Alright, I know. It's almost signing day. But there have been a lot of cool things written by smart people about football and basketball and we need to at least make passing mention of them.
Football Study Hall put out their annual turnover luck rankings here. MSU's 2014 squad checks in at #6 in the nation in terms of turnover luck, well above where the 2013 team was at. This is consistent with my Five Factors analysis throughout the year, but that turnover luck came in pretty much every game but two. I'll give you two guesses which games those were.
Running Backs Ratings were also put out by FSH here. Jeremy Langford lands at #11 nationally on this list, good for #3 in the Big Ten behind Melvin Gordon and David Cobb. The Big Ten boasts six of the top 16 backs(!) with Gordon (2), Cobb (3), Langford (11), Ezekiel Elliot (13), Tevin Coleman (15) and Ameer Abdullah (16). Impressive list. You can be kinda mad Langford didn't land as all-B1G but the other five dudes all had a case.
Dan Hanner had a nice write-up on college basketball at large here and had the following to say about MSU:
Michigan St (#21 to #25) needed OT to beat Michigan at home on Sunday, but they still pulled away with a 10 point victory in the extra session. Perhaps that game was a good metaphor for this season. Nothing has come easy for a Tom Izzo squad with the fewest Top 100 recruits in a decade, but they still win decisively when they win. Their resume isn't great at this point, but their margin-of-victory numbers say this is still a dangerous team.
I'd pick a nit here and suggest that many wins have not been decisive, especially recent ones against Northwestern and Penn State. But still, the spirit of the compliment stands.
John Gasaway also did a big college basketball write-up, conference by conference. He has MSU at #3 in the B1G and had many nice things to say including this:
Branden Dawson has now recorded double-doubles in four of his last five games, and as a team MSU's rebounding 76 percent of opponents' misses in Big Ten play. And while it's true this offense isn't what you'd term poetry in motion, the Spartans are entering a soft portion in their schedule. Expect to hear about these guys "maturing" and "coming together" in the very near future.
SpartanDan's projections were also bullish on MSU. There are reasons for optimism!