% to 50%. I need to make up some ground this week before too many games get stacked up and before the conference season begins and there are half as many games. No pressure though. Really, there is no pressure.

Let’s shank this prisoner…

Knights

New Mexico @ Rutgers – Noon on ESPN News. The Knights are surely not good, but the Lobos are very not good. I do like the Mountain West logo though, so they have that going for them. Basically I expect Rutgers to win this game at home and not let a dog like New Mexico hang in there and make it “interesting”. Rutgers is favored by 5.5 but they win by 10 and cover.

Lions

Temple @ Penn State – Noon on BTN. The Lions really bugged me last week for being to cool to admit that Pitt is a rival. And then Pitt kicked them in their balls. I hate that kind of hubris, it reminds me of Michigan. Anyway, this week they host Temple and they’ve got some JoePa thing planned because they need a distraction. I think the Lions are only a little bit better than the Owls, but then you add in Happy Valley and that’s a little bit more. Penn State is an 8.5 point favorite but I think they win by six and do not cover.

Hawkeyes

North Dakota State @ #13 Iowa – Noon on ESPN-2. This is a tougher game than most folks probably think. The Bison are an excellent FCS squad and the person who scheduled this game should probably be fired. An upset isn’t beyond the realm of possibility. Do I think it will happen? No. Could it happen? Yes. Iowa is favored by 16.5 but they win by 10 and do not cover.

Badgers

Georgia State at #9 Wisconsin – Noon on BTN. State, not Southern. This is important. The Panthers are a much weaker opponent. And the Badgers are looking good. `And at Camp Randall, this is a slam dunk. Wisconsin is a 35.5-point favorite but they win by 38 and cover.

Wolverines

Colorado @ #4 Michigan – 3:30pm on BTN. I truly hate Michigan with all of my soul. But the Buffs are going to get killed in the Big House and they just need to make peace with that fact. I’d love them to upset the ‘Rines, but it’s not happening. Michigan is favored by 20-points but they win by 31 and cover.

Huskers

#22 Oregon @ Nebraska – 3:30pm on ABC. Yes, this is the featured afternoon game and it could be a good one. I’m pleased that the game is in Lincoln, that’s very helpful. I see this as basically a fairly evenly matched game with the Huskers having a slight edge as the home team. It’s all coming down to Neb’s defense keeping them in the game. Nebraska is favored by 3.5 but they lose by three and don’t cover.

Illinois

Western Michigan @ Illinois – 4:00pm on ESPN-News. The Broncos are favored on the road against a B1G squad. Let that soak in. Come on Lovie, let’s right the ship. But you’re going to take your lumps this week. Illinois is a 3-point dog and they lose by seven and do not cover.

Terps

Maryland @ University of Central Florida – 7:00pm on CBSSN. The Knights are going to put up 28 points (at least) on Maryland, but can they stop or slow the Terps offense? I think they can to some degree. Don’t forget, the Terps are on the road. Maryland is an 8-5-point favorite but they win by three and don’t cover.

Buckeyes

#3 Ohio State @ #14 Oklahoma – 7:30pm on Fox. The Sooners are all hat, no defense. And that means no balance so the Bucknuts will teach them a lesson in humility in their house. I’m surprised that the Sooners are ranked and I’m even more surprised that the spread is so small. Ohio State is a 1.5-point favorite but they win by 17 and cover.

Spartans

#12 Michigan State @ #18 Notre Dame – 7:30pm on NBC. It’s the 50th anniversary of the Game of the Century, but this time it’s at ND. I’m certainly not expecting a 10-10 game, even before OT. Both teams have everything to prove under the lhts in Southbend. The Spartans are a bit of a mystery coming off of a bye week and with only week #1 vs. Furman as reference. The Irish lost a hard-fought game vs. Texas and rebounded nicely against Nevada. Look for the Irish to run long routes seeking interference calls (nightmare) and look for L.J. Scott to pound green pound. This will be a good one. Michigan State is a 8-point dog but they win by seven and cover. Go GREEN!!!

Wildcats

Duke @ Northwestern – 8:00pm on BTN. Faded purple. Coach Fitz on the fritz. Retro 1980’s Wildcats? Duke ain’t great but Northwestern is looking bad. Northwestern is a 3.5-Point favorite but they lose by three and don’t cover.

Okay, that’s all 11 picks. Minnesota, Indiana and Purdue have the week off. I’m not resting easy on the quality of these picks but I follow my gut and it’s usually okay. We will see. One thing to always remember…

Go B1G!

B1G

 

 

 

Notre Dame Loses QB Golson.

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Looks like Everett Golson is no longer a student at Notre Dame, so what does that mean for the Fighting Irish heading in to the 2013 season?

Five-star QB Gunner Kiel would possibly be the go-to but he left ND to transfer to Cinci last month.

Then we end up back with Tommy Rees. Rees has talent and he has experience. He’s thrown 34 TDs. And 24 picks! Didn’t he through four in a half once? I would much rather have the Spartans face Tommy than Everett, that much I know. Our defense will pressure Rees and he’ll throw picks like he has in the past. And his run threat is near nil.

Why is Golson gone? Nobody is really saying but it seems to either be grades or some kind of campus violation. Where will he go? I’m sure we’ll learn more in the coming days and weeks.

Tough time for Kelly. I wonder if we will see the red-faced, vein-poppin’, swearin’, screamin’-demon of an a-hole Kelly this year with Rees under center again? That was something.

New NCAA Kickoff Rules for 2012.

In an effort to reduce injuries on kick-off returns, the NCAA is moving kickoffs from the 30-yard line to the 35, and the running start for the kickoff team will be limited to five yards. Lastly, touchbacks will now be spotted at the 25-yard line instead of the 20.

I don’t think I have a strong opinion one way or the other on this one. I don’t think it will negatively impact games, and if fewer players get concussions or other injuries, then it’s a good thing.

What do you think?

Izzo 400!

Being an MSU football blog, I usually don’t post about other sports, but Tom Izzo getting win #400 is too awesome to ignore.

Congrats to coach and best of luck through the rest of the season, the B1G Tournament and the NCAA Tournament.

Go Green!