Tag Archives: college football

Iowa City Stellar Prep QB A.J. Derby Not U of Iowa-Bound … Yet

A.J. Derby is also a handful in basketball (Photo by Jonathan D. Woods/The Gazette)

A.J. Derby is also a handful in basketball (Photo by Jonathan D. Woods/The Gazette)

A guy has a very nice football career at the University of Iowa. He raises his family in Iowa City. He has a son who is a big-time football prospect.

That kid will automatically be a Hawkeye, too, right?

Maybe. Probably. But not automatically.

A.J. Derby is a junior at Iowa City High. He is a 6-foot-5, 220-pounder. He finished last season with 1,200 yards and 11 touchdowns passing, 1,065 yards and 13 touchdowns rushing.

Have fun dealing with him in the fall of 2009, Mississippi Valley Conference defenses.

John Derby played linebacker for Iowa a generation ago for Hayden Fry. He was a good one. His son has received scholarship offers from Iowa, Cincinnati, Wisconsin, Illinois, Nebraska, Stanford, Florida State, Kansas and Alabama.


Check out this story, which originally was on SuperPrep.com: http://is.gd/leom

Nothing in the article leads one to think he’ll flee Iowa for other pastures. But nothing in it leads one to believe he will choose the Hawkeyes solely because they’re the Hawkeyes, either.

Then again …

“(His father) told me to take my official visits,” A.J. said. “He said that I’ll get that gut feeling and that I’ll just know. He says that it really shouldn’t be too hard a decision.”

Because of population and geography, Iowa doesn’t have too many recruiting advantages. But the in-state talent was pretty good in 2009 with Keenan Davis of Cedar Rapids, Brandon Wegher of Sioux City and Jordan Cotton of Mount Pleasant leading the way.

It may not be a one-year wonder.

Andre Dawson of Cedar Rapids Washington (holding helmet) celebrates a 2007 state playoff win with teammates (Photo by Cliff Jette/The Gazette)

Andre Dawson of Cedar Rapids Washington (holding helmet) celebrates a 2007 state playoff win with teammates (Photo by Cliff Jette/The Gazette)


Besides Derby, there’s a running back in Cedar Rapids named Andre Dawson who is a big-time talent. Dawson has offers from Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and Kansas.

He had 28 touchdowns and almost 1,800 yards of offense last season.

He, too, is going to keep his eyes and ears open entering his senior year.

“I plan to take my time (in the recruiting process).” Dawson told HawkeyeNation.com last month. “I am just going to keep my options open. I am not ready to settle down with anything quite yet.”

For more from that story: http://iowa.scout.com/2/838110.html






But … “I have always been a Hawkeye fan. Being that close to home would be great. My friends and family would have the chance to see me play. That is a big plus.”

Big Ten Football 2009: Cupcakes Galore

With the confirmation Wednesday that Illinois will close its season with a game at Cincinnati, all the Big Ten football schedules are set for 2009.

First off, while Illini fans sound irritated that their team will play Fresno State at home and Cincinnati on the road — both capable squads – after the Big Ten season is over, at least they’re real opponents.

Good for the Illini. It may mean another 5-7 season or, worse, a trip to the Motor City Bowl at 6-6. But it at least shows some willingness to play competition.

Either that, or Illinois Athletic Director Ron Guenther failed miserably at finding a patsy to squeeze into his schedule. I hope it’s that deal about wanting to play someone.

If only every Big Ten AD and coach had the same attitude. Hey, the Big Ten isn’t winning BCS titles anyhow and flops miserably every time it sends Ohio State to slaughter in the championship game. So why not make the regular-season more meaningful with actual ballgames?

Only 14 of the 44 nonconference games in ’09 are against BCS conference teams or Notre Dame. That’s ridiculous.

Are you the Big Ten or just the Ten? Actually, you’re the Eleven, but that horse has been beaten to death.

Only three league teams — Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota — are playing two BCS conference teams among their four non-league games. Wisconsin isn’t playing any.

Before noting the cupcakes, let’s give some kudos to the proud and the few who are at least playing interesting games.

Ohio State gets the return date on its home-and-home series with USC.

Purdue heads to Oregon after hosting the Ducks last fall.

Indiana filled out its schedule by taking a game at Virginia, thus becoming the only Big Ten team to play two of its nonconference games on the road.

Cal is playing at Minnesota and Arizona is at Iowa, so those are 2008 bowl teams from the Pac-10 coming into Big Ten lairs.

But by and large, Big Ten non-league slates are another big pile of bleccccch.

Nine games are against FCS (I-AA) opposition. Purdue and Ohio State are the only Big Ten teams not devouring FCS prey. A few are among the cream of the FCS crop, like Northern Iowa and Wofford. But …

Delaware State (5-6 last year) at Michigan?

Towson (3-9) at Northwestern?

Eastern Illinois (5-7) at Penn State?

Penn State is playing all four of its nonconference games at home, against Akron, Syracuse, Temple and mighty Eastern Illinois. That’s absurd. Are you a football power or not? If you are, act like one and schedule somebody.

Playing two Mid-American Conference teams, an FCS squad and Syracuse, the Least of the Big East, is great for wins. It won’t work too well in those BCS computers, though.

Ranking the non-league schedules by toughness is difficult, because most are lousy. But here goes:

1. Illinois: Vs. Missouri in St. Louis, Illinois State, Fresno State, at Cincinnati (The series with Mizzou is a good one, and Cincinnati is fresh off an Orange Bowl appearance.)

2. Minnesota: at Syracuse, Air Force, California, South Dakota State (Air Force and Cal went to bowls, Syracuse is on the road, and S.D. State is one of the better FCS teams a Big Ten team is playing.)

3.  Purdue: Toledo, at Oregon, Northern Illinois, Notre Dame. (Toledo was lousy in ’08, but the other three went to bowls and Oregon won 10 games.)

4. Wisconsin: Northern Illinois, Fresno State, Wofford, at Hawaii (The three FBS teams went to bowls, and Wofford won nine games and played South Carolina to a 10-point game.)

5. Ohio State: Navy, USC, vs. Toledo in Cleveland, New Mexico State (The USC game goes a long way here, obviously.)

6. Michigan State: Montana State, Central Michigan, at Notre Dame, Western Michigan. (Doesn’t look like much, but the three FBS teams went to bowls, the two MAC teams are in-state clubs that will be motivated, going to South Bend is no picnic, and Montana State was 7-5)

7. Iowa: Northern Iowa, at Iowa State, Arizona, Arkansas State. (UNI’s a terrific FCS team, and Arizona’s legit. If Iowa State were just a little stronger …)

Now it gets bad.

8. Indiana: Eastern Kentucky, Western Michigan, at Akron, at Virginia. (Western Michigan is a good program. Playing on the road twice should count for something, though all it really means is Indiana is a Big Ten football program without much clout.)

9. Michigan: Western Michigan, Notre Dame, Eastern Michigan, Delaware State. (Four home games. Not a Top 25 team in the bunch. This isn’t the Michigan scheduling we’ve known for the last half-century. Bo Schembechler would never have scheduled Delaware State.)

10. Northwestern: Miami (Ohio), Towson, at Syracuse, Eastern Michigan. (Not a good opponent in the foursome. Only playing Syracuse on the road keeps the ‘Cats from being ranked below … )

11. Penn State: Akron, Syracuse, Temple, Eastern Illinois. (What, Slippery Rock, Swarthmore, Susquehanna, and Scranton/Dundler-Miffin weren’t available?)

Michigan’s Football Team is Playing Who?

Delaware State Hornets

Delaware State Hornets

Michigan, mighty Michigan, is hosting FCS program Delaware State in football this October.

We expect this sort of thing from the Texas Techs of the world, programs that typically take the paths of least resistance in non-conference scheduling. But Michigan, proud Michigan?

This is on top of playing Western Michigan (no pushover) and Eastern Michigan (uh, pushover). The Wolverines host the Hornets of Delaware State (5-6 last season) the week after they play at Iowa.

Thanks for that 12th game, NCAA. The power schools are really using it for some quality matchups.

The Detroit Free Press’ story on this dubious piece of scheduling:


Today, All Football Recruiting Classes are Full of Class


Every college football program in America got much better this week.

The headlines tell the tales.

Cardinal crop is as deep, talented as any in years — San Francisco Chronicle

Spartans excited about recruiting class — Detroit Free Press

UCLA joins USC among nation’s top recruiting classes — Los Angeles Times

Then I read The Gazette’s Page 1C headline about Iowa’s recruiting. It was stunning and troubling.

Iowa’s recruiting not in the stars

Apparently the Hawkeyes didn’t land a ton of five-star recruits. And that’s just sad.

Not really, of course. It would be tedious to list the many few-star signees that went on to become All-Big Ten players for Iowa in the last decade.

(Les) Miles wins recruiting national championship for LSU — Monroe News-Star

(Jim) Leavitt glowing after USF recruiting haul — Sportingnews.com

(Bo) Pelini’s staff finds rich recruiting soil far from Midlands — Omaha World-Herald

Hard-core Hawkeye fans won’t soon forget the winter of 2005.

Seven of Iowa’s 2005 signees-to-be played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio for high school standouts.

Ryan Bain, Tyler Blum, Jake Christensen, Dan Doering, Tony Moeaki, Dace Richardson, Trey Stross.

Bain and Christensen are no longer with the program. The other five are still Hawkeyes, but have had injury-plagued careers. Maybe one or all of them will have big senior seasons.

Only two members of Iowa’s 2005 recruiting class started for the Hawkeyes at the end of the 2008 season, linebacker Pat Angerer and offensive lineman Kyle Calloway.

When Bettendorf’s Angerer committed to Iowa in August 2004, it rated six paragraphs in The Gazette. That’s no criticism of our coverage. Angerer wasn’t a recruiting “name.”

Angerer had a terrific junior season in ‘08, and figures to be a defensive anchor as a senior.

Calloway wasn’t a nobody in Recruiting World, but he wasn’t one of the 5-star/gold-star guys that had Hawkeye fans frothing at this time four years ago.

Iowa has 19 signees this year. Pick one of those with a shorter bio and fewer stars. Tell your friends this is the guy to watch in a few years.

You’ll eventually look like a football genius.

Rage Against the (Gators) Machine

Lane Kiffin (right): Rage Against the (Gators) Machine

Recruiting doesn’t make everyone look good, though. New Tennessee head coach Lane Kiffin certainly rattled some Southeastern Conference cages Thursday.

They do things differently in the football-mad SEC: Tennessee held a “recruiting celebration” at the Knoxville Convention Center, and almost 1,000 fans showed up.

Referring to an alleged recruiting violation by Florida Coach Urban Meyer in pursuit of eventual Tennessee signee Nu’Keese Richardson, Kiffin told the gathering:

“I’m going to turn Florida in right now in front of you. Nu’Keese was here on campus (on his recruiting visit) and his phone kept ringing.

“One of our coaches said, ‘Nu’Keese, who’s that?’ He said, ‘Urban Meyer.’

“Just so you know, when a recruit is on another campus, you can’t call him. I love the fact that Urban had to cheat and still didn’t get him.”

The response of Florida Athletic Director Jeremy Foley:

“There was no rule violation and we have confirmed this with the Southeastern Conference.

“(Kiffin’s) comments not only slandered our coach, but he violated SEC rules by publicly criticizing another coach and institution.”

But not all is unpleasant with the Gators. Meyer signed a receiver from Sanford, Fla., named Andre Debose.

“I don’t want to single any guy out,” Meyer said, “but he is as good as there is. I think he is the best player in America.”

Sometimes, as Florida quarterback Tim Tebow has proved, the most-touted recruits do turn out to be special players.

So tell your friends Debose is the guy to watch in the next two years.

You’ll eventually look like a football genius.




Kansas State’s Rejections are Northern Iowa’s Gains

Bill Snyder

Bill Snyder

Recruiting is a dirty game sometimes.

Adrian Mims and Josh Johnson of the Kansas City area orally committed to Ron Prince’s Kansas State football program last year. Then Prince was fired in early November.

Enter Bill Snyder, K-State’s past and, now, present head coach.

Shortly before Christmas, Snyder told the two players there would be no scholarships for them. Other college coaches had forgotten about them, of course, since they had declared for another school.

Northern Iowa Coach Mark Farley has found room for the two, though. There are reasons why Farley keeps UNI on such a high level in football.

The Kansas City Star’s story on the matter:


Will Cyclones Have a Mars Landing?

Can the Cyclones lay claim to the red planet?

Can the Cyclones lay claim to the red planet?

The signing date is Wednesday. Will Iowa State remain earth-bound in football recruiting, or will it take one giant leap for Cyclone-kind?

Of course, that being all-world linebacker Larvez “Pooh Bear” Mars, who is between FIU and Iowa State. Our friends at the Miami Herald offer this report:


Mars actually is from Florida, Apopka to be precise. He is a linebacker.


How big and bad can a guy be if he is nicknamed “Pooh Bear?”

Well, he played in the Army All-American Game in San Antonio, where a lot of the best prep seniors gather each year.

Rivals.com ranks him as the No. 8 inside linebacker in the nation, and the No. 24 player in football-rich Florida.

Mars just tossed out Orange Bowl-participant Cincinnati out of his equasion.

I’m admittedly not too involved in recruiting coverage. I’ve been preoccupied the last couple weeks with the Kurt Warner story. But looking at Iowa State’s list of commitments in Paul Rhoads’ first recruiting class, it’s clear he’s wasted no time mining some of the nation’s richest areas for prep football talent.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Rhoads had at least four verbal commitments of players from California and Texas, and three from Florida. He also has one commit from Oklahoma and Pennsylvania.

None of which means anything if the kids can’t play. But getting dug in right away in those areas has to be considered a good sign for the Rhoads regime.

If he can extend his reach to Mars, all the better.

Darn Spiders

Lost in the hubbub about Gene Chizik’s golden parachute transporting him from Iowa State to Ames will be Northern Iowa’s 21-20 national-semifinal loss to Richmond.

If ever something was the one that got away, UNI’s 21-20 loss to the Spiders in the UNI-Dome Saturday was it.  I was there. I saw it, and still don’t quite believe it got away from the Panthers.

It’s so hard getting this deep into the playoffs, you wonder if the Panthers will ever get another chance this good to win a national title in football.

Then again, I wondered the same thing that cold December Friday night in Chattanooga three years ago when UNI lost 21-16 to Appalachian State in the national-title game.

Maybe someday. Maybe.

Is it the Outback, Jack?/My AP Top 25 ballot for Nov. 30

That’s my best guess, it’s a darn good guess, and I’m sticking to it until someone persuasively convinces me otherwise.

With Oregon State rolling over like dogs instead of Beavers in their game against Oregon Saturday night, that ought to put Ohio State in the BCS (sorry, Boise State), and lift up every other bowl-eligible Big Ten team.

You know what that means, Insight Bowl. You get Minnesota!!!

So, it’s Michigan State in the Capital One Bowl, right? As Lee Corso says, not so friends, my fast. Or something like that.

Are the 9-3 Spartans a slam-dunk for the Orlando event? Not necessarily. But if Georgia is the SEC team, ticket sales ought not to be a problem. It’s a relatively short trip from the Peach State to Theme Park Hell. Plus, Michigan State fans travel well, as they say, and it will be MSU’s first New Year’s bowl in eight years.

That leaves 8-4 Iowa or 9-3 Northwestern for the Outback Bowl, and I can’t see the Outbackers passing up on Iowa and all its box office/hotel room power.

The unfortunate part for the Hawkeyes is the opponent in the Outback won’t be a ranked team. It almost surely would be either 7-5 LSU or 7-5 South Carolina. Now you know how Texas felt two years ago when it got a 6-6 Iowa team to play in the Alamo Bowl.

Iowa isn’t ranked, but should be. As you’ll see in the list below, I have the Hawkeyes 20th. I think Iowa is the most underrated team in the nation. As a result, I’d like to see Iowa get a less-glamorous bowl if it meant a better opponent. Namely, the Alamo.

However, if Missouri gets clocked by Oklahoma in Saturday’s Big 12 title game to end the regular-season with a 9-4 record and 2-game losing streak, never mind. It would be funny to see Iowa and Missouri together in Texas, though. The over/under on fights ending with drunks shoved into the canal on the San Antonio Riverwalk would be 147.

But if Iowa can’t play, say, an Oklahoma State in San Antone, just go to the Outback and play some SEC non-entity. Then the Alamo Bowl can decide between 9-3 Northwestern and 7-5 Wisconsin, with the team left over going to the Champs Sports Bowl to play some ACC also-ran.

It will all be better than that Minnesota-Kansas Insight Bowl.

And now, my AP Top 25 ballot for this week:

1. Alabama

2. Oklahoma

3. Florida

4. Texas

5. Utah

6. Penn State

7. Southern California

8. Texas Tech

9. Ohio State

10. Boise State

11. TCU

12. Ball State

13. Oklahoma State

14. Cincinnati

15. Oregon

16. BYU

17. Missouri

18. Pittsburgh

19. Georgia Tech

20. Iowa

21. Michigan State

22. Mississippi

23. Georgia

24. Northwestern

25. Oregon State

Tom Arnold Weighs in on Iowa’s Win Over Penn State

The Hlog got an e-mail Wednesday night from Tom Arnold, actor/Hawkeye fan. Tom couldn’t make it back for the Penn State-Iowa football game last Saturday, but as you can see in his note, he had a good reason. His words:

I spent the last week in Okinawa, Japan for the Special Olympics and The USO so I couldn’t make it to Kinnick for the big game but me and a bunch of Marines, Soldiers, Sailors and Pilots got up at 3 a.m. Sunday morning to watch the Hawks play live on Armed Forces TV (I learned about a little thing called the International Date Line, I must’ve been sick that day at Ottumwa High, and no, being a day in the future doesn’t make it easier to bet on the games … sadly).

Second only to?meeting so many Iowans in uniform, representing our country, I have never been prouder to be a Hawkeye in my life, and what a week, huh? The history books will surely note that my home state, starting at The Iowa Caucus, was directly responsible for the very first White Sox fan to be elected President of these United States (it gives me hope that a Cubs fan will make it to the oval office in my lifetime).

Since it was Veterans Day Weekend and the oldest soldier was a WW2 Vet from Bama, we rooted for the Crimson boys in the late game (6 a.m.). As the sun came up in the land of the rising sun, the sweet, sweet sound of “How About Those Hawkeyes?”, mixed with an occassional “Roll Tide” between “OOO RAH’s” echoed from Guam to Tokyo. Go Hawks. Tom Arnold

The Hlist: America’s Most-Craved College Football Roundup

By Mike Hlas

Illinois head football coach Ron Zook, left, talks with linemen Jeff Alle (rear) and Jon Asamoah during Saturday’s 23-17 loss to Western Michigan at Ford Field in Detroit. (AP photo)

Opening kickoff

“We are at about 19,000 feet. The mountain is at 26,000 feet, and the air is changing a little bit. The air is a little rarer.” — Alabama Coach Nick Saban after his team improved to 10-0 with a 27-21 overtime win at LSU

First downs

1. The Wait is On: There is no Game of the Week this week. Which is all right, because next week’s is good enough for two weeks.

It’s 10-0 Texas Tech at 9-1 Oklahoma. Both are idle this week. Both got even more revved up Saturday. Tech routed No. 8 Oklahoma State, 56-20, and Oklahoma obliterated Texas A&M, 66-28.

“We can stop ourselves, and that’s what we try not to do,” said stellar Texas Tech receiver Michael Crabtree. “But I think probably that’s about the only people who can stop us.”

“We seem to surprise a lot of people other than our team,” added his coach, Mike Leach.

The Red Raiders have scored 479 points. Oklahoma tops even that, with 514. The Sooners held a 66-21 lead over A&M after three quarters in College Station, then released their feet from Aggie throats.

“There are still sportsmanship issues that you do your best to handle,” Oklahoma Coach Bob Stoops said. “I just think that’s important. We played hard for three quarters.

“You just have to choose sportsmanship over BCS points. To me, in the end, it’s the right way to play it.”

OU running back Chris Brown didn’t have the same sentiment after his three-touchdown effort.

“You know how the BCS is going right now,” Brown said. “You just can’t win by a nail-biter, unless it’s a very great team you’re playing against. You can get up on a team 35-0 in the first half and fell like, well, the game’s over. Not with us. We want to keep pouring it on.”

2. Dancing in East Lansing: Did you see this coming? Did anyone? The first-place team in the Big Ten on Nov. 11 is Michigan State.

The Spartans are 6-1, a nose in front of 5-1 Ohio State and 5-1 Penn State. They have this week off, then play for at least a share of the Big Ten title Nov. 22 at Penn State. MSU is virtually assured its first January bowl in nine years

Michigan State beat Purdue, 21-7, to set up its showdown in State College.

“We’ve been through a lot together, but I think our greatest moments are ahead of us,” said Spartans senior quarterback Brian Hoyer. “We have an opportunity to do something here that hasn’t been done in a long time.”

MSU head coach Mark Dantonio: “I said last year that we have an opportunity to win every single football game that we come out to. Everything we do — the 80 hours a week you work as a coach — that’s to win, that’s not to stay close.”

3. Bucking Broncos: Can anyone in the Big Ten defeat Western Michigan?

The Broncos of the Mid-American Conference handled Illinois in Detroit, 23-17. WMU quarterback Tim Hiller completed 28 of 40 passes for 301 yards and two touchdowns.

You may remember Hiller torching Iowa for 367 yards and three TDs in Western’s 28-19 win in Iowa City last November.

“He’s a great player, an NFL player, with unbelievable accuracy,” said Illinois Coach Ron Zook.

“My grandfather (Dan Sabino) played for Illinois in 1952 when they won the Rose Bowl,” Hiller said. “He had his jersey and ring in his office. I learned all about Illinois football. That’s why this was so special.”

4. Campbell Mmmm Mmmm Good: The Hlist normally holds pickpockets in the same regard it does Pick ‘Ems.

That’s The Gazette’s Saturday Pick ‘ems, a weekly collection of bizarre predictions and even less stable commentary. The Hlist is one of the participants. The Hlist may be a self-Hloather.

But KCRG-TV’s John Campbell predicted this score: Iowa 24, Penn State 23. And that’s no fish tale.


1. Penned In: Penn State’s loss to the Hawkeyes wasn’t welcomed only in Iowa.

“Let’s face it, the majority of the country did not want to see Penn State in the BCS title game,” wrote Stewart Mandel of sportsillustrated.com.

It’s hard to get too down on Penn State. That’s still the best team in the Big Ten, and will be the league’s Rose Bowl representative. Plus, Joe Paterno was more than generous after Saturday’s game.

“I don’t want to take anything away from Iowa,” Paterno said. “The Iowa kids stayed tough, played hard. Their quarterback played a heck of a game for them. . . . And when they turned the ball over for us, we didn’t get the job done. Don’t take anything away from Iowa, OK?”

What becomes a legend most? Grace in a difficult moment, that’s what.

2. Orange Slush: Let’s say you’re the Motor City Bowl, and Illinois finds a way to win one of its last two games to finish 6-6. Do you want the Fighting Illini in your game?

Who is the Motor City Bowl to be picky? Who is the Motor City Bowl to turn up its nose at a team that was in the Rose Bowl last season?

Well, Illinois played in Detroit Saturday, losing to Western Michigan in front of a reported gathering of 12,785. The actual crowd was about half that at 65,000-seat Ford Field, the site of the Motor City Bowl. It is believed to be the smallest crowd to see an Illini game since they hosted Pittsburgh before 9,962 fans in 1945.

“We could have played them naked in a gymnasium (and still lost), said Illinois defensive coordinator Dan Disch.

“We want our seniors to go out with a bang,” said Illinois receiver Arrelious Benn, “but they’re not going out with the bang they expected.”

3. Gophers Burrow Downward: Minnesota was nationally ranked and 7-1. Then it lost successive home games to Northwestern and Michigan, which aren’t exactly Texas Tech and Oklahoma.

“You could tell they didn’t take us seriously,” said Michigan defensive end Brandon Graham after the Wolverines’ 29-7 win at Minnesota. “They weren’t expecting us to smack them in the mouth. They questioned our toughness. They must have thought that we just stopped caring about playing.”

The Gophers stop playing their home games in the Metrodome for good after their season-finale against Iowa. Michigan (3-7) closed its Metrodome history with 12 wins in 12 visits. That’s a dozen times it left the Dome with the Little Brown Jug traveling trophy.

“Michigan needs to get the Little Brown Jug, fill it with cognac, and forget this whole season ever happened.” said Chris Fowler on ESPN’s College Gameday.

Final gun

“Okay, this time I really mean it: Since Notre Dame clearly can’t hold up its end of the football rivalry, BC really is going to have to drop them from our schedule the way we did Holy Cross.” — Mike Lupica, New York Daily News and Boston College grad.

BC beat Notre Dame, 17-0, for its sixth-straight win over the Irish.


(AP photo of Michigan State’s Javon Ringer)