Big Ten Chat Wrap: Dec. 22 Archive

Steve Helwagen, the Big Ten senior writer for 247Sports.com, conducted a Chat session Thursday on the Big Ten message board.

OSU's John Simon closes in on Michigan's Denard Robinson

Click here to access the Big Ten board. Click here to see the original thread with the Chat.

We will target next Wednesday for the next Chat.

Below are excerpts from Thursday’s Chat:

OldOaken: Zeller has looked pretty impressive so far this year. Do you think he will be able to hold his own against Sully and other conference bigs, or do you think he could struggle?

Helwagen: I think he will do just fine. He is extremely skilled and talented. That will help him make up for his lack of bulk. My guess is Crean and Co. will have him add 5-10 pounds of bulk each off-season he stays there (if he stays there). He's listed at 6-11, 220. If he can get up to 240 even, he'd be a beast (not that he isn't now, of course).

He may struggle against Sullinger, perhaps. It helps he probably won't face Mbakwe (at least this year). MSU has some guys with bulk. But overall the conference is down a bit on big men, in general. He's pretty much moved right into the upper echelon just by showing up.

Crean is doing it the right way. He's only playing him 28-30 minutes a game. He's been in double figures in all but one game, which speaks to his consistency. I just love the kid (if you can't tell). Saw him several times at camps and AAU circuit and knew immediately he was special.

He is a force that is lifting that program out of the bowels of lethargy. I am glad to see it.

Kind of like Colin Cowherd would say about the Yankees or Notre Dame, "Big Ten basketball is just better when Indiana is good."

He's leading an unbeaten team in scoring (15.3) and rebounding (7.4). I'd say he has already made one hell of an impact.

OlentangyBanks: Steve, I wanted to get your take on the bowl ban handed down by the NCAA on Ohio State. Does Genie Smith survive this?

Helwagen: Oh, man, it was so bad for Gene they had to pull him as the MC of the Bob Knight recognition Tuesday for fear he would get booed out of the building.

I don't know how you can pay somebody $1 million a year to botch something this big. I like Gene personally. He seems like a nice enough guy. But from day one this was not handled properly.

I said last December those guys should have never played in that Sugar Bowl. And from there on it was a downward spiral. They tried to suspend Tressel for 2 games, then 5, then they asked him to leave ... but they still needed him to fall on his sword.

Then to not self impose a bowl ban with this 6-6 team -- OSU's worst in many years -- is amazing. They misread the situation completely.

For the longest time, Smith said case precedents dictated no bowl ban. But the committee invoked Failure to Monitor and repeat violator status. They threw the book at them. The DiGeronimo issue pushed it over the top (thanks, Bobby D!). He and TP are the gifts that just keep on giving. I call Bobby D the General of Jocksniffery. Sneaking into a locker to hear the pregame speech? Who are you George Steinbrenner? He thought he owned the team.

Gee is standing behind Smith, for now. There were rumors he will get kicked upstairs in the spring. How do you kick him upstairs when he's already making a mill?

As for the penalty, I am going to assume it fits the crime. Hey, they got a possibly ill-gotten Sugar Bowl out of it in 2010. It's probably only right they will serve a one-year ban. It just should have been this year. The timing -- coming out 16 days after bids were given out -- really hurts.

OlentangyBanks: Do you think any of Ohio State's srs to be will leave because of the bowl ban? They could transfer or go pro maybe.

Helwagen: Great question. My guess is Meyer and Fickell will keep the band together and sell the seniors on being leaders and handling this one last piece of adversity. Meyer is telling former players they are welcome back anytime. My guess is he tells these guys, "Hey, let's get through this together and you will be 'my guys' until the end of time."

That means helping them in the future as he can and holding them up in interviews as the class that turned the program back the right direction so they could win it all in 2013 (or whatever, you get my drift).

Individually, I don't see Jordan Hall, Zach Boren, Adam Homan, Reid Fragel, Garrett Goebel, Storm Klein, Zach Domicone, Orhian Johnson or Ben Buchanan going anywhere.

That leaves Jake Stoneburner, John Simon, Nate Williams, Etienne Sabino, Travis Howard.

You could say that Stoneburner and Simon could test the NFL waters. I know Howard would love to try and test those waters, but he's only had 1 year as a front line player and to me it was just an OK year. I thought the RS freshman Roby probably outplayed him.

Williams is coming off an injury and is a wild card. Sabino is a Florida guy. Maybe he looks for a fit closer to home where he can compete for a bowl/title as a senior. Until we talk to these guys, we just don't know where their heads are.

My guess is most if not all stay put. Meyer is a great salesman. It's my understanding they should be able to transfer outside the Big Ten without sitting out a year if they want since it's their last year. We shall see.

And, honestly, 2012 is now basically an exhibition season. Yeah, they'll still be charging $70 a game and they'll want to beat the pants off Wisconsin, Nebraska, Penn State and Michigan and Purdue. But let's call it what it is -- a throwaway year to get Miller and the sophs and freshmen ready to contend on national stage in 2013.

OlentangyBanks: With Ohio State out of the picture, who wins the leaders div and who wins the B1G next year???

Helwagen: Great question. I was taken to task for dismissing Michigan State's chances next year. I think I said the Legends was between Michigan, Iowa and Nebraska who all have QBs back. Add MSU in there, even though Cousins and Cunningham (man are they great together or what?) are leaving. I'd still lean toward Michigan because if their defense can keep improving they are going to win a lot of games 40-10.

Nebraska's defense has a long way to go. Iowa's offense sputtered at times. What is it with them and suspended RBs, by the way? Wow, it never ends.

So Michigan on one side.

I thought the other would be between OSU and Wisconsin. OSU may still win it even if they can't go to the title game unless there isn't a mass exodus of seniors. The schedule sets up good with Michigan and Nebraska visiting. But for the title game bid, it looks like it will be between Wisconsin and Penn State (provided they can get back on solid ground). Illinois with new coach Tim Beckman and a veteran QB could be a wild card here.

I'm gonna say it's Wisconsin to win the division and maybe Michigan to win the title game. In Denard we trust, I guess.

Tell me what I am missing.

TruGreenSpartan: You're missing Michigan's schedule. Have you taken a look at it yet?

Helwagen: Michigan’s nonconf is:

9-1 Alabama @Arlington, TX
9-8 Air Force
9-15 Massachusetts
9-22 @ Notre Dame

None of those matter when it comes to winning the Big Ten. So they go 2-2 against that sked.

Big Ten:

Home: NW, MSU, Iowa, Illinois -- all winnable

Away: Minnesota, Purdue, Nebraska, OSU -- They can lose Nebraska and OSU and finish 6-2 and probably still win the division, to be quite honest. OSU doesn't hurt them because it's a crossover game. You don't want to lose in division, but you can survive one, perhaps.

We'll see.

OlentangyBanks: B1G bkb, who's been the 2-3 most impressive teams and 2-3 that have disappointed maybe?

Helwagen: The Big Ten has been great in the nonconf. Indiana's win over Kentucky was huge in so many ways. It got what is supposed to be the signature program of the conference back on the front page for the right reasons after so many years of pure crap.

Big Ten is No. 1 in RPI with 9 teams in the top 70: Wisconsin (15), Ohio State (17), Minnesota (18), MSU (21), NW (35), Indiana (36), Illinois (49), Michigan (53) and Purdue (69).

Most impressive is OSU, obviously. I think they beat Kansas if Sullinger plays. His injuries have been the only thing that's held them back. Nobody beats Duke by 22 like they did, bad travel for the Dookies or not.

Indiana has been right there. I didn't have them beating UK or ND before the season. Winning on the road at NC State was the one that got them going. 8 of their 11 wins are against teams with losing records, so let's just take a pause.

Looks like this is finally the year Northwestern makes it. They are 10-1. They desperately need a win at Creighton (9-1) tonight. That would push them top 30 in RPI and get them to 11-1. I think they could go 8-10 in the Big Ten and with a win or 2 in Indy, they'd be in. They beat Seton Hall, which is 7 in RPI.

MSU opened 0-2 and has won its last 9 (and those two were UNC and Duke, so they were to be expected). They are right on schedule. They win a lot of ugly 60-50 games. It's just the Izzo way, apparently.

Disappointments?

Purdue can't blow that big lead against Butler. That just can't happen. I know it is a transition year without Moore and Johnson, but that just can't happen.

Illinois lost to UNLV, which knocked off UNC so there isn't any great disgrace in that other than it happened in their back yard in Chicago. Not good. They are 11-1 though.

I thought Iowa might be more competitive just because McCaffrey is a grinder. But they'vbe had some real bad losses.

buckeyecrazy118: Hey Steve, do you have any insight on our chances of getting Studrawa?

Helwagen: Maybe Meyer pulls a rabbit out of his hat. Stud is an Ohio guy. He was a GA at OSU years back (I think late Coop years, maybe).

He's built a great resume. My guess is LSU takes care of him and he stays put. I thought I heard they locked him up with mo money and mo years. But I could be wrong.

He's the OC at LSU and you want him to come here as the OL coach? I just don't see it. Herman has been hired as the OC.

Buckramegaette: Do you think we will ever see Ross play this season for Matta?

Helwagen: Yeah, but I doubt it will be meaningful minutes. It just sounds like they dropped him in the middle of an ongoing situation and he doesn't have any idea what's going on. It sounds like he is slowly picking up the concepts. Missing preseason camp hurt him. Maybe by middle of Big Ten season he will be a contributor.

Heck, guys who were there from the start like Sibert and Sam Thompson are struggling to get minutes.

People were off on him all along, in my mind. He's a nice piece but not the piece that puts them over the top. Let him grow and develop.

BuckDoug: Do we get Dodson and Diamond? Do we get any other Offensive linemen for 2012?

Helwagen: Great question ... I think Dodson is torn between OSU and Wisconsin. Maybe the bowl ban tips it back in Wisconsin's favor, I just don't know.

I think Diamond wants to come to OSU. He visits Arkansas, Michigan and Wisconsin in January and that is some tough competition. Vrabel is recruiting him. Get an OL coach in there and then maybe we will see.

But they will land at least one more OL in this class. We just don't know who it will be.

Timber: Steve, Urban seems to be delivering on his promise to assemble the best coaching staff. Assume we hire Studrawa, we will potentially have Co-Offensive and Defensive Coordinators. Aside from getting the best talent you can, is he also considering future turnover since any of these 4 could be head coaches within 2 years? Also, what are your opinions on how they divide responsibilities, yet make sure they are on the same page? Aside from Urban, it seems like there are only a handful of coaches that could pull this off successfully.

Helwagen: Perhaps they will get Stud. I just don't know. I think people like the Herman and Withers hirings. I know I like the retention of Fickell, Vrabel, Johnson and Drayton. They need 3 more, presumably at WR, OL and TE.

Lot of talk about Earle Bruce's grandson Zach Smith (former Florida GA and Temple WRs coach) maybe getting that WR job.

What can you do about losing great coaches? Just go find more great coaches to fit the family. I liked what he said about Herman. He will be coordinating our offense, not his offense. It will be a group effort.

I have to assume Withers is comfortable with Fickell and Meyer to take this job. It will work out. Heck, they've got an exhibition year to figure it out. Doesn't matter if they go 6-6 or 12-0 ... as long as they hit the ground running for 2013 on Nov. 25, 2012.

Posas14: How does the 9 scholarship loss work at OSU? Does that mean that OSU will be operating with 76 scholarships for the next 3 years? (85 - 9 = 76). How is Meyer continuing to sign people? Is he kicking current kids off scholarship?

Helwagen: They lose 3 scholarships per year for 3 years. So instead of 85, they will be at 82 for the next 3 school years.

that's not too onerous. Some walk-ons just missed out, I guess.

I'm curious about the numbers myself, particularly now that it's 82. I think they're about out, but they must expect some attrition after the bowl. Fickell said McVey and Fellows are medical waivers and we know Taylor Graham wants a transfer.

That gets them down to 82 in my book: 14 current juniors, 18 current sophs, 9 current RS freshmen, 22 freshmen and 19 verbals. Not sure what I am missing.

Posas14: Seems like a football arms race will be heating up in the B1G.

Meyer to OSU, High profile, un-named coach to PSU Rise of UMich, MSU.

Will Wisconsin keep up without Chryst? Iowa? How much of Wisc's success is attributable to Chryst?

Helwagen: Yes, Michigan started it with hiring Mattison in for big money as DC. OSU following along it seems.

MSU is now contending annually for titles.

Have to wait-and-see on Penn State. They need to get somebody energetic who will make everybody basically forget the past.

Wisconsin without Chryst should be fine. The blue print is simple. Get great OL and RBs and just run over people. But, yeah, a lot of their success is attributed to him.

If you want to win this league, you have to be good in all phases --- recruiting, scheme and get some luck along the way. They may get 2 BCS teams going forward, but I don't see many teams running a 13-0 table to play for it with all the tough games in this conference.

bourney22: Steve, what is the toughest stadium to play in the bigten, and why?!?

Do you have any "inside" stories to why this school/stadium is so tough?!?

Helwagen: Oh, man, that is a great question. I guess I'd want to do the math and look at the last 10-20 years for who has the best home record to answer that. I have now been to them all (some of them now 7-8 times, I've been to Michigan 10 times for OSU games).

A coach would tell you it starts with great teams. That's where historically Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State and Nebraska have had a 7-point edge on most of the teams they have welcomed in over the years. They were just better on paper and most weeks on the field.

The best big game crowds are at Ohio State, Penn State, Nebraska and Wisconsin.

The next echelon is Iowa, Michigan and MSU.

That leaves Purdue, Illinois, NW, Indiana and Minnesota at the bottom.

Night games at the first 4 are almost unwinnable by the road team unless something strange happens. It's happened but it is extremely rare.

Those first 4 just have a passion that is unmatched. I'd lump Iowa in there too. When Hawks were down in late 90s, their fans still brought it. I did not see that same commitment from Michigan and MSU when they've been down and, honestly, from any of the bottom 5 even when they've been really good.

Penn State is just so loud and the crowd usually stays hot the whole game.

Wiisconsin is raucous, wild and a party.

Ohio State fans are good football fans. A 5-yard gain on the ground gets a nice roar. They are into every play like their life depends on it.

Nebraska is just a special place. OSU went there week after Nebraska lost at Wisconsin by 30 and they gave the Huskers a hero's welcome. Then, after they fell behind 24-7 (I think) they willed the comeback win. Awesome environment.

Michigan was resurrected this year. They rushed the field after the win over OSU. Those moments are few and far between there.

I've been at MSU games where people left at halftime to find other things to do. Their passion comes and goes. It's at a high point now, obviously. Dantonio has it rolling.

I hope that answers it.

A tough place to play, in my mind, is defined by having a good to great team playing at home with passionate fans who are in it from 3 hrs before the game until past the final gun. Their noise and impact on the game can be felt. Those first 4 I mentioned consistently have that. The middle 3 sometimes have it. The bottom 5 rarely have it.

Ohioboy33: But dont the early enrollments at Ohio State count towards last year?

Helwagen: Don't worry about who's enrolling where or any of that ...none of that matters. It's the overall count of 82 that they have to work against. Counting guys forwards or backwards means nothing in their predicament. They aren't close to the limit of 25 in any one class to worry about that.

InTenSity: Do you even watch MSU basketball, or did you just see the MSU FSU game? MSU is not Wisconsin. The only time it is 60-50 is when the other team wants to slow down the tempo.

Also, your comments about Michigan. You really think their defense is that good? Everyone is crowing about how great they are, yet what offensive juggernauts did they play? It is a paper tiger.

Helwagen: OK, maybe 60-50 was exaggerating.

The "good" teams they've played:

UNC L 67-55
Duke L 74-69
Miklwaukee W 68-55
FSU W 65-49
Gonzaga W 74-67

They averaged 66 points against the 5 best teams they've played.

Change what I said to 66-56. I don't care what they did against Arkansa-Little Rock oor Texas Southern.

jimtaco: Just a real simple question:What's your take on the Michigan vs Alabama game next year?

Both teams will probably go into next season as a top 10/15 teams and probably contend for conference titles. Who wins? Do you think it will eventually have BCS implications? And do you think this matchup will live up to the hype?

Btw, this is a really cool feature. Hopefully some of my fellow Michigan fans will get more involved next time.

Helwagen: I LOVE that game.

We don't have enough games like that in September where the top 15 step out and play each other. Those kids' eyes will be wide to play on a field like the one Jerry Jones has built in Dallas.

I wish he'd pony up money to have a marquee game like that every week all season long (and then pony up more money for a playoff).

Alabama has so much talent on defense. They have to hope they don't get decimated by guys running off to the pros. If they beat LSU for the title, that game will be THE game in college football to open the season. It definitely will have BCS implications.

Michigan will have to play really well to go down there and win, but Denard gives them a shot vs. anybody. I want to see how he does against the Va. Tech defense as a gauge.

Glad you enjoyed today's Chat!

bourney22: Good insight on the college environments in the bigten.

I really enjoy these chats you have, where we can have Q & A with you. Is this something that we can expect once a week until national signing day?!?

Thanks Steve

Helwagen: Yes, let's figure we will do it on a weekly basis. We'll shoot for Wed. next week since I am traveling to JAX next Thursday! See you then.

Thanks again to everyone for participating. Hope everybody has a happy holiday!

Skip To Comments

  • Ohio State and Meyer did hire Zach Smith as WRs coach during the course of today's Chat:

    http://ohiostate.247sports.com/Article/Meyer-Hires-Smith-As-WRs-Coach-54078

    Plus we have our bowl picks through Thursday:

    http://247sports.com/Article/Viewers-Guide-Picks-Bowls-Part-1-53279

    On Friday, we'll be back for the games of the next week.

  • Next year's game against TSUN will be our bowl game and I think Meyer pulls out all the stops and wins it. That should knock TSUN out of the conference championship game AND probably the Rose Bowl. Sweet.

  • You're an idiot Steve. Keep dismissing both the msu football and basketball, and they'll keep making sure you come off like the retard you are.

    signature image

    The Doctor is in:

  • Bucknuts

    buckperry

    You're an idiot Steve. Keep dismissing both the msu football and basketball, and they'll keep making sure you come off like the retard you are.

    Well, if he's proven wrong, hopefully he can show as much class as you did in your post. Jack ass.

    signature image signature image signature image

    I am a Buckeye...proof there is a God in Heaven who loves me.

  • The bowl is only one game. Most kids come here with eyes on going to the NFL. Granted, a bowl game would be nice. One year isn't gonna hurt. The fans just need to turn every game next year into a bowl game. People talk about redshirting because of a ONE BOWL BAN...ridiculous. Forget about the Jim Tressel ways and the way he handled the starting lineups. You can bet your last dollar that Urban will use next year to tinker...experiment, and by the time 11-24-12 comes around. Michigan University will be blown out. That will be some great satisfaction....in our house...a blowout...JT took his foot off the gas....Urban's gonna put his foot up Hoke's ass....

    This post was edited by YankeeJets 3 years ago

    signature image signature image signature image

    "one day"

  • Figures that this was written by a buckeye fan.

  • You really need to get past the glitz of shoelace. Can you explain how you believe that they will best MSU? Robinson has done very little against MSU & the MSU defense returns largely in tact (19/22 in two-deep assuming Worthy leaves). MSU has won 4 straight years & their o-line will be better next year with Burkland, Fonoti, France, McDonald and Jackson.

    I just don't get the draw to Michigan, especially in the over the top and sophomoric manner in which you describe things.

  • You're an idiot Steve. Keep dismissing both the msu football and basketball, and they'll keep making sure you come off like the retard you are.

    I'm not dismissing Michigan State at all. I love Mark Dantonio. They've had 2 of the best years in the history of the program the last 2 years. They gotta get over this little brother thing, though, and get over the hump. Beat Georgia and come see me. Seriously.

    In regards to MSU basketball, Izzo gets big results usually. But let's call a spade a spade. The last 3 seasons -- on the whole -- have been disappointing. They underachieved all year before redeeming themselves in 2008-09 and 2009-10 by getting to the Final Four. My God they were preseason No. 2 last year and never played anywhere close to that level in any game the entire season.

    It's just not as smooth as it once was for Izzo and the Spartans. They are very good. But they aren't elite good -- that was shown against UNC and Duke, trailing each by double digits most of the way.

    I'm not sure I'm not saying anything that isn't fair comment here. Does anybody who is NOT a MIchigan State fan dispute anything I've said here or in the Chat about MSU football and basketball? I want somebody who doesn't have Spartan or Green in their ID name to tell me exactly what I've said that's off base.

    Then again, maybe I'm an idiot. I dunno.

  • double0sparty said... (original post)

    You really need to get past the glitz of shoelace. Can you explain how you believe that they will best MSU? Robinson has done very little against MSU & the MSU defense returns largely in tact (19/22 in two-deep assuming Worthy leaves). MSU has won 4 straight years & their o-line will be better next year with Burkland, Fonoti, France, McDonald and Jackson.

    I just don't get the draw to Michigan, especially in the over the top and sophomoric manner in which you describe things.

    I do not have a dog in this fight. I'm not in love with Michigan any more than I'm in love with MSU or anybody else. I'm just shooting from the hip and sharing what I think. But This is 2 weeks in a row MSU fans have told me I'm dead wrong about 2012. Let me take this week and really study who has what coming back. Maybe I'm saying losing Cousins and Cunningham means too much. (Man, they were great against Wisconsin in the title game, though.)

    Let me look at it thoroughly and see if my opinion changes.

  • SteveHelwagen said... (original post)

    I'm not dismissing Michigan State at all. I love Mark Dantonio. They've had 2 of the best years in the history of the program the last 2 years. They gotta get over this little brother thing, though, and get over the hump. Beat Georgia and come see me. Seriously.

    In regards to MSU basketball, Izzo gets big results usually. But let's call a spade a spade. The last 3 seasons -- on the whole -- have been disappointing. They underachieved all year before redeeming themselves in 2008-09 and 2009-10 by getting to the Final Four. My God they were preseason No. 2 last year and never played anywhere close to that level in any game the entire season.

    It's just not as smooth as it once was for Izzo and the Spartans. They are very good. But they aren't elite good -- that was shown against UNC and Duke, trailing each by double digits most of the way.

    I'm not sure I'm not saying anything that isn't fair comment here. Does anybody who is NOT a MIchigan State fan dispute anything I've said here or in the Chat about MSU football and basketball? I want somebody who doesn't have Spartan or Green in their ID name to tell me exactly what I've said that's off base.

    Then again, maybe I'm an idiot. I dunno.

    Hey Steve- I'm a Spartans fan but I'd like to think I'm fairly objective in my assessments of their BB and FB programs.

    Yes- the 2010 MSU BB season was an unmitigated disaster. Experienced players underperformed and the team lacked many of the qualities Izzo preaches. However, to say the 2008 and 2009 teams underachieved until the tournament is missing the point - the regular season in college BB is totally irrelevant; the tournament is the only time where it matters. Teams that are able to win and advance when it matters are considered elite. Izzo and MSU may need to win one or two more national championships to be considered an elite program by your standards, but that does not mean they underperformed in the 2008 and 2009 seasons. To the contrary, Izzo did some of his best coaching in those 2 years.

    As far as predictions go on the FB side, you're entitled to your opinions like everyone else. No one should get upset if you picked UM, OSU or Wisky over MSU. It's nothing more than an educated guess. MSU consistently has the 4th/5th best talent/depth in the best years, which means they need to pull off 1-2 upsets each year to win the division/conference. I'd like to think that with a coaching staff is top 3 (assuming Narduzzi stays) in the B1G they will continue to trend toward the top of the league every year. As the 2009 season indicated, MSU's margin for error simply isn't as large as it is for some other programs with better talent - and I have no problems with that.

    Rather than lose sleep over what individual analysts think about the program, I'd rather focus on enjoying the actual competition and making my own assessments.

  • GWMsportsGuy said... (original post)

    Next year's game against TSUN will be our bowl game and I think Meyer pulls out all the stops and wins it. That should knock TSUN out of the conference championship game AND probably the Rose Bowl. Sweet.

    I was thinking the same thing. This bowl ban makes the tsun game THE GAME for next year.

    If I were a senior, I wouldn't leave this Buckeye team just because they're not going to a bowl game. (They are going to a bowl game this year with their 6-6 performance.) Next year, they will be part of the dawning of a new era. It will be interesting to see if they can go 12-0 and win the AP national champtionship (though I seriously doubt it) unless we're ineligible for the AP writers to vote for us..

  • SpartanTailgate

    InTenSity

    SteveHelwagen said... (original post)

    I'm not dismissing Michigan State at all. I love Mark Dantonio. They've had 2 of the best years in the history of the program the last 2 years. They gotta get over this little brother thing, though, and get over the hump. Beat Georgia and come see me. Seriously.

    In regards to MSU basketball, Izzo gets big results usually. But let's call a spade a spade. The last 3 seasons -- on the whole -- have been disappointing. They underachieved all year before redeeming themselves in 2008-09 and 2009-10 by getting to the Final Four. My God they were preseason No. 2 last year and never played anywhere close to that level in any game the entire season.

    It's just not as smooth as it once was for Izzo and the Spartans. They are very good. But they aren't elite good -- that was shown against UNC and Duke, trailing each by double digits most of the way.

    I'm not sure I'm not saying anything that isn't fair comment here. Does anybody who is NOT a MIchigan State fan dispute anything I've said here or in the Chat about MSU football and basketball? I want somebody who doesn't have Spartan or Green in their ID name to tell me exactly what I've said that's off base.

    Then again, maybe I'm an idiot. I dunno.

    The last 3 seasons have been a disappointment? What?!? 2 B1G championships, 1 NC runner up, another Final Four, and yes, last season was a disappointment. Maybe Buckeye fans are used to bowing out early in the tournament after being in the top 4 in teh polls most of the season, but Izzo understands that your ranking on Feb 28 isn't the end of the year. 2008-2009 31-7, 15-3 conference, outright B1G season champs, runner up against UNC. 2009-2010 28-9, 14-4 conference shared B1G champs, Final Four appearance. 2010-2011 you have a point, it was disappointing.

    BTW UNC and Duke want nothing to do with MSU come March.

    signature image signature image signature image

    spartanswill.forumotion.com

  • InTenSity said... (original post)

    BTW UNC and Duke want nothing to do with MSU come March.

    To be fair, UNC has had our number regardless of the month on the calendar lately.

  • good points everybody!!

  • InTenSity said... (original post)

    BTW UNC and Duke want nothing to do with MSU come March.

    What is MSU's record against UNC and Duke in March?

  • SteveHelwagen said... (original post)

    I do not have a dog in this fight. I'm not in love with Michigan any more than I'm in love with MSU or anybody else. I'm just shooting from the hip and sharing what I think. But This is 2 weeks in a row MSU fans have told me I'm dead wrong about 2012. Let me take this week and really study who has what coming back. Maybe I'm saying losing Cousins and Cunningham means too much. (Man, they were great against Wisconsin in the title game, though.)

    Let me look at it thoroughly and see if my opinion changes.

    MSU basketball was a disaster by their standards last year, but they look like the spartys of old this year. They are coming together as a team and I don't think they would be down by 20 in the second half against UNC and Duke earlier this year.

    MSU football has enjoyed a solid run, but they are downplaying the lose of a 3 year starter at QB. The defense returns, but I see a drop in their defensive ranking due to the offense having more 3 and outs forcing the defense onto the field more than they had to be with Cousins at the helm.

  • double0sparty said... (original post)

    You really need to get past the glitz of shoelace. Can you explain how you believe that they will best MSU? Robinson has done very little against MSU & the MSU defense returns largely in tact (19/22 in two-deep assuming Worthy leaves). MSU has won 4 straight years & their o-line will be better next year with Burkland, Fonoti, France, McDonald and Jackson.

    I just don't get the draw to Michigan, especially in the over the top and sophomoric manner in which you describe things.

    Michigan returns 9/11 starters on offense and 9/11 starters on defense, plus all significant ST positions, KO, K, P, KR, and PR.

  • xxmgobluexx said... (original post)

    Michigan returns 9/11 starters on offense and 9/11 starters on defense, plus all significant ST positions, KO, K, P, KR, and PR.

    Okay - this is good. You've provided analysis that Steve wasn't able to or chose not to. Michigan is good. Full Stop.

    The debate is around if Michigan is good enough in 2012 to dismiss the MSU game as a given. I believe that the answer is 'no' given that MSU's defense will be awfully close to as good as this year & in past years ('09 & '10) Robinson has been nicely contained by the MSU D. I dont see that changing drastically, but if I'm off base here I'd love a dissenting opinion as to why.

    On the other side of the ball, I expect MSU to have a better time running the ball all RB back & an improved o-line) but take a step down at QB (alrhough maxwell will be in year four in the program and was an elite 11 QB) and receiver is a very real area of concern.

    MSU specialists (punter & kicker) return in tact.

    At the end of the day, this will be a great game and it could go either way, but MSU seems to have more depth.

  • double0sparty said... (original post)

    Okay - this is good. You've provided analysis that Steve wasn't able to or chose not to. Michigan is good. Full Stop.

    The debate is around if Michigan is good enough in 2012 to dismiss the MSU game as a given. I believe that the answer is 'no' given that MSU's defense will be awfully close to as good as this year & in past years ('09 & '10) Robinson has been nicely contained by the MSU D. I dont see that changing drastically, but if I'm off base here I'd love a dissenting opinion as to why.

    On the other side of the ball, I expect MSU to have a better time running the ball all RB back & an improved o-line) but take a step down at QB (alrhough maxwell will be in year four in the program and was an elite 11 QB) and receiver is a very real area of concern.

    MSU specialists (punter & kicker) return in tact.

    At the end of the day, this will be a great game and it could go either way, but MSU seems to have more depth.

    I would put the MSU game as the 3rd toughest conference game for Michigan. @OSU and @Neb will be tougher than home vs MSU.

    MSU may have a more established oline for the RBs to run behind, but you are severely underestimating the loss of Cousins. Without the fear of Cousins hitting BJ, Martin, Dell... and the other targets Cousins has had over the last 3 years, Defenses will be putting 8 or 9 in the box to shutdown the run. OSU thought they didn't need to pass to beat you, you saw how that worked out.

  • xxmgobluexx said... (original post)

    I would put the MSU game as the 3rd toughest conference game for Michigan. @OSU and @Neb will be tougher than home vs MSU.

    MSU may have a more established oline for the RBs to run behind, but you are severely underestimating the loss of Cousins. Without the fear of Cousins hitting BJ, Martin, Dell... and the other targets Cousins has had over the last 3 years, Defenses will be putting 8 or 9 in the box to shutdown the run. OSU thought they didn't need to pass to beat you, you saw how that worked out.

    While I disagree that @Neb is tougher than vs MSU, I think we can find common ground in thinking that it will be a very good game.

    Where your analysis falls short however, is comparing a freshman run-first quarterback under a first year head coach to a fourth year pro style junior under an established head coach. Andrew Maxwell is no Braxton Miller in terms of his ability to throw the ball. Of course, he's no BM in terms of running with it either!

Already have an account? Sign In