Weird quote from Sparty and Friends today, under the headline "You Can't Fool Us Anymore":
Michigan State is not finding themselves in these losses. They are inventing new ways to lose close games, but not growing from them. If MSU was growing from them, they wouldn’t have lost another game by less than 4 points this season. Their biggest loss all season is only 8 points. Besides the blowout losses to Ohio State and Penn State last year, Dantonio teams have averaged only losing by less than a TD in all their other losses. Don’t try to fool us Spartan fans and give us hope that we are suddenly going to start winning every single tight game we are in. The track record isn’t good.
If that sounds a bit familiar, it should; here's what we wrote about 51 weeks ago:
Going back as long as the seniors have been suiting up, the Iowa program has real, fatal trouble in close games. Coming into a game against a PSU team that's superior in both discipline and physical talent, that spells automatic loss this weekend. Don't let the 7.5-point line fool you--while Iowa's certainly capable of making the game competitive for all four quarters, there is very, very little to suggest they can come away from the game with an upset win.
At that time, Iowa was 5-4, had zero quality wins, and had just given up a game-losing, final-minute drive to Illinois. They had no big wins on their resume and they just kept losing the close ones. The Penn State game loomed and all indications were that Iowa would fall to 5-5.
Except, err, they didn't; in fact, they haven't lost since, running their winning streak in 3-point-or-fewer games to 5 with the latest win over Michigan State. Now, that's not to say that Michigan State can start booking tickets to Pasadena for January 1, 2011 or anything, but it's wrong to punish Dantonio for the sins of John L. Smith and Bobby Williams.
Also, a quick editorial note--at first draft, that last half of the last sentence read "there is nothing to suggest they can come away..." We wised up for a bit, dialed down the spittle, and figured there's always a chance for good things to happen. We hope Sparty and Friends show the same restraint in expressing their pessimism next time. Can we do that a bit? Leave the door open for good things to happen? Yes?
This is a .500 team this year. Why? Because that is what they are. That is what their record shows. I refuse to believe that this team will ever take the next step…
Until August of next year.
Aw, jeez. We know bloggers don't impact the teams in any way and all that, but it's so unbecoming to bitchmake yourself like that. If the Spartans were a .500 team, they'd have to lose their Senior Day game to Penn State and to one of the following: @Minnesota, vs. WMU, and @Purdue. That's a schedule that last week's MSU team wins at least three games from.
And look. Close games don't always go one team's way (or, conversely, always against one team). They're cyclical and random. Yeah, it sucks that the pattern's been going on for the last five years, but the only resemblance this Spartans team has to the ones of five years ago are some redshirt seniors who were freshmen back then and that's about it. It's mostly just the same uniforms and team name, but it's effectively a different team. Once again, don't punish Dantonio for the sins of John L. Smith and Bobby Williams. It's bad form. Bad Sparty. No muscle milk for you until you act cheerful for once.