#3 Ohio State football vs #13 MSU: Four Critical Questions

taylor decker ohio state football

Ohio State football is done with their “opening round” games. Now it’s the “round of 32” game which doubles as the Big Ten East Division Title game. Then it’s Michigan in the Sweet 16, the Elite 8 versus Iowa and so forth. The analogy is slightly flawed but you get the idea.

Here’s what to watch for on Saturday in THEEEE game of the week.

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#13 Michigan State basketball vs #4 Kansas: Five Main Storylines

kansas cheerleaders

Unfortunately, people who live outside of these four states: Kentucky, North Carolina, Kansas and Indiana, just DO NOT CARE about college basketball until March, or maybe mid February. The Champions Classic is a big part of everything that’s right in the initiative to change that.

It’s all about scheduling real games and against real teams in November and December, something Tom Izzo and Michigan State basketball has already been doing for several years.

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Michigan St. basketball is the James Bond of the Big Ten


Here’s where I have this Michigan St. basketball team to finish where I have for my RedEye Big Ten season preview. They’re not going to be in the top three this season unfortunately. The Spartans lost too many key pieces and don’t have enough new weapons re-loaded yet.

While State probably won’t be a conference front-runner, they’ll come alive at conference tournament time and then own the first weekends of the NCAA Tournament. Just like with the franchise centered around agent 007 licensed to kill, you know how the script will play out each time.

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2016 NCAA Tournament Bracketology

final four logo

The 2016 college basketball tournament tips off this week.  Here is a pre-season NCAA Tournament Bracketology.   You will notice on the Bracket Matrix grades that The Sports Bank’s bracketology has been more accurate than ESPN’s Joe Lunardi five of the past six years. [Read more…]

Tom Izzo rips Michigan fan “idiots” who vandalized Magic Johnson statue


“Oh ho ho it’s magic…you know. Never believe it’s not so. It’s magic; you know.” (Apologies to 1975 one-hit wonder “Pilot”).

Seriously, show some respect to Magic Johnson. Think about all that Earvin Magic Johnson has done to grow the game of college basketball, and the NBA for that matter.

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Michigan State basketball #2 in early B1G power rankings


Today is Big Ten Basketball Media Day and that is just insanely early. Not only does the event start insanely early in the morning (hey, basketball is a “night” thing, like hockey. Football and baseball are “day” games) today, but usually the event falls on Halloween, or just before.

Here’s what’s crazier- as early as this event is, quite a few schools have already had their own individual media days…last week even!

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Oregon Ducks re-creation of the Animal House “Shout” scene (video)


The seminal 1978 film “Animal House” hasn’t exactly held up well over time. It’s still a hilarious classic, but I wouldn’t exactly describe it as timeless. There’s a couple scenes in that film which…let’s just say you can’t make those jokes today in the 2015 political climate. Most of the movie though was comic genius and the “Shout” scene is one that almost everyone can agree upon.

Today, in advance of tonight’s huge college football game between the Oregon Ducks and Michigan State Spartans (full game preview and prediction here) Nike unveiled this short film.

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#5 Michigan State vs #7 Oregon Ducks game preview


Like Kermit the Frog told us, “it’s not easy being green.” It’s the primary color of both teams playing the primary college football game of the pre-conference. Well, sort of. The Oregon Ducks now have about 1,345 different team colors; because Oregon rolls out a new uniform for just about every drive of every game of every season in their entire history.

For the Michigan State Spartans, as Cotton McKnight would says “It’s time to separate the wheat from the chaff, the men from the boys, the awkwardly feminine from the possibly Canadian.”

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“Talk about” and 7 more crimes against sports journalism


Sports journalism is a world populated by shopworn cliches and tired, predictable narratives, but the “talk about” might truly be the abyss. We’ve all fallen victim to it at some point in our career. Either through osmosis from others doing the talk about, or just being inexperienced, we’ve made that horrendous mistake at some point.

However, most of us grow and develop beyond it.

The talk about is the clearest signal you can find of a reporter who either a.) is terrible at their job or b.) has completely given up.

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Four MSU Football Players who could be 1st round draft picks


Heading into the 2015 NFL Draft, we did a feature on eight MSU football players who could be selected in the 2015 or 2016 Draft (read it here). Today, as we’re just 18 days away from the kick-off of MSU football season (Michigan State travels a very short distance to visit Western Michigan in yet another Friday night tilt) we take a closer look at four Spartans who could be first round picks this April.

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Michigan State football has chip on their shoulder, literally


Michigan State football bares a striking resemblance to the Chicago White Sox in that both programs identify themselves by having a consistent chip on their shoulder. Lots of sports franchises utilize this motivation, but Michigan State and the White Sox have the same exact chip- the “we come second in our region” chip.

For MSU, the incessant oppressor is the Michigan Wolverines football program. For the Sox, it’s the Chicago Cubs. In both cases that chip defines the fan base. And it transcends winning and losing. It’s all about attention and branding.

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HBO Real Sports to vivisect “Everyone gets a trophy” culture

michigan-state-basketball tum tum nairn-tom-izzo

(UPDATE: Follow-up with additional video)

Michigan State basketball Coach Tom Izzo seems to agree with this writer about how we’re currently living in the “everyone gets a trophy” generation.

We’re currently in the midst of college football award watch list season; the perfect example of this offense. Not only is it absurd that players are being handed “preseason” awards (like that guy you knew in college who was “prelaw” or “premed”, but pretty much anybody who started a game in their career are named to these watch lists.

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