Ladies and gentlemen, it’s April 18, 2012, and we have our first bulletin board material filed away on CFT.
The Michigan-Michigan State rivalry, while a perfectly good one, clearly takes a backseat in Ann Arbor to other games such as… oh, I don’t know… Ohio State. I’m half-scared to say this, but I’d even put the game against Notre Dame higher on the hate-o-meter for Michigan than the game against Michigan State (thoughts, Wolverine fans?).
Be that as it may, it has to be annoying for U-M knowing they’ve lost the last four meetings against the Spartans. Adding to that irritation would be Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio, who had this to say about recruiting against the Wolverines.
“We’re laying in the weeds,” Dantonio told ESPN’s Brian Bennett. “We’ve beat Michigan the last four years. So where’s the threat?”
I suppose when you’ve won four in a row against your big in-state rival, you’ve earned the right to talk some smack. That said, don’t expect the Spartans to continue to dominate this series in the future, at least not while Brady Hoke is around.
But you have to love this stuff from Dantonio; selfishly, it gives me something to write about.
The only thing missing now is for Hoke to begin referring to Michigan State as “Michigan.”
Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.
Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.
And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.
“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”
Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.
You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season? Watch lists are being whittled.
The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior. The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.
The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).
The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten. The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).
Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.
Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah