The Michigan State Spartans are taking a disappointing 7-5 record to San Francisco to take on the Oregon Ducks on December 31, 2018, in the Redbox Bowl. I will certainly give my analysis and thoughts, but I wanted to hear from you the fans about what you thought.
For the record we have published every email that had a real name, wasn't a repeat from the same EMAIL address and was void of profanity. The last measure was difficult. These are not necessarily the opinion of Spartan Nation, but it is the voice of you the fans.
Hondo – My opinion is that MSU got the bowl they deserved. This season has been a disappointment from the high-hopes we all had to start after last year. The defense has been great all season but that does not attract the bowl committees. Offensive production is still the name of the game and getting more so as college football evolves. That said, it’s a pretty good matchup for MSU. Oregon still carries some weight in college football and I look forward to the game. My hope is that they can come back with a healed-up Brian Lewerke in this game and he plays as well as he did in the Holiday Bowl last year. To me, if they go to the west coast and lay an egg on offense and score 14 points, it’s just another referendum that changes need to be made. However, even if they go out and score 30 and happen to either win or make a good game out of it, they still need to consider revamping this offensive plan because you can see clearly how the teams in playoff position are doing it. Defense alone will not cut it. Hope you are well. Enjoy your website immensely. Dan. PS. – more pix of the Oregon cheerleaders would be wonderful!!!
When I saw the rumor of the possibility of California over NYC, I was immediately excited. I didn’t know what the possibilities were for the opponent, nor did I know what the venue was for the Redbox Bowl. But, it just seemed better to me than NYC in December. Also, seeing that it was on New Year’s Eve, immediately appealed to me vs playing December 27th on a Thursday at 5:00. For me, I wasn’t planning to go to the Bowl game this year, no matter which one it was, but getting San Francisco made me at least look at airfare. So, I did become interested (for what it’s worth). TED
Thinking Practically: MSU continues the bowl streak, practices for what is still a young team, a chance to focus on schemes to create scoring opportunities with the break...all of these are good things. But those positives are cold comfort after watching a stellar defense play alongside mediocre special teams and a poor offense. 7-5 is not acceptable in Mark Dantonio's MSU football program. It just isn't. Final thought- Remember when Oregon v. MSU was a MARQUEE match-up? Like, just three years ago? Crazy to think about. Joe
Dad, I love the game in California. Can I go? Duffy (Answer from Dad: NO)
Hondo- Given the challenges the Spartans have faced this season, I am fine with them going to the Redbox Bowl. It’s another chance to play a nationally - recognized, quality opponent on the west coast. This brings opportunities in recruiting and the chance to make this team better going forward. -Dave
Great opponent... national name brand. Hope we can put points on the board. Can't ask our 'D' to pitch a shutout. Better find a way to run the ball. Mike
I think it is a crap bowl for a crappy offense. The defense should refuse to go and stay home with thousands of the fans. Kelly
Hondo if I was Brian Lewerke or Rocky Lombardi I would transfer. Neither improved upon arrival and both are good players. Until the offensive leadership changes, I am done. Will not even watch it. Heth
I have attended every MSU bowl game since the Cherry Bowl at the Silverdome. I have been a season ticket holder since 1980. I will not attend and I will not renew my season tickets next year. I have given and given to the Dantonio regime. I will not continue to contribute when he refuses to improve his product. The offense is God awful. He can ruin his legacy if he chooses, but I would rather give my money to my great-grandchildren then waste it on a stubborn program that does not have the commitment to winning big as their constant requests (and my subsequent donations) prove that I have. Bob
I cannot believe something isn't being done to show the Spartan Nation that what happened this year with our offense isn't acceptable for this program. The preparation, execution, game plan, game plan implementation, discipline, organization, fortitude, and overall performance of the offense was a failure week in and week out. That's not a bad week, or two, but an entire season of evidence that stacks up with many other seasons as just not heading in the direction you'd hope to see, and have become accustomed to Coach Dantonio leading this program in. I don't know why Coach D seems to be willing to let this tarnish his legacy and legitimacy. It does, and if he is more willing to defend or stay loyal to a failing situation than to fix it actually makes him look incompetent. We know he's not, so this continues to be a mysterious puzzle. The Redbox Bowl only tops off a season of disappointment. Sure, it'll be spun as an opportunity, but I've also watched a western or two in my time and the line "Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining" comes to mind. Josh
Hondo I ask that you not use my name, for obvious reasons. As a high school coach in the state of Michigan who likes Coach Dantonio and his staff and who has had them recruit offensive and defensive players from me, I could not in good faith send an offensive player there. I would a defensive player, but zero chance of an offensive player. They are simply terrible. The Redbox Bowl I am sure is nice, but for this team with this talent, it is an embarrassment. As a Spartan fan, this pains me. Michigan High School Coach
Hi Hondo and Team, My thoughts on MSU playing Oregon in the Redbox Bowl: On the plus side, the day and time are better than many other lower-tier bowls. Also, the weather is not sunny Florida, but it's also not (likely) snowy New York either. At 7-5, it's hard to complain about any bowl invitation. I'll gladly watch on TV, but I would never pay to make the trip. The Bay Area is not a cheap destination. If the ticket office gave me free tickets I wouldn't go. It would take a warm weather destination and the team playing well for me to spend money to attend. Neither of those is in play this year. I hope there are plenty of alumni in California who will attend because I think most Spartans from Michigan aren't interested in traveling for this game. On the field, it will be a tough environment with the Spartans having to travel across the country, playing an opponent who has plenty of fans within an easy drive. Hopefully, the time off has allowed our injured offensive players to get healthy. It would be great to see everyone back at full strength except for the obvious--Felton Davis. Regardless, I think our defense will again have to play out of their minds to shut down Oregon's offense if we stand any chance to win. I wouldn't bet money on a Spartan win, but I would never count out a Dantonio-coached team in any single game. Like MSU, this isn't Oregon's strongest team. The only common opponent this season was Arizona State. Our Spartans lost on a last-second field goal to the Sun Devils in Tempe, while Oregon beat ASU by 2 at home. - Scott (Clarkston, MI)
First I'm happy to get a bowl game considering everything that went on this year. Oregon is a quality opponent. New Year’s Eve is a great time to play and I say Go Green! 7-5 can't be too picky. Cameron
I not only am not interested in this Bowl, but I am also done with MSU Football until either Coach changes the offensive staff or he leaves. Longtime fan and season ticket holder, but enough is enough. I wasn’t asked to pay or donate as I HAVE BEEN ever. But with you asking me for more and more money and donations, comes larger expectations. Don
Hondo, its football, a game. Who cares really in the scheme of things? Your drinking game on Twitter will have me hammered by halftime and I won’t remember our pathetic offense losing 10-9 after the D gets a safety and a pick six. Trent
I was a bit surprised because everything I read said Pinstripe was about bottom rung to expect. But I just don’t think the way we played the second half of the season showed anything the bowls would like to have. I also think local fans were so discouraged that attendance to New York or Florida would not be high. California alumni are likely to attend in higher numbers just because they don’t get much chance to see the team live. I figure we got what we deserve. This is a quality opponent, so that is very good. We aren’t playing a Mountain West team or a MAC team. Not looking down my nose at those, but a win would be ho-hum and a loss would be a disaster. I haven’t really watched any PAC 12 games, so I don’t know enough to be worried. I do think it is good to get some west coast exposure for the program. Rick
I could not care less. The team is in total disarray and I am just done with them and that offensive staff. Gregory
My father told me with tears how Duffy Daugherty was allowed to ruin his legacy. Now we are watching Mark Dantonio’s loyalty to bad coaches, but good buddies cost him his. I will not attend, and I have been to all the Bowls since Silicon Valley. Pathetic offense. William
Hondo I have a different take. I feel bad for the defensive coaches and players. I also feel sad for the offensive players. I believe in those kids. They wouldn’t be here if they were not highly talented. This poor offensive staff has failed to develop them. The players and defensive coaches should refuse to attend and be embarrassed by the terrible offensive coaching. Ryan
Hondo, I think playing Oregon is good. I think any location other than NYC, Tennessee, or Detroit is good. We are a 7-5 Football team. It is what it is. Listened to your podcast with the H.S. coach post-Rutgers in which you skewered Coach D and the offensive staff. Dan
Hi, Hondo was pleasantly surprised to find out the Spartans were matched up with Oregon in California. I think Coach D’s recent bowl record and his reputation were a factor and kept them from the dreaded Pinstripe bowl in cold NYC. We’ll be an underdog and rightfully so but this was a gift and they should be very thankful to get a New Year’s Eve bid against a great opponent in Oregon. Go Green! Ryan in Fenton, Mi.
It seems like we did as well as we deserved. One might wonder why Purdue got the Music City Bowl over us, but that's the way it goes. Once again UM gets a soft opponent in Florida. If I've learned one thing from this season it would be that we are back to the BIG 2 and the Little Everyone Else. Sue and John
At 7-5 — selfishly— I couldn’t be more pleased with this berth. Wife and I are MSU grads. She was in Spartan Marching Band along with her brother for 3 years — and loves to see the band live. Our daughter and her husband are Oregon grads, Eugene residents and Ducks season tix holders. Levi’s Stadium is 80 miles from our driveway. Won’t make up for 2011, when we were so close to a Spartans vs Ducks Rose Bowl, but it should be a great family outing. And the matchup is very interesting too. Mike
This season has been a complete disappointment. We have watched offensive regression since 2014 and that has left us in another meaningless bowl game. The worst part about this bowl game is that it punishes all the Midwest alumni who can’t travel to California for a couple of days. Hopefully, a thrashing by a competent Oregon offense will inspire Mark Dantonio to take accountability for staff failures. It’s a fitting end to a miserable season. Enjoy your holiday season. Derek
Hi Hondo: I was really disappointed to hear we are playing in California again this year instead of Florida. Even the Pinstripe Bowl in New York would have been better. I guess that's the price we pay for losing that easily-winnable game at Nebraska. Our bowl selection couldn't have been much worse! I'm not very excited to watch the bowl game this year and don't expect much interest from alumni in attending the game in Santa Clara. Dave
Spartans got a much better bowl venue and bigger name opponent than expected. Although, I was selfish hoping for a Florida trip because I currently reside in South Carolina. Will-i-am
Not that a 7-5 team with a horrific offense can pick and choose. But I was hoping to avoid Detroit first and New York second. We did that and got a game against a worthy opponent that we have played twice rather recently. As good as we could have expected. Todd
Hondo Coach Dantonio has done a great job, as have you and others selling me on the talent of this team. That means this offensive staff can’t develop anyone. Hate the bowl and the offensive side of the ball. Won’t watch or go. Feel bad for all the players and defensive coaches. Greg
Although I would have preferred the outback since I'll be in Tampa, at least it's not the Pinstripe Bowl. At some point, we have to stop (appropriately) bellyaching about the lack of offense and look forward to next year. Historically speaking preparation for a bowl game is part of the next year. There's even time to throw some wrinkles in on offense. Anyone who thinks Dantonio is going to get away from a pro-style offense is kidding themselves. I think having a new coordinator would be nice but who knows if that will happen or not. For Spartan fans who bleed green, we just want everybody to get healthy, get on the same page and be united in going for a solid Bowl win. As far as a matchup is concerned, our awesome defense has a great opportunity to play against Oregon. And on our offensive side of the ball let's just get everyone healthy and see what shakes out. Ben
Hoping for the best and that Lewerke and the rest of the team gets healthy and plays lights out! It’s not the bowl I predicted when the season started. I’ve been critical of Dave Warner and this offense all year! Prove to Spartan Nation that you are a better team than 7-5! The defense played good enough to get them to the Rose Bowl! –Cam
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