~ ~

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


Wow, that was a somewhat dim "Monday after", don't you think? Michigan State overcame a dozen big injuries and a crooked defeat only to come-from-behind and win the league championship this season, but the sports media is abuzz with sideways glances and cockamamie viewpoints on the Spartans.

As soon as the match-up with Alabama was announced, Vegas set an opening line close to 10 points for The Crimson Tide, even though MSU lost only a single game by a only single point after a nationally publicized bad call by the officials. We know Vegas makes lines based on what people will bet, but as such, they are a frequent index of the public view of a team or a game.

Public opinion is largely guided by viewpoints expressed in the media, and we awoke yesterday to the following anti-Spartan campaign:

On 730-AM Lansing sports radio Monday morning, the hosts were criticizing Connor Cook and Mark Dantonio. They said Dantonio should not have shared his innermost feelings by saying he sometimes felt his team was "favored" by the heavens above. They also picked on Cook for misunderstanding protocol expectations in a ceremony that was never rehearsed and was held immediately after he had been in the highest level of athletic competition for more than four hours; even though Cook clearly apologized, it was still considered a story.
On the "Huge Bill Simonson" Show Monday afternoon, his question-of-the-day was, "Do the Spartans stand a chance against Alabama?" All one can say is WOW. MSU has outscored every team it has played except one that finished with one more point. How likely IS a blowout in this match-up, Bill?
The Detroit Free Press published an article suggesting that MSU was a "sacrificial lamb" for Alabama. The infamous Drew Sharp claimed that the only reason Michigan State moved up two spots in the polls was because Oklahoma would have had a home-field advantage in Dallas (or some such reasoning).

This opening line by Vegas will gradually drop as gameday approaches and people take a closer look into the dynamics of the situation and the realities of the match-up. But people are left with a residue of media assertions that the Spartans are doomed, they don't belong where they are, it's only a matter of time before the bottom falls out, etc.

Think I'm stretching things a bit? Consider this: MSU wins the league title on the field of play, rotating injured players all game long, making the plays necessary to be successful, beating a previously undefeated team that's ranked in the Top Five, and is rewarded with a two-spot rise in the standings. At the same time, Michigan sits at home playing hopscotch on the Diag, and the Wolverines are rewarded with a one-spot rise in the standings. And Drew Sharp says the extra step up for Michigan State was just a gift to Nick Saban, nothing about the Spartans' performance this season.

 ****** Click on NO COMMENTS (or # comments) below to enter and view reader comments.   ----- Remember to check Spartan Headline links, updated real time, in the left column of (Web version only). *****Note: If you are receiving this post via automated email, you need to go to the site to view headline links and embedded videos in this post: (Web version only). SIGN UP TO RECEIVE POSTS VIA EMAIL, TWITTER OR FACEBOOK IN THE RIGHT COLUMN.*****


  1. Also consider these points.
    1. This is not the best Alabama team over the past couple of years. They always draw the betting money and once again the number is inflated. Coker is a first year starter and averages 1.3 TD passes/game. They are a one back offense. Armani Cooper is in the NFL this year.
    2. This playoff reminds me of the first. With the Buckeyes winning the BIg Ten Championship and then upsetting Alabama in the first round. Followed by another upset in the Championship game. You can bet the Spartans will be underdogs against Oklahoma (they will beat Clemson) should they get by the Crimson Tide.

    1. It's really hard to substantiate Drew Sharp's claim that "the Sooner's strength of schedule was much stronger than the Spartans."

      Oklahoma OPP W-L 78-66 (0.5417)
      Michigan St. OPP W-L 91-67 (0.5759)
      Note: MSU opponents had 13 more wins but only 1 more loss than Oklahoma.

      Oklahoma opponents in the CFP Ranks
      Texas Christion 11, Oklahoma St. 16, Baylor 17, Tennessee 23

      MSU opponents in the CFP Ranks
      Iowa 5, Ohio St. 7, Michigan 14, Oregon 15
      Note: MSU has 4 in the top 15 and 2 in the top 10 to Oklahomas 1 in the top 15.

      Oklahoma has 9 of 12 opponents going to bowl games. 1 in the NY6 group.
      MSU has 10 of 13 opponents going bowling, 2 in the NY6 group.

      Oklahoma lost to 5-7 Texas by 7 on the road.
      MSU lost to 5-7 Nebraska by 1 on the road.
      Note: Nebraska earned a bowl berth. Texas stays home.

      Oklahoma's weakest opponent was 0-12 Kansas. Oklahoma's weakest 3 opponents combined for 8-28.
      MSU's weakest opponent was 2-10 Purdue. MSU's weakest 3 opponents combined for 9-27.

      Oklahoma's strongest 3 opponents combined for 29-7. Texas Christian 10-2, Oklahoma St. 10-2, and Baylor 9-3 were the best wins.
      MSU's strongest 3 opponents combined for 33-4. Iowa 12-1, Ohio St. 11-1, and Michigan 10-2 were the best wins.

      Oklahoma opponents:

      Akron 7-5 B
      Tennessee 8-4 B
      Tulsa 6-6 B
      W.Virginia 7-5 B
      Texas 5-7 (loss)
      Kansas St. 6-6 B
      Texas Tech 7-5 B
      Kansas 0-12
      Iowa St. 3-9
      Baylor 9-3 B
      Texas Christian 10-2 B
      Oklahoma St. 10-2 B6

      MSU Opponents:

      W.Michigan 7-5 B
      Oregon 9-3 B
      Air Force 8-5 B
      C.Michigan 7-5 B
      Purdue 2-10
      Rutgers 4-8
      Michigan 10-2 B
      Indiana 6-6 B
      Nebraska 5-7 B (loss)
      Maryland 3-9
      Ohio St. 11-1 B6
      Penn St. 7-5 B
      Iowa 12-1 B6


Please sign in using the method most convenient for you. We do not receive your login information. This function is provided by Blogger.