Are you fine people of Sparta ready for another MSU football season?
I know I can’t wait for another season, even if the last one was less than ideal.
If I can be selfish and talk about myself for a hot second -- this will be the first year I’m blogging for The Only Colors for a football season. So, this is the first of many “The Good, The Bad, The Random” blogs that may or may not be entertaining to you.
The premise is simple -- after every game I’ll recap the good from the game and the bad as well (hopefully this section is small every weekend).
Also, I’ll throw out some random stuff. Anywhere between funny tweets during the game, inane thoughts, fun facts or, really, anything random I feel like you would all enjoy.
And, of course, please feel free to carry the conversation in the comments section with what you saw from the game.
So, let’s get this thing kicked off with the offseason.
Brandon Randle: Will he play defensive end or linebacker? Nobody really knows (yet). Who cares where he plays? Heck, I sure don’t.
All we know about Randle is that he’s had a great summer and will “be a very good player for us,” according to Dantonio. After a season with 11 sacks – yes, a full 12 game season with that little sacks – we’ll take “very good” right now. Of course, he won’t be the only shining star on defense…
The linebackers: I ramble on about this group, but they’ll be crucial for obvious reasons. They’re experienced. They’re talented. They’re smart. The starting corps of Chris Frey, Andrew Dowell and Joe Bachie with Shane Jones likely being the first sub in makes this position group the only certainty on defense as far as reliability goes. Secondary is sketchy, linemen are a question but, dang it, these linebackers are our rock.
Receivers: The top four receivers from last year have to be replaced, but there’s plenty of potential ready to replace them. We all know Felton Davis is a reliable target when healthy. Trishton Jackson shined at the spring game (yes, actual takeaways at the spring game). Cam Chambers, Darrell Stewart and Hunter Rison are all looking to back up their high recruiting rankings. The only question is if they have chemistry with Lewerke. Speaking of him...
Brian Lewerke: He’s healthy. He’s talented. He’s got a strong haircut game. Boom.
The run game: We all know this – the trio of LJ Scott, Gerald Holmes and Madre London is absolutely lethal.
We all know: The whole offseason. In the winter the program took a series of punches right on the face for a huge black eye by way of roster attrition, including four players removed for sexual assault. Terrible for all involved, especially the victims that we should all keep in mind when talking about this disastrous offseason.
The vaunted 2016 recruiting class has had key departures in less than one year of them being Spartans. The defensive secondary saw losses with Montae Nicholson leaving for the draft (good news for him though, we like seeing that) and Vayante Copeland and Kaleel Gaines transferring. It just hasn’t been good, guys.
Young pups: Oh yeah, this team is still very young. Guys, I don’t want to break hearts here if you don’t already know, but this is a rebuilding season. There’s only eight scholarship seniors. Whatever good happens this year is all gravy.
RIP Zeke: Even the Frisbee-catching dog died. This offseason had it all, and not in a good way.
My tradition: Alright, going to talk about myself one more time today. Sorry, but I want to share this tradition with you: Every opening day for MSU football I listen to Mike Valenti’s post-Notre Dame game rant. Say what you will about him, but that rant is 12/10. The flawless combination of anger, passion and comedy is a perfect cocktail. Man, does that genuine rage get me fired up to live and die with this team. THE MADNESS IS BACK, BABY.
Notable, random milestones: If MSU wins three games this year, it will be the winningest decade in MSU football history. Right now the Spartans sit at 68-25 with three years left in the decade while the 1950-59 stretch saw the Green and White go 70-21-1.
Additionally, if MSU wins 10 games this year – something they’ve done five times in the last seven seasons – Mark Dantonio will be the second MSU head coach to eclipse 100 wins and doing so in just his 11th season. Legendary Hugh Duffy Daugherty is still the king with 109 wins, but he needed 19 years to do so. /scoffs
If MSU wins their opener against Bowling Green, it will be there ninth straight opening game victory. That’s good, but just over halfway to the record of 16 straight opener wins from 1924 to 1939. Not sure if George Blaha called any of those seasons or not.
LJ Scott has been great, but he can heighten his profile even more and enter the history books this season. He’s at 17 touchdowns right now, and two more will tie him for 19th overall with four other running backs. If he gets 11 this year, that will be good to bring him into the top 10 to tie Eric Allen and Lynn Chandnois with 28. He only needs 26 touchdowns this year to tie Lorenzo White’s first place mark of 43.
Odds: The over/under for total wins is 6.5. National title odds are 100/1.