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Potluck, Day 4: Michigan State 2019 Record Predictions!

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Bowl eligible, or LOL-gible? We tell you what to expect!

Ohio State v Michigan State
“What is a LOL?”
Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

In honor of the Ag and Tech college, and in honor of Michigan State, let’s Celebrate the State: By talking about the Upper Peninsula! Michigan’s UP is home to the Keweenaw Peninsula, the site of the first copper mining boom in the United States. Interesting, right?

Copper is used for lots of things probably, but its most common association is with pennies (even though there is not really very much copper in them these days #damnmillennials). What is your favorite bargain/inexpensive food or meal that can be had for pennies (ok, unless it’s a gumball, that’s probably not true)? Extra points if it’s a local delicacy or specialty.

Boilerman31: When I’m able to get up and leave for work early, I head to a local diner called Johnny’s Drive-in. Built in the 50’s, it was an actual drive-in until it became rather inconvenient to sit in your car and eat a burger. Three great things about Johnny’s: 1. It has that old school diner feel to it. 2. Best damn cup of coffee in town. 3. I can get two eggs cooked to order, two pieces of toast, a side of bacon, and coffee for around $4. It also doesn’t hurt that I get to shoot the shit with my old man who goes there every morning for his morning cup of coffee after getting done with the morning chores.

Jesse: I’m still a sucker for Top Ramen. I generally dress that up every way a person can, but those noodles are hard to beat for the price. As for local, I am fond of most any diner where I can get a huge breakfast for like $5. Waffle House also works well if you have one anywhere near you,

BrianB2: Me and my buddies used to steal the copper piping from construction sites and sell it on the black market! (We didn’t). I concur that Waffle House is a pretty solid meal for 5 dollars, unfortunately there are not many in Maryland...unfortunetly-er, there appear to be none in Michigan. More regionally, “cheap” and “Maryland” are not two words that often find themselves in the same sentence, but down the street from my house there is a place simply called “the Grille” that is inside of a gas station convenience mart, and it surprisingly is pretty darn good, and not all that pricey. Just like stealing copper piping, sometimes it pays to eat at gas stations people, just avoid the sushi.

Beez: Cookout (the restaurant) trays remain a shockingly good bargain. You can get a spicy chicken sandwich, corndog, four chicken nuggets, and a gigantic shake in any one of like 50 flavors all for $6. The best shake is banana pudding and the worst dipping sauce is somehow ranch. Our country is so great/so fat.

Creighton: In college I used to walk down to the Hamburg Inn on the weekends and get 2 scrambled eggs, mini-pancakes (which were just normal pancakes), coffee, and 2 strips of bacon for $5.98. I’m sure it would cost more than that now, but a greasy $6 breakfast was pretty tough to beat when you’re a student who doesn’t have any money.

MNW: Oh man, beez has such a good point on Cookout. If there was one Southern thing I’d say we need in the North, it’s that. Burn all the Chick-Fil-A down and put Cookouts in their place. That’s a good start toward world peace, I’d say.

I’ll share my dad’s favorite bargain meal, because it’s what he raised us kids on when all three of us were home from school in the summer and Dad, a high school teacher himself, neither wanted to make a gallon vat of mac’n’cheese nor wanted to listen to our incessant whining: He took us to Sam’s Club.

That’s right: For 97 cents per kid, he could get us each a 32-oz Icee, then allow us to wander the store, sitting on furniture, eating all the free samples we want, playing the little Pokemon Snap demo game in the video game section, and then heading home, tired out, after about an hour. And sometimes he’d get an industrial-sized vat of Cheez-Its for the house.

The best.

WSR: Goodness I wish I had an answer here because I’m all for food, especially cheap food. But it’s not always an option in the Twin Cities. There have been a couple amazing hole in the wall Chinese places I’ve loved through the years, but they always end up closing down because they don’t charge what the food is actually worth.

BRT: In Lincoln, I find Bahnwich Cafe to be a very good value. A 12-inch bahn-mi for $4-6, which is what Subway costs you, but this is way better. I also love all kinds of processed, instant foods like Pop Tarts, which aren’t exactly cheap, but kind of. I try not to buy these though, as I will eat far too many of them far too quickly, and as a single woman in my mid-30s, I have to try to at least keep things sort of tight, because men my age mostly want to date 20-somethings, so to compete, I have to… you know what, they’re going to date the 20-somethings anyway, so I may as well eat the damn Pop Tarts. *buys family-size box of frosted strawberry, eats all 12 while binging Queer Eye for the sixth time*

Tell us your favorite cheap eats in the comments!

Football

It’s prediction day! Last year saw MSU scrape to a very-painful-to-watch 6-7 record. Will the Spartans be able to better that this year? Let’s have look-see at the old schedule:

Hmmmm. It’s not great. OSU and Michigan on the road, and to a lesser extent, Northwestern and Wisconsin, could all be tough for the Spartans. At least they’ll always have Rutgers… right? On the bright side, that’s a pretty manageable non-conference, so hopefully the Spartan offense can get a few football basics, like proceeding down the field and gaining first downs, down pat before conference play.

So, tell us how MSU finishes this season (show your work!) and, as a bonus: What’s the ugliest non-conference series your team has played in recent memory?

Boilerman31: The non-con is manageable for Sparty. There’s little reason to think they’ll do worse than 2-1. The crossover with Wisconsin will be a rock fight for the ages. I’m going with 7-5 overall with losses at Ohio State, Wisconsin, Penn State, and Michigan. I’d put the ceiling at 9-3. Anything less than 7-5 is borderline disaster or worse.

Let’s not talk about ugly non-conference series. Too many bad memories of the Hope and Hazell eras.

Jesse: That non-con is sneaky not-awful. Tulsa, while bad, could have been even worse last year all things considered. They did put a scare into a few teams—okay, mainly Texas—but were generally bad. Western Michigan was objectively not bad, at least offensively, and apparently returns pretty much everything that mattered. Oh, and remember how the Arizona State game went last year (why do Big Ten teams keep going West in the non-con)? Right. I still think Michigan State is favored in all three of those, especially with the Sun Devils travelling north.

So let’s give them 3-0 there, but then the conference is not super great. I think they’re worse than OSU, Wisconsin, Penn State, and Michigan going in. That’s four losses, and I’m pretty sure they won’t sweep Northwestern, Indiana, and Maryland because I watched Rutgers defense shut the Spartan offense down last year and like… yeah. Let’s give them a 2-1 stretch there and say Indiana gets them because sure, why not. They should beat Rutgers and Illinois which I think if my math is okay gets them to 7-5. I could easily see this as a 6-6 or 8-4 team depending on any measurable growth or lack thereof on offense.

BrianB2: Oy, this is pretty laborious. I find it difficult to believe that Michigan State will struggle as much as they did last year for no other reason than the fact that they are Michigan State. I only see four ‘definite’ wins (Tulsa, WM, Illinois, Rutgers), three should probably win (Indiana, Maryland, Arizona State) and the rest are going to be struggles. It is Michigan State though, so they are bound to upset somebody, may I suggest Penn State? Thus, I will say 8-4. Still holding out hope that the defense will give up carrying the offense by November 30th. A man can dream.

Beez: MSU is going 7-5 in the most emotionally draining way possible. Starting 5-0, then going 0-5, before they turn it around and win their last two games, plus a bowl game. The loss at Illinois will be particularly hilarious, as will the hindsight-aided “we’re in prime position for playoff consideration!” claims after the 5-0 start and a tied game at half against Ohio State.

Creighton: It’s always hard to tell if late Sparty is going to be regular bad, or bad but they still have every weird thing go their way and they win 10 or 11 games. I’m going with 3-0 in the non-con (they get Sparky at home this year). They’ll get one win against tOSU, Michigan, or Penn State. Two losses between Mayland, wisconsin, Northwestern, and Indiana. Puts them at 8-4.

WSR: I’m going with 7-5 (5-4) with humiliating losses to Penn State and Arizona State and humiliating wins over wisconsin and Rutgers.

MNW: Northwestern’s ugliest nonconference is easily Duke. I mean, sure, there’s lots of fun to choose from! Maybe it’s losing to NIU and WMU at home in consecutive seasons! Maybe it’s the batshit-insane series with Cal in which one game ended at like 2:30am CT! Maybe Illinois State because fuck everything!

But no, the two straight losses to the Duke goddamn Blue Devils by multiple touchdowns both seasons. That’s about as embarrassing as it gets. Right?

As for Michigan State, I talked myself into 9-3 on first glance, and subtracting one win for “There’s no way it’s that straightforward,” I’ll settle at 8-4. Sweep the non-con, win at one of Northwestern, wisconsin, Ohio State, or Michigan. Give me Penn State Nittany Lions as one of those usual ugly-ass 17-12 Spartyball afternoons where the weather machine is humming, and the rest of the East’s tomato cans fold when kicked.

BRT: I’ll give them 7-5. I see 2-1 in the non-con, and then wins over Indiana, Illinois, Rutgers, and Maryland. They’ll probably pick off someone else in that schedule, likely ASU, Northwestern, or Wisconsin. If this team comes out and the offense is markedly better than last year, they could obviously win a lot more games than that, but color me skeptical until I see that improvement.

You’d probably have to go back to USC in the mid-aughts to find a really stinky OOC series, although there have been pretty bad individual OOC games since then. One time we almost lost to McNeese State. Another time we lost to Northern Illinois. And Troy.

Sigh.

Poll

How will MSU fare in 2019?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    3-9 or worse
    (4 votes)
  • 1%
    4-8
    (5 votes)
  • 2%
    5-7
    (6 votes)
  • 11%
    6-6
    (34 votes)
  • 24%
    7-5
    (71 votes)
  • 27%
    8-4
    (80 votes)
  • 16%
    9-3
    (48 votes)
  • 14%
    10-2 or better
    (42 votes)
290 votes total Vote Now