Tony’s weekly thoughts


 
MSU Basketball


Don’t worry folks.  I’ve seen numerous people give up on this team already.  This is still November.  We have the best coach in the country.  We have an all-American who has been sick all year.  We have three of the top freshmen in the country who are all trying to get acclimated to Izzo’s system and to the speed of the college game.  We have a stud SF/PF, who by the end of the year will be a first team all-big ten player.  Stick with the team folks, they will be fine.  Ok, that was all written before the NC State game.  We’re starting to see the real team now.  This team has the potential to be real good.  Scary good.  Watch out Big Televen.


MSU Football


Am I dreaming?  We’re going to a bowl!  When we first got that 7th win (as I predicted we would) I said no way in hell do I want the team in the Motor City Bowl.  But the more that I think about it, it isn’t the worst thing in the world if we do get stuck there.  If Illinois lucks out and gets that BCS berth, MSU deserves the Champs sports bid over two teams they beat in Purdue and Indiana.  If Illinois drops down, PSU will get the Champs bid.  Then we have a dilemma.  Do we get snagged up by a bowl in Arizona that noone is able to see or a bowl that is close to home that goes up against no other bowl so everyone who wants to watch football is going to watch, but we play a team from the MAC, and does little to our reputation other than being in a bowl.  Bowl season is awesome!!!


Detroit Lions.


Ugh.  Where do I start?  Martz.  Dude, come on.  The running game has been unseen the last three weeks.  We have a very good RB in KJ, to go along with TJ, this could be a very good duo.  The defense has been much worse the last three games than the previous 8.  I know, no kidding.  But if you look at it, it’s about the turnovers.  The last three weeks the Lions are -3, before that they were +8.  Ask any coach and they will tell you that when you lose the TO battle, you’ll lose the game.  It’s time for Jon Kitna to step up.  Why are you throwing the ball to Shaun McDonald?  You have Mike Furrey, Roy Williams (who has been VASTLY underused) and Calvin Johnson, and you’re throwing it to McDonald?  I know that a lot of the problems have been because of the way Martz has been playing people, but at some point Kitna has to step up and prove that he can be a good NFL quarterback.  Now on to the main reason the team has slipped, and will continue to slip.  The offensive line.  They’re making mistake after mistake.  They are the most important players on the field (other than the QB) and when they make mistakes, the team loses.  In the six wins, they have limited the mistakes.  In the losses, they are costing the team field position with penalties and a lack of ability to give Kitna time to throw the ball.  Some of you know my opinion on the individual lineman, but one has stood out to me.  Jeff Backus is the worst left tackle in the game.  He is supposed to be a franchise player, and the best OT on the team.  If that’s the case, the Lions have a bigger problem than even I thought.  I honestly believe that he would be a good Right Tackle in the league, and if the Lions grab a serviceable tackle, they should move him right over there instead of Foster/Scott.  The one thing the Lions have to address this off-season is that left tackle position.  If they do that, and nothing else they could contend for the NFC North next year.  For this year, I don’t know if there is another winnable game on the schedule.  If Minnesota gets AP back this week, I expect a Vikings win, if not the Lions will win.  One player has that much of a difference.


Detroit Tigers


So far this off-season, they have made some good moves.  I like the Jacque Jones acquisition.  The most important move was keeping Todd Jones in the back of the bullpen.  Win or lose, he’s been exciting.  I think he’ll get back to 40 saves next year, and the Tigers will be much improved.  I have liked Edgar Renteria for quite a long time.  He’ll be a good addition, and improve the infield both offensively and defensively.  I’ll be interested to see what Dombrowski does the rest of the off-season.  Stay tuned folks.