Monday Morning QB - on Wednesday ...
It took me this long to get off the bridge after my alma mater hit on annual guarantee number two of three this past weekend. Okay, not really, I've just been busy, but MSU fans are not a happy camp right now. To that I reply: Hey, we're two for three. Shame on any Spartans fan who doesn't recognize that each and every year, State can be counted on for three things. One, an excruciatingly painful loss in a game that was well in hand well into the fourth quarter (Notre Dame). Two, a painfully embarassing loss that garners unwanted national attention due to who the loss came to (Illinois). The third item give us hope the next two weekends. Michigan State always beats a team it really shouldn't at some point in every season...
Team of the Week...
It could be Ohio State for their dismantling of Iowa in rabid Hawkeye country. It could be Wisconsin for absolutely hammering the Hoosiers in a game many thought IU would win. It could even be Purdue or Michigan for nice opening wins. But really, does anyone except Illinois deserve it? As much as Michigan State helped the cause by not showing up until it was too late, the Illini, losers of 24 of their last 25 conference games (no, that isn't a typo), went to East Lansing and beat a better team much more soundly than the final score indicates. Hats off to Zook and the Illini.
Player of the Week...
I get tired of giving it to guys for the teams that always win. So I am going to give it to Illinois QB Juice Williams. The Juice was loose in East Lansing and he ran and passed just well enough to give Illini fans a sliver of hope for the future.
Get Gamm Status...
Last weekend's winner was Ohio State fan Buckeye Nation, who nailed down win number two thanks to picking closer to the margin in the tiebreaker game than the other three who went 5-1. BN, you know the drill.
1 - phatsdawg: 39-7 (.848)
T2 - Dan Meyer: 38-8 (.826), 1 GG win
T2 - mayo170: 38-8 (.826)
T4 - flakcat: 37-9 (.804)
T4 - Buckeye Nation: 37-9 (.804), 2 GG wins
T6 - Gamm: 36-10 (.783), 1 GG win
T6 - andrewj1313: 36-10 (.783)
8 - BigTenSportsFan: 34-12 (.739), 1 GG win
9 - PUFan: 18-6 (.750)
- Aaron Roberts: 20-2 (.909)*
- Mike: 10-1 (.909)*
11 - PUFan: 14-4 (.777)*
* Missed weeks, not eligible for prize
This weekend's games:
Purdue at Iowa
Indiana at Illinois
Penn State at Minnesota
Northwestern at Wisconsin
Bowling Green at Ohio State
Michigan State at Michigan (tiebreaker)
Open Letter to MSU Fans:
You know me, optimist number one and head coach apologist extraordinaire... only I've even become jaded. I left the ND game convinced that I never wanted to go to a game again.
It subsided a bit over a day or so, and actually I had to miss the Illinois game - only my sixth home game missed since 1991 and first since 2002 as my son had a soccer game in Mona Shores - but I was glad not to be there. I saw the first 3 and a half quarters on TV then we left with the score 20-10 and I put it on the radio. I actually turned the game off on the Stanton fumble which they eventually overruled and where he got hurt. I only turned it back on because my grandpa convinced me to and that was just in time to hear Illinois drive on us to kick the game winner.
The thing is, it has been this way since the latter half of Perles' tenure. We win a game we have no business winning, we lose a game that is really embarassing to a team we shouldn't and we blow a big lead in a game that could change the season. I have no doubt that even if we win against ND 37-33, we would have blown Illinois out and the hype for the game this week would be unreal. We're good enough to beat anyone, but first and foremost, we're good enough to beat ourselves. I blame Smith but yet I don't. Hell, he's just inherited the overall poor attitude that has been there since the end of the Perles days. It is like a curse. If we dump him, we start over - again. Then in four years, we do the same thing and we're right back where we started - again.
I know sports today is about win now, but I'd honestly like to see Smith with a team solely built of his players and if that means we go 6-6 this year and make the Motor City Bowl, so be it. We need to be built before we can reload. We never get to reload because we've never been built. The closest we came was year five with Saban. We struggled and then the light came on and the class we salvaged was great, only to be driven to the dirt by Williams. Smith is slowly building that up by recruiting the heck out of FLA and we have a great start on next year in Michigan which is full of studs.
We gave Izzo some time (and the program was not in the shape it was when Smith came on board), same needs to be done here. What JLS said the other day was sheer honesty. I give him credit for that and so what if he is quirky. Better than being lifeless and dead. He's not sugar coating anything. If we ever want to get ahead, we need to fully build a program, have some success and then start demanding 8+ win seasons. Until then, it will be status quo for years to come.
Is JLS the right man? I'm still on the fence. But until MSU fans, alums, writers, top brass, etc. realize that WE DON'T HAVE A PROGRAM RIGHT NOW AND HAVEN'T SINCE 1987-1990, we will go nowhere. We will fire this coach, start over and in four years do it again.
Look at the talent and the fact that we finally have some decent depth again. Kids are going to class. Kids are in a lot less trouble than before. There is more to building a program than quick wins despite tough losses and blown leads.
Do what you want with Smith, but don't make me say I told you so if we fire him and in four years we are still pinning for a program.