Those of you that tune into Spartan Nation and Hondo’s House on a regular basis know I have been absent for a while on this site. The summer time gets busy for me as my band continues to gig regularly and my day job demands my attention. I did manage to stomp around with Hondo at the White House. I am now trying to keep my enthusiasm about MSU athletics to a dull roar. But hey… it is a good time to be a Spartan. Here is my current take on MSU football with more to come on basketball and hockey in the next two weeks.

MSU Football 2007
Can’t help but get excited about football. It’s July and practice is less than a month away. Rumblings of summer workouts are leaking from “The Duffy” and Mark Dantonio’s reputation is right on track. Passion, purpose and positive attitude appear to be gushing green between the brick and mortar. Fall recruits look to be on track to avoid the NCAA chopping block and recruiting is in full swing. Dantonio and company are pounding the streets of Detroit with open arms and a saleable product. Kids continue to watch as MSU strategically does things the right way. Let’s face it; MSU hasn’t had a saleable product since Nick left for Baton Rouge. Mark Dantonio continues to point to Michigan as the measuring stick while giving OSU and Tressel one complement after another.

Pretty smart Mark, you have to beat Michigan at least fifty percent of the time to recruit equally on the home front and you have to be one of the top three players for Ohio talent every year to be consistent against UM, ND, OSU and PSU. It is known that even Jim Tressel lends his lifelong friend Mark Dantonio a hand on the recruiting trail and why not? It only makes sense if you are Jim Tressel. There is too much talent in the Buckeye state for OSU every year. Michigan is the declared enemy and the only school that hates them as much or more than Ohio State is Michigan State. OSU doesn’t have to play MSU every year since we are currently on a 3 for 3 schedule with the Buckeyes. So even if MSU is great on any given year, your chances of running into the green giant are only fifty percent if you are Ohio State. If you are Jim Tressel, you want MSU taking talent from metro Detroit, Grand Rapids, Flint and Saginaw. Michigan has been able to slow play four-star recruits on the home front for the last ten years because MSU’s last two coaching hires were so terribly irresponsible.

Now comes the best part. Michigan State will have one of the premier football complexes in country starting in 2008. The stadium is newly refurbished and the talent pipeline is being built at a rapid pace. It is widely believed that Lloyd Carr is soon to retire and that has to make potential Wolverine recruits a little anxious. The Wolverine fan base will tell you that there is no need to worry if you cheer for the maize and blue. After all, Michigan football recruiting is a machine. Yes it is, but the younger brother in the green helmet is tired of the playground beatings and Brutus owns you right now. Mike DeBord is rumored to be theirchoice as Lloyd’s replacement. I mean gosh, it couldn’t have been Mike’s fault that the Chippewa’s sputtered under his leadership. Couldn’t be Mike’s fault… after all… he’s a MICHIGAN MAN. If I’m the Spartans and Michigan names Mike DeBord the head coach of the Big House, I have to like my chances in the living rooms of Michigan high school kids. I expect to take our lumps again from our older brother this year. There are no moral victories, as the best coaches will tell you. Never mind the score come November; Michigan will see a Spartan defense for the first time in almost a decade. An exciting defense that meets the ball carrier in the hole with the kind of rumblings that once made opponents hate playing Michigan State. Those days have returned. Strap it up Spartan Nation and get ready… practice begins in 3 weeks.