Well, football season is over for my Spartans, and it wasn't pretty. Actually, it reminded me quite a bit of 7M's final game a few weeks ago, coincidentally enough, in the semi-finals, as well. We came out and played quite competitively against what was probably a superior opponent to begin with, and just before halftime, we were looking OK. Then, one catastrophic play just before halftime seemed to suck the air out of us, and after that, things got out of hand pretty quickly.
Hats off to the Crimson Tide, and especially to Jake Coker, their 'game manager' quarterback, who had the game of his life. Every ball he threw was absolutely on a dime - I don't think he missed a single pass all night. Even his five incompletions were on-target. Our defensive front showed up to play, but our secondary, um, showed some deficiencies. And our quarterback and offensive line, who were supposed to be our significant strengths. . . well, let's say they didn't have their best games (to be fair, the Alabama defense probably had a lot to do with that).
So football season is over. I can't think we had anything less than a successful season - we were Big Ten champs for the third time in six years (and you have to go back almost 40 years to find three conference championships before that), beat both our major rivals, and earned a spot in one of the national semi-finals, even if we didn't acquit ourselves there quite as well as we'd have hoped. Our program keeps taking positive steps, reaching incrementally higher year-upon-year. So, in the spirit of the New Year, I'm hopeful for the future.
Anyway, it's basketball season now, and Coach Izzo's guys seem to have something good going on. . .
Happy New Year, everybody!