MSU’s D’Antonio Returns to Sideline, with an Edgy Sense of Humor!

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Sometimes it’s not the best player who’s the star of the team, but the Head Coach. The 2005 World Series Champion Chicago White Sox were like that with Manager Ozzie Guillen.

And in college football, the face of the program is quite often the coach, so the association is quite natural.  When you think of Michigan State Spartans football you probably think of Michigan State Head Coach Mark Dantonio, his gutsy play-calling versus Notre Dame, and the mild attack heart he suffered. Sure ILB Greg Jones is MSU’s most talented player, QB Kirk Cousins it’s most well known, but the media attention on Dantonio undoubtedly makes him their star.

Dantonio took some time off after his heart attack, coached a couple games in the box, and returned to the sidelines Saturday at Northwestern. And when he went to the press room he brought with a sassy sense of humor.

Something he wasn’t publicly known for previously.

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Northwestern Loses Thriller to Michigan State, but Attendance Improving

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As important as it is for Northwestern to win games this college football season, it’s maybe even more important they sell tickets this season. Attendance at Ryan Field has been a big issue in recent years, and the University’s athletic department sought to remedy that with the new “Northwestern: Chicago’s Big Ten Team” ad campaign in August.

Although they’re still not selling out, the campaign is working. Through the first three home games, Ryan Field attendance was up 51.1% over the first three in 2009. And today’s heartbreaking 35-27 loss to #7 and undefeated Michigan State drew 41,000+, the largest crowd of the year. What’s more impressive, is that they’ve drawn better despite the weather often working against them.

There’s quite a few reasons to attend a Northwestern football game: Chicago Bears tickets cost about as much money as the annual GDP of a nation within the European Economic Union, and NU is much better competing within their level of football than the Bears are in their league.

And the ‘Cats have an exciting, fun-to-watch, extremely pass-happy offense.

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QB Kirk Cousins leads Michigan State to 1st in Big 10

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Sometimes when you write something, it becomes MORE relevant later than at the time you published it.

This exclusive with Michigan State quarterback Michigan State, an interview I conducted and later published in August, is actually more on point today than when it first went live back in the summer.

I have to admit it, I’m drinking the green colored Kool-Aid being manufactured in East Lansing, Michigan this summer. I truly believe that Ohio State and Iowa are the class of the conference; but after that, Michigan State leads the way. I think they’re the most complete team of the nine which happen to be a peg or two below the big two, and if anyone’s going to contend for that Big Ten conference crown, and knock off the Buckeyes and Hawkeyes, it’ll be the MSU Spartans.

And on offense it all starts with their quarterback Kirk Cousins, a preseason all-conference pick who was rated the league’s “most accurate passer” by Lindy’s.

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Michigan State’s Mark D’Antonio suffers HEART ATTACK after win over Notre Dame

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Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio was hospitalized with heart attack symptoms last night shortly after the Spartans’ extremely dramatic overtime victory over Notre Dame last night

State called a news conference for this afternoon, and the sports information department said Dantonio had a stent put in a blocked blood vessel leading to the heart.

According to the statement, Dr. Chris D’Haem commented

“The procedure was successful and blood flow to the heart muscle was restored. I’m very pleased with the outcome of the procedure. Coach Dantonio is resting comfortably following his procedure and is expected to make a full recovery.

“He is young, in excellent shape and the damage to his heart was minimal.”

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Big Ten Media Day One Wrap-up, Coaches Edition

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Check out that snazzy graphic above.  Study it.  Love it.

And then realize that this is the last year that it will be relevant and current.

Much like the conference expansion dominated the news after the NCAA Basketball Tournament, the Big Ten’s expansion to add Nebraska was the dominant topic of Big Ten Media Day on day 1.

It got a little tiresome, quite frankly. [Read more…]

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