Friday, January 6, 2012

MSU: The Week In Review

So um, kind of a lot happened this week in MSU football. In case you have forgotten, MSU won it's first bowl game under Mark Dantonio. It helps when MSU isn't playing the top QB in the NFL draft, with a lost WR corps or four first round defensive draft picks from Alabama. Still, the Spartans needed a monster defensive game, some excellent special teams play and even a bit of luck to cut the cake against Georgia. Georgia is a very good and very young team, and I'd like to avoid playing the 2012 and maybe even the 2013 version of this team.

I said in the postgame write-up and will reiterate here, this game was MSU's season in a nutshell. You had the "road game blues" where the offense couldn't do anything, you had the "Spartan Domination" on offense in the 3rd and 4th quarter, where MSU scored 27 points in the second half to turn the corner. Special teams played well when it counted and the defense, oh, the defense. Thank you. This season wouldn't have been possible without our amazing defense.

I'll be rewatching this game over the weekend and with the help of Ty doing a bit of film review. That should be fun for next week.

Badgerfreude and a tiny bit about Basketball

MSU notched it's first victory at the Kohl's Center since 2001 on Tuesday night. The Badgers had their clocks out of sync and the scoreboard clock expired before the stadium clock. The refs reviewed and decided the Wisconsin player had not gotten the shot off in time. Bo Ryan summoned his rage. He called the refs falcons. He ranted "Falcon, you falconing Mister Falcons!"

Bielema can't tell time. I've decided this is the only way the clock management of a Big Ten Head Coach could be so poor. He called a timeout on 1st and 10 in the third quarter. A timeout that would have been useful with :02 seconds to go in the Rose Bowl when you'll have a shot at the end zone from the 28. Honest to goodness, he really needs to work on this in the offseason.

Perhaps, and this is just me spitballing, they wrote a clause into his Rose Bowl bonus where the bonus is only activated if he runs the shot clock at the following night's men's hoops game. You know, for funsies. All of this clock mismanagement couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of guys.

DeAnthony Arnett

DeAnthony Arnett received his release from Tennessee and will transfer to Michigan State University. Between Arnett and 2012 WR commit Aaron Burbridge, this marks the second year in a row MSU will have the top WR commit in the midwest committed to play for the green and white. I'm currently projecting Arnett as a slot receiver and the heir apparent to Keshawn Martin at the position. Whether he will run all of the fancified trick plays is a different discussion altogether. This is a huge pickup for the Spartans and can only help Maxwell's transition into Cousins job next year.

Jerel Worthy

Worthy announced his plans to forgo his senior season and declare for the NFL draft. Worthy is a projected first rounder and it would be a gamble for him to pass up that kind of money. There are a host of potential DTs ready to step into his place, but his impact will be sorely missed next year. Players leaving early for the NFL is a great thing for Michigan State. Be happy for him. His mom Stephanie made it quite clear Jerel will finish his degree or else... A great situation all around.

Pat Narduzzi

Pat Narduzzi has interviewed for the DC position at Texas A&M and will be offered the job at a rate of pay between 600 - 750k. As I said yesterday, this is not a positive thing for MSU. Coaches leaving for Head Coaching jobs is a great thing, coaches leaving for lateral promotions is not. The fan reactions have ranged from fury to apathy to congratulations. No decision has yet been reached on the part of Narduzzi nor has an apparent public counter-offer been made by Michigan State.

I suspect this will be over by the end of the weekend, maybe even Friday. If MSU loses Narduzzi, expect some upset fans. I just hope these same fans don't complain when ticket prices go up to support the coaching staff in the future. If MSU keeps Narduzzi, it'll probably only be for a couple years until he finds a quality head coaching gig.

Bonus Conspiracy Theory

Narduzzi was "scheduled" to receive a raise to 305k per Hondo in February. Narduzzi withdrew his name from consideration for the Akron gig. Treadwell is making 450 or so at Miami-OH, so one would expect that Akron would be shopping in that price range too. To me this all adds up to the reported 305k actually being higher than that. 2/3rds of a potential salary doesn't seem low enough to cause Narduzzi to say no.

In Review

That Outback Bowl feels like it was a LONG time ago now. MSU had some of it's biggest successes of the Dantonio era and was immediately forced to begin defending it's newfound success. The choices made regarding Narduzzi will help demonstrate how committed MSU is to paying the money necessary to retain an excellent coaching staff. It's a game of inches as Dantonio always says, and MSU needs to win the next couple days to help secure more of these first world problems for 2012.

1 comment:

  1. Jim, I RSS feed your blog to my blog at Your feed is "broken". It stopped on December 4th - no updates since. I thought you just stopped posting. Just wanted you to know. Let me know when it is fixed by leaving me a comment at my blog and I'll bump you back up the feed list.