Greetings Spartan Nation. SpartyMSU’s post this week is a collaboration between John O and myself.
Before we get to this week’s prediction, a little dark history. . .
The MSU Spartans and Indiana Hoosiers have been playing a rivalry game for a trophy called, “The Old Brass Spittoon.” The game was the brain-child of 1950 Class President, Eugene McDermott. MSU won the inaugural game 35-0. The series stands at 46-14-2 in MSU’s favor. However, back in 1994, MSU Football Coach and Athletic Director, George Perles and MSU President Peter McPherson were “fighting.” Both wanted to be boss and, truly, McPherson was the boss of the U. The relationship between the two bulls was never harmonious and McPherson got so pissed that he asked the NCAA to investigate MSU’s football programs for “improprieties.” The NCAA investigated. . Twice. . . And found nothing. But Peter wanted the last word and forfeited all 5 of MSU’s wins in 1994 because of “lack of oversight” by the football program. So the series between MSU and IU officially stands at 45-15-2. How’s that for Spartans’ trivia!
This week, the MSU Spartans travel to Bloomington IN to play IU for the Old Brass Spittoon again! The game is featured on Big 10 Network at 8:00 p.m. EDT. The daytime rain will subside and the temperature will be a seasonal 50 degrees.
Both teams are coming off losses. MSU didn’t have anything positive to show for last week’s game- three interceptions, one fumble returned for a TD, a turnover on a muffed snap to the punter. On defense, Alex Hornibrook looked like Peyton Manning. Enough said about last week’s performance.
IU had a stinker as well. They played the Demon Deacons from Wake Forest University and lost 33-28. Wake Forest has a football team? Yes, each of the last two seasons, the Deacons won three games. Unlike MSU, IU could have won. Quarterback Richard Lagow threw for 496 yards and three touchdowns. To complement that, he also threw five interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown.
When IU has the ball, watch for Lagow to throw. It could be a matchup of a prolific passing attack against the No-Fly Zone. Or the I-U running game for IU could take a step forward as MSU linebackers Riley Bullough and Jon Reschke are out. But IU has its own woes with injuries up-front. Offensive Lineman, Dan Feeney (not tonight dear, I have a headache) is out along with Dimitric Camiel. Without them, IU mustered only 115 yards rushing. Honestly, who know?
Strength of schedule might be telling:
MSU has an RPI of 15 and IU has an RPI 59.
The Sagarin Rating MSU is 46 and IU is 66.
The Rating Percentage Index, commonly known as the RPI, is a quantity used to rank sports teams based upon a team’s wins and losses and its strength of schedule. It is one of the sports rating systems by which NCAA basketball, baseball, softball, hockey, soccer, lacrosse, and volleyball teams are ranked.
Jeff Sagarin is a dude (sports statistician) known for his development of a method for ranking and rating sports teams in a variety of sports. His ratings have been a regular feature in the USA Today sports section since 1985. Didn’t know that. . .
What If Sports has MSU winning 28-25 (not bad).
The Spartans have not had back-to-back losses since 2012 when they rebounded to beat TCU in the Cotton Bowl. Aaah, it was a good year!
Anyway, LJ Scott (no more fumbles) runs with passion this week. Look for 147 yards from the big Running Back who needs oxygen after carrying the ball 40 times in MSU’s victory. Tyler “TOC” will complete 6 passes to MSU’s budding star, Donnie Corley Junior. George Blaha is going to say, “Touchdown MSU” 5 times. IU scores only two touchdowns and a field goal.
GO GREEN! GO WHITE!