If you want and hard-hitting think piece and analytical analysis, well, this is not for you.
If you want pure, unadulterated shenanigans — my specialty — then strap in.
Here’s the premise: A very, very trusty coin was flipped for every game. Paul the Octopus blessed this coin. This coin was also used to buy Rabiot the Octopus. This coin, my friends, can’t tell any lies.
We’ll go down the list of MSU’s games. If it’s heads, MSU wins. If it’s tails, MSU loses.
And, no matter what happens, we have to justify why the game went the way it did in classic preseason prediction fashion.
LET’S GET TO FLIPPIN’
Utah State: Loss
Well...umm...this is off to a hot start. Alright, so our Spartans start the season off with a devastating loss to the Utah State (/runs Google search) Aggies. Utah State returns all five offensive linemen, who were able to plow through MSU with their experience and chemistry. Zeke the Wonderdog’s rusty halftime performance also took the home crowd completely out of the game, letting Utah State hang around until kicking that last second field goal in the fourth quarter.
Arizona State: Loss
OK, this coin sucks. And so does this MSU team, apparently. Having Josiah Scott out for this game bites the Spartans as All-World receiver N’Keal Harry goes for north of 600 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns. It’ll also be pretty hot for this game, so we’ll go ahead and use that as an excuse too.
I’m not having fun anymore. Indiana has a lot of change at a lot of positions, including quarterback with the departure of All-Name Team honoree Dick Lagow. New faces mean less tape on these players (I’m reaching here), and that will trip up MSU in this third straight loss to open up 2018.
Central Michigan: Loss
What’s the opposite of a wishing well? That is what this coin is getting tossed into. Through a loophole, the Chippewas discover that Dan LeFevour, JJ Watt and Antonio Brown all have one remaining game of college eligibility left. The Texans are playing in Indy the next day, the Steelers don’t play until 8:20 the following night and LeFevour is just simply available, so they all agree to use that last game of eligibility in East Lansing on this Saturday.
Record: 0-4 and purchased stock in Fireball
OH YEAH, SUCK IT WILDCATS. The Spartans break their losing streak on the season and, more importantly, their losing streak against the Wildcats with a big homecoming win. Lewerke throws for 400 yards against Northwestern again and Felton Davis has a hat trick of touchdowns, breathing some life back into this season.
Record: 1-4 (with a STATEMENT homecoming win)
Penn State: Win
All of September was just one, elaborate hustle. Very, very wise of Mark Dantonio to have his team play awful those first four games so teams like Penn State have trash tape on MSU. Just four straight games of fullback dives with Matt Coghlin as the ball carrier, probably. Not only does MSU get a signature win here, but they leave Happy Valley knowing they’re back in the Big Ten East title race.
Hell, not even a coin will let Mark Dantonio’s in-state dominance take a break. I can already here the Michigan fans clamoring if that person didn’t open the door behind me, that gust of wind wouldn’t have blown that coin over to heads. But it’s OK for them, because they’re getting a lot of new, shiny coins in the offseason. And their grandpa’s grandpa got to see some cool coins back in his day. They’ll still claim to have the superior coin collection, despite the fact they’ve lost most of them in parking lot over the last decade.
My oh my is this coin starting to FEEL ITSELF. Jeff Brohm and Co. looked sharp last year, at least to Purdue’s standards. In typical Purdue vs. MSU fashion, this will be a close one. Dare I say, Purdue will be up two touchdowns to start the fourth quarter. But as aggressive as the Brohm offense is it leaves them vulnerable to big time turnovers, which we will see as Justin Layne and Josiah Scott each record pick-sixes. Dantonio will go for two on the second touchdown, and LJ Scott will rip the heart out of Purdue.
This is strictly an October team, I guess. The Terps are so over-the-moon that dirtbag DJ Durkin got fired that they simply can’t be brought down. And they also have the same quarterback all season, not switching three times per game like they seemingly did last season. And, like last game at Maryland, some key player will lose his mind immediately and get tossed out of the game to set the pace for a Maryland victory.
Ohio State: Win
Oh yeah, put this season into my veins. Beating OSU, Penn State and Michigan. We can worry about those losses to Utah State and CMU later. Spartan Stadium is absolutely buzzing on this fall night after 70,000+ have tailgated for what seems like 70,000+ hours. MSU has a flashback to 2015 when they bottled up JT Barrett and the run game, holding the Buckeyes to under 150 yards on the ground. Ohio native LJ Scott will run rampant, generating all sorts of offense for MSU.
BOWL. ELIGIBLE. The trap game everyone thought would take MSU away from that sweet, sweet Quick Lane bowl bid simply didn’t deter the Spartans. Scott Frost shows glimpses of what the Cornhuskers will show in the future, but not enough for this game. They say defense travels, and MSU’s stout unit doesn’t let up in Lincoln.
Alright. We were barely fine with Utah State. And Central Michigan. But losing this game? No, forget it. The Spartans ate too much on Thanksgiving, and the aftermath was terrible. The linebackers napped beyond team meetings. Brian Lewerke gained 130 pounds at dinner. The receivers went out to New York for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, got lost on their way back and showed up to campus 15 minutes before kickoff. Just a disaster, and Rutgers still only won by two points.
Quick Lane Bowl vs. Buffalo: Win
Why Buffalo? I don’t know, they seemed fun. MSU concludes its most bizarre season in program history with a win at Ford Field and a split season against MAC teams. Spartan faithful shell out way too much money to see this middling bowl game, but enough for the team to get energized to play for essentially nothing. Nothing but a good end to a weird season.
Record: 7-6 and HARDWARE