Monday, 31 December 2012

Michigan carrying torch for Big Ten in Outback Bowl

South Carolina tough test for Michigan

My column:

On Lions, MSU bowl victory, Michigan vs. South Carolina

Replay of my live chat:     Video streaming by Ustream

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Only one vote matters for Lions' head coach Jim Schwartz's job security

My column:

Jim Schwartz: 4-12 record equals hot seat

Thoughts after 3 quarters, Bears, Lions

- The Lions defense is holding them in this game, but it is only adding to the frustration. The Bears aren't a very good team at this stage. They had lost five out of six games until beating the Cardinals last week. It's probably the biggest reason the Lions have been able to stick around despite their propensity to commit turnovers.
- Mikel Leshourse seems to have regressed rather than made

Thoughts halftime, Lions, Bears

- This game, like the Lions' season, got dangerously close to being out of hand in a hurry. It's one thing to lose. It's another to get embarrassed. The Lions were on the brink of getting embarrassed until scoring just before halftime.
- A bright spot: The Lions' defense held the Bears to field goals in a couple tight spots, or it would be a Chicago rout.
- Forget Warren Sapp. Lions' defensive

Thoughts after 1st quarter, Bears, Lions

- Would I fire Jim Schwartz as head coach? No. But I know enough about the Lions to understand that there is only one vote that counts on such matters. It is owner William Clay Ford Sr. And I also know enough about the Lions to understand Ford Sr will do exactly what he pleases - regardless of what his son, the media or the fans think. It is real simple: If Schwartz rubbed Ford Sr. the wrong way,

On MSU's bowl victory over TCU

Beating TCU 17-16 in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl was an important measuring stick victory for Michigan State.

Will Le'Veon Bell return?

The fact MSU beat Georgia last bowl season has gained cache because the Bulldogs were so good this season. TCU, loaded with freshmen and sophomore starters, and likely to get standout QB Casey Pachall back next season (he left the team after being arrested for

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Spartans lost season likely not a trend

Spartans need to tighten up defensively at key times

My column:

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

On the overreaction to MSU and Tom Izzo losing out on Jabari Parker

Future bright for Harris, MSU

Yes, Jabari Parker was a big-time receuit. It's true, Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo put an inordinate amount of time recruiting him. Yes, it was Duke that landed the big fish. Yep, the Spartans' 2013 recruiting class is looking like it will be a zero. But it hardly tells the story of the bigger picture, which is a future that is going to be bright for

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions - record broken, broken record

My column:

Calvin Johnson: Both records a matter of record

Thoughts after 3 quarters Falcons, Lions

- Calvin Johnson is single-handedly keeping the Lions in this game. What an effort and performance.
- Another strange aspect about the Lions' season. They have 17 rushing touchdowns, their most since 1997 when Barry Sanders rushed for more than 2,000 yards. It doesn't jive with their dismal record at all.
- Roddy White and Julio Jones, the Falcons' wide receivers, are both amazingly big and fast.

Thoughts halftime Falcons, Lions

- What? When did Calvin Johnson go to the Brandon Pettigrew school of ball security? I thought the Lions might have a fighting chance in this game, but it wasn't going to happen turning the ball over like that. Now it's turned into a drubbing.
- Here's stating the obvious: Johnson has 100 yards receiving already and the Lions are getting drilled by 15 points at halftime. There is just something

Thoughts after 1st quarter, Falcons, Lions

- Back-to-back plays summed up the Lions' season: Calvin Johnson breaking loose on a 41-yard catch and run, shattering Detroit's single-season receiving yardage mark that had been held by Herman Moore in the process, and Mikel Leshoure losing a fumble on the very next play.
- Another tale of the Lions' 2012 season, a touchdown for field goal exchange, one not on Detroit's side.
- More Joique Bell

Biggest reason bowl games hardly meaningless for Spartans, Wolverines

My column:

Devin Gardner: An important evaluation

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Bottom line is Calvin Johnson's record rings hollow on a losing team

My column:

Lions' bad mark taints breaking record

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Lions have gone from disappointing to awful

My column:

Lions weren't even close this time

Thoughts after 3 quarters, Lions, Cardinals

- The Lions are going to rack up a bunch of numbers in this game, win or lose. It will be completely meaningless should they lose this game. They had this game early. Had they gotten any sort of lead on the Cardinals, there was no way their going to come back given their quarterback situation. It's why I have mixed feelings about the importance of Calvin Johnson's record for receiving yardage.

Thoughts halftime Lions, Cardinals

- It was too risky a throw by Lions' QB Matthew Stafford out of the end zone, sure, but, still, Cardinals' cornerback Patrick Peterson should have been flagged for holding on Calvin Johnson. It was a brutal non-call. No two ways about it. There was no excuse for the second interception, though. Just a poor read by Stafford, who had a poor first half.
- Just when it looked like the Lions were

Thoughts after 1st quarter Lions, Cardinals

- The Lions offense looks flat, too say the least. Disappointing so far.
- Beyond trying to score points, the Lions should also be motivated not to punt today because it puts the ball in the hands of the Cardinals' biggest game-breaker, Patrick Peterson (yes, even beyond Larry Fitzgerald). The Lions contained Peterson well on the first three punts, but the odds will not be with them if they

Not only does Jack Morris belong in the Baseball Hall of Fame, so does Alan Trammell

My column:

On the cusp of the Hall of Fame

Thursday, 13 December 2012

The good and the bad of expanding the NFL playoffs

I do not like the NFL brand of football. I love it. From a purely selfish standpoint, I would welcome an expanded NFL playoff format. More of the intensity of playoff football, the better. But I am not sure it would be the right thing. This is why:

7-9 teams in postseason like '10 Seahawks not a good thing

- Expanding the playoffs would water down the value of reaching the playoffs. Currently

Matthew Stafford: Another Tom Brady or Tony Romo?

My column:

Yards haven't garnered victories in '12 for Stafford

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Taylor Lewan a first-team All-American? Really?

One of the more intriguing aspects of college football is the selection of offensive linemen for All-American teams. Is it based on who will be selected early in the NFL Draft? Is it based on the production of the given player's offense?

Lewan (right): How effective was he really?

Based on NFL Draft potential, Michigan tackle Taylor Lewan deserved his spot on the first-team AP All-American

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Lions will have to win back trust after this lost season

Suh, Lions underachievers

My column:

Thoughts after 3 quarters. Lions, Packers

 - Nick Fairley is showing the Lions didn't make a mistake by taking him in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft. The talent is obviously there. Not only is he capable of a bull rush move like the one that netted him a key sack of Packers' quarterback Aaron Rodgers in the third quarter, but he has quickness as well. And he won't be double-teamed that often because of the presence of fellow

Thoughts halftime Lions, Packers

- The Lions can't win this game if they turn the ball over. It's the way it is. It doesn't matter if they are up at halftime. It might prove to be a half in which they wasted the opportunity to get a bigger lead, and could be costly at the end of the game. Quarterback Matthew Stafford must do a better job of taking care of the ball. Period. There was excuse for the fumble the Packers turned into

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Why Calvin Johnson may replace Barry Sanders as the "Greatest" Lions' player of all time

Like Sanders before him, Johnson deserves to be on better teams

My column:

Friday, 7 December 2012

Why the NHL is a long way from cancelling the season

Decision whether to cancel season long way off

Sometimes posturing by the parties negotiating like we saw from NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and the players on Thursday isn't a bad thing. It can mean the real real issues toward an agreement are finally being addressed in earnest. Sometimes, though, it does mean what it seems - like there is no resolution in sight.
Trying to read into it is a

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Defending Michigan offensive coordinator Al Borges

Borges' only real weapon has been Robinson

My column:

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Why Sunday's game at Green Bay is still very meaningful for the Lions

Any team goals the Lions set at the start of this season have evaporated after four straight particularly disappointing and disheartening defeats.
But the season is not over, just playoff aspirations. The Lions still have a quarter of their schedule remaining. The wrong approach would be just playing out the string.
While the Lions aren't playing for a championship any more, they are playing for

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Lack of talent isn't the Lions problem, but mental toughness is another story

My column:

Suh, Lions just not getting it done

Thoughts after 3 quarters Colts, Lions

- The Colts have no answer for Calvin Johnson. It doesn't matter if they are double-teamming him. The Lions receiving corps have been depleted. Keep throwing him the ball. What a truly great player. He may very well break Jerry Rice's single-season yardage record. And the thing is, he is still capable of playing better and may be just scratching the surface.
- Believe in halftime adjustments? So

Thoughts halftime, Colts, Lions

- The Colts' Andrew Luck and Lions' Matthew Stafford certainly have lived up to their advance billing in the battle of first overall draft pick QBs. They may not always be effective, but they sure are thrilling. It's not just the QBs, however, who have stood out in this game. There have been some tremendous catches. The one-handed grab by Calvin Johnson down the right side line (while holding off

Thoughts after 1st quarter, Colts, Lions

- Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh broke through and sacked Colts QB Andrew Luck on Indianapolis' first play from scrimmage. See, it's possible. Sacks, tackles, tackles for loss...those are are the things that determine outstanding and dominating play, even for a defensive tackle. Not empty stat sheets in losses. True stars make plays. Hey, Suh made a play.
- Tight end Tony Scheffler has

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Not this year, and very likely never, will I vote for Bonds, Clemens or Sosa for Hall of Fame

Bonds was what was bad, not good, about baseball

My column: