A little bit of reading for you to digest as you watch the Tigers try to finish off a sweep of the New York Yankees and earn a trip to the World Series.
Before the season, it seemed like a slam dunk that the Michigan State football team would go bowling and many thought this was as good of chance as any for them to end their Rose Bowl drought.http://db.lsj.com/blogswp/spartanshadows/wp-admin/post.php?post=472&action=edit&message=1
But a 4-3 start has altered those expectations and a few Big Ten Network analysts debated that it was possible the Spartans not get the necessary six wins to become bowl eligible.With five regular-season games remaining, the Spartans need just two wins for that to be possible. But the schedule isn’t simple with road games at Michigan and Wisconsin the next two weeks, a home game against Nebraska before a bye week and then finishing at home against Northwestern and at Minnesota.
Those remaining opponents have a combined record 19-9 against Bowl Subdivision teams, marking the 11th most difficult schedule in the nation.
Of those five games, Minnesota appears to be the easiest right now.
That’s why Saturday’s game at the Big House is very critical for the Spartans. The game could be one that turns their season around and gives them the positive momentum it needs.
“I think it’s always a pivotal game regardless of what the records are and those types of things,” MSU coach Mark Dantonio said. “We’ve never backed away from the challenge since we’ve come here. We’ll always maintain that approach.
” … In terms of this time, this year, obviously a win’s a win. They all count one. So it would be very big for us in that respect just in terms of where we’re at. It’s game eight. Game eight is two thirds of the season for us.”
Added MSU quarterbacks coach Dave Warner: “Thereâ€™s still a lot of great things for us to achieve this year and certainly a Big Ten championship is not out of the possibility right now. I mean thatâ€™s still there. Things have to happen, weâ€™ve got to pick things up and get it going but thatâ€™s still there.”
On the flip side, MSU is a few plays away from being 6-1 so that could provideÂ optimism heading into the final stretch. And they have had their way in the Michigan series recently.
What are your thoughts about MSU’s final five games?
Today, Tom Izzo could land his first basketball recruit for 2013 with Memphis Southwind’s Johnathan Williams set to announce his decision in a few hours. His AAU coach DuJuan Taylor says Williams could play the 3, 4 or 5 but believes his best fit is power forward. Williams played for the USA U17 team. He is also considering Missouri and Georgetown.
A couple of links from today’s LSJ. The Spartans will face an improving Michigan defense on Saturday in Ann Arbor. And Graham Couch writes that super basketball prospect Jabari Parker’s visit is a big deal for MSU.