Sunday, November 13, 2011

Random college football musings

Michigan State football now has the highest two-year win total since the 1965-66 seasons.  Those Duffy Daugherty-led teams had a two season record of 19-1-1.  The 2010-11 Dantonio squads have needed more games to win their 19th, and currently stand at 19-4, with at least three games remaining in the season.  Not to get too ahead of ourselves, but if MSU wins the rest of their regular season games, wins the Big Ten Championship game, and then tops it all off with a bowl victory, they will have a two year record of 23-4.  Not too shabby.


Yesterday in Big Ten action:

Michigan State 37, Iowa 21. This was a huge win for the Spartans in so many ways.  MSU finally gets that "can't win in Iowa" monkey off their collective backs.  (If I'd known back in '89 that the Spartans wouldn't win in Iowa again for another 22 years, I'd have made a point to actually remember the game).  Plus, the additional monkey of "can't win an important road game" is removed.  It was also a big win within the Legends Division, knocking Iowa out of contention and making State's road to the title game quite clear: beat Indiana and Northwestern and the Spartans are in.  Kirk Cousins has to be feeling great, vindicating himself after his poor play last year in Iowa City.

Great to see the Spartans get the running game going, and another great performance from Le'Veon Bell.  Also impressive the way the Spartans were able to contain Marcus Coker.

Nebraska 17, Penn State 14. From all appearances, it was an emotional day in State College.  I worried that it would be an ugly scene, but the highlights I've seen indicate it was the opposite.  Perhaps continuing on with football is part of the healing process for the Penn State community. 

Penn State deserves credit for fighting back and putting themselves in a position to win that game.

With road games against Ohio State and Wisconsin, the Nittany Lions may struggle to win another game the rest of the regular season. Spartan Nation will be in the uncomfortable position of rooting for Michigan against Nebraska next Saturday: a Wolverine win combined with a Spartan win over Indiana will clinch the Legends Division for MSU.

Michigan 31, Illinois 14.  Solid road win for Michigan, but could Illinois have possibly looked more inept?  Could the Zooker be on the way out?

Wisconsin 42, Minnesota 13.  I'm surprised the Gophers didn't put up more of a fight in this game, especially considering it was at home.  Do they not have anything left in the tank after playing well against Iowa and MSU?

Northwestern 28, Rice 6.  The Wildcats feast on perennial bottom feeder Rice in a non-conference matchup.  Did the 'Cats and Owls compare GPAs after the game and possibly challenge each other to a game of Trivial Pursuit or a chess tournament?  Kidding aside, the 'Cats are a dangerous team and could give the Spartans fits on November 26.

Purdue 26, Ohio State 23.  This one shouldn't have surprised me too much, as the Boilermakers have given the Buckeyes all they can handle and more in West Lafayette.  Luke Fickell probably killed any realistic chance he had at taking "interim" off his title.

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