Random Thoughts…on MSU Football
Well, the Spartans have done it. They have finally reached the destination that was set forth by MSU Athletic Director Mark Hollis and Head Coach Mark Dantonio when they took over their respective posts in 2007. That's of course, a Big Ten Championship and the Rose Bowl.
Their Big Ten Championship victory over Ohio State was a game in three parts. First, State went up 17-0 in the first half. Then Ohio State rallied for 24 straight points to take a 24-17 lead. But then MSU score the last 17 points to take the win 34-24 in Indianapolis on December 7th.
But it was the defense that saved the day again for this team, Denicos Allen's 4th down stop on Buckeye QB Braxton Miller in the 4th quarter is a play that will be talked about forever around these parts.
After watching the Big Ten title game, I just think it's "State's year". Sometimes in sports, you watch teams play in certain seasons. And you see them make plays and get breaks that help them win and you say "It's just their year." Imagine if they scored one more touchdown against Notre Dame! They'd be playing Florida State for the National Championship.
I'm surprised the offense has improved throughout the year. They had trouble moving the ball across Grand River Avenue with no traffic back in September. But Connor Cook stabilized at QB, Jeremy Langford did the same at RB, and the WR's didn't drop as many passes as they did last year.
We know about their terrific defense, but I think their key this season was an excellent offensive line. And the bigger key was no injuries on the O-Line. State's problems last year started when the lost Fou Fonoti for the season right before the Notre Dame game.
As for their Rose Bowl opponent, Stanford. Well, they're an excellent team who beat Oregon for the second straight year, and knocked off a really good Arizona State team twice (once at home, and then on the road in the Pac-12 Championship Game). And they've got one of the hottest coaching prospects in the nation in Head Coach David Shaw. Don't be surprised if he follows his predecessor at Stanford, Jim Harbaugh, into the NFL in the not-to-distant future.
But as I said before, I just think "When it's your year, it's your year." I like State to win the Rose Bowl 31-21 over Stanford on New Year's Day. And they'll finish with their highest final national ranking since they finished No. 2 behind Notre Dame in 1966.
That's all for now, this is Brock Palmbos.....signing off.