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Autopsy of another MSU football loss (and a lot more)

Got home from the MSU-Northwestern game a bit ago, greeted the wife, started flipping between the Kansas State-Baylor and Oregon-Stanford games. First No. 1 K-State goes down big. Then No. 2 Oregon in OT. And, as I’m sure you will be stunned, I can find a perfect correlation in one of those games to the Spartans (and will force you to read how after the jump).

Take a look at the pass interference call near the end of regulation in the Cardinal’s mammoth upset of the Ducks. It set up Oregon’s high-powered offense near midfield with less than a minute to play and not too far to go to get into field goal range. Instead, Stanford’s defense rose to the occasion, stuffed the Ducks like a Thanksgiving Day turkey, then watched them miss a field goal on the first possession of overtime. The Cardinal nearly fumbled away their golden goose, but they managed to recover the ball and kick the winning field goal and destroy the BCS.

Now the tie-in: The Spartans haven’t overcome potentially costly penalties. Good teams like Stanford do. Mediocre teams like MSU lose five times by a combined 13 points to conference foes and become forced to answer the same questions, week in and week out.

Mark Dantonio has talked about it all season, finding the ability to overcome adversity. Saturday afternoon, MSU created plenty of its own all day – and still had chances to win late. But the demons of a .500 team reared their ugly heads yet again, leaving his team still needing one more win to reach bowl eligibility midway through November.

It’s what has separated the 2012 Spartans from the 2010 and ’11 versions. More often than not the past two seasons, MSU found ways to win close games by overcoming some of its own missteps along the way. Forcing a turnover here, a lucky bounce on a last-second catch there, a trick play tucked in there somewhere, too. This year’s team hasn’t discovered that moxie and is running out of time and chances – realistically, if they don’t next Saturday at Minnesota, their next opportunity to iron out their issues in front of a crowd will be in April during the Green And White scrimmage game.

And this program needs a sixth straight bowl game. For recruiting. For posterity. For the fans. But most importantly, for the players to get that extra practice and one more game to learn how to win under the type of close-game circumstances the Spartans have wilted for much of this season.

Look back to 2009′s team, Kirk Cousins’ first as starting quarterback. That squad endured a number of close losses, squeaked out a win at Purdue in the next-to-last game of the regular season to get into the postseason, got blown out in the finale against Penn State, then watched a number of players get suspended for their own stupidity at Rather Hall.

Despite that adversity, much of what was to come for those players became forged during the difficulty month of December while they shorthandedly practiced for the Alamo Bowl and Texas Tech. Even though the Spartans lost that game 41-31, they performed well beyond the expectations of a .500 team without a number of key players in defeat. And that month of practice helped create both an on-field chemistry and a locker room togetherness that resulted in a share of a Big Ten title in 2010 and a spot in last year’s inaugural conference championship game last season.

So winning next Saturday at Minnesota becomes imperative for this reason. That month-or-so of extra work, of looking back to correct the problems while also moving forward, will be a long-term benefit both individually and as a team.

And a loss? Well, there would be a long time and a lot of negatives to think about before spring practice begins.

To recap Saturday’s loss, here is your Sunday linkage:

Graham Couch and I give a quick video breakdown of the 23-20 loss to Northwestern, while Joe Rexrode goes into the gory details via the written word. And here’s my quick look at the biggest plays and players.

Brian Calloway examines how MSU reacted to losing every Big Ten home game this season and takes a glimpse at freshman WR Aaron Burbridge’s up-and-down day.

And Graham looks at how MSU’s latest defeat resembles all the others and gives his grades of the Spartans’ performance.

MSU hockey lost 2-0 at Miami (Ohio) tonight, the volleyball team swept Northwestern in straight sets for its sixth straight and the men’s and women’s cross country teams wrapped up their seasons at the NCAA meet.

Sunday continues this busy weekend, with MSU’s men’s soccer team traveling to Notre Dame for its second-round NCAA Tournament game. Kickoff is at 2 p.m. And the Spartan basketball teams will host a doubleheader at Breslin Center – the men open the day at noon against Texas Southern, while the women host Virginia Tech at 4 p.m.

Oh, and there’s that tiny little story that the Big Ten might be adding Maryland and Rutgers.

Phew. Is it June yet?

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103 Responses to Autopsy of another MSU football loss (and a lot more)

  1. avatar Spartan 81 says:

    I compartmentalized this season like Bill Clinton, with plausible deniability I say it never happened,we get to a bowl get the practice and come back next year like 2010, If Dantonio had five straight years like 2007 I would not feel this way but look at the body of work, three of the last five years nine years or more. Not just a one year spike like the previous four decades. There is consistancy here. that 08 team with Hoyer had differant personal. So Dantonio has done it with two differant teams, I have confidence he will do it with three next year.

  2. avatar Ben Green says:

    Good comments and info, Chris. Very disappointing college football Saturday. MSU loses yet another close B1G game, another home game, and K State and Oregon go down putting the SEC back in the BCS championship game.

  3. avatar AtlSpartan says:

    Sorry if this post gets lengthy, but I have a bunch of thoughts playing bumper cars in my head for the last 18 hours or so, and a splitting headache as a result. There is no need to rehash the pivotal moments, the squandered opportunities, and the what ifs of yesterday’s game; that has been sufficiently covered by our wonderful LSJ writers, Joe over at the FREEP, and many educated and contributors to this and other blogs.

    I keep trying to pull back and get the big picture. Is the program still on a steady climb to respectability and its rightful place in the annual discussions of championships, both Big Ten and National? Is this year just like a couple hundred point correction in the stock market’s overall climb? Or does this year point to more struggles for the team and more frustration for the fans?

    I have come to be convinced that it is the former, and I will offer a single piece of evidence. The NFL has been tagged as the “League of the Quarterback”. The perennially tough teams are those with a marque quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, Eli/Payton Manning, Ben Roths, etc. Those teams that struggle, do so because of poor performance at the same position. I contend that college success is even more contingent on Quarterback performance.

    In 2009 Kirk Cousins lost a bunch of games nearly single-handedly. In 2010 much less so, and in 2011 he won some games single-handedly. This was Maxwell’s year. With 5 looses by 13 points he had the chance in nearly every game to make plays and win games. He has nearly come up empty. We can all agree that dropped passes by receivers, and a porous offensive line contributed to his ineffectiveness, but in the end he had a bunch of chances.

    We can blame the receivers and Roushar, because it did appear that he seldom had people open. But in the end….in the final tally…Maxwell needs to learn to win games. That is a big sweeping statement, but I’ll offer a single example from yesterday. I think it was the second to the last possession he took a sack when he really had time to throw it away. I think he knew he should have thrown it away, and on the next play when he again apparently found no one open, he threw the ball away instead of running and getting vital yardage, which he had both time and space to do.

    I am not picking on Maxwell, nor blaming this entire year on him. I am simply posing that he had the chance to easily turn this 6 and 6 into an 8 and 4 season. I will give you that Conroy and others had chances as well, but this was Kirk Cousin’s team and it is now Maxwell’s team. I am not interested in stats. I don’t care about moving the ball between the 20′s. The goal of football is to get the ball in the end zone. If you give me stats that says Maxwell is a good quarterback, I will show you a PGA golfer with the most beautiful swing on tour and an inability to win a tournament. I will offer up Alex Rodriguez’ Hall of Fame stats and post-season disappearing act. Sports is about making plays, and making them when they have to be made….when the game is on the line.

    Contrary to what you are now thinking this is not a negative post. I opened this post by positing that this program is in the process of a a steady continuous climb to prominence. I think that is the case. I think Maxwell has the tools. He is bigger, faster, and has a stronger arm than Cousins. He can do the job. I think he will. Next year looks pretty good. We have whet we need to contend in terms of talent. It will rest on the growth of Maxwell and his ability to make good decisions, and make plays.

    I will offer up a final thought as a discussion point. More and more teams in college are going to the dual threat quarterback. You can say the trend in in the pros as well. Dantonio has commented repeatedly about the need for Maxwell to be creative and make plays when things break down. He has publicly encouraged Maxwell to run more often. Is there a consensus among the Spartan faithful that a dual-threat quarterback is a requirement in the modern game? Does Damian Terry answer that need. More importantly, are we confident that Maxwell has a big 2013 and the Spartans get back on track? I think so.

    • avatar MayoSpartan says:

      I respectfully disagree, to a degree.

      As you stated Maxwell has the tools and knows the system. However, sometimes the coaches may need to revise the system to fit the players. Coach Roushar announced in ’11 to slightly revise the system to a more vertical passing game. He had the tools, skilled and experience players, to execute that offensive philosphy with some success – 11 wins, division title and a bowl win on the strength of a good defense to boot.

      This year, the tools for a vertical passing game were not the same as in ’11. The only productive returning skill players returning were TE Sims and RB Bell. Did the percentage of pass to run plays change this year to last, or emphasis quick three step drop back passes and more high percentage dink and dunk pass plays called? The deep vertical passing game lead to most of Maxwell’s failings and our young WR’s miscues.

      It takes two to tangle and I don’t think Maxwell’s inability to seize the moment is the lone culprit, the kids confidence was in the dumper from the ND game on and the coaches encouragement should have come in more high percentage plays being called that …. weren’t that predicable.

  4. avatar jerseyjohn says:

    i watched some of the Notre dame game yesterday..they have receivers, especially the tight end, who can catch with one hand tied behind their back, better than our group..this season is simple to analyze..we have a QB who isn’t very accurate..lineman who can’t block..receivers who can’t catch..coaches who don’t coach..and a KICKER WHO CAN’T KICK..if i was muma i would have transferred..it’s insulting that a backup kicker has not been given a chance after 11 games of shanks..

    • avatar '89 Chemistry says:

      By kicker who can’t kick, you mean the current MSU record-holder for consecutive PATs, right? Because there’s no one on the Spartan roster that has “11 games of shanks”. There is Dan Conroy–the guy that scored half of MSU’s points v. EMU; the majority of MSU’s points against OSU & Iowa; and all the points against Notre Dame. (With your standards, we outta bench Bell. Only 10 TDs on 315 attempts?! Intolerable!!!)

      Look, Conroy’s on pace to score the most single-season FGs in MSU history this year. And spare us any crap about clutch performances; he’s 11 for 12 in second halves and OTs. Among those, he made 7 for 7 in games MSU lost. Among all of MSU’s problems this year, he’s a minor problem.

      As for Muma: He has one FG for 28 yards, and will likely be the guy in 2013. Transferring would’ve been absurd.

      But the real reason he’s hanging on is to hear “fans” like you bellyache every time he misses or gets a kick blocked next year.

      • avatar Spartan 81 says:

        Pearls before swine Michaelangelo

      • avatar toledosparty says:

        The criticism of Conroy by jerseyjohn is spot on. He’s missed way too many chip-shots this year, and an offense that struggles to score points can’t afford to have an unreliable kicker.

        • avatar '89 Chemistry says:

          He’s missed too many–especially for this offense. But he’s made more than just about anyone in the country this year. The offense is much, much worse than Conroy. (Someone will blame that on Conroy, too.) Had the O been average, State would be 9-1 and no one would notice Conroy’s misses.

          (And since when is 37-44 yards a chip-shot?)

      • avatar jerseyjohn says:

        he’s a bum..just like the packer’s kicker. i can kick extra points.

        • avatar '89 Chemistry says:

          I don’t follow GB.

          Can you go 5 of 6 from 45+ yards? I doubt it. Would MSU be better off with a randomly-chosen kicker from another team? Unlikely.

          Would MSU be better off with Muma kicking those mid-rangers? Maybe! I think there’s been something going on with Conroy’s mid-range mechanics [he's 12 of 12 under 35 yards]; I blame Tressel for not seeing it in September & doing something about it–and as the coach he should’ve thought of trying Muma for mid-rangers before now.

          [But maybe he's awful, too. In that case MSU is kinda screwed next year, eh?]

  5. avatar MayoSpartan says:

    Your post certainly poses some somber thoughts by comparing MSU to Stanford, Chris.

    For the loyal MSU followers on this blog, we have witnessed a season defined best as insane. The same offensive approach and conservative decisions produced the same results time and again. It’s a critical juncture in the program. Players are not cogs to be fit into an inflexible system, and told that they just didn’t make plays. Some plays are harder to execute than others. Coaches should know which players can consistently execute and produce results, but I didn’t see consistency anywhere … except in undisciplined and untimely penalties, SMH play calls, and a loss at the end of the game.

    Coach Dantonio changed the quitter culture of the past decade. At this time, the results of this season lead me to believe that there is a crack in the foundation of this program and it resides in the offensive camp. Coach Treadwell could and did fill in rather well when Coach D was absent. Today there’s a lot of doubt in his successors performance or ability to lead the team if called upon. In 2009, the offense rolled and the defense failed. This year the defense has been the back bone and the offense floundered. This offense should have improved each week, learned from last years Husker defeat and improved each game as the season concluded. It’s not entirely on the players not making plays… questionable and predictable play calling – plays that succeeded early and often – may have been abandoned to soon or used too often. The results are the same, a lost opportunity.

    • avatar Ben Green says:

      Very points, Mayo. I agree. With no way of knowing with certainly, I put more on the offensive coaches than on the players. You have to scheme based on personnel. These coaches persist in “being who we are” whatever that means, but the results are 15th from last in the BCS in scoring.

  6. avatar C'mon eh says:

    Good point. But think about this- Maxwell has one year left, then what? Hand over to Cook in 2014 as JR? With no game experience. And go thru a similar learning curve. I suggest the staff play Cook at least 50% in the 3 games at the beginning of the season. We have to get ahead of the curve at QB. You can’t hope your QB has a”good” season only on his senior year. That surely doesn’t build an elite program.

    • avatar AtlSpartan says:

      I thought through that as well. If I had a criticism of Dantonio, (which I almost never do), it would be to get back up QB’s in the game. Hard to do when every game is a squeaker, but he needs to find a way to get the QB’s some game experience to smooth out the transitions.

      • avatar '89 Chemistry says:

        Several close games in 2011 helped to prevent Maxwell from a lot of game-speed experience. This was a question mark for the team in January that, I think, has come back to bite MSU in this year where there were more than enough other challenges to the offense.

        • avatar MGoBlow says:

          When U don’t put inferior teams away & play up or down to your competition to keep them or U in the game to allow a ref to win or lose the game for U; you can’t get your 2nd team QB in for live game time reps – that’s been the problem since MD has been in EL. It was a good problem to have when we were winning almost all the close games & we all over looked it. The last good head coach we had pre MD was Saban who used to put the beat down on teams when he had to opportunity. MD never puts his opponents away – so no garbage time for the back ups which has really hurt this year w/ Maxwell, but I really put this painfully bad season on MD for hiring Roushar who’s resume was a history of failure @ the OC position (look it up). How can U promote the guy who is in charge of the most under performing unit year in year out in (offensive line) your program (I feel his O lines have keep us from being elite the last 2 years) to the OC? Really poor executive management from MD – who went w/ loyalty/ continuity/ nepotism over competence which never works.

          • avatar '89 Chemistry says:

            I’ve looked into this a little and decided I was wrong: It looks like there were plenty of opportunities for Maxwell to attempt passes last year. With final scores like 44-0, 45-7, and 55-3, there should be time to give next year’s heir-apparent a bit more than 26 attempts.

            (I’ll give a pass to 2007, 2009, & 2012 because those years featured first-year starters. That leaves 2008 [Cousins had 43 attempts]; 2010 [Maxwell 26]; and 2011 [Maxwell 25]. But 25 of Kirk’s passes were in the OSU game when Hoyer was injured, so apart from that day he had only 18 attempts that year.

            (I don’t know how much 2nd-stringers typically throw in stable pro-set programs, but it seems to me that 6-7% is a bit low in years like 2008 & 2011 (or 2013).)

      • avatar Spartan in Los Angeles says:

        It was a good game today with Nix coming off the bench to allow differant rotations. The next two games I think will give Coach Izzo an oppurtunity to find the best rotation with Trice out of the line up. Nice win today.

    • avatar Ghost of Biggie says:

      Maxwell will be back again next year. The main difference that I have observed this year is that the offense is lacking in leadership. Maxwell is technically competent and may be respected by coaches and teammates but has not been the overt demonstrative, confident, mentally, and emotionally tough leader that a quarterback must be. I agree with Atlanta that a characteristic of good teams is a quarterback who possesses those qualities. I watched Gruden’s series of programs with Luck, RGIII, cousins, Wilson, and Moore. All five record breaking, successful college quarterbacks, three of them to be starters as rookies in the NFL. All five exuded confidence as belief in their ability to lead and succeed! If you want a current example of what I mean look no farther than the MSU defense and Max Bullough. I have thoroughly enjoyed watching from Section 21 as he directs and fires up the defense like Peyton Manning for the Colts or Broncos on offense. Narduzzi gets credit for the defense but it must be shared with Bullough who by the end of next year will be ranked as one of MSU’s greatest linebackers and defensive leaders. I like Maxwell but I have not seen evidence that he has those needed qualities. Last year we had penalties, interceptions, dropped passes, fumbles, headscratching coaching decisions, but we also had Captain Kirk. My hope is that someone on the offense will rise up and fill that role. It is better if it is the quarterback but it doesn’t have to be.

  7. avatar AtlSpartan says:

    Chris, No TV except internet today on hoops? Is there a replay scheduled on the BTN?

    • avatar headeast says:

      4 pm Monday the 19th on BTN…

      • avatar AtlSpartan says:

        Thanks H.E, I like to watch the early games, even if they are blow outs to see want Izzo is trying to do with his personnel. I think he is going to give up on Payne and Nix together. They both play better when they are on the court as the lone big man IMHO.

  8. avatar '89 Chemistry says:

    38-19 as of a few minutes ago. Rexrode commentary here:
    https://twitter.com/joerexrode

  9. avatar Mozan says:

    You’ve got to hope that the Spartans win next week at Minn. and perhaps the win at Camp Randall will give the Spartans’ fair weather friends a little more confidence that it can be done.
    Having said that; though, the four turn overs, the dropped passes, and the missed assignments show a loss of focus throughout the team. Why aren’t the leaders leading?

  10. avatar SteveL says:

    The performance and outcome of yesterday’s game is unacceptable. A good program finds ways to go at least 8-4 on a rebuilding year . But if you are recruiting players that can play rather than be coached up for 2-3 years to hopefully get a team that once every 4 years can at least get to a level to sniff a championship is not a program that is where it should be . There should be talent in the pipeline. I am tired of being in a position this time of year where we start fantasizing about next year because this year has been a bust. This season has gone fron disappointing to an outright disaster. They needed 2 weeks to prepare to perform like they did yesterday? Wow. The bye week actually turned out to be Bye Bye 2012. Don’t expect much in the success department at Mini-Ha Ha. It would be a fitting conclusion to a season that never was.

    • avatar '89 Chemistry says:

      I agree with your first sentence. It wasn’t all bad, but there was more disgusting in that game than any of the others since Iowa.

      (And when it comes to bye weeks in November, I’ll never trust Dantonio again. MSU will lose to Nebraska in 2013 and Penn State in 2015. Count on it.)

      But it’s unfair to ignore the plethora of injuries to blocking personnel in the last few years–and especially this year. Injuries to Barrent, Conroy, Klatt, Ray, Burkland et. al. have nearly obliterated O-line depth that was expected to bloom this year. And six starting blockers this year (including the first two tight ends in a year where the QB desperately needs TE relief) have missed multiple games. Few programs outside of Purdue have that kind of unplanned attrition.

      And just how many “good programs” do you think there are that have schedules as difficult as MSU’s has been this year? I think not many–the burden’s on you to show otherwise.

      Until then, here’s an example or three: Barry Alvarez won consecutive Rose Bowls in 1999-2000. But in 2002-2004 his teams accumulated 19 losses. Alabama? Shula & Saban went 13-13 in ’06-’07 despite cheating and having 11 of those wins vacated. Ohio State? Losing season–just last year. And 10 wins stripped in 2010. (Maybe a lot of those “good programs” do it by crook. And some fans are fine with wins/championships being forfeited after the fact. To each his own.) Even Woody Freaking Hayes had a losing season now and then.

      MSU just ain’t there yet. With UM, OSU & the Irish in the neighborhood, they may never live up to your 8-4 floor. My advice is to follow someone like Kansas State instead. You’re welcome.

      • avatar MGoBlow says:

        Unfortunately, I don’t have a choice to follow K State as a graduate of MSU. So we can’t expect 8-4 from MD now that UM, OSU, & ND are back? So we now go back to hopefully beating the Walmarts every 3 to 4 years like the Perles years. Unacceptable. Mayo said it best above – we can thank MD for getting rid of the defeatist attitude in the program, but he needed to do more while those other programs were stumbling & he did not do enough w/ the opportunity to change nat’l preceptions. BTW – The Walmarts think our season is enough of a disaster that they just offered our #1 recruit for next year a scholarship today thinking they might turn him from Green to Blow.

        • avatar '89 Chemistry says:

          This is America. You have an unfettered choice of whom to root for. (If fandom were tied to alum status, where would UM be?)

          I didn’t say we can’t expect 8-4 from MD. If MSU loses six times next year I just might join you in calling for Dantonio’s head.

          In replying to SteveL’s post (context matters) I said we can’t expect 8-4 to be the bare minimum regardless of circumstances. Holding MD to a standard that Carr, Hayes & Schembechler (much less Duffy) couldn’t meet is, I think, absurd. You’re free to do so, of course–but you’re going to be just as disappointed as UM fans are when Hoke fails their expectations.

          On UM, OSU & ND being “back”: As far as recruiting’s concerned, they never left. They’re always going to be within 150 miles, competing for MSU recruits, and getting higher rankings on the basis of name. MSU will need to continue attracting select individuals that want to beat the “best” teams–and continue finding & developing rough diamonds like Bell, Cousins, and Greg Jones–in their back yards. It can be done. But it’ll never be easy.

          It may be that MD didn’t do enough to change nat’l perceptions. But folks should’ve known they weren’t getting, say, Urban Meyer in 2007 when MSU hired him for far less than Meyer money–and it should’ve been more clear from the way the guy coached in 2007-09 that he’s prone to mistakes & poor decisions from time to time. Like everyone else, I’d hoped he’d learn from his mistakes; to put it nicely, he’s, uh, still learning.

          I said nothing about the UM/MSU rivalry. Dantonio’s 4-2 so far–outscoring the Gulos 157-112, and outscoring Hoke 38-26. I’ll worry about one in 3 or 4 if Paul Bunyan’s still captive in 2015. But frankly, I’m underwhelmed by UM’s success this year and sincerely doubt they’ll beat UM next year.

          • avatar Ghost of Biggie says:

            Well said as usual, 89

          • avatar MGoBlow says:

            This is America & as a loyal alumni of my alma mater – I root for MSU. However, I will not make excuses for teams or programs that are under achieving like our football team. Where did I ask for MD’s head? I lament the fact that he didn’t do more w/ the opportunity he was given w/ the RichRod years & his buddy, Tressel, not actively recruiting anyone who we put our name on in Ohio. His biggest mistake since taking the job was promoting Roushar. Like U – I hope he learns from his mistakes also – his job depends on it. BTW – I think U had a typo at the end of your post – “and sincerely doubt they’ll beat UM next year.” I hope you meant MSU will win back Paul Bunyan at home in 2013. I think MD is a good man who can evaluate talent & has schemes that if run by the right players are very successful as we saw in 2010 & 2011, but I don’t see the flexibility that make good coaches great (inflexibility = this year’s offensive scheme) or the willingness to make the tough choice (hiring Roushar based on his resume instead of getting someone who has success in the position outside the program).

  11. avatar CWebb says:

    Second rate program. Second rate coach. You will always be UM’s Lil Bro.

    • avatar MSU Owns Denard says:

      And you’ll always be a P.O.S. who sucks on Michigan but like 99 % of their fans, never stepped foot on campus.

    • avatar MGoBlow says:

      How’s Ed Martin? still cashing those checks?

    • avatar Ghost of Biggie says:

      You were always a second rate hoops tear. Too stupid to be more than that. You and your buddies steal any cases of beer lately.

    • avatar '89 Chemistry says:

      Little Brother has grown up. That hasn’t changed.

      UM barely won against MSU this year, and they probably will lose next year. The Ann Arbor excuse machine will sputter as is its wont–but RichRod won’t be part of the litany.

      Little Brother lost to OSU by one point. Let’s see how big brother (aka, “Lucky”) does this weekend before crowing, shall we? (I’m guessing Brutus will win handily, and you’ll be cowering as far from this blog as possible.

      (Just a guess.)

      • avatar marky mark says:

        what does the score of the osu game have to do with anything? MOO U lost to UM . UM smashed IOWA how did little brother fare against them?

        Excuses? it was the refs fault, injuries, 10 points away from a 9-1 season. Back to reality its 5-6 get a clue!

        • avatar Ghost of Biggie says:

          More of those round tablets are needed in the urinals, Marky. Stop eating them for breakfast. Your BTN will deduct their cost from your extra 10 bucks a week for posting here.

          • avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

            Well said, sir!

            Hard economic times, too. Can’t afford any more deductions, but he must mash them up and snort ‘em, not just eat them, based on his posts.

          • avatar Tru Ghost of Bo says:

            It’s the yellow mints that truly distinguish him as marque of the mints…………..

        • avatar MGoBlow says:

          Your fanbase of walmart shoppers seem to always have the excuses. MSU grads tend to tell it like it is & move on – most of us are onto Basketball season. Thanks for teaching us in your post how to be the whiniest b*tch boy fanbase in the nation – we are learning from the best – The Walmart wolvie. U might want to contact your friends @ MGoBlow.com send a public announcement to make sure your fanbase remembers to NOT to deep fry the turkey INSIDE the double wide!

        • avatar Tru Ghost of Bo says:

          Yes, I feel your pride, in defeating the mighty Spartans one time in 5 Years. We can be so proud that we have finally manage to slip by them in the big outhouse. That enduring tradition of 20% will start anew, in 2013..

          • avatar marky mark says:

            If your gonna be a dumba** how about 7 out of the last 11 years?

            Maybe someone should right a book about MOO U’s 2 winning seasons, oh wait already done!

          • avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

            How would you know, janitors can’t afford books and don’t tell me you go to the library because that takes knowledge of the Dewy Decimal System and we all know that a DHSFB can’t think that logical or count above 10 with their shoes on.

        • avatar '89 Chemistry says:

          Uh, I’m not the one making excuses here–or saying this is anything less than an awful year for MSU football.

          I acknowledge the point on Iowa (and will throw in Notre Dame, too)–but raise you Nebraska. The larger point here is that a two-point win in the Big House doesn’t reflect the superiority that CWebb implies. Dantonio still convincingly owns Michigan. For now [2009-2012], MSU has the best program in the state of MI despite this bad year–and in terms of conference record, that’s likely to remain true through 2014 because Illinois, Purdue, and UW are swapping opponents.

          Michigan beat MSU this year. (If they didn’t manage it this year, who knows when it was going to happen?) To Gulo fans, I’ll return the advice that UM trolls have insincerely spouted on Hey Joe since 2008: Enjoy it while you can.

          • avatar marky mark says:

            I was refering to the fanbase making excuses.

            might as well throw North Western in there also.

            2012 best team in the state ,really?

            At least Bobby Williams admitted he had no control! You don’t see Hokes players tweeting crap about other players and refs!

          • avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

            Your nonsense is just phenomenal, 1 of 5 and you crow? really? 72% GONE ARE YOU?

          • avatar '89 Chemistry says:

            Overtime vs. a 3-point loss? That’s pretty much a wash for Northwestern.

            I said 2009-2012–judging a program through four years of player eligibility. [Wanna go 2008-2012?] So 20 B1G wins vs. 16 for UM. The future looks pretty good for UM–but again, let’s not count unhatched chickens.

            I shouldn’t acknowledge a change in subject, but the MSU Tweets were rather dumb. Does Hoke allow Tweeting? I neither know nor care. I would expect a double standard of media coverage, though (especially in Detroit). And Hoke, in 2012, is having all the criminal-behavior problems that Dantonio had over the past three years. We all live in glass houses, Marky…

    • avatar Tru Ghost of Bo says:

      Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a Gulo fan. But I repeat myself.”

  12. avatar MayoSpartan says:

    As time convincingly demonstrates, calmer heads prevail. Unfortunately, the football season is a little over three months, and sometimes staying the course may not produce the desired results in time. So the serenity prayer comes to my mind after reading Joe Rexrode this morning.

    Rexrode’s Monday article defending the offense fittingly states; it’s Coach D’s team and offensive philosophy, and it ain’t gonna change anytime soon. This point was set up with Roushar’s statement that the two weeks preparation were spent preparing as they always have (the least productive offensive in the B1G).

    In the pre-season, the MSU coaching staff tried to convince everyone that there’d be no drop-off in the QB position, the depth of the O-line was the best it’s ever been in years and there’s plenty of skill in the receiving corp to make up for the departing seniors.

    My frustrations and disappointments arise from MSU’s staff not adapting to change through minor adjustments. Instead, the fan base is told; players make plays, it’s a game of inches, and human error screwed us. I tired of the excuses.

    Yeah, I’d love to see Maxwell lose his composure on the side line and tear in to the O-Line or a receiver, or exhort his teammates with a rallying gathering prior to a series … just once during a critical moment in a game (after the OSU TD pass to D. Smith for the lead). Or Coach D, greet an over aggressive defensive player who just committed a PF or offsides with a scowl and lecture.

    If we are left to believe that Coach D doesn’t realize his former mentor lack of offensive adjustments cost O$U and MSU a few games, or the over aggressive defensive play leading to untimely penalties will cost a few more games, then … I am going to be frustrated MSU fan.

    • avatar MayoSpartan says:

      I hate to write this because I am not calm after thinking about 2012 MSU Football; If Dion Sims and LeVeon Bell declare for the draft, I interpret that possible event as more of a statement of “NO CONFIDENCE” in MSU Offensive coaching philosophy to win the B1G and a Rose Bowl than those young men making an opportunistic career move.

      • avatar Ghost of Biggie says:

        Get a grip Mayo. When young men make that kind of decision they are not commenting on the program, they are faced with a life altering financial decision with an ordinary persons lifetime or several lifetimes earnings involved. Assuming noble aspirations, would you put the opportunity that money represents to do good things for your family, community, and society on number 20 in Vegas for the sake of a little fleeting glory that makes fans with nothing on the line feel good. Sims knows from personal experience how injuries have the potential to take away a career. Don’t you think it passed through Bell’s mind that it could be over as he lay on the turf last Saturday and couldn’t get up after a vicious hit. There are no certainties in either choice they make. Be serious which is the bigger prize? Whether they stay or go it will not be a comment on their confidence in the program, only what they think is best overall.

    • avatar Ghost of Biggie says:

      Joe’s article this morning contains his usual insight detached from the fan’s emotional attachment. Though a hometown boy and alumni, he told us in person that he doesn’t root for or against anyone. As a journalist he has opinions but is not allowed to have his emotions direct them. Chris Vaninni from the Only Colors also had a good piece in the Freep this morning. A more Zen-like outlook on the season. He correctly points out that apart from all the technical stuff, opinions, and emotions the types of things that occurred are a part of the nature of sports competitions. Sometimes you kick the dog and sometimes the dog bites you in the rear. Or as Will Gholston put it when asked what he has learned this year “anything can happen.”

      • avatar MayoSpartan says:

        I’ve got a grip. I doubt the offensive philosophy will get MSU to a Tier 1 B1g Level or BCS appearance without some change.

        As for Bell & Sims, what do you think are factors in their decisions? Where do you project these two going in the 2013 draft? Have you considered if their stock may improve by playing another year, or is the risk of injury outweighes the possibility of improving their playing skills, productivity and publicity garnered from a winning team?

        Wanting the best for any MSU student and athlete is the focus. I have nothing to gain by their staying, but I believe they should and don’t blame them for leaving. The reality and question is, do you chance staying and risking injury in an environment that limits the possibility of personal growth for significantly more long-term reward?

        • avatar Spartan 81 says:

          Other site confirmed Saturday night internal pressures for change have started, sometimes suggestions take a second year to morph into ultimatums. If the situation resolves itself in the second year as it did in 2010 the point becomes moot. Dantonio keeps things private and you will not get public statements like Izzo. Different styles that is all. I have confidence Offensive production will improve next season

  13. avatar Tru Ghost of Bo says:

    Epitaph for MSU football 2012

    Cast a cold eye On Defeat,
    ………..on Victory……………..
    …….Spartans, pass by!……

  14. avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

    I certainly have notice much more troll traffic here of late, could it be that the learning season for the Spartans has emboldened the Bruce Jenner’s? I will remind then that pride goeth before the fall and where are they going to get back 72% of their offense next year?

  15. avatar MayoSpartan says:

    Here’s an interesting twist in the camp of Minnesota. Coaching and a player with a sense of long term goals.

    http://ajbarker82.tumblr.com/post/36017145381/my-letter-to-jerry-kill-why-i-quit

    • avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

      Wow, can you say animosity? Hurt feelings? childish triad?

      • avatar Spartan 81 says:

        The kid is just a version of Private Santiago. Rambling complaint litany pretty much unfounded.

        • avatar '89 Chemistry says:

          Were you there? If so, testify!

          If not, hold off on conclusions. Let’s see what happens with Minnesota–and with Barker.

          • avatar Spartan 81 says:

            Kill is a straight up decent man chem. Thats thought of throughout the league.

          • avatar Spartan 81 says:

            Just heard a lot on the local radio WCCO that other players are not supporting it thats all. To me Kill is innocent untill supporting evidence ie someone who was there supports it. Otherwise its a kid who cant handle criticism just my two cents The accuser has to prove his case.

      • avatar '89 Chemistry says:

        I’m sure Sandusky’s victims heard some of that from third parties, too.

        • avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

          2 examples that are not in synergy, ’89. Shame on you.

          • avatar '89 Chemistry says:

            Synergy? Not applicable at all. Please check your dictionary.

            Taking the side of an authority over a player by automatic reflex is central here. The point stands–and anyone with a brain damn well knows it. For someone that claims to stand up for student-athletes, your knee-jerk response to Barker’s rant (which was certainly not childish–or did you not read it?) is a shocking disappointment. Shame on you, Colonel.

          • avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

            Same kind of thing that got the guy fired down @texas tech, that should not have IMHO. I take it that you have developed the attitude that if it’s on the internet it must be true.

          • avatar '89 Chemistry says:

            You know me well enough to realize that the logical contradictions would’ve killed me by now. I’d also think you’d know I wouldn’t take sides in the Kill-Barker dispute without knowing more. [For more on my take, see the reply to S81.]

        • avatar Spartan 81 says:

          89 I read it twice just did not believe it unless its backed up by a witness who was there.

          • avatar MayoSpartan says:

            First, I don’t see the rationale in a walk-on enduring three years to get his chance, performing to a high standard, then having a “childish” tantrum and quitting.

            Where there is smoke …

          • avatar Spartan 81 says:

            Well, I will listen to Glen Mason talk about it on the drive home tonight. Its just that everyone here in Minny says how down to earth humble and nice this guy is, plus all the talk about the seizures. Allegations of abuse can go either way Mayo and I am sure there will be an investigation to get to the bottom of it.

          • avatar MayoSpartan says:

            C’mon an investigation? A handful of players will stand up and downplay it. Assistants will follow the plausible deniability lines in Kills’ statement in response to Barkers claims – espn.com. The kid trash canned his credibility within the fraternity of coaches.

          • avatar '89 Chemistry says:

            Just finished second read. Definite whininess in some spots, but the narrative and copious details strike me as sincere–including parts that are verifiable/falsifiable. Why would he say that Kill tried to smooth things over with him afterward if this were a hatchet job? It was terribly unwise and hotheaded to air this publicly, I think–but there’s nothing to gain and everything to lose by just making this stuff up and then posting it.

            Unless he’s a writer. But if this is fiction, he’ll be a multimillionaire in five years with that kind of talent.

            OTOH, he could easily be a pariah if player consensus reports that certain of Barker’s claims did not happen.

            “Other players are not supporting it.” If I were a Gopher (especially on scholarship) I’d support the coach and program, too. I wouldn’t [I hope] say anything I knew to be untrue–but my loyalties to self and school would trump loyalty to a departing teammate unless I’d witnessed crime or egregious dysfunction (and the former doesn’t apply here).

            Keep in mind that Kill, Barker, and third parties could be speaking truth to their understanding, beliefs, and recollections and still be at odds. That’s one reason why I am not taking sides.

            But someday my nephew may be an injured walk-on suffering abuse from his coach for not being ready to play on the coach’s timeline after having proved himself in the arena. After that day, there will be some otherwise sane ignorami calling him childish and a liar while insisting that a coach they never played for would never step out of bounds. Should that happen, I’ll be far less polite than today.

  16. avatar mysondave says:

    Though my disappointment in this year’s football record is pervasive, it surely cannot be matched by how the players feel about what it could have been. So, IMHO, it may be best to let sleeping dogs lie and look ahead….to basketball! Izzo has put together a team that has unlimited potential with some purebreds in Dawson and Harris, a scrapper like Appling, an untapped resource in Payne, the Nixer and a host of developing players with various talents in Valentine, Trice, Guana and Kearney. Costello may become a piece but it is still too early to evaluate. Byrd is a mystery wrapped inside and enigma. Watched him play 22 minutes yesterday against an inferior team and could not see an iota of natural ability. Hope I’m wrong because this team could really use a consistent outside shot. Harris may be the answer or Appling because he really seems more confident in his stroke. They will lose a few here and there but this team will improve. Final Four capabilty. If Izzo gets his man, Parker, next year will be even better. Go Green.

    • avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

      He’ll get him even though Cracker and SEC football writer in Mlive clothes are both trying to sabotage his efforts by constant harassment. Those 2 only have their own careers front and center in all they do. Back stabbing is their form of entertainment.

  17. avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

    Interesting fact for all those bruce jenner’s who frequent the Spartan blog, Ohio is getting votes in the coaches poll and you know the NCAA committee luvs to stick it to big teams that got beat in the first round by a mid-major the previous year.

    • avatar marky mark says:

      I’m pretty sure Ohio went just as far as MOO u. Another interesting fact 5-6

      My bad I keep forgetting it’s basketball season!

      • avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

        I’m telling, man, lay off the yellow pills in the urinals. either way they zap memories of the ideas you need to cherish. Let’s talk next year at this time there, Homer, and compare records then.

        And, DHSFB, that’s 2 rounds farther than the fighting bruce jenner’s. whose gonna get the ball this year for that group of me first guards? Total team assists for the season – 14, total jacked up 3′s when first touching the ball – 10,0954

        • avatar marky mark says:

          Yeah lets forget this year never happened!!! UM football is back, jack! as hard for that is for you to accept it’s a fact.

          crawl back into that bunker of yours and pretend that everything is going to be alright!

          • avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

            As I said the other day, DHSFB, who’s going to replace 73% of your offense when dreadlocks leaves. (I don’t say graduate because so many people attend that factory and don’t)

          • avatar Tru Ghost of Bo says:

            Yes UM is back. Yes we’re back at boasting of our supremacy at wining 1 out of the last 5 games against the Spartans. I could go back 10 years or so, and 3 coaches, but then we would have to get into that Appalachian State worst loss in the history of college football. item. Yes, EweofEm is back to our rightful position as reigning supreme at being number 2, as we whistle past the graveyard of reality. Yes, we can be proud of our enduring traditions.

        • avatar marky mark says:

          Gardner accounted for more yards himself than did your whole team against a sorry Iowa. Hows Maxwell doing?

  18. avatar Timbo says:

    Great day on campus, love coming to work when MooU loses yet again. Love reading the posts who talked so highly and now are poor sport babies. It’s glad to hear the spartan fan back to where they belong. Go Irish!!

    • avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

      That’s so nice of you to say, we have all been anxiously waiting your celebrated return. Can’t tell you how much we all appreciate your condescension.

  19. avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

    Replay of the Tx Southern game starts @1600, it’s now 1545, no matter what the time stamp here says

  20. avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

    Md joins and brings one of the most prestigious lacrosse programs with it. Now in the B1G are osu, uOFm, psu, and the turtles. Couple more and it can be a conference sport

  21. avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

    Hey Ger, we get it: Md joined for the money and won’t compete in football any time soon. Basketball may be competitive until the grind gets to them (B1G is much more rough and tumble than ACC) Nobody at btn cares about anything else, so why kill 2+ hours with this drivel.

  22. avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

    Get Zeller and Hulls on the bench together and IU is in trouble, they have 4 points since they sat at the mid point of the half.

    • avatar Spartan 81 says:

      Markey Mark is showing fear, he fears that the Dantonio juggernaut which took a year off is coming back for another 4 out of 5. He knows that Dantonio will dominate the state and win 8 out of ten. Yes Markey Mark is a bitter frightened man, he is aware that he has awakened a sleeping giant. You can sense the fear in his tone, their is blood in the water Marine and the color of that Blood is Maize and Blue.

  23. avatar marky mark says:

    threat wheres the threat? LFAO

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