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Stuff and Shenanigans: This is decisively not Sparta

Good lord, they had families.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 16 Washington at Michigan State Photo by Adam Ruff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Nah, not an intro day today. Just not feelin’ it. Maybe next week.

A 100% Sober and 100% Accurate Rundown of Absolutely Everything

Elephant in the room: I realize you read that caption and thought “Yeah right, 100% sober? You lying conniving ho.” But no, it’s correct. Granted, not because I was trying to be healthy or anything, but because I was playing hockey right after and, unlike my goalie, am not a fan of being drunk on the ice.

Anyways, I know the talk of le town after this weekend is Mike Penix and Co going full Dresden on East Lansing (too soon?), but for me it’s something different.

For me, it’s this... *Clears throat which turns into melodramatic hack coughs lasting well over 30 seconds*

Well, actually, before I propose my biggest takeaway, I have to mention something else because what I have to mention is a legitimate caveat to my biggest takeaway. And that is that: El oh el, I was completely right about Noah Kim’s weaknesses as a quarterback that that dude can’t hit outside the hashmarks and doesn’t have the arm strength or kinetic coordination to throw an accurate pass if it’s not either a deep ball or a short-to-mid range pass between the hashes with his feet perfectly set and if any detail of that is even slightly off it lofts way too off-target.

Seriously, I read some people who are paid far more money than me (read: pretty much any money) say essentially the exact opposite, and started to second guess myself, but it turns out they were just on drugs. I’m not one to gloat but— oh, wait, yes I am. (On a related note, if you ever catch me genuinely trying to chest thump about whatever and blah blah blah, please check me into an assisted living home because I clearly have dementia because when grown ass adults do that it is actually the most embarrassing behavior of all time. Of all. Time. If you’re a deadass adult man bragging about how many followers you have in our mentions — which has happened — all that tells me is that you’re too stupid to realize how much you’re embarrassing yourself.)

Sorry, got a bit distracted there, but that is the giant hulking caveat to my takeaway, because my takeaway is this:


I am almost — aaaaalmoooooost — to the point where I feel... kind of okay... about the secondary...? (This is the actual face I made while typing that, by the way, and I hope you read it with this vibe.)

Yes yes I know I know I know they haven’t faced a team with both a remotely proficient passing attack and comparable talent levels. I’m not saying they’re great necessarily. I’m just saying that so far they’ve kinda just got the job done, and that’s more than we could say about last season’s secondary no matter how bad the opposing offense was.

Again, caveat-where-I-gloat-about-being-right-about-Noah-Kim-and-how-that-makes-the-DBs’-jobs-much-easier-because-they-had-the-advantage-of-being-able-to-cheat-somewhat-because-they-don’t-have-to-worry-about-being-lockdown-outside-the-hashmarks-so-could-play-more-fearlessly-and-decisively-in-the-middle-of-the-field-where-Kim-wants-to-throw notwithstanding, they looked, dare I say, good even?

Now I’m sure they’ll get properly torn up against USC and Oregon and Wazzu and Oregon State and and and — but for now I’m just gonna enjoy this. Guys are in a position that makes sense, guys are making plays on the ball, guys are forcing the quarterback to make more difficult throws, Meesh Powell is playing the inside slant perfectly for an interception; isn’t that lovely?

Granted if there are even a couple more injuries it is so joever but for now, at least, I don’t crap my pants every time a quarterback can get the pass off. And frankly, I’m into it. So is my washing machine.

Moving on.

Another warm take slightly in the other direction

Then on the other side, I’ll preface this with the following: What I’m about to say is in no way supposed to disparage Michael Penix, who might be the greatest athlete — nay, human being — nay, living thing — of all time.


Ironically, I think his absurd statistical prominence and the jaw-dropping big plays in this game is making people overlook certain bumps from his performance.

*Pause while I make sure no one is sending me an email threatening to hurl a Le Creuset at my face*

Again, this is me nitpicking because I know how good he is, because “how good he is” is “awkward Tekline Roofing endorsement” good. Yeah, goddamn iconic.


He may have had some moments that were not his best, but he’s just so resilient, and whips so much butt, and his receivers whip so much butt, that on the scoresheet it didn’t matter.

For example: That first Ja’Lynn Polk catch, to a lesser receiver, could’ve easily been an interception. (Granted, it was a beautiful, glorious throw and good read that was still incredible, just a bit high.) That Ja’Lynn Polk touchdown obviously should’ve been the easiest interception in the world, but then turned into the funniest score in the history of sports. But yeah, I just watched that again and it’s hilarious that that will go in the scoresheet as a positive for Mikey P.

Even that long completion to Rome where the ball travelled roughly the length of the Trans-Siberian Railroad was about six inches away from a potential pick — although you could argue the fact that it was able to be that close to a pick without being one is more evidence of how jaw-droppingly incredible he is, and I can’t disagree. Plus he had a giant defensive lineman in his face. And of course there also has to be a huge amount of credit to Mike for just knowing he can chuck it up to his receivers in coverage like that and they’ll come away with it, and factoring that into his decision making. But I’ve heard people talking about this like it was his greatest game ever, and for as elite as it was, I think there were too many moments that could’ve and likely should have gone against him for me to call it that.

Whatever, it’s not like it matters because nitpicking about the quantification of how elite someone is is ridiculous. All we really need to care about is “Mike = Amazing.” The reason that was particularly stuck in my head, though, was because to me, offensively at least this game felt like it was the receivers’ show. As far as I’m concerned, QB1 was getting a bit too much credit and JMac, Polk, Rome, Germie — oh, and The Pride of Mount Si, tight end but whatever — haven’t gotten enough for how batshit insane they were (compliment).

And dare I say even the running game felt better? Huh, curious.

Oh but of course lastly: Jack Westover is officially The Man™.

Lines of the Week

Mike from snap number one:

Michigan State whenever Jack Westover or Ja’Lynn Polk did anything to them:

Jack Westover:

Jack Westover:

Jack Westover:

Michigan State by halftim— scratch that, 10 minutes in:

Do good things, don’t do bad things, and bow down to Washington.