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Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Every so often we find something in the sports media that is SO GOOD that we just want to reprint it verbatim in case you missed it. That's the case today, with a letter to Joe Rexrode, in his weekly "Mailbag" feature on the Detroit Free Press web site. A reader named "Steve" summed-up the situation with regard to how Michigan State has been treated by sports officials - - - not just portrayed by the sports media - - - this football season.

Steve writes about what we already knew, but it is summarized so succinctly and comprehensively here that we are simply re-printing it for your review.

Hey Joe:   I wanted to revisit something I wrote to you weeks ago about Michigan State and the rankings this year. The Spartans had been ranked No. 2 in the AP poll in week four, with two first-place votes. By week seven, they had dropped to No. 7, a five spot drop, and during that time had beaten Central Michigan 30-10, Purdue 24-21, and Rutgers 31-24. They remained undefeated, with a win over an Oregon team ranked #7 to start the season included in their resume. Somehow CLOSE WINS had dropped them five spots. I asked you at that time if any other team suffered a similar fate in similar circumstances. I am certain that only MSU precipitously dropped WHILE WINNING. I will add another, even more blatant scenario to suggest the bias against the Spartans, no matter what they accomplish or how many years they string together those accomplishments: Michigan State beat Indiana 52-26....AND DROPPED A SPOT IN THE POLLS, from No. 6 to No. 7. Michigan squeezed by Indiana by a fingernail in DOUBLE OT, and moved UP two spots in the polls. More egregiously revealing, Iowa beat Indiana by seven points (not by 26) and, instead of dropping a spot, as MSU did, moved up FOUR SPOTS.
Iowa had no signature wins at the time, vs. MSU having beaten Oregon and Michigan. Michigan of course had LOST to MSU. Explain to me how this indicates anything except bias. Going into the OSU game, MSU had one tainted loss, on national TV, where everyone saw and commented on Nebraska's improperly awarded last minute TD. The resume included wins over Oregon, Michigan (on the road), over an Air Force team that looks to be the Mountain West champ, and six of 10 opponents who are bowl eligible. Yet were ranked No. 9, and were a TWO-touchdown underdog to the Buckeyes. Now, they added a mauling of OSU to their record, a game that wouldn't have been close without a couple of giveaway TDs. A team that was ranked No. 1 for almost the whole season. Yet, MSU is ranked sixth (in the AP).
Examine the teams ranked ahead of them, almost as if by birthright -- Clemson has wins over Georgia Tech (1-7 in ACC play) Boston College (0-7 in the league), Syracuse (1-6 in league play) and Wake Forest (1-6) -- all of whom are 3-8 overall! And let's not forget the signature wins over Wofford and Appalachian State to start the year. It includes a 3-point win over 6-5 Louisville. Both of their "big" wins came AT HOME, over Notre Dame and Florida State. Not one of their signature wins on the road. Yet they almost surely will be in the playoff.
Oklahoma's wins came against 3-8 Iowa State (2-6 in Big 12 league play), 4-6 Kansas (1-6 in league play), 5-6 Tulsa and a 6-5 Akron well as a double-OT win over unranked Tennessee, and a 1-point win over a TCU team playing without its Heisman candidate quarterback. And they lost to 4-6 Texas. Hardly the same resume as the Spartans have.
Notre Dame? Dogfight wins over 3-8 Georgia Tech (by 8), Virginia (by 7), over Temple (by 4), and now Boston College (by 3) and a loss to the one team still ranked that they faced, Clemson. By the way, it will be interesting to see if the Irish are dropped for a "bad and ugly" win, over B.C., the same way MSU was earlier.
So, MSU is behind these teams, with a loss directly affected by a terrible TD call, and their biggest win coming WITHOUT THEIR NFL FIRST-ROUND QB. Having beaten the current No. 8, 12 and 18 teams, as well as the Mountain West champ. If somehow the Spartans beat Iowa in the Big Ten championship game (their third appearance there in the game's five-year existence) and don't at least get into the playoff, then the term they previously used, before the BCS and playoff systems came into play, to describe the national championship in college football would fit perfectly again. They used to call it "mythical."

Great job by "Steve" summing up the problems with how Michigan State is treated by the sports media and by sports officials on a local, regional, and national level. While this argument will appear to be "void" if MSU does not beat both Penn State and Iowa, the points have already been made and recorded. In other words, what happened has already happened, and a failure to win an 11th and 12th game by the Spartans may "cover over" the egregious treatment of our team, it still happened, and it is still happening.

The correct word to describe this type of treatment is "bias".
The implementation of "bias" is "discrimination".

When social groups are treated this way by institutions,
those institutions are subject to prosecution.

But in college sports, officials are allowed to
impose their bias through discrimination
against Michigan State on a very regular basis.

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