Saturday, December 31, 2016

End of the year wrap-up

There's no way around it, 2016 was a rough year for Michigan State sports. Consequently, it was the least active year I've ever had in this blog. Quite simply, there wasn't much of anything fun to write about, so I didn't write often.

I suppose the tone for 2016 was set on December 31, 2015, when the Spartan football team was completely destroyed by Alabama in the College Football Playoff.

Though the Spartan basketball team had a reasonably decent Big Ten season in 2016, injuries prevented them from achieving everything they could have achieved, though it's hard to get too angry about a second place finish in the conference and a 13-5 Big Ten record. Though winning the Big Ten tournament was a highlight, the first round loss to Middle Tennessee State brought the season to a resounding thud of an end.

Meanwhile, the Michigan State hockey program is a far cry from what it has been in the past. The team muddled its way to a fifth place conference finish (out of six teams) in the 2015-2016 season (6-12-2 in the Big Ten, 10-23-4 overall). I don't follow hockey enough to know what it is going on under Tom Anastos, but based on the results on the ice, it's not good. Hockey at MSU doesn't have near the buzz it had in the '80s and '90s when the late great Ron Mason was coach, and has even fallen far below the standards set by Mason's successor Rick Comley.

And then there's football. 2016 was a disaster. It was so bad, that the high water mark, the pinnacle, the highlight, came in week two when the Spartans hung on to beat Notre Dame in South Bend. It was a game that, at the time, we thought was a big win. As it turned out, the Irish would go on to have a sub-par season, and the Spartans would only win one more game the rest of the year.

Let's just hope 2017 sees a reversal of fortune for MSU sports.