Thursday, August 31, 2006

Why wait to see the games? Here is how they finish...

Alright ladies and gentlemen, we are all geared up for the start of the season, but there is no need to wait until November 18 to see how the Big Ten will shake out.. Here's the order of finish.

1 - Ohio State - 11-1 (8-0)
2 - Iowa - 11 -1 (7-1)
3 - Penn State - 9-3 (6-2)
Michigan - 9-3 (6-2)
5 - Wisconsin - 9-3 (5-3)
6 - Michigan State - 8-4 (5-3)
7 - Purdue - 6-7 (4-4)
8 - Minnesota - 5-7 (2-6)
9 - Northwestern - 4-8 (1-7)
Illinois -4-8 (1-7)
Indiana - 4-8 (1-7)

Let's all check back to see how right I am...

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Ringer the returner

When Spartan fans heard the news that sophomore running back Javon Ringer was going to be returning kicks this year, they immediately flashed back to the 2003 Alamo Bowl in which a certain quarter back went down after being hit on a special teams play.

Sure, it will be argued that Stanton was not hit during the play, rather because of a cheap-shot after the whistle blew, but that is beside the point.

The point is - is it worth the risk to have a star returning kicks with the entire opposition bearing down on him.

Ringer is going to be the featured back in 2006, sharing time with junior Jehuu Caulcrick and redshirt freshman A.J. Jimmerson. He earned the starting spot after leading the team in rushing last season on 6.7 yards per carry and coming in second on the team in total offense behind only Drew Stanton.

Fans who have cringed at the idea of Ringer playing returner should remember that people like - Charles Rogers, Derrick Mason, Courtney Hawkins, Gari Scott and DeAndra Cobb all spent time returning kicks and punts. (Scott is the all-time kick return yardage leader while Mason tops the list for punt return yards.)

That said, what John L. is doing with Ringer is not anything like having Stanton serve as a gunner in the 2003 Alamo Bowl. What he is doing is to put his best player out there to put his team in the best position to win.

That said, I'm going to keep holding my breath during every punt and kick that Ringer is returning.

No Bowls? No problem for ticket sales

It was announced ealier this week from the MSU ticket office that over 60,000 sets of season tickets have been purchased for the upcoming season.

The 61,227 season sets sold is the second most all-time, coming up just short of the all-time record of 61,479 set for the 2000 campaign.

So let's get this straight after two straight losing, bowl-less seasons, after all the complaining and calling for John L. Smith's head, the Spartan faithfull dug deep into their pockets and bucked up for a near record amount of season tickets sold.

Is anyone getting this?

Setting the record after the 1999 season made sense. The program had shown some promise. Sure, Nick Saban left for the Bayou, but MSU was coming off its best season in years (10-2) and a victory over Florida in the Citrus Bowl.

So why so many tickets sold after going a combined 10-13 over the past two seasons and experts predicting no better than a middle-of-the-pack Big Ten season this year?

Is it simply to see Drew Stanton lead what is sure to be one of the top offenses in the country? Or is there legitimate hope among Spartan fans that the experts have somehow overlooked this team and it'll be the surprise of the conference as Penn State was a year ago? I can't explain it, but I am hoping the real reason is the latter.

One thing Spartan fans can say is that they are loyal, possibly to a fault (Detroit Lions anyone?). MSU has been ranked in the top 20 nationally in attendance in each of the past 50 years, despite having most of their success during the early part of that span.

The fans are paying good money to see luxury suites built and other renovations to the stadium, let's hope the team pays them back on the field this season.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

New Season... New Blog

Alright Spartan Football fans - we've got less than a week before the 2006 campaign begins, so I thought I might give you my perspective on things as the season unfolds.

As we all know, last season started off strong. They bulldozed their way 4-0 start to the season, they prompted the spread of "Stanton for Heisman" t-shirts around campus and they continued the annual tradition of defeating of Notre Dame.

Then? Collapse!

An OT loss to Michigan for the second year in a row, a loss at Ohio State despite outplaying the Buckeyes for the first half before the kicking gaffe.

This year?

The offense should remain one of the most potent in the country but the defense still reamains a major question mark. Can the JUCO transfers like Nehemiah Warrick make a difference in the secondary.

Only 6 days to find out... stay tuned...