Before I get too much further into the week that was at OTE, let me first congratulate the Spartans for dismantling Michigan last night. I only watched the first half and a few minutes into the second before I was bored. That is not to say that Michigan losing or Michigan State winning is specifically boring, but come on. This was a bloodbath and since I generally have no affinity towards either team, I definitely moved on. With that said, it is worth pointing out that the Spartans now look like front-runners and that Feb 19th showdown with Indiana looms large. The Spartans should put 100% of their focus on that game and that game alone. There really is nothing more important than worrying how you stop Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo. Nothing. In fact, I'm not sure there is anything that important between now and then so you can go ahead and just circle the 19th Sparty and forget that little
sidetrip you take on your way to Bloomington pickup game between now and that home date with Indiana.
[ed note: I can't read schedules. I could have sworn this game was being played in Bloomington and not EL. h/t to MSULaxer for picking up on the mistake.]
The OTE Users Write Stuff Section
- br27 writes another interesting statistical breakdown -- this time about recruiting. In the questions raised about Michigan and Ohio State running away with the conference, he says something like - yes and no. That's generally fair because parity in 'tiers' does make this a little more difficult than you'd think. Also, it's possible these last two classes get smoothed out statistically... maybe.
- NC_Buckeye went to a hockey tournament back in January, and with a little prodding, put up some pictures and a story about the trip. Both Ohio State and Penn State were there and the pictures/story is awesome. I love me some College Hockey and cannot wait to see the crazy thing that we'll refer to as the Big Ten conference on ice next year. Sure, it ruined some classic conferences, rivalries, and general decorum in College Hockey politics, but hey -- it's still awesome.
The OTE Staff Writes Stuff Too Section
- Graham opened up the week (you know, starting with Thursday last week) with a piece on how to beat Michigan. Since then, two teams have beaten Michigan. One can only assume that coaches are using Off Tackle Empire as their scouting department.
- Jesse (weird talking in third person there) wrote a story about Nebrasketball. If you had to guess what its about, you would say something formulaic like, "Nebraska isn't good now + Still a fan + Hope + God I hope we don't lose to Penn State = Post." Oh, and Nebraska didn't lose to Penn State! Hooray!!!
- zipsofakron had a nice sitdown with Robert from A Lion Eye about the Minnesota-Illinois matchup. Zips knew this game was important for the Gophers and was probably even sadder when Illinois showed it has some mettle. Also, I guess we now live in a world where the Illini are getting closer to having nice things again. I don't know how to cope with this.
- Ted scored an amazing interview with Gerry DiNardo from the BTN. It was so cool that there are two parts!!! All this to say, it is always interesting following along with a guy who lives and breathes this stuff. Obviously as fans, we are always trying to come up with information about the game and we know a lot, but this guy is definitely legit. Also, kudos for Ted for interviewing Gerry at a really high level. This was probably one of the best interviews I have read through on SBN. The only one I can think of that was more entertaining, off the top of my head, was when the MMA site interviewed Anthony Bourdain and his wife. That one was pretty damn funny. This one was just really well done. Good work Ted.
- Ted recapped the B1G meetings as well. He talked about the lecture that Urban gave the other coaches and included the slide deck of how to beat the SEC. Obviously there were discussions about turtles and penises and toughness, but those things were scoffed at. In an interesting turn of events, Urban spoke fondly of Bret Bielema and his affinity for toughness, turtles, and strong recruiting -- thus his move to Arkansas -- before laughing about the time when he once, 'wrestled,' with a gator for a recruit while at Florida.. Okay, none of this is in the article, because Urban didn't lecture anyone. Still, that's totally how it would have gone.
- Nolan Moody wrote a really nice piece on the Spartan Basketball team yesterday before their absolute murdering of the Michigan Wolverines Basketball team. There is an argument to be had that Izzo should never be overlooked. In fact, usually no one does, but for some reason it feels like we all did this year. Now they are ranked 8th and have this really important game on the 19th versus the league leading Hoosiers. I hope they are prepared for that game and start watching film now. Seriously Izzo, do you hear me? You need to pay attention to the Hoosiers. They are all that's standing between you and the Big Ten regular season title -- maybe even a No. 1 seed. They deserve 200% of your attention.