Sunday, November 3, 2013

Michgan State Opens Up a Can of...

Michigan State beat up, thumped, whooped, took them out behind the woodshed and flat-out beat-up the University of Michigan football team yesterday in East Lansing.  The score was 29-6.  The game was more lopsided than score indicated.  It was an old fashioned smash mouth football butt stomping. 

Michigan State has now won five of the last six years.  Bravo and congratulations to Coach Dantonio, the entire MSU football staff, the fans, and especially the Spartan players.

In the cross-state rivalry with Michigan State, they have the kind defense I want Michigan to have.  They have the kind of defense Bo Schembechler would have loved and often had during his tenure as the coach of Michigan.  This amazing defense held Michigan to a miserable -48 yards rushing and a paltry 168 total yards.  They held Michigan to just two field goals.  It was a season defining, perhaps season changing, performance perhaps for both teams which at this point seem to be going in opposite directions.

People I know are starting to question if Brady Hoke is indeed the coach to return our beloved program to the Schembechler level of performance.  This was the worst rushing performance in THE ENTIRE HISTORY OF MICHIGAN FOOTBALL.  Hoke should have been going insane on the sidelines firing up his guys.  Kudos to MSU and most definitely back to the drawing board for Michigan!  Drew Sharp, a columnist for the Detroit Free Press eloquently and bluntly stated what we are all thinking in his piece today:  Bo wouldn't recognize how soft Michigan football has become.  Indeed!

I am a die-hard Michigan fan.  But, I grew-up in the State of Michigan and I have always had two favorite college football teams.  Michigan and Michigan State.  I want and root for Michigan State to win every game they play in every sport with one exception.  When Michigan and Michigan State face each other in any sport, I simply want Michigan to prevail. 

I see a lot of fans of both Michigan and Michigan State that simply hate the other team.  My view has evolved to what I believe is more realistic.  First and foremost, there is no rivalry without the rival.  If one revels in the rivalry, one has to appreciate, on some level, the existence of the other team.  Secondly, for the rivalry to be of any quality, the win-loss percentages have to be closer to 50-50 then 70-30.

All in all, I appreciate Michigan State.  That same feeling does not extend to The Ohio State University.  The parts about the rivalry requiring a rival and that the rival needs to be close to maintain its intensity certainly apply.  But, I am no fan of OSU.  I want them to lose every game which, of course, is not likely to happen.  I often joke that when OSU plays USC I wonder if it is possible for both teams to lose... which is equally unlikely to happen.

I hope Michigan State surges and continue to improve.  They are leading the Legends Division and stand a very good chance of playing OSU, who should win the Leaders Division, for the Big Ten Championship.  As they say, the division championship is in MSU’s control.  It is their championship to lose.  Michigan, with two Big Ten losses, cannot win the Big Ten at this point.  So, I am all in for Michigan State to take the prize.  I still have hope that perhaps Michigan can beat Ohio State on the Saturday after Thanksgiving and then the week after that Michigan State beats them again.  Now that would be sweet.

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