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 "Michigan State Is 7UP, Not the Soda Pop, But 7 Straight..." 
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Post "Michigan State Is 7UP, Not the Soda Pop, But 7 Straight..."
Michigan State Is 7UP, Not the Soda Pop, But 7 Straight Victories
by: Ed Bagley

7UP is not just a soda pop, it's where the Michigan State Spartans find themselves for the first time since 1966.

Count 'em. There's Western Michigan, Florida Atlantic, Notre Dame, Northern Colorado, Wisconsin, Michigan and with their win over Illinois, Michigan State is unbeaten at 7-0 and now ranked 8th nationally in both the AP and Coaches Top 25 Polls.

This is heady territory for Michigan State. In 1966, Michigan State was 9-0 and ranked No. 2 when the Spartans hosted No. 1 ranked Notre Dame. The game, dubbed the Game of the Century by the media, ended in a 10-10 tie when Irish coach Ara Parseghian decided to play for a tie rather risk victory or defeat. Ultimately, both teams were awarded national championships because of the tie, which left both teams with 9-0-1 records.

Time has changed the landscape today, as there are no ties in football - both college and pro teams now play overtime periods to determine a winner.

Against Illinois, the Illini went into halftime with a 6-3 lead as the Spartans played a really flat 1st half.

All of that changed when the Spartans won the 2nd half 23-zip, scoring a field goal in the 3rd quarter followed by a 48-yard scoring strike from Kirk Cousins to B. J. Cunningham, and another field goal.

Another field goal was added in the 4th quarter and the game was put away when running back Larry Caper scampered 15 yards for the final touchdown, and the 26-6 victory.

Spartan QB Kirk Cousins ended up going 13-of-24 (54%) for 201 yards and 1 TD pass. Perhaps even more important was the foot of Dan Conroy, who added field goals of 37, 34, 32 and 18 yards.

Unlike many games this season, Michigan State did not produce awesome statistics. This was likely due to the fact that Illinois has a darn good team. The Illini stomped Penn State 33-13 in an away game, and played Ohio State tough in a 24-13 loss.

Illinois also came into the game with a strength of schedule (SOS) rating of 22nd nationally, and a ranking of 31st by Sagarin. Michigan State's SOS was 95th, and the Spartans were ranked 13th in the AP Top 25 Poll.

With 7 wins in their pocket, it begs the question: Can the now 8th-ranked Spartans, who next travel to Evanston to meet the Northwestern Wildcats, make it 8 in a row?

Northwestern is 5-1. Michigan State averages 34 points a game, Northwestern 27. Both teams pile up the yards on offense, the Spartans average 447 and the Wildcats 425, only 22 yards difference.

Both teams are stingy on scoring defense. Michigan State gives up 16 points a game, Northwestern only 18. And total defense? The Spartans give up 325 yards a game, and the Wildcats 356, only 31 yards more.

Conclusion: Northwestern is going to score some points, but Michigan State should score a few more.

And the X factor? Just ask Florida, Alabama, Ohio State and Texas - they know all about the X factor. Anything can happen in college football on any Saturday in any stadium, even at Ryan Field in Evanston.

Copyright © 2010 Ed Bagley

About The Author
Ed Bagley's Articles is Writer, Author and Editor Ed Bagley's personal web site with hundreds of original articles on 46 different subjects. Ed Bagley's Articles is a treasure trove of feel good stories, satire, insight, and frank commentary on our life and times in America. Find Ed Bagley's Articles at:
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[Note: Due to a size limitation, the title, above, had to be abbreviated. Apologies to the author and - Admin]
This article was posted by permission.

Sun Feb 13, 2011 12:48 pm
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