Today’s blog will have a lot of information and thoughts concerning several sports and teams.

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MSU Basketball

  1. Izzo has more than earned the right to tinker and develop this team as he wishes. In him, the Spartan Nation trusts. With that said, you look at other teams who are implementing freshman, and you have to wonder why this team, that is nearly completely intact from last season and has added three talented players to the playing group, looks worse. It certainly isn’t time to worry, but you have to ask it.
  2. Also, from the “You have to ask” department again. How can we play bad against #1 UCLA and still have a chance to win yet struggle against an Oakland or a GVSU for that reason?Â
  3. I want to reiterate that I am not worried, but these are legitimate questions.


MSU Football

  1. It is not a secret that the Spartans would love to make it to the Champs Bowl. With that said, the Insight Bowl is not an attractive alternative to the Motor City Bowl other than warmth of location. The Spartans’ first choice is the Champs, but for that to happen Illinois will have to get to the BCS. That is a very long shot. Emphasis on very! The Insight Bowl is in love with the Indiana story and they seem intent at this point on picking the Hoosiers. I realize many of you won’t like that, but at this point it is a very accurate assessment. If MSU doesn’t get the Champs, the MCB is best for MSU in my opinion.
  2. Devin Thomas stock is skyrocketing. I talked with an NFC scout today who said to me, “That young man just makes plays. There may be bigger or faster guys, but he makes the play. He is a football player.”Â
  3. Recruiting is making some interesting in-roads. I understand that a lot of people in the Spartan Nation would like to see more commitments, but Dantonio is doing something I really respect. He isn’t just taking kids for numbers sake. He and his staff have a PROVEN track record. They know how to evaluate talent, and Dantonio has other staff members than just the position coaches that make assessments. He will have an offensive coach look at a defensive recruit or vice versa, getting their input on him. Dantonio is the one that ultimately pulls the trigger. Many head and position coaches let their egos get in the way and Dantonio doesn’t. He put together a very good recruiting class coming in after the season last year. I have no concerns about MSU recruiting this season, and it will be fun to watch this develop over the next couple of months. One thing that Dantonio does that makes him very successful is that he wants and allows his coaches to “vehemently” defend a recruit they want or not. Dantonio sets his ego aside and if anyone on the staff thinks a kid won’t work or will, they will get their say. The staff trusts Dantonio and he does them, which is why they are so good at recruiting as a team.


MSU Hockey

1.     The Spartans have lost to North Dakota once and Miami of Ohio twice (both being the number one team in the nation at the time they played them). It is maddening that they tied with Wisconsin and Minnesota this weekend both games. I am an avid Comley guy, but it would be nice to see them start strong and gain some momentum.

2.     Spartan Hockey, not being sold out every game at home, is clearly the fault of the athletic administration and their pricing policies. The cost (without a price deal like against Minnesota) is just too high for the average fan, and it is sad that Comley and the kids don’t get the advantage that a packed Munn can be. I fully expect Hollis to address and fix this problem.


Detroit Lions

  1. Now that William Clay Ford has given the staff and edict to play Calvin Johnson, this has to worry you. Considering his track record as an owner you have to (even though this was the right decision) be concerned when he is dropping edicts to the staff. There is no doubt that Martz had underused him, but to have WCF have to pick up the phone should be an embarrassment. Marinelli has gotten on Martz this season and now WCF steps in?
  2. I said at the time that signing Kalimba Edwards to a big money deal was a joke, and he has played like it. I am highly doubtful that he will be back next season. Jared DeVries gets the start over you, Kalimba? DeVries has the heart and the motor. Kalimba is a nice guy, but is a classic example of a guy having the look, (height, weight, speed) but not the heart to play the game at the level he can.
  3. For Marinelli’s critics that say he isn’t the right guy for the job, you may want to go to the next point. Marinelli is in no danger of losing his players or team. Are they frustrated? You bet. Is there a lot of frustration with Martz? No doubt. Remember this my friends; there was a lot of frustration with Donnie Henderson last season. The Lions dealt with him and Martz will get dealt with this off-season. Martz being gone is the prevailing wind, and I don’t see how Marinelli can bring him back. These players love Marinelli and regardless of the fact that he may not look as polished as Mariucci at the podium, he has them and they trust him to fix things. So do I, and more importantly WCF has complete trust in him. Marinelli is going nowhere.
  4. How angry do you get to see Shaun Rogers playing like a Hall of Famer for about 25% of the Lions games, and not show up the other 75%?


Detroit Tigers

  1. The loss of Zoom (Joel Zumaya) was the main reason that the Tigers resigned Todd Jones. The decision to come back to the Tigers was easy for Jones. I asked him if his closeness to players and coaches was key and he gave me an emphatic yes.Â
  2. Kenny Rogers has fired his agent, but don’t think the Tigers are going to wait forever to sign him. He has stalled the Tigers claiming that he is trying to learn how to do a contract since he is now going to be his own agent, but that is a tactic. The MLBPA will review his contract if asked so he is just stalling. He is playing a game that he may not win. Dombrowski in my opinion is the best GM in baseball and he wants to get this done. He is not afraid to look elsewhere and in fact he has somewhat.


Detroit Red Wings

  1. The Wings are lowering prices after last season having so many embarrassing empty seats, and that trend is continuing this regular season. It is a smart move by them, and I am sure it is something that Hollis will use when he “takes over.”