Harrumphers, Alarmists, and Extremists - Take A Deep Breath

Harrumphers, Alarmists, and Extremists - Take A Deep Breath

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Harrumphers, Alarmists, and Extremists - Take A Deep Breath

With Week 2 now complete and Michigan State having sputtered a bit out of the gate, what are some of the ways in which The Harrumphers, The Alarmists, and The Extremists can find solace, peace, and tranquility?

Contact @crowleysullivan

On the eve of this 2018 college football season, Michigan State was ranked 11th and 12th in the two major polls and the experts were all pointing to the Spartans as a team that could fight its way to the College Football Playoff by winning college football’s toughest division and then winning the Big Ten Championship.

After an underwhelming 38-31 win over Utah State in the season opener, the Spartans fell a handful of spots in the polls and people harrumphed and whined a bit about the fact that Michigan State had failed to properly dismantle the Aggies from the Mountain West.

But The Harrumphers were outdone by The Alarmists who threw lots of things out of their windows and stomped their feet and bemoaned the audacity of the Spartans to have merely won by a touchdown (in the waning moments of the game, no less).

However, there was a fair shot at redemption with a tricky challenge against Arizona State to be played in the desert in Week 2.

A Green & White invasion dried out Tempe even more than expected since taverns all across the region are now scrambling to re-stock their inventory due to the massive bum rush on the booze supply across most of the state.

And now we know that the sky fell this past Saturday night as Michigan State fell to the Sun Devils 16-13.

Beginning around 2:30a et Sunday morning, The Harrumphers began to team up with The Alarmists and The Extremists and there have been proclamations, announcements, and declarations about how the Michigan State offensive line should be traded to Maryland for cash and prospects to be named later.

In addition to the trade demands being trumpeted, I saw one of the Twitters say that Mark Dantonio should see if Gus Ornstein still has eligibility remaining.

*** Full disclosure – the Twitter that politely suggested that Dantonio find out if Ornstein had eligibility remaining did so with the thought that Ornstein could play defensive end, not quarterback as would be assumed, in order to give the Spartan pass rush a boost.

The truth is that Michigan State hasn’t looked particularly fearsome or crisp in the aggregate over the course of the first two games.

But, the Spartans, at 1-1, do still have nearly an entire season ahead of them.

And when Mark Dantonio said in the aftermath of the disappointing loss to Arizona State that the Spartans still have all of their goals in front of them, he was right.

The bye week can allow this team to catch its breath, heal a few of its bumps and bruises, and give The Harrumphers, The Alarmists, and The Extremists time to come down from the bridges.

While it’s essential to do as we’re told and take it one game at a time, it’s also not crazy to daydream about the Spartans defeating Indiana, Central Michigan, and Northwestern and achieving a 4-1 record with a trip to Penn State that would provide The Harrumphers, The Alarmists, and The Extremists a chance to tell everyone that they knew the Spartans would be 4-1 all along.

Yes, there are obvious areas where this team must hike up the big boy pants and start to play tackle football with a bit more oomph.

The woes of the offensive line’s inability to create a push or even a bit of space don’t require hours of film work done by the internet and website people who have absolutely no influence over the members of the offensive line.

Michigan State offensive line coach Mark Staten doesn’t have a Grand Canyon family vacation planned for the next two weeks.

And this isn’t the week when Mark Dantonio takes his family on a camping and white water rafting trip on the New River in West Virginia.

There is work to be done – and the guys who paid to do the work and the guys who actually do the work are going to do a lot of work this week and next week.

It’s fair to also point to consecutive games in which Michigan State’s opponents have treated what was going to be the 2018 version of the No Fly Zone like a very wide open, early American Western Frontier type of space where much flying has been allowed to occur.

Two straight 300+ yard games by opposing quarterbacks who are to be respected but won’t ever be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame should – and do – give astute Spartan fans reason for concern.

But, I was able to confirm that Spartan secondary coach Paul Haynes canceled his nine-day Norwegian Cruise Line Glow Party trip with his pals from college that they all were slated to embark on tomorrow.

I also have it on good information that Michigan State defensive coordinator Mike Tressel has put the kibosh on what was supposed to be a six-day jaunt all through Scotland where he and a few of his pals were going to play golf at some of the finest courses the Scots have to offer.  That trip was supposed to start on Thursday.

As the sting from the loss to Arizona State maybe starts to soften just a bit for those of us who didn’t actually play or coach in the game, there are things to recognize as possible spirit-lifters.

For instance, take a look at the post-game write-up here from CollegeFootballNews –

1. Arizona State 16, Michigan State 13

It could’ve been worse. The Spartans could’ve blown it against Utah State, too.

The run defense was fantastic – partially because Arizona State didn’t even think about grinding out the ground game – and the secondary held up well enough against the superstar ASU receivers. Yes, MSU gave up 380 yards through the air, but the defensive backs won their share of battles – N’Keal Harry, though, is just that good.

The problem? The Michigan State offense couldn’t get going on a consistent basis for the second straight week.

LJ Scott had just 19 yards on nine carries. No one had any big gashes, and there were on’y a few long pass plays to stretch the field and open things up.

ASU moved the chains when it had to, and MSU didn’t.

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Michigan State Football

@MSU_Football

ASU worked the clock correctly at the end, and closed the game out in brilliant fashion. MSU wasn’t able to survive, and it didn’t let the Sun Devils score when a chip shot field goal became obvious.

ASU is just good. It was a late night road game against a good team with a whole lot of talent, and the Spartans couldn’t get the O going. That’s it.

This is still a great team with a fantastic D and a whole lot of upside. All is not lost – the Spartans still go to the College Football Playoff by winning out, and in a more realistic dream, can still take the Big Ten title …

But that offense had better figure it out fast against Indiana and Central Michigan over the next two weeks.

This might – MIGHT – give The Harrumphers, The Alarmists, and The Extremists a tiny bit of reason for slight optimism.

Arizona State is pretty good, folks.

N’Keal Harry is the best receiver in the nation and will be a star in the NFL.

Manny Wilkins made the plays.

Sun Devil Stadium was a sweat box and the Devils deserve a lot of credit for leveraging it, leveraging the crowd…

… and the entire dynamics related to what was a massive game for their head coach and the whole program.

And while Michigan State has plenty to work on, the season is but an infant child.

Finally, take a look at the bowl projections from CollegeFootballNews below.

Sure, the Big Ten Championship and the College Football Playoff remain the goals.

But it continues to be important to some of us to remember that there was a time when a projected Citrus Bowl berth was reason for a parade.

Final suggestion to the The Harrumphers, The Alarmists, and The Extremists:

Continue to focus your anger, your apoplectic Twitters, your brilliant and important opinions on what MUST happen on the Detroit Lions.

Your perspectives and demands and your smart football thoughts are going to be listened to by the Lions people and, as a result, the Lions are going to become a really good football team.

CollegeFootballNews Bowl Projections are right here –

Bowl Projections & College Football Playoff Picks: After Week 2

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