The Freshman
Dec 6th, 2016 by Jeffrey Lubeck


The Freshman has many connotations.

The 1925 film The Freshman (starring USMC(Retired) as Harold Lloyd) will do anything to be popular and also fly Bi-Planes.

The 1990 film The Freshman (starring JustABum as Mathew Broderick) will do anything to be accepted by the TUS Mob Headed by BostonSpartan.

The 2016 MSU Mens Basketball Team (starring Nick Ward, Joshua Langford, Cassius Winston, and Special Guest Appearance by Miles Bridges) will do anything to overcome departures from four starters from the 2015/2016 team and season ending pre-season injuries to two 2016/2017 front-court starters (i.e., Schilling, Carter).

The cry from many of the [extremely] few TUS Members who actually view and comment on the site suggest – “Start Tum Tum Nairn and The Freshmen with an Espresso and a twist of Lemon for all 40 minutes.”

Tonight, given a representative sample of this concept – with an excused absence for Bridges – led to a 20+ point victory over the Youngstown State Penguins (a.k.a. The Litigating Tressels) what say you?

Do You Bother to Post If No One Comes?
Dec 5th, 2016 by Jeffrey Lubeck

Build It and They Will Come! Really?

The phrase from Field of Dreams (referring to a ball field) and The Bible (referring to an Ark) are wonderful concepts – even it only marginally true. Actual on-site reporting (from Ghost of Biggie) indicates obstructed view seats in the right [corn] field were a tough sell and C-Deck on the Ark had few if any double-occupancy bookings.

So what about Post’s (and the volume of comments) on the TUS Site when your sports programs are not part of the national conversation and or living up to a victory run-rate unseen in recent decades. Given the volume of Posts from different names and comments from membership perhaps the TUS Site should be renamed Fair-Weather Fan.

Thoughts? Comments? Anyone paying attention? Buellar?, Buellar? Anyone?, Anyone?

Spartan Football 2016 RIP
Nov 27th, 2016 by Ghost Of Biggie


And when I die and when I’m dead, dead and gone,
there’ll be one child born and a world to carry on, to carry on.

Blood, Sweat and Tears

What it will take to get back to where we were.

MSU Football: What Changes Would You Make?
Nov 27th, 2016 by I Believe

The 2016 MSU football season was an abomination. One reporter who covers the Spartans says MSU failed in every aspect of the game this season, a point that is hard to argue. But was it an anomaly and, if so, how much of one?

In previous posts, I’ve shared how former MSU seasons have gone sour after significant success – even under Duffy – and recently posted a link to a New York Times article in which we learn that Mark Dantonio still talks weekly with his mentor, Jim Tressel, and that even Mr. Sweatervest once suffered through a 3-8 season (at Youngstown State) only to win the national championship two years later.

Michigan State was seemingly riding high, having won two of the last three B1G titles, earned a berth in the FBS playoff, and put together its best recruiting class which included more early enrollees than any other. Coach Dantonio and his staff are putting together another strong recruiting class, so the future is seemingly bright. One member of the 2017 class even tweeted last night that the newest group of Spartans would return MSU to greatness.

Mark Dantonio is unconditionally loyal, and has already declared he will not be making any staff changes. Am curious to know, with other coaching changes in the works across the nation, if any members of the current staff will depart for other opportunities after such a disappointing season. (Sometimes it’s better to self-purge.)

Recruiting and at least one victory each season could get more difficult for the Spartans if P.J. Fleck, whose first coaching job was as a grad assistant at Ohio State under Jim Tressel during the Buckeyes’ 2006 season which ended in a loss to Florida in the BCS title game, leaves Kalamazoo for South Bend. Brian Kelly is apparently looking for other opportunities and Fleck would be a dynamic choice for Notre Dame, which will be seeking a disciplinarian after the academic scandal cost it two seasons of victories.

The Spartans’ first order of business for the 2017 season is a team (soul searching) meeting at 7 a.m. Monday. Put on your coaching cap and share your five agenda items for that meeting. Then include the three changes you’d make as head coach between now and the Spring practice sessions.

Together, we’ll get through this as we are Spartans For Life who have #SpartansWill.


The 2016 TUS Football Report: Penn State Edition
Nov 25th, 2016 by 89 Chemistry

To put things briefly, Saturday’s game will be either scrimmage or spoilage.

If Michigan wins at Ohio State, the 9-2 Nittany Lions will not be playing for the B1G East Division Title; they (and their fans) probably will be a little less fired up against the 3-8 Spartans, and MSU will be able to affect nothing more than a smidgen of PSU’s bowl-positioning stock.   But a Buckeye win will ignite PSU fans’ passions—and give MSU the fringe benefit of ruining, in person, the heady dreams of over 100,000 Pennsylvanians along with a signature win and the retention of the Land Grant Trophy if it wins.

To win, MSU will need more explosive runs from LJ Scott—who has gained 599 rushing yards at 6.3 yards per carry in the past five weeks—against a defense that has held opposing rushers to half their normal outputs in November.   It will need to contain an Oregon-style offense that uses several explosive receivers with the B1G’s best dual-threat quarterback (Trace McSorley, jersey #9) and rushing leader (Saquon Barkley, #26).   It will have to neutralize a highly disruptive front seven; foil proven kick blocking and punt blocking units; and minimize its own penalties.   It will probably need a lead of a touchdown or more at halftime—and after three quarters—to withstand PSU’s end-game tsunami.

The Report estimates MSU has a 20% shot at winning.   Median projection: PSU 32, MSU 21—give or take about a dozen points.

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Battle for Atlantis Semi-final: MSU vs Baylor Gamethread
Nov 24th, 2016 by Jeffrey Lubeck

Number #20 Bears versus #24 MSU. Winner takes on winner of Louisville vs. Wichita State.

The 2016 TUS Football Report: Ohio State Edition
Nov 18th, 2016 by 89 Chemistry

To put things briefly, even the worst Spartan team in a decade or two has a chance.

MSU is less of an underdog for tomorrow than it was when it beat the 1998 top-ranked Buckeyes.   It is true that OSU speaks of focusing solely on MSU—and revenge for 2015.   But few current Buckeyes were major contributors last year; retribution’s emotions are less keen for those that did not lose on the field.   And on a Spartan Senior Day featuring eight Ohio seniors and five other key Ohioans that were snubbed by Ohio State, MSU should fight with a vim.

MSU must be less predictable and avoid turnovers on offense.   The RU game was a step in that direction.

In principle, mismatches in explosiveness favor MSU.   On defense, MSU does not yield a lot of huge plays, and OSU is not a big-play offense—although H-back Curtis Samuel [jersey #4] will make it seem like one sometimes.   The OSU defense yields bigger plays than most do—and O’Connor certainly generates those.   But with Holmes—MSU’s most explosive back—questionable for this game, hitting big ground gains seems less likely.

OSU should be able to run or pass with equal success.   MSU should stack against the run, and OSU should counter with early-down passes.   How efficient JT Barrett [#16] is in passing will determine how much OSU scores.

But temperatures in the upper 30s, some mixed precipitation, and strong northwest winds will make a Spartan upset—or even a single-digit loss—significantly less likely.   Median projection: OSU 38, MSU 16.

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Reinvented Arizona, Michigan State open in Armed Forces Classic – Game Thread
Nov 11th, 2016 by Jeffrey Lubeck


Well the regular season starts tonight.  Given all of the changes (both teams), injuries (both teams) and suspensions (Arizona) who knows what to expect.  Arizona is down to 8 scholarship players.  MSU has lost its two starting forwards.

The preview from MSUSpartans is [here].

The preview from the Arizona Wildcats is [here].

The preview from Stats Inc. is below.

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MSU Men’s Basketball 2016/2017 = Small Ball?
Nov 11th, 2016 by Jeffrey Lubeck


Get ready for a Roller-Coaster of a season as it relates to MSU Basketball.  Small is the new Big in the B1G.  At least it better be!

By necessity Michigan State University’s basketball team will play small ball for most if not all of the 2016/2017 season.  Why you ask?  Three names – Davis, Carter, Schilling.  Forward (6’10”) Deyonta Davis departed for the NBA after his freshman season. Senior Big Men Ben Carter (6’9″) and Gavin Schilling (6’9″) suffered what appear to be season long injuries to their lower body (aka Knee).  And TUS Executives suggest sitting out the season for both so as to enjoy a marvelous 2017/2018 season.

The Spartans are about to field a starting Lineup that is 3-5 inches shorter than originally envisioned.  Is this a bad thing? Possibly not.  MSU will play 3 even 4 wing type players in its rotation.

Bottom Line: Expect MSU to continue its NCAA Tournament streak – but it may be more at-risk than most would think.  Do not be surprised if MSU has four losses entering B1G play (Arizona, Kentucky, Duke, Battle for Atlantis Tournament).  Do not be surprised if MSU is .500 in B1G play.  If both situations occur, then Dayton in early March may be your vacation location.  However, this group of freshman are very talented, very talented.  MSU may well be in a terrific position come post-season. So who knows!

Quick Observations

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The 2016 TUS Football Report: Rutgers Edition
Nov 11th, 2016 by 89 Chemistry

To put things briefly, this may be MSU’s last chance to beat a weaker FBS team this year.

Notre Dame would like a rematch with the Spartans—and would have about the same chances of winning one as MSU’s are for victory over the Scarlet Knights.

To be sure, there is substantial uncertainty.   If all of last week’s injured Spartans remain injured, the odds would be close to 50%.   MSU is indicating, though, that Tyler O’Connor will play tomorrow—and the depth chart is not hedging on players like Kieler and McDowell.   (Vayante Copeland—who now has a broken foot—is unfortunately lost for the season.)   Dantonio held a set of meetings on team- and position-group scales this week, and player feedback has been positive.   And despite MSU’s ability to limbo beneath seven nominally inferior teams this year, a Rutgers without Janarion Grant is the lowest B1G bar of all.

Most of the time, at least.   RU did come back to nearly beat Minnesota three weeks ago, and had a 24-13 lead on Indiana at one time last week.   But the Knights seem to have several problems akin to MSU’s—including assignment gaffes; finishing drives; and finishing games.

The difference is that MSU has better special teams and a better offense than RU.  It also has players with higher ceilings than Rutgers.   This could be a sizeable blowout; at worst, MSU is highly unlikely to lose by more than a few points.   Median projection: MSU 33, RU 24.

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