SIDEBAR
»
S
I
D
E
B
A
R
«
UPDATED 2017 Spartan Football Schedule
May 31st, 2017 by Kindle

MSU was scheduled to play Bowling Green on Sept. 9 and Western Michigan on Sept. 16. They will now host BGU on Sept. 2 and WMU on Sept. 9. The 2017 bye is now set for Sept. 16.

2017 MICHIGAN STATE FOOTBALL SCHEDULE (Updated):

Games in bold are home games in the grand covfefe of such things.

Sept. 2: BOWLING GREEN–Noon ESPNU
Sept. 9: WESTERN MICHIGAN
Sept. 16: Bye
Sept. 23: NOTRE DAME–Fox
Sept. 30: IOWA

Oct. 7: at Michigan
Oct. 14: at Minnesota
Oct. 21: INDIANA (Homecoming)
Oct. 28: at Northwestern–ESPN/ESPN2
Nov. 4: PENN STATE
Nov. 11: at Ohio State
Nov. 18: MARYLAND
Nov. 25: at Rutgers

Note: The official MSU site msuspartans.com lists the Northwestern game as Oct. 27th, a Friday, while all other reporting sites, including the Wildcats’ official site, list the game as being on Saturday Oct. 28th.  I went with October 28th for my schedule list above.

**The Spartans will open the 2017 season with four consecutive home games for the first time since 2002 and for only the fifth time in school history (1918: 5 straight, 1924: 4, 1928: 5, 2002: 5; 2017: 4).

**Michigan State will play a total of seven home games in 2017, including three non-conference contests (Bowling Green, Western Michigan, Notre Dame) and four Big Ten games (Iowa, Indiana, Penn State, Maryland).

 

3h3 hours ago

 First time in a long time that MSU won’t play on the Friday night of Labor Day weekend.

Michigan State’s football opener vs. Bowling Green is set for noon on Saturday, Sept. 2 on ESPNU. Appears no Friday night opener this year.
Bradshaw slams Sabin
May 25th, 2017 by USMC Retired

As a four-time Super Bowl champion, you’d think Terry Bradshaw could appreciate a proven winner like Nick Saban.

Apparently not.

Bradshaw, in a segment on the “Paul Finebaum Show,” called Saban’s salary for the 2017 season “shameful” and even took some further shots at the Alabama football coach.

“If he has the personality of Steve Spurrier, then I would like him,” Bradshaw said. “Spurrier, now you’re talking about a great coach. That’s a great coach, Steve Spurrier, not Saban.

“Saban hates people. The man doesn’t even like people.”

Saban surely hates losing.

He’s won five college football national titles, and signed a contract extension this offseason that makes him the highest paid coach in sports. He’ll make $11.15 million for 2017, thanks in part to a $4 million signing bonus.

 

Just not sure this is either appropriate or understandable (but then Bradshaw has always liked being the lightening rod)

“Let them eat cake…” MSU golfers are not elite, yet.
May 22nd, 2017 by JustABum

After the second round Coach Stolls was quoted as saying, “Well, perhaps Ms. McFly will have cake waiting for us when we return to East Lansing…”

The second round performance of the Lady Spartan Golf team was not among the elite. The Spartan Gals play suggest there’s no match play, no cake in MSU’s future or when they return to E.L. on Tuesday. Our Spartans dealt with similar conditions as the first round, excluding warmer weather and no rain, only to shot their same score (+29) as the first round. Thank goodness the Lady Skunk Bears also didn’t managed to improve upon their first round score and are within striking distance at four shots, if that’s any consolation.

What made MSUs second round such a dismal performance was the rest of the fields’ improved play. Most teams outside the top five shot ten to 15 strokes better than Friday’s round. The traditional dominant Southern and West Coast programs took advantage of the slightly better conditions and familiarity of Harvest Links to move up the score board… except teams who are MSU’s playing partners – Clemson and Oregon advanced a few places but trail MSU – Clemson by just one stroke and Oregon by more than I can count. It appears the leaders, the purple kitties, (USMC TM), have played more than a few practice rounds on this course to lead the stroke play by a large margin of eight shots. NORTHWESTERN, SMH!

On a separate note, the best individual player scores included an Irish golfer Leona Maguire (Duke) from County Cavan. Olivia Mehaffey is a Northern Irish golfer who played in the 2014 Irish Women’s Close at my club, Enniscrone, where Olivia beat a friend of mine, Sarah Helly, in the quarter finals. Mehaffey is a long ball hitter who’s short game was a bit inconsistent and that may be reflected in here scores of 79 & 80 (T66).  Harvest Links is set up at 6,350 yards, a normal length for the ladies. What makes the venue tough are tight fairways,  trees and wind making accuracy off the tee and a short game a premium that exposes Olivia’s short comings.

http://results.golfstat.com/public/leaderboards/nonav.cfm?pg=team&tid=12853

Did our gals find starting on the more difficult back nine Sunday tough a footing to climb up the leaderboard, or was the pairing with two other day one victims uninspiring?  Can our Spartans improve their performance today, or will this NCAA final be a reminder of what could have been? I certainly hope these gals don’t return home in their golf bags.

Watch the NCAA Women’s Golf streaming:

http://stream.golfchannel.com/golf?pid=24

 

 

 

Just when you thought you heard all the bad MSU football news.
May 19th, 2017 by JustABum

Tyson Smith tweeted he suffered a stroke last season, which explains why he didn’t dress for the last three games of the 2016 season. For Tyson to text about his stroke is the silver lining to a season we prefer to forget. Five months later we are still getting reminders of 2016 – “3-9” season. The bad news keeps coming like a drip from a leaky faucet.

How many DIV 1 teams experience a season filled with tragedy of current and former players? How any team can overcome multiple life and death situations so close to home and play good football is beyond me. Just the distraction and heartfelt losses of Mike Sadler’s and Mylan Hicks’s passing must have lingered throughout the year in the locker room, among the staff and with the upperclassmen.

Now, us fans are becoming aware of the number of serious undisclosed injuries. The late news sheds light on why things went so wrong and contributed to an epic fall. Bullough’s broken scapula, Frey’s injuries, LJ’s shoulders were undisclosed and for good reason. You can read about Tyson Smith here:

http://www.mlive.com/spartans/index.ssf/2017/05/michigan_state_cornerback_tyso.html#incart_river_index

He is so fortunate to be … here, alive, texting and part of the program. Not many young men who suffer strokes are still around, depending on the kind of stroke. The story does not disclose what type of stroke Tyson suffered, but does it really matter when your teammate experiences something that is supposed to happen to old folks?

Unfortunately, we still await to hear more bad news. What will be the outcome of the January 15th sexual assault allegations. Will it lead to charges being filed and the fate of the three suspended players, as well as Curtis Blackwell’s future with the MSU football program.

Besides Marshall’s 1970’s disaster, i am not sure there are many programs who experienced more adversity.

And Now for something completely different. How about the Lady Spartan Golf Team? The NCAA’s will be played at Rich Farms west of Chicago. The course is praised for it’s unique and challenging design.

http://www.golfdigest.com/story/rich-harvest-links

Coach Stoll’s team’s lower ranking may mean the Lady Spartans will be paired with the top ranked teams of Bama or USC. Bama also played at the Athens regional, so familiarity may help MSU’s frosh. We may learn the pairings Sunday or before they tee off on Monday. Hit’em straight and roll’em on line with pace Ladies.

And, more good news; Boss’s … boys beat no. 15 UM yesterday! MSU won the first of the three game B1G Tourney series.

http://www.msuspartans.com/sports/m-basebl/recaps/051817aaa.html

Let’s hope MBB can beat the skunk bears one more time and advance.

Spartan Sports Updates for mid-May, 2017
May 15th, 2017 by 89 Chemistry

ITEM:  MSU Men’s Golf has teed off in its second consecutive NCAA Regional.   A preview is here, and the leaderboard (which will be occasionally updated) is here:

 

ITEM:  MSU Track had its best day of the B1G Championships Meet yesterday.   Quoting (with minor editing) from the msuspartans.com release:

“Sophomore Justine Kiprotich captured the first gold medal of the 2017 Big Ten Outdoor Championship by winning the men’s 1,500m.   Kiprotich won his first career Big Ten title with a time of 3:48.72.   He was just shy of his personal best time of 3:42.36 at the Virginia Challenge in April.   The sophomore was a runner-up last season.

“’Justine has turned into one of the best milers in the region, and clearly has a chance to be an NCAA finalist,’  said MSU Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Walt Drenth.   ‘To be a Big Ten champion as a sophomore is amazing.   I am seeing a guy really maturing.   He has a good race savvy.   He made a bold move with about 500 or 600 meters to go to get into running position.   When he got to the front with a little over 200 meters to go, he just powered away from the field.'”

…   “Senior Sherod Hardt had a solid showing in his final Big Ten Championship, finishing third in the men’s 5,000m.   Hardt clocked in with a time of 14:25.10.”

…   “’One of the hallmarks of a really good team is to be good at the end of the meet, in the 4×400 and the 5,000, it is a long weekend.   Some kids have doubled and some kids have waited their turn, but you still have to be mentally tough.   I was really pleased with how Sherod battled through the whole race.   He ran a tough race from start to finish,” Drenth said.'”

NCAA First Round participants will be announced on Thursday.

 

ITEM:  The newest version of Ralph Young Field — upon which MSU Field Hockey plays — is now being prepared.

 

ITEM:  MSU Softball was the best B1G team left out of the NCAA Tournament field.   It therefore was the B1G’s automatic qualifier for the inaugural National Invitational Softball Championships (analogous to the NIT, but with 48 teams).   The opening rounds are double-elimination in four-team regionals; MSU plays Murray State tomorrow at 5 PM ET and will play at least once on Wednesday.   The Region 3 winner will advance to a six-team Finals that will begin on Sunday.   The msuspartans.com story is linked here.

 

ITEM:  The first and second MSU Rowing Varsity Fours both finished fourth in the B1G Championships yesterday.   The NCAA field will be announced late tomorrow afternoon.

 

ITEM:  MSU Baseball will play at CMU tomorrow [4:05 PM ET] and begin a series at Michigan on Thursday.   Those three games will conclude MSU’s regular season.

 

ITEM:  The NCAA Women’s Golf National Championships begin Friday.

 

Go Green!

Can the Remarkable Run Continue?: MSU Softball 2017 BTT
May 13th, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

The Michigan State Softball team is playing at a level not seen in East Lansing in well over a decade; 13 years in fact.  In 2004 MSU and Head Coach Jacquie Joseph were considered one of the top programs in the B1G Conference if not the region.  In 2004 MSU would win the BTT and advance to the NCAA Regionals.  The advance to the NCAA Regionals would be MSU’s 4th in Joseph’s 10 years on the Job.  MSU Athletics could walk with their head held high because it had big-time coaches in Izzo, Slobodnik, and Joseph – all making a run on the field of play with little noise off it.  Joseph’s record in this period was a bit up-and-down from season to season, but a 40+ win records were common.

And then things changed.  Starting in 2008 the magic seemed to disappear and until this season MSU did not finish with a winning record. There is quite a bit that could be discussed as for the reasons.  But that would be wasted energy.  Why?  The 2017 team sits at 33-21, is playing in the BTT Semi Final and looks like a team that can stick together when the going gets tough.  If the last month is an indication, MSU fans should like the odds of its team beating two higher ranked opponents and taking the BTT crown.  Before tak8ing the first two games of the BTT, MSU won its last three B1G series match ups – including its next opponent Ohio State.  Can MSU do the unthinkable and beat tOSU and then send B1G Softball Titan Minnesota home as well?

Similar to the Women’s Golf team, the Softball team is playing terrific ball but not appearing to be anywhere over its head.
Thoughts?

BTT Semi Final  #1 Minnesota versus #4 Illinois: 1:00 PM (EDT) BTN.

BTT Semi Final  #3 Ohio State versus #7 MSU: 3:30 PM (EDT) BTN.

BTT Final  #1/#4 Winner versus #3/#7 Winner: 6:00 PM (EDT) BTN.

  • Jeff’s Worthless Trivia and Other Thoughts
  • Coach Joseph says this his her best offensive team ever.  MSU has only one (of its 11 available position players on the roster) batting under .270.  Seven are batting over .300.  Five of those players have hit 8 or more HR’s in 40+ games played this season.
  • MSU does have a wonderful offense.  However, I am more impressed that part of the offensive skill-set includes earning walks and not swinging and bad pitches.  I think we won the last two in great part because of discipline at the plate.
  • MSU took 2 out of 3 from OSU, was swept by Illinois 0-3, and did not play Minnesota.
  • In the UofM game Joseph has 3B Kaitlyn Eveland pull up so close (for the possible bunt) it looked like she was practically in the batters box.  The skunkbears chose not to bunt, but instead tried to slap in right-into Eveland face.  Brutal!
MSU Ends UofM Streaks: 5-4 BTT Softball Win
May 12th, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

Michigan State University ended its 19-game winless streak against the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor with a come from behind 5-4 victory in the Quarter Final of the 2017 B1G Women’s Softball Championship. The loss was UofM’s first at home in 39 straight contests.  The victory against the female skunkbears was it first in Ann Arbor since the 2009 season.

As yesterday’s victory against Indiana (not to be confused with neighboring Illinois) the Spartan’s used a late rally to take lead and then close out the game with defensive shutout in the 7th.

Bridgette Rainey (15-8) earned her 2nd victory in two days both in relief.  Lea Foerster lead MSU of the offensive end going 3-3 with 2 RBI.  However, Senior 1st baseman Sarah Gutnecht walked three times to keep rally’s alive.

MSU advances to the BTT Semi Final against the winner of the Illinois vs. tOSU contest.

The boxscore is [here].

Spartan Softball Advances in BTT – Edges Indiana in Roller Coaster Event
May 11th, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

In a game of big innings, the Michigan State Spartan Women’s Softball team garnered the biggest the latest and beat Indiana 8-7 to advance in the 2017 B1G Tournament Championship.

MSU (30-21) takes on the #2 Wolverines of Michigan Friday afternoon in Ann Arbor (4:30 PM EDT BTN).  The box score is [here].  I like their chances in this game.

After taking and losing a 3 run lead, only to come back and tie the game, only to fall behind by 3 after 5 1/2 innings, the Spartans scored 4 unanswered runs in the bottom of the 6th.

While the Spartans are a solid hitting team, it would be their ability to take a Walk that proved to be the difference.  Indiana Sophomore Starting Pitcher Tara Trainer had difficulty finding the Strike Zone; walking nine (yes the number 9) batters in 5 2/3 innings.  Four Walks were granted in the 6th; including three in-a-row.

Junior Bridgette Rainey (14-8) earned the victory – pitching solid five innings in relief.  On the premise the normally reliable Starter Kristen Zalewski (8-6) could handle the (23-31) Hoosiers, Rainey, from Acworth Georgia was likely being held back for UofM (at least that is my guess).  Zalewski struggled… enter Rainey.

Jeff’s Worthless Trivia

Three Spartans were named to the All-B1G team for 2017: Junior Lea Foerster (1st team), Sophomore Kaitlyn Eveland, and Junior McKenzie Long. The full story is [here].

Foerster has had a monster 2017 season; including 14 HR’s and 21 doubles.  Both are #2 in MSU history.  This kind of power has not been seen by TUS membership since ’79 Spartan dominated the Western Nebraska Men’s Over 40 League as SS for the Ogallala, NE (non) Conscientious Objectors. ’79 had been traded to the nCOs the previous season from the North Platte NE RiverRatRafters in the headline making 37 player + Mini Van + Outdoor Grill deal.

A tip-of-the-hat is due to Rainey and Head coach Jacquie Joseph.  Why? For not giving up.  Rainey earned a position in the starting rotation as a freshman.  In almost any setting this is a huge deal – let alone Divsion 1, and B1G Conference Softball. Unfortunately, the Spartans had a horrible season – let’s leave it at that. Rainey was saddled with a 2-15 record.

Georgia Pine Smells Good and MSU Looks Great: Women’s Golf Advances to NCAA Championship Finals
May 10th, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

Georgia Pine Suits MSU Fine

The MSU Women’s Golf team seems to excel when playing in the neighborhood of the Tall Georgia Pine. Continuing its trend of solid play under pressure MSU advanced out of the Athens, Georgia Regional to the 2017 NCAA National Championship Round to be held in Sugar Grove Illinois on May 19th-24th. A full recap is [here].

Meanwhile the Detroit Tigers of MLB continue their West Coast Trip, taking on the Snakes in Phoenix.  Detroit beat Arizona 7-3 on Tuesday night with newly designated Closer Justin Wilson pitched a perfect 9th – although not a Save situation.  The Tigers are 3rd in the American League Central 1.5 Games behind Cleveburgh.

MSU Women’s Softball (seeded #7) takes on Indiana tomorrow to begin the B1G Tournament Championship.  The game will be broadcast on BTN at 4:30 PM (EDT).  The background story is [here].

For the first time in decades, no Red Wings in the NHL Playoffs.  However, there is a Game 7 being played with the winner advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals.  Follow [here]

A full-“BLOWN” Tiger bullpen will “be discussed”
May 8th, 2017 by Kindle

On Sunday, having already blown a 6-5 lead thanks to a leadoff walk and Jed Lowrie RBI double, K-Rod tried to sneak a 1-0, 89 mph fastball past Ryon Healy, who crushed the game-winning home run. One day prior to that, Saturday, the Tigers led 5-4 with two outs and nobody on when a walk, a double and then a two-run single by Adam Rosales sent Rodriguez and the Tigers to the showers with a loss.

 

K-ROD (Frankie) IMPLODES AS TIGERS LOSE AGAIN IN WALK-OFF

In his postgame media session, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said, “We’re going to have a discussion” about the closer role. That might be news to Rodriguez: Writer Anthony Fenech asked him if he’s still the man to close games.  Francisco answered, “Definitely!” It should also be pointed out that he did apologize to fans and said he was embarrassed by his performance, unlike Joe Nathan a while back who delivered a profane gesture to Detroit fans as he left the field to booing in Detroit.  Can you imagine the booing had Saturday and Sundays’ debacles occurred in Comerica Park?

 

QUESTION OF THE DAY FOR TUS:

Should there even be a discussion?

Team management does not seem to be on the same page as their fans.  Al Avila told fans that this team could be competitive this season.  That covers a lot of territory.

 

TIGER Closers over THE LAST 4 DECADES:

 

Catching up with a Spartan below–Published earlier today, May 8th, 2017, Burress has updated his 2011 message in The Players Tribune

Letter to the NFL Draft Class From Plaxico Burress

SIDEBAR
»
S
I
D
E
B
A
R
«
»  Substance:WordPress   »  Style:Ahren Ahimsa
© Copyright, The Usual Suspects - All rights reserved.