Nothing A Good Dose Of Character And Integrity Can’t Fix!
Michigan State is a bad football team. And, like all bad football teams, it keeps doing what bad football teams do — finding ways to lose games.
On Saturday, the Spartans were truly innovative. In less than five minutes of game time, they went from leading by 18 to trailing by 3. All of this against a foe that for three quarters was actually somehow more incompetent than MSU.
But State wasn't about to let Rutgers out-embarrass them. No, this lame-duck cast of professional bums masquerading as a coaching staff made sure of that. With about eight-and-a-half minutes left in the game and Rutgers having just cut its deficit to 3, Ross Els, a braindead man who has somehow conned MSU into paying him nearly $600,000 per year to pretend to be a Division I special teams coordinator, had the Spartans in an onside kick recovery formation. Why would one suspect Rutgers to attempt an onside kick while down just 3 points with more than half of the fourth quarter left? Again, the man is braindead.
Unfortunately for MSU, Els' neural limitations appear to be communicable, as return man Tyrell Henry chose not to fair-catch Rutgers' incredibly-predictable-for-anyone-with-a-triple-digit-IQ pooch kick, and then even more mystifyingly decided to watch the ball hit the ground despite it, you know, being live. The Scarlet Knights recovered, then punched in the game-winning score on the very next play courtesy of a 21-yard-run by Kyle Monangai, who has become the Aaron Rodgers to Michigan State's Chicago Bears.
(Sidebar: There's no denying Monangai owns State. He ran for 148 yards and the aforementioned touchdown on 24 carries Saturday. Last year, he rushed 24 times for 162 yards against the Spartans, bringing his two-year total to 310 yards and a 6.5 yards-per-carry average.)
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At that point in the game, 8:21 was left on the clock. MSU promptly went three-and-out, and Rutgers never gave the ball back.
To recap, Michigan State blew an 18-point fourth-quarter lead in less than five minutes AND THEN looked on helplessly as Rutgers ran the clock out for the entire remaining half of the final period of play. I had never before witnessed such a diametric shift in circumstances in that short of a timespan on a football field, but then again I wasn't kidding earlier when I called the charlatans running MSU football innovative.
Look, everyone knows this is a lost season for Michigan State. We knew that long before Saturday's circus act. But the Spartans have now lost three straight games in which they outplayed their opponents. This was the worst one yet.
And somehow a not-insignificant portion of this fanbase is still preoccupied with character and integrity when it comes to the next coach. How you can pay attention to college football and the obvious over-commercialization that's been taking place and come away thinking it's about anything other than money and winning is beyond me. But if you're an MSU fan/alum/donor/sufferer/etc. who's sat through this flaming dung pile Mel Tucker left us with and are somehow still prioritizing supposed scruples and morality over winning, I don't know what to tell you. I also don't know how you're even reading this because the synapses in the hollow space between your ears that's supposed to be occupied by a brain clearly aren't firing.
I don't know if he could make Michigan State a contender, but I'm damn sure Urban Meyer's Michigan State wouldn't look like the abject clown-car conference we've been subjected to the last couple of seasons. And if you're someone who honestly thinks Meyer or any other candidate like him shouldn't be considered because of character concerns, then I hope you're ready for at least another decade of the so-bad-you-can't-look-away-even-though-you-want-to-because-it's-the-equivalent-of-a-disastrous-car-crash brand of football you got to enjoy on Saturday.
This is about winning football games. Period. The days of cultivating learned young men and positive additions to society are long over, if they ever existed in the first place. Deep down, we all know it's true. So why not simply embrace it instead of rejecting reality for some idealized misremembering of how things never were?
Michigan State football doesn't have to be like this. In fact, it shouldn't. But if we're going to be serious about contending again, we need to get serious about priorities. And there should be just one — winning.