Optimism, Hype & Reality – Two Sports Same Time
Jan 6th, 2018 by Jeffrey Lubeck

2017 is barely put to bed and 2018 is racing out of the barn with what appears to be no harness.  At least that is how it feels for the Men’s Basketball and Men’s Football programs at Michigan State.

TUS membership would (possibly in consensus)  agree there is reason for optimism for both programs in 2018. The support for such optimism is substantial and quantifiable.

As for the hype.  Most of TUS Membership dislikes our teams and players being hyped in the media. Our midwestern public school foundation does not allow us to feel comfortable with monikers such as Elite.  Cannot [sic., They] simply say MSU is arguably one of the best instead of labeling us as Elite?

As for basketball, the hype from the media is usually centered on Tom Izzo and MSU’s uncanny runs deep into March Madness.  This year, the return of a key player moved the hype and attention to a particular player.  Now many MSU players are getting some hype (e.g., Jackson, Ward).

The football program at MSU rarely gets any type of hype and usually has to over perform to gain credit and receive accolades.  Well, for 2018 MSU is smack dap in the middle of the pre-season hype.  To my surprise it comes from ESPN.  To my greater surprise, ESPN tells the king of hype (Jim Harbaugh) effectively to move out of the way.  The story is [here].

Eventually, reality comes a calling.


MSU basketball was a (if not the) favorite to take the NCAA title for 2018.  With the regular season at the half-way mark MSU is 15-1 and appears to have strengthened its position as the favorite.  TeamRankings lists MSU as the clear favorite – 78% to make Sweet 16, 38% to make Final Four and 17% to win the title. TeamRankings’ methodology is better than fuzzy math, but the games have to be played.

Usually a good dose of hard reality for MSU basketball is playing a game on the road in Columbus, Ohio at Value City Arena against the Acorns on a cold dreary overcast Sunday afternoon in January on national T.V.  More often than I would care to remember, the MSU squad for which we are optimistic seems to lose its skills and mental focus.

The hard reality is that for any team to take the NCAA Crown in April, it needs virtually everything associated with basketball and the human condition to fall in its favor for six straight games.  The 2015-16 MSU team was about as good as the college game can produce.  It was a Spartan squad that was a fun, versatile and was viewed in a similar light at this same point in the season as our current edition.  The 2015-16 team was the clear favorite to take the title at the start of the NCAA Tournament.  The team fell victim to Middle Tennessee State in arguably the biggest upset in tourney history.  Is this team different?


MSU football 2018 is now on the radar as a possible title contender.  The media is using phrases such as “MSU is back at the top”, the 2016 3-9 season “turns out to be a blip” for the Dantonio administration.  With 21 of 22 starters returning from a 10-3 Holiday Bowl winning team what MSU fan would not be excited?  While MSU’s schedule in 2018 is favorable, the Spartans play in the B1G East and right now that means Penn State, Ohio State and even the bumbling, stumbling, overrated, over hyped Michigan are big blocking events in the route to a national title.  Yes, I said it; a national title.

The scene is already changing.  Backup QB Messiah deWeaver is transferring and Co-Defensive Coordinator Harlon Barnett is leaving MSU for a bigger pay-day and the full DC title at Florida State.


The federal tax legislation changes of 2017 include some material changes to college (amateur) sports.

  1. Individuals may no longer deduct the cost of season-tickets or seat license fees paid to said institutions.  Prior to 2018 these amounts were fully deductible.
  2. Not-for-profit institutions paying individual staff more than $1m a year in salary are no longer tax exempt on these salary’s.  For example, Alabama pays Nick Saban $7.2M a year.  Now they will have to pay an additional $1.2 million in tax.
    1. Breakdown for JJ to consider. Using our 11 minutes of play per game 12 game season analysis, Nick makes: $54,545.45 per minute of action. $3,636.36 per play of action (assuming 4 second average). $909.09 per second of action.  The only kind of people I know that make this kind of money are Fighter Pilots, State Police, IT Security Experts, Supply Chain Distribution Experts, Restaurant Owners, Commercial Real-Estate Developers and Doctors.
  3. For more the story is [here].

So what is your take?

A New Year; New Begining or Same Story?
Jan 1st, 2018 by Jeffrey Lubeck

It is 2018 around the globe! Happy New Year!

So what will 2018 bring us that is new and exciting?  What be the same old story?

The first night of the year produces a full moon!

The University of Michigan football team – with their turnover-athon – choke in the Outback Bowl to South Corolina early on day one.  Gosh you gotta love UofM football if you are a MSU fan.  The hype is so high and the performance so underwhelming this century for the skunk bears. The B1G conference was superb (7-0) to finish 2017.  And then the Wolverines demonstrate they are truly The Boat Anchors of  B1G.


Savanah State looks to be the next Victim of the soon to be #1 Spartans
Dec 31st, 2017 by USMC Retired

With both The Rollies and Cacti losing, all teams of note in the College Basketball World now have at least 1 loss. Given the Spartans current status of he last poll, it seems logical to assume (knowing that word usually just makes and ASS of U and ME) I3T and the gang will be the new #1 team in the Land come Mama’s and Papas Day. So I’m trying this to save ’89 the effort(seems to be working so far – yeah)

Standing between the 13-1 Spartans and the No. 1 ranking is a 3-11 Savannah State team that has lost five in a row. Most recently, the Tigers lost to Virginia 78-47 back on Dec. 19. Their three wins this season have come against Middle Georgia State, Alabama State and Carver College.

Although Savannah State isn’t a great team as a whole, it should provide somewhat of a test for Michigan State, which head coach Tom Izzo has said needs to work on 3-point defense. The Tigers lead the country with 563 attempted 3-pointers on the season, which comes out to just a hair more than 40 per game. They only shoot 29.7% from distance, but Austin Dassent (37.8%) and Zach Sellers (34.5%) are better than the team average, while Dexter McClanahan leads the team in 3-point attempts (7.1) while shooting 32%.

Here’s everything else you need to know for today’s game.

When: 12 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 31

Where: Breslin Center, East Lansing, Mich.

TV: Big Ten Network

Commentators: Greg Amsinger (play-by-play-sort of), Jon Crispin (silly little talking head)

Listen: Spartan Sports Network (Affiliates), Spartan Sports Network Mobile App, Sirius 145, XM 195 and Internet 957

Vegas: Michigan State -39.5


Michigan State (Head coach Tom Izzo – 5′?? 175# Old Guy – 23rd season)

G: #5 Cassius Winston (6′, 185# sophomore)

G: #1 Joshua Langford (6′ 5″, 210# sophomore)

G/F: #22 Miles Bridges (6′ 7″, 225# sophomore)

F: #2 Jaren Jackson Jr.. (6′  11″, 242# freshman)

F: #44 Nick Ward (6′ 8″, 245# sophomore)

Savannah State (Head coach Horace Broadnax – 13th season)

G: #3 Zach Sellers (6′-1, 175# sophomore)

G: #1 Austin Dasent (6′-3, 190# senior)

G: #22 Dexter McClanahan (6′-5, 180#  junior)

F: #5 Javaris Jenkins (6′-6, 205# senior)

C: #10 Maricus Glenn (6′-10, 235# senior)

Tale of Two Approaches
Dec 27th, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

Yesterday MSU football Head Coach Mark Dantonio took his team to visit the USS Essex to honor the military and reflect on the importance of supporting and acknowledging those who serve us. #16 ranked MSU takes on #18 WSU tomorrow night.

Yesterday UofM football Head Coach Jim Harbaugh took his team to the High School of a player the Wolverines are recruiting to… to… to… compensate for the fact he could not schedule a Satellite Camp in Florida.


  • Harbaugh is all over the cover of the Detroit Media websites with as much sizzle as possible.
  • Dantonio gets some coverage and uses it judiciously.
  • MSU under Dantonio virtually owns the UofM rivalry.
  • Harbaugh now in his third year is earning humbling losses in the MSU and tOSU rivalry.
  • MSU is ranked #16 in the country and is playing in a bowl game against another ranked team – one of the very few games this post season were two ranked teams play each other – thanks Media and Bowl Officials.
  • UofM is unranked and his playing another unranked team in a bowl game.
  • Given our results these past 10 years, I will take my coach, team, and school 10 out of 10 times if given a choice.
Merry Christmas to All TUS
Dec 24th, 2017 by Ghost Of Biggie

Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro’ the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar plums danced in their heads

And Mama in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap‍—‌
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters, and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow,
Gave the luster of mid-day to objects below;
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and call’d them by name:
“Now! Dasher, now! Dancer, now! Prancer and Vixen,
“On! Comet, on! Cupid, on! Dunder and Blixem;
“To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!
“Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys‍—‌and St. Nicholas too:
And then in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound:
He was dress’d all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnish’d with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys was flung on his back,
And he look’d like a peddler just opening his pack:
His eyes‍—‌how they twinkled! His dimples: how merry,
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry;
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face, and a little round belly
That shook when he laugh’d, like a bowl full of jelly:
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laugh’d when I saw him in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And fill’d all the stockings; then turn’d with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.
He sprung to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew, like the down of a thistle:
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight‍—‌

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.[1]

7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. 8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. 15And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. 16And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. 17And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. 18And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. 20And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

Sports Saturday on TUS – Mailbag and MSU vs. Oakland Game Thread
Dec 16th, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

It is Saturday in mid December.  For sports this means the middle section of games acting as preparation for the conference season; except if you are a member of the B1G Conference.  It also means College Football Bowl Games start in earnest!

In honor of Disney having taken the next step in its quest to own and control all programming all the time, I thought I would note that on the TUS Movie Channel Beach Blanket Bingo is playing at 6PM tonight.  The movie stars Rick Pitino (as Frankie Avelon) and Annette Funicello.  The fun and frolicking of this start-studded- flick, starts in the dorms at the University of Louisville before moving to the beach scenes.


Q “Can we get any lower in the barrel with announcers Clay Matvick and Brook Weisbrod calling the game?” – from Tommy H in Florida.  At first glance likely not.  However if I remember correctly these two called the game last year and were hot as bad as you fear.  Matvick and Weisbrod are not new to calling games, but both have bumped around quite a bit and worked on almost every sports network.  If I were to pull a Marine I would label them as “Utility 2x.”

Q “Why did I not get a bigger role in the movie Beach Blanket Bingo?” –  from Ben Green.  You bumped up against the Dixon Line and “could not go north” so-to-speak.

Q “Why does Ricky P. get all the spicy and saucy gigs?” – from an Irish Lad.  It is the hair!


Go Green!

Words and Phrases for Use in December 2017
Dec 14th, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

Optimism usually (but not always) gives way as reality sets like cement in Eeyore’s driveway.

Dumping, unloading, clearing,  shedding = Detroit Tigers, once a member of Major League Baseball’s American League.

Slumping, fading, skidding = Detroit Piston’s, once an icon and proud representative for the city of Ft. Wayne, Indiana.

Dollar-short-period – late, Fold Artists = Detroit Red Wings, once a long standing member of the Post-Season Playoffs in the National Hockey League.

#@ZXR$ = Detroit Lions, once the proud Portsmouth Spartans who won 4 NFL titles before an embarking on a 60 year title drought.  Only team in NFC to have never played in Super Bowl.

Worth Supporting, Worth following, Worth Cheering [sic., for] = Michigan State University Athletics.  Go Green!

Note:  GoSt8Go requires that the words: Level, Classification and Categorization not be used on this site.


For Sale
Dec 12th, 2017 by Ghost Of Biggie

For Sale:

Douglas A-4 ‘Skyhawk’ Developed by McDonnell Douglas, this single seat attack aircraft has a vicious past. Though it was also capable of carrying missiles and other munitions, the A-4 has the unique distinction of also being capable of carrying nukes. For obvious reasons decommissioned A-4s don’t have this ability however, you can still expect to travel at speeds of nearly 600MPH. Price $3,000,000.

Read more: 23 Military Designed Aircraft The Rich Enough Civilian Can Legally Own!<img

Is TH interested?

Time on the Pine or its 21st Century Version
Dec 6th, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

Nick Ward.

Michigan State University Basketball Head Coach Tom Izzo is a passionate man who wears his emotion on his sleeve.  Do you want to know Tom’s current position on the immediate subject in question?  Simply take a look at him.  And if you are within a quarter-mile shouting distance the vocal narrative is additive.  Add the Italian linage of vibrant body posture and the picture before you can be one of brutal honesty and full-color.

Izzo like some of the true greats in the basketball coaching realm (i.e., John Wooden), are teachers and instructors who believe that basketball coaching is only a part of their overall role.  Their style may be different, but these kind of coaches believe they are instructors guiding young men into the next stage of adult life.  Izzo is human and therefore not perfect in the execution of his role. TUS Membership is constantly pointing out this fact.  However, step back and think about all of the players that have come through MSU under Izzo.  How many visibly grew as players and adults under his leadership – and openly thank him to this day.  I think the answer is many, many more than not.

Tom Izzo believes great defense creates the equal result on offense.  And the teams with superior defense and good or better offense ultimately win over lesser’s.  To play a material long-term role on a Tom Izzo team you have to be (or become) skilled in your defensive role.  Who was the player Izzo said could not guard the opposition even if the game was being performed in a Phone Booth?

So now we come to the current crew at MSU,  The 2017-18 Spartans appear to be the deepest and most balanced team in years – perhaps ever.

A couple of key players on the team, Nick Ward and Cassius Winston have a tendency to take time off (while on the court) losing focus – especially on defense.  This style does not work for Tom Izzo and the last I heard he makes the call on playing lineup and playing time.

In last night’s Rutgers game – Winston and Ward were off their game.  Actually after 6 games in 12 days the whole team was off. A better than expected and fully motivated Rutgers team took advantage of the situation – making for a close game.  Izzo chose to play lineups that could deliver the defense needed to win the game.  The result? MSU held Rutgers to 25.8% shooting from the field and won the game. The implication?  Winston and Ward sat on the bench for long stretches.  On this night they did not answer the defensive bell.  Kenny Goins earned 19 minutes of playing time and as almost always was superb on defense.  Jaren Jackson earned 26 minutes and was stellar with 8 blocked shots.  Jackson was the offensive difference in the 2nd half with 11 points.

As is well documented Ward showed his emotion on the bench and let loose on his feelings after the game.  He wants to play and was frustrated.  Izzo said Ward simply had a bad game and not to read anything more into the situation.  No one can tell a person “how they feel.”  Therefore, I believe both Izzo and Ward are being honest and open with their feelings. Both effectively declared this night was in the rear-view mirror.

The ground rules for playing time at MSU are known and well established.  Do you want the opportunity for more playing time?  You know what to do.  It is that simple.

Is there a growing controversy or conspiracy?  If you are thinking one is growing at MSU look no further than the Ball Family Clan and U.C.L.A. for comparison.  Perhaps the Ball Family Clan can team up with Rick Pitino, and propose to MSU it drain the basketball swamp and they will come in and make MSU great again.  Some times change is needed.  In my opinion, Ward and Winston need to make the change.  If they do – they will be grateful in the end.

Note: MSU is now pushing their defensive field goal shooting for the season down towards 30%.  I have been told, no team to College basketball is within 3% of this number.


The Reality and NE at MSU Gamethread
Dec 3rd, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

Being Alabama and scUM matters if you follow the money – at least in open to choose outside on-field merit Bowl selections.  Luckily it does not always buy victories or titles and in the 21st Century – and in the case of scUM – rare if ever.

So in the New Years Bowls it will be Alabama playing for the CFP.  Two Four-loss and unranked teams (with large non-alumni Walmart fan bases); scUM (8-4) and South Carolina (8-4) will be playing in the Outback Bowl on January 1st.  The Outback picked scUM over #16 MSU.  It is the OBB’s choice.

Meanwhile ranked teams #16 MSU (9-3) will play #18 Washington State (9-3) in the Holiday Bowl on Thursday December 28th in San Diego.  Such is life!  All I know is MSU effectively owns UofM in the decade under Dantonio.  scUM is also a distant also-ran in B1G with zero conference or division titles during the same time. I predicted this outcome and configuration early this week.  I can sleep easy with the result.

Nebraska at MSU.  B1G Games in December and Conference Championship in NYC one week earlier than normal.  Again, follow the money!  However in BBall,  Duke, MSU, Kansas and Kentucky are The Money and The Brands.  The nice thing is we have a non-sell out HC and the name recognition as well.


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