First Things First: Former Michigan State running back Eric Allen passed away.
Before he finished 10th in the Heisman Trophy voting as a senior in 1971, and completed four seasons in the Canadian Football League, running back Eric Allen totaled 4,446 all-purpose yards and 30 touchdowns in four seasons at Michigan State, 18 coming from his senior year.
Allen, the former All-American, died at a hospice in Georgetown, South Carolina, his hometown. Allen was 66.
Second Thing: The 2019 CFP national championship game will not be played in Detroit.
The Cobo Center may be glamorized for its hosting of the Auto Show, but is despised based on its part in the final verdict.
The 2019 game will be played on Jan. 7 of that year, which lands in the middle of the Auto Show week. A lack of a convention center was the fall to the bid, according to MLive, it'll be played in Santa Clara.
Atlanta will play host to the 2018 game and New Orleans won the rights to the 2020 game. San Antonio, Houston, New Orleans and Charlotte were also in competition with Detroit.
Third Thing: Football team opens up at No. 7 in initial CFP rankings.
Michigan State is the fifth highest undefeated program in the first ever CFP rankings of this season. TCU is surprisingly ranked below the Spartans at No. 8, being that the Horned Frogs are ahead of them in the latest Top 25 Associated Press Poll.
Michigan is at No. 17 in the poll, along with Ohio State (No. 3), Iowa (No. 8) and Northwestern (No. 21) .
Fourth Thing: Denzel Valentine is the No. 3 ranked player in country.
Providing that impactful influence during a Cinderella Final Four run last season was enough for Valentine to garner love from the media, most recently by ESPN, who released its NCAA top 100 college basketball players this season.
Valentine didn't even make first- or second-team All-Big Ten last season, a state of affairs our esteemed panel of voters clearly regards as a shocking oversight. With his 42 percent 3-point shooting and an outstanding assist rate for a small forward, Valentine is one of the biggest reasons why Michigan State reached the Final Four for a seventh time under Tom Izzo last April.
In front of Valentine features incoming freshman forward Ben Simmons of LSU and Providence guard Kris Dunn.
Melo Trimble of Maryland sits behind at No. 4, the lone representatives from the Big Ten in the top 10 list.
Fifth Thing: Basketball team debuts at No. 13 in Associated Press poll.
Five other Big Ten teams made the Top 25 cut, including Maryland (No. 4), Indiana (No. 15), NCAA runner-up Wisconsin (No. 17), Purdue and freshman commit Caleb Swanigan (No. 23) and Michigan (No. 25).
Final Thing: Five Michigan State varsity teams have 100% graduation rates.
From the Detroit Free Press:
The NCAA's Graduation Success Rate is a measurement that includes transfer students and student-athletes who leave in good academic standing, unlike the federal graduation rate, which does not count transfers. The GSR and federal rate calculations measure graduation over six years from first-time college enrollment.
Critics contend athletes should graduate at a higher rate since they can get more help, be steered to certain classes and professors, be clustered into majors that make it easier to excel in the classroom, and they don't face the same financial obligations as other students.
NCAA officials insist athletes face additional obstacles because of their time commitments and that steady improvement over the past 14 years is a direct result of a more concerted academic push from school leaders.
Michigan State football and men's basketball were over 30% below the 100 percent mark, the lowest being Tom Izzo's squad at 63%.
Men's and women's tennis, women's golf, women's gymnastics and volleyball earn the perfect graduation rates, but it shouldn't come as a shock to the numbers from football and men's basketball, because like a comment written to the side of the article, it's tough trying to convince a kid to stay in school when the NFL and NBA come calling.