Kevin Thomas takes the reigns as a Guest Author talking about MSU in a bowl

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MSU BOWL IMPLICATIONS:

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Congrats to the Spartans players, coaches, fans, and to those behind the scenes making this happen. AÂ thanks also has to go to Mark Hollis in selling MSU to the Champs Sports Bowl. These kids, coaches, and even fans deserved a vacation in Orlando and Disneyworld after a torturous four years in which last second collapses became the norm in stealing defeat from the jaws of victory, and now they have the opportunity to play against a good Boston College team, to get a win, and build some optimism going into winter conditioning.

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For those who understand football, a victory in a bowl game cannot be underestimated as well, since that catapults the attitude and confidence in getting ready for next fall, and makes the arduous winter strength and conditioning regimen seem tolerable. The extra practice time for the younger players cannot be underestimated either in just getting to this bowl game. Hopefully appearing in Florida can help grab a few special Florida recruits like past players Lorenzo White, Gari Scott, Sedric Irvin, or an Amp Campbell since MSU needs to be more pro-active in that part of the country again.

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Right after the Penn State game, I sent some e-mails to various bowls to gauge interest, and the Champs Sports Bowl was the one sent the most positive responses back, and in fact, they sent back responses that night. The Spartan turnout for the Citrus Bowl in 2000 was not forgotten by the greater Orlando community, and the fact that MSU played on the big stage all year long, and closed strong against the Nittany Lions was also a factor. The Matt Ryan-Brian Hoyer match up will be intriguing and should be a great game. Bowl games are often won by those who do better preparing during the long lay off, and by the team that won’t get too distracted by the hoopla of the event, in this case, Mickey Mouse and company. Recruiting can also be a distraction, but is the life blood of any program. MSU will have to capitalize more than John L Smith did after going to the Alamo Bowl recruiting wise and bring in some impact players.

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Speaking of Matt Ryan, I really thought he was the best passing quarterback I saw this year, especially after engineering that last second comeback against Virginia Tech earlier in the year. I’m sure you are saying, wait a second, what about The Colt or Tim Tebow or Chase Daniel or Todd Reesing? Now, I love those guys, but the Warriors have exceptional wide receivers and play in a very heavy spread offense that passes ‘ad nauseum’. Tebow is exceptional as a runner and passer but not the passer that Matt Ryan is. I cannot argue against any of these guys really, but there was a reason Ryan was an early to mid-season Heisman candidate, and that is because this guy makes big plays in crucial situations even though his interception ratio is a little high. The Colt and Tebow especially will be guys that will be playing in the NFL, but don’t be surprised in a pro style attack that Ryan flourishes on the pro level more than the other two.

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Of course, Tebow is just a Sophomore so he will be in school at least one if not two more years. His parents were missionaries in the Philippines and they put high regard on education. Which is really an oxymoron, since you don’t normally think of the University of Florida and higher education going hand in hand. Hey, Gator fans, I am only kidding, but I can say that since I lived in Gainesville for several years. Speaking of which, Florida is now facing Michigan on January 1st which is especially interesting since Lloyd Carr blasted Urban Meyer last year when Michigan was in the hunt for a National Championship for what he deemed was lobbying by Meyer to try to get his Gator team to the National Championship game. Yesterday, Carr was talking about the “great job” Meyer was doing and how he has known him for “a long time.” Hey, there’s quick thinking for you. LOL. You think the Gator faithful have really forgotten that? As Mark Dantonio once said, “Pride comes before the fall,” and the Gators will be ready. Then again, it is the last game for Carr, so it should be a great game.

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BOWL GAMES VERSUS PLAYOFF SYSTEM

Which is better? I guess I am old-fashioned in that I like the pageantry of a bowl game, yet there is a way to get his done that is a little different that what others have proposed. I don’t believe it is an “either or” solution as many feel. While many would like to see a sixteen team playoff system, or an eight team, or four team system, I think I have a solution that would keep everyone happy.

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The fourth-rated BCS team would play the number one rated BCS team in a “traditional” bowl game, and the second rated team would play the third rated team in another “traditional” bowl game. Leaving the winners to play each other in a “National Championship Bowl” game to be played a week or two later. This would ensure that no team would get to play in more than one “traditional” bowl game currently used.

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So this year, the fourth rated BCS team, Oklahoma, would have played Ohio State let’s say in the Rose Bowl, and the second rated team, LSU, would play Virginia Tech in let’s say, the Orange Bowl, with both games on January 1st. The winners would then play in the National Championship game a week later when both teams would be at their peak of playing and not playing a Championship game after a 30 or more day layoff, and you would expect both teams to be much sharper in execution, so we can get a true National Champion with no excuses.Â

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There are pitfalls, why would fans want to travel to essentially two bowl games in a short period of time? Well, why do fans follow their NCAA basketball teams from venue to venue during March Madness? Perhaps a Conference Championship game would have to be eliminated to so the players would not play too many games in a season. Then again, we are only talking about two teams per year having to do that. If it could be made affordable and dual travel packages could be set up, it may just work. If a system of different color-coded tickets could be set up depending on which teams won that would help as well. The turn around could be quick and it could be accomplished. Well, its just a few thoughts I have.

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Peace and Go Spartans!

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