Posts Tagged ‘Michigan State Spartans’

cotton bowl

This is the Playoff semi-final. Alabama won the only prior meeting, 49-7 (-8) in the 2010 Capital One Bowl. The Crimson Tide were in a similar spot last year as they were nearly a double-digit favorite against Ohio State and lost, 42-35 (-8). Head coach Nick Saban is is 5-3 SU/ATS in bowls at Alabama and was 4-5 SU/ATS in bowls while the head coach at LSU and Michigan State (first meeting against Sparty). Michigan State is bowling for the ninth straight season. They beat Baylor, 42-41 (+2.5) in last year’s Cotton Bowl and head coach Mark Dantonio is 6-4 SU/ATS in bowls.

Michigan State entered this year a legit National Title contender and haven’t disappointed. They got past Oregon, despite being outgained by 104 yards and got a miraculous win at Michigan on a blocked punt returned for a touchdown. They lost at Nebraska on a questionable non-penalized touchdown pass (receiver came back from being out of bounds) with under thirty seconds left. Quarterback Conner Cook was injured in the win over Maryland and missed the Ohio State game. Despite alternating two backups at quarterback, the Spartans beat the defending champs, holding them to just five first downs and 132 total yards (game-winning field goal with no time left). They beat Michigan and Ohio State without leading a single second in regulation. Michigan State beat Iowa in the Big Ten Championship game as they went 82 yards in 22 plays, scoring the game-winning touchdown with 27 seconds left. They are No. 13 in the FBS, allowing 88 yards per game less then their opponents average and their strength is along both lines of scrimmage.

Alabama lost to Ole Miss via a deflected pass, but then steamrolled the rest of their foes in a rare down year for the SEC. Running back Derrick Henry broke Herchel Walkers conference record for most rushing yards in a season and won the Heisman Trophy. They are No. 1 in the FBS, allowing 155 yards per game less then their foes average and held eight of their opponents to either their fewest or second fewest yards.

While Michigan State has one of the top offensive/defensive line combinations in the country, Alabama’s is even better. The Crimson Tide have better talent at every position with the exception of quarterback. Dantonio is 12-1 ATS as a ‘dog, winning nine outright! The Spartans also play their best in big games. Oregon, Michigan, Ohio State, and Iowa combined to average 219 (5.2) rushing yards per game, but Michigan State held them to 81 (2.5), so they matchup well against Henry.


There is no shortage of great boxers in action this weekend.  While the matchups could be better, it’s great to see these guys in the ring again.  Here are my breakdowns of the notable fights!

Friday, October 15th

Buffalo Run Casino, Miami, Oklahoma (Showtime) 

The Main Event:

Heavyweights (10 Rounds) – Former Light heavyweight Champion of the World, Antonio “Magic Man” Tarver (27-6, 19 KO’s) will take on Nagy Aguilera (16-4, 11 KO’s)

  • Tarver is coming off a 12 round decision loss to Chad Dawson last May.  His last win was in 2008. 
  • Aguilera is coming off a 12 round decision loss to Maurice Harris in August.  He’s 2-2 in his last four fights.
  • Tarver is campaigning as a heavyweight for the first time in his career for this fight.  He’s picked the right kind of opponent to debut against as a heavyweight and shouldn’t have a problem.

The Co-Feature:

Welterweights (10 Rounds) – Cleveland Welterweight prospect “Showtime” Shawn Porter (16-0, 12 KO’s) will go up against Hector “The Hurricane” Muñoz (18-3-1, 11 KO’s)

  • Porter is coming off a 10 round unanimous decision over Ray Robinson in July.  His only two scheduled 10 round fights have gone the distance.
  • Muñoz is coming off a fifth round knockout loss to Mike Jones in April.  He’s been stopped early in back to back fights and hasn’t won since 2008.
  • This fight is a major mismatch.  Of Muñoz’s 18 wins, four have come against guys with a winning record.  Porter is going to smoke this cat, who shouldn’t even be in the same ring. 


Fantasy Springs Casino, Indio, California (Telefutura)

The Main Event:

Super Featherweights (10 rounds) – Eloy “The Prince” Perez (18-0-2, 5 KO’s) will fight Dominic Salcido (18-2, 9 KO’s)

  • Perez is coming off a fifth round knockout over Derrick Campos in August.  He’s won 10 straight. 
  • Salcido is coming off an eight round unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Guillermo Sanchez in May.  He’s 2-2 over his last four bouts. 
  • Perez is a great boxer-puncher and will utilize those skills to get by Salcido, who will put up a valiant effort.

The Co-Feature:

Heavyweights (10 rounds) – Seth “Mayhem” Mitchell (18-0-1, 12 KO’s) will battle Derrick “D-Train” Brown (13-5-3, 11 KO’s)

  • Mitchell is coming off a first round stoppage over Derek Bryant in July.  Five of his last six bouts have ended inside the distance, including three straight.
  • Brown is coming off a second round knockout loss to Jeremiah Graziano in March.  He hasn’t won a fight since 2006, a span of five fights.
  • Golden Boy Promotions is being cautious while they bring up Mitchell, who only started boxing in 2006.  He was a legitimate linebacker in college for the Michigan State Spartans before several knee injuries derailed his football career.


Bell Center, Montreal, Canada ( live, delayed on ESPN on Sunday)

The Main Event:

Super Middleweights (12 rounds) – Ring Magazine #1 Super Middleweight Lucian “Le Tombeur” Bute (26-0, 21 KO’s) takes on Jesse Brinkley (35-5, 22 KO’s)

  • Bute is coming off a third round technical knockout over Edison Miranda in April.  Five of his last six fights have been stopped inside the distance, including three straight.
  • Brinkley is coming off a twelve round unanimous decision over Curtis Stevens in January.  He’s won nine straight.
  • Bute is arguably the best super middle in the world right now, along with Andre Ward.  That is the real fight in the division, but until the Super Six Tournament is over, Bute will have to continue to dispatch overmatched opponents like Brinkley.

The Co-Feature:

Light Heavyweights (10 rounds) – Ring Magazine #6 Light Heavyweight Adrian “The Shark” Diaconu (26-2, 15 KO’s) goes up against Omar Sheika (30-9, 21 KO’s)

  • Diaconu is coming off back to back decision losses against the Jean Pascal, the Light Heavyweight Champion of the World. 
  • Sheika is coming off a third round technical knockout over Jim Strohl in June.  He’s won three straight and four of his last five, albeit against extremely weak opposition. 
  • With Diaconu’s only losses coming to Pascal, his resume looks even better.  The 33 year old Sheika has been in so many ring wars, his boxing age is closer to 43.  He’s well past his prime.


Saturday, October 16th

02 World Arena, Hamburg, Germany ( live, delayed on ESPN on Sunday)

The Main Event:

Heavyweights (12 rounds) – Ring Magazine #1 Heavyweight Vitali “Dr. Ironfist” Klitschko (40-2, 38 KO’s) fights Shannon “The Cannon” Briggs (51-5-1, 45 KO’s)

  • Klitschko is coming off a tenth round knockout over Albert Sosnowski in May.  He’s won eight in a row, seven by knockout.
  • Briggs is coming off a first round stoppage over Rob Calloway in May.  He’s won three straight, all by first round knockout.
  • These two combine for an incredible 84% knockout percentage.  Someone is getting stopped.  Unfortunately for American fight fans, it’s going to be Briggs, who starts huffing and puffing usually after two or three rounds.

The Co-Feature:

Cruiserweights (10 rounds) – Ring Magazine #9 Cruiserweight Ola “Kryptonite” Afolabi (14-2-3, 6 KO’s) battles Sandro Siproshvili (24-6, 11 KO’s)

  • Afolabi is coming off a close 12 round decision loss to #2 Cruiserweight Marco Huck last December.  He had been unbeaten in 14 straight fights before that setback.
  • Siproshvili is coming off a first round knockout over Siarhei Voron in July.  He’s won nine of his last ten.
  • Don’t let Siproshvili’s record fool you, as only four of his twenty-four wins have come against opponents with winning records.  Afolabi simply needs to get in the ring and fight, and that’s what this fight is for. 


Silver Spurs Arena, Kissimmee, Florida (PPV)

The Main Event:

Jr. Featherweights (12 rounds) – Ring Magazine #9 Jr. Featherweight Wilfredo “WV2” Vazquez Jr. (19-0-1, 16 KO’s) will take on Ivan “Choko” Hernandez (28-4-1, 17 KO’s)

  • Vazquez Jr. is coming off a tenth round stoppage over previously undefeated Zsolt Bedak in May.  He’s scored knockouts in four straight fights, and six of his last seven.
  • Hernandez is coming off a fifth round stoppage over Lizandro De Los Santos in May.  He’s won five of six.
  • Out of all the sons trying to emulate their world class fathers, Vazquez Jr. is the leader of the pack.  He is a legit boxer, despite taking up the sport at a late age.  He won’t have any issues with Hernandez as he looks to climb up the Jr. Featherweight ladder, where there isn’t a legit World Champion.


Estadio De Beisbol, Monterrey, Mexico (Fox Sports en Espanol)

The Main Event:

Flyweights (12 rounds) – Ring Magazine #8 Flyweight Julio Cesar Miranda (33-5-1, 26 KO’s) will go up against Michael Arango (31-9-3, 25 KO’s)

  • Miranda is coming off an eight round stoppage over Ronald Ramos last month.  He’s won four of his last five, all by knockout.
  • Arango is coming off a second round knockout over Nestor Arroyo last month.  He’s 2-2-1 over his last five bouts.
  • Miranda is looking to stay in the ratings and get another crack at Flyweight World Champion and pound for pound elite Pongsaklek Wonjongkam, whom he lost a decision to last April.


Olympic Sports Palace, Chekhov, Russia (No U.S. TV)

The Main Event:

Heavyweights (10 rounds) – Ring Magazine #3 Heavyweight Alexander “Russian Vityaz” Povetkin (19-0, 14 KO’s) will fight Teke Oruh (14-2-1, 6 KO’s)

  • Povetkin is coming off a fifth round stoppage over Javier Mora in March.  Three of his last four fights have ended inside the distance.
  • Oruh is coming off a 10 round decision loss to Manuel Quezada in 2008!  He hasn’t won a fight since 2007!
  • Povetkins trainer, Teddy Atlas, pulled Povetkin out of a scheduled fight with World Heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko earlier this year citing Povetkin not being ready for that type of fight in his career.  I don’t see how fighting a guy that hasn’t been in the ring since 2008 can get Povetkin ready.  I call BS.