Saturday, November 5, 2011

Minnesota is in town, and a few other odds and ends

Fresh off their stunning 22-21 victory over Iowa, the Minnesota Gophers are in town to face the Spartans.  That win over the Hawkeyes probably caught MSU's full attention, and I expect the Spartans to play a focused game today and bouce back from last week's disappointing loss at Nebraska.  I'm looking at a 38-10 MSU victory today--but based on how wrong I was with last week's prediction, perhaps I should stay away from prognostication.

I can't afford season tickets to Michigan State football, but I do have a modest streak of attending at least one game per year for the last 18 seasons.  This year, it was in danger of ending, but I'm happy to report that I just ordered tickets to the final home game against Indiana.  It probably won't be a great game, as the Hoosiers are a terrible team, but it is senior day and Kirk Cousins' last home game as a Spartan.  In addition, other outstanding seniors like Trenton Robinson, B.J. Cunningham, Joel Foreman, Keshawn Martin, and Keith Nichol will be playing their final games at Spartan Stadium.

Beyond that, one of my favorite activities of the autumn is attending Michigan State football games.  MSU's campus is gorgeous in the fall, and there is something simply sublime about bundling up, drinking some hot coffee or hot chocolate in the stands, and being a part of the whole pageantry of college football.  The older I get, the more I appreciate it.

In other Big Ten action today, Michigan and Iowa square off in Iowa City in what should prove to be a fascinating game.  Can the Hawkeyes rebound from last week or can the Wolverines win a big road game.  This game is a toss-up, but I'll give the game to Iowa based on home field advantage and a desire to atone for last week.  Nebraska takes on Northwestern in Lincoln, and though the Wildcats could give the Huskers a tough time, Nebraska should ultimately roll.  Ohio State should demolish Indiana, and Wisconsin is probably seething after their last two road heartbreakers and will take it out on poor Purdue.

The biggest game today is Alabama and LSU, which promises to be an outstanding game in the heart of insane SEC country.  Since the game is in Tuscaloosa, I'm going with the Tide to win a defensive tussle with the Tigers.

On the banner of this blog, there is a photograph of Bob Apisa, Clinton Jones, Bubba Smith, Gene Washington, and George Webster (overlayed with the name of the blog which I realize is difficult to decipher--I need to work on that).  The picture was taken in 1965, the first of two consecutive Big Ten championship years for the Spartans and two runs at the national title.  I have a deep appreciation for those great teams, and the role they played in the integration of collegiate athletics.  My intention for this blog is to not only write about the current Spartans, but to explore various aspects of Michigan State sports history.  So look for future posts that delve into the storied past of MSU athletics.

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