Michigan State is ranked #6 in the preseason AP basketball poll and #7 in the coaches’ poll. (File this under “News of the not-so-fresh variety.”) UNC/UConn/Louisville/UCLA are your consenus 1/2/3/4. MSU is mixed with Duke, Pitt, and Texas in the next quartet of teams in both polls. I like where they fall in the rankings–high enough to have room to fall some if they lose a handful of nonconference games but not so high as to create Final-Four-or-bust expectations.
Wednesday’s exhibition game vs. Northern Michigan will be streamed on line at Bigtennetwork.com. The stream will include the audio from the MSU radio feed. Better than nothing, I’d say.
We’re going to run against Northern! Bold prediction: We’ll able to make this happen against the Wildcats.
And that’s the way forward. The new generation of sports bloggers who will go on to make a career out of this will build bridges between audiences and a better understanding of the games they cover, which will bring them legions of trusting supporters. As newspapers continue to die, those with press passes and an understanding of this new reality will have an increasingly important job to do, and our own responsibilities will grow. In the coming years, the “reported sports blog” will be the choice of informed audiences. The future looks a lot more like Joe Posnanski’s site than A.J. Daulerio’s, and thank heavens for that.
Jon Wertheim of Sports Illustrated has a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at recent events surrounding the Indiana basketball program. One tidbit: Tom Crean has extended an invitation to Bob Knight to reassociate himself with the program. Inside the Hall landed a follow-up interview with Wertheim about the SI piece.
Bret Bielema has to settle for an honorable mention for this week’s John L. Smith award. (Note: This link is groundbreaking. It’s the first-ever football-related item in a Spartans Weblog “links” post.)
It doesn’t get much more storybook than this: The men’s soccer team won its first-ever Big Ten championship on Sunday by beating Northwestern 1-0 in long-time coach Joe Baum’s final home game. (Look at that: Our first futbol-related link! Hat tip to Ben.)
Better quit now before I start linking to items about club sports . . .