Michigan Vs Alabama Provides An Opportunity For U-M To Put An Exclamation Point On The 2019 Football Season!

December 31, 2019

By Tony Dixon, for COLLEGE FOOTBALL WRAP-UP(c)

Ypsilanti, MI —

Alabama versus U-M in a bowl game!

If I had said that at the start of the season, who among us wouldn’t have envisioned a College Football Playoff semi-final or…dare I say, the CFP Championship game!

Ok, let that soak in and perhaps savor it for a few moments……that’s enough!

Let’s get back to reality. The Vrbo Citrus Bowl is not a CFP game. But, to be honest, this still has the chance to be a great match-up. Two traditional powers, two storied programs, members of two powerhouse conferences clashing for a little respect for their less than anticipated season outcomes.

Michigan (9 – 3, 6 – 3 B1G) and it’s somewhat embattled Head Coach Jim Harbaugh, appears to be a team that is suffering from Detroit Lion’s fever, (that strange sport’s malady whose symptom’s break down to a pattern of: A – fill the stadium every game day, B – get that big check for TV rights, C – go through the motions and rhetoric of telling the media and fans…”it was a good season, it could have been better, we were leading in every game, etc, etc.) hopefully in this case it can still be treated and cured, unlike the professional football team that it is named after, where it is the business model and not the aberration.

U-M has a talented and driven group of student-athletes that will/should be well prepared and ready to show the world what they can bring to the gridiron. Led by QB Shea Patterson (3,828 yds, 22 TDs and 6 INTs) the offense can be potent and really stretch the field with Wide Receivers like Ronnie Bell (44 catches, 705 yds, 1 TD), Nico Collins (33, 681, 7 TDs) and Donovan Peoples-Jones (33, 404, 6). Running Backs Zach Charbonnet (642 yds, 11 TDs, 4.7 YPA) and Hassan Haskins (561, 4, 5.4 YPA) will have the tough task of keeping the Bama defense honest and assisting the offensive line in giving Patterson time to throw to his talented wide-outs.

— The Michigan Music Hall Of Fame, “Preserving The Past, Promoting The Future(c)” —

Alabama, on the other hand, finds itself in the unique position of having to accept the harsh reality of what a two loss season means to a perennial powerhouse program. Most college football fans, if they are being honest with themselves almost always put Bama in the CFP playoff bracket, along with Clemson and the Big Ten Champion and the years darling (LSU?) or their alma mater, if applicable/realistic.

Coach Saban, well known in the state of  Michigan, as well as an icon in the current era of college football coaches reality, has a reputation for getting the most out of his Assistant coaches, players and almost anybody else that he interacts with. But, a season like this one will probably bring out the…”is Saban going to the NFL” rumors. If so, it’s a safe bet that the pro team from Michigan would NOT be a preferred destination. Even with the size of that possible paycheck, he is probably wise enough to realize that he would go insane in that “sports-as-business” atmosphere.

On the field, the Crimson Tide is currently led by QB Mac Jones(?) (1,176 yds, 11 TDs and 3 INTs), he will be searching for Wide Receivers Jerry Jeudy (71 catches, 959 yds, 9 TDs) and DeVonta Smith (65/1,200/13 TDs, with a long of 85 yds). Alabama’s featured Running Back is Najee Harris (1,088 yds, 11 TDs and a 5.9 YPA average) he is spelled by Brian Robinson (425 yds, 5 TDs and a 4.6 YPA average).

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The numbers for this game breakdown like so; Points per game, Bama 48 points per game for, 19 PPG against, U-M averages 33 PPG while surrendering an average of 19 PPG. Total offense also favors Alabama 513 YPG versus U-M’s 402. Defensively U-M does have a slight advantage in the numbers 293 total yards to 318 for the Tide.

The strength of schedule numbers are likewise similar; U-M was 5th, Bama was 7th. The poll positions are just as tight, U-M is ranked #14, Alabama is #13.

Bottom line, it’s not for a championship, but the bragging rights that will come from the clash of these two programs/head coaches/brand names will be worth it’s weight in cachet.

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     Tony Dixon is a Co-host for The College Football Wrap-Up(c), MISPORT-TV’s original content vehicle that reviews the past week’s college football games played by Michigan based colleges and universities across all divisions and conferences. The show also utilizes the TPR(c) (Team Performance Rating) to measure a team’s performance in the past game and also to quantify it’s performance over the seasons games. The teams are then ranked according to their TPR number, the higher the number, the stronger the performances.

Ferris State Football Is Stunned By West Florida, 28 – 14

Ferris State’s D2 Playoff Run Comes To Finish In National Semifinals

Re-posted From FERRISSTATEBULLDOGS.COM Release –

Big Rapids, Mich. – The Ferris State University Bulldogs’ NCAA Division II Playoff run came to a finish on Saturday (Dec. 14) night as West Florida pulled out a 28-14 run over FSU in the national semifinals at Top Taggart Field.

In a battle between the last two national runner-ups, the Bulldogs took a 14-7 lead in the third quarter and were driving towards another potential score near the end of the period before a fumble bounced thru the endzone and resulted in a touchback.

The fumble was one of six turnovers in the game for Ferris State in the Bulldogs’ trip to the national semifinals in the past four years. It denied FSU a return trip to the national championship game in McKinney, Texas.

West Florida struck first as the Argonauts marched 75 yards in eight plays on the opening drive of the contest to take an early 7-0 lead on quarterback Austin Reed’s 34-yard scoring pass to Tate Lehtio.

However, Ferris State answered back near the end of the opening stanza when tailback Tyler Minor found paydirt on a six-yard scoring run to finish an 11-play, 61-yard FSU drive.

The score stood until the opening drive of the third period when FSU moved 65 yards in seven plays to surge ahead 14-7 on senior slot receiver Dion Earls‘ 11-yard scoring run.

After a 21-yard West Florida field goal from Austin Williams pulled UWF back within four points, erris State got the ball back and drove down the field and was nearing another score when senior QB Travis Russell found wideout Xavier Wade at the one-yard line on a long throw. However, the ball popped loose thru the endzone, resulting in the touchback and momentum changed.

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Ferris State Football Marches On In Division 2 Playoffs, Downs Northwest Missouri St., 25 – 3

December 7, 2019

(Reposted from FERRISSTATEBULLDOGS.COM)

Big Rapids, Mich. – For the second-straight season and the third time in four years, the top-seeded Ferris State University Football team advanced to the Division II National Semifinals with a 25-3 victory over the third-seeded Northwest Missouri State Bearcats on Saturday (Dec. 7) at Top Taggart Field.

With the win, FSU will be the top seed for the national semifinals and host West Florida on Saturday, Dec. 14, with kickoff set for 3:30 p.m. (ET) at Top Taggart Field.

Through 45 minutes of play, just 13 combined points had been scored in the contest as the defensive units owned the day. Ferris State tacked on 15 fourth quarter points to eventually pull away from Northwest Missouri State. The Bulldog defense stonewalled the Bearcat offense all day, as Ferris State allowed only 158 yards on 61 plays for an average of 2.5 yards allowed per play.

— The Michigan Music Hall Of Fame, preserving the past, promoting the future! —

Both teams battled through the first quarter scoreless. The Bulldogs took advantage of good field position early in the second quarter when junior defensive back Sidney McCloud picked off Northwest Missouri State quarterback Braden Wright out near midfield. Ferris State senior kicker Jackson Dieterle drilled a 35-yard field goal to draw first blood with 9:02 remaining in the first half.

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Hope College, Concordia-AA Open Playoffs Respectively. Sadly, Both Exit, But In Very Different Ways.

November 24, 2019

By Tony Dixon, For COLLEGE FOOTBALL WRAP-UP(c)

Ypsilanti, MI —

Hope College had a great 2019 football season. They reeled of nine consecutive victories, after a season opening loss. They took over the # 1 in the TPR(c)  rankings midway through the season and never looked back. They sped to the MIAA crown, which they won with a perfect conference record of 6 – 0. The team returned to the NCAA Playoffs after a 13 year drought.

Concordia University-AA also had a great 2019 football season. They broke out of the gate and ran off 5 straight victories, culminating with a 3 point victory against Siena Heights, a Top 20 Showdown game, on Homecoming Saturday against a highly rated rival. They finished the regular season at 8 – 2, a far cry from their 0 – 11 first season’s record in 2011. Their achievements were acknowledged with an invitation to the NAIA Playoffs.

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Hope began their NCAA playoff push with a home game against Wartburg (IA) College. They opened the game and their scoring with a field goal…and that was also the end of their scoring, as they fell by a score of 41 – 3.

Concordia began their NAIA playoff push with a road game against another Iowa based institution, Grand View College. This game was a going to be a struggle for CU-AA on multiple fronts (visitor, travel, high-scoring opponent) and in the end…they fell by the difference of a blocked extra point, 31 – 30.

— The Michigan Music Hall Of Fame: Preserving The Past, Promoting The Future(c) —

In other weekend action around the state:

What could possibly top last weeks action…?!!

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Week 11 Game(s) Of The Week Highlight Blockbuster Action Across The State

Games Of Conference, National Importance Are On The Slate For This Weekend!

By Tony Dixon, for COLLEGE FOOTBALL WRAP-UP(c)

November 15, 2019

Ypsilanti, MI —

The state of Michigan will have no shortage of quality college football on the field this weekend. Washtenaw county itself will house not only the annual civil war known as Michigan State at U-M. But, it will also be the site of the CFWU’s Mid-States Football Association Spotlight Game between  # 12 Nat. (#5*) Concordia-AA (7 – 2 Overall, 3 – 2 Conf.) who will be hosting nationally regarded Indiana Wesleyan (6 – 3, 3 – 2).

In the MIAA #2* Olivet will be at home facing Albion. The Saints of Olivet will be trying to defend their claim to second place in the MIAA and hopes of a Co-Championship with conference leader HOPE alive. At the same time, Albion’s Brits can wrestle away a share of second place in the conference from the Saints with a victory.

As you would expect both teams feature high powered offenses and strong defenses, as the following numbers will attest.

Kicking off an hour earlier in Adrian Michigan, Siena Heights (#18 Nat., #3* TPR) will be facing off against visiting Marian (IN) the Mid States Football Association powerhouse. Marian is the conference leader, unbeaten (8 – 0, 5 – 0 MSFA M/E) and ranked #2 nationally. 

Speaking of conference bragging rights, the CFWU’s GLIAC CONFERENCE SPOTLIGHT GAME features the Warriors of Wayne State who will journey to Lubbers Stadium in Allendale MI this weekend to try to add their own brand of mayhem to the Grand Valley State calendar. The Lakers are in an unfamiliar position of looking up at both the Warriors and the Bulldogs in the standings. Wayne State (#8* TPR) has a hold on second place in the GLIAC, while the Lakers of GVSU are looking to put last week’s narrow loss in the Anchor Bone Classic behind them.

Meanwhile, the Warriors have proven themselves to be road warriors by winning 4 of their 5 games away from Tom Adams Field this season. Their only conference loss is to GLIAC Champion Ferris St.

The numbers and information on our other Games Of Interest this weekend:

Enjoy your weekend!

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Ferris St. Finishes The Regular Season Unbeaten, Wins The GLIAC Championship 21 – 16.

Hope Claims Share Of The MIAA Championship, Readys For Playoffs!

November 11, 2019

By Tony Dixon, for COLLEGE FOOTBALL WRAP-UP(c)

As the regular season for 2019 draws to a close, conference title races are also just about over. In the College Football Wrap-Up(c) ‘GAME OF THE WEEK’,  #4* Ferris State (10 – 0, 8 – 0 GLIAC) defeated #3* Grand Valley State (8 – 2, 5 – 2 GLIAC)  in their annual tussle known as the Anchor Bone Classic, 21 – 16.

Ferris State now awaits the start of the  national championship playoffs, currently it has a first round bye in their regional.

Meanwhile, #1* Hope College claimed a share of the MIAA Conference title with it’s 49 – 21 victory  over Kalamazoo. Only a season-ending showdown with 3rd place Adrian stands between the Flying Dutchmen and a perfect 2019 MIAA campaign.

Hope’s win not only moved them a step closer to the conference title it also guarantees them a spot in the D-3 Playoffs, their first invitation since 2006!

— Thinking About Getting Or Staying In Shape During or After The Holiday Season? —

In the MAC, both Central Michigan and Western Michigan are in first place in the conference’s West Division, both are also bowl eligible! WMU has two games remaining on their schedules, both are against conference foes, both are road games and both are the final two MACTION games on the ESPN Network.

CMU also has two games remaining on their schedule, including a visit to Ball State this Saturday, a game that will be available on the CBS Sports Network.

In the Mid-States Football Assoc. (MSFA)’s Mideast League, Concordia-AA and Siena Heights are tied for third place. CUAA, #14 (nationally) welcomes # 25 (nationally) Indiana Wesleyan this Saturday. Concordia defeated Lawrence Tech last week 56 – 7, to prove that they will be ready for the Top 25 clash.

Siena Heights, # 21 (nationally) won’t have it any easier, they face league leader and (nationally ranked) # 2 Marian University in their regular season finale. The Saints have had a week to contemplate and shake off the results of their last outing, a 28 -21 loss to…Indiana Wesleyan!

Also in Ann Arbor this weekend, U-M and MSU renew their rivalry, we don’t includes records and rankings in this game…because they don’t mean a lot when these two teams meet. They just want to get out onto the field and exchange pleasantries with their opponent.

As usual, there will be some great football action going on around the state this weekend, if you can take in a game, drop us an email, or a selfie! Contact.MISPORTSTV@Gmail.Com, we will add them to our new Football Fans Page. Don’t forget to add the names of faces in the photos!

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  • Tony Dixon is a Co-host for The College Football Wrap-Up(c), MISPORT-TV’s original content vehicle that reviews the past week’s college football games played by Michigan based colleges and universities across all divisions and conferences. The show also utilizes the TPR(c) (Team Performance Rating) to measure a team’s performance in the past game and also to quantify it’s performance over the season’s games. The teams are then ranked according to their TPR number, the higher the number, the stronger the performances.

#1* Hope Survives Visit From Alma 31 – 24, In GAME OF THE WEEK Action!

Plus Results From Other Week 9 Games Of Interest

November 4, 2019

By Tony Dixon for COLLEGE FOOTBALL WRAP-UP(c)

Were it not for a fourth and goal stop by Millikin University late in the fourth quarter, in the first game of the 2019 season, Hope’s record could potentially be unblemished. Since that stop they have been unbeatable, seven straight victories while performing like a well-oiled machine. Their average margin of victory during this streak is over 33 points!

But, their last 2 MIAA foes, Olivet and Alma, both eyeing a share of the top spot in the conference had come to wrest that throne away, if possible. The margin of victory in those two games…7 points! Fortunately,  Hope plays a style of football that lends itself to success in tight games, they rarely turn the ball over. In only 1 game so far this season have they had a turnover…they escaped that game with a 2 point victory. In addition, they are most likely the least penalized team in the state as well, averaging 3.5 flags per game.

#1* Hope Defeats Alma 31 – 24, Holds Onto First Place In The MIAA.

#2* Siena Heights Receives A Rude Welcome At Indiana Wesleyan, 28 – 21

#3* Michigan Tech Runs Into A Blizzard, #6* Ferris State, 51 – 0 

#5* Grand Valley State “Shows” William Jewell (MO) How It’s Done, 63 – 10

#8* U-M Flexes Its Defensive Prowess At Maryland, 38 – 7

* Denotes TEAM PERFORMANCE RATINGS Rank

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#1* Hope Meets #4* Alma For A First Place Showdown In The MIAA

The College Football Wrap-Up(c)’s GAME OF THE WEEK!

November 1, 2019

By Tony Dixon, For COLLEGE FOOTBALL WRAP-UP(c)

Ypsilanti, MI —

Hope’s Flying Dutchmen have proven themselves to be determined to claim the 2019 MIAA title and have shown this determination very adeptly on the field. They are currently riding a 6 game winning streak (6 – 1, 4 – 0 MIAA) and are coming off a fine performance, in adverse weather conditions, in their victory over the former #2* team in the state as well as the MIAA, Olivet.

But when you are on top, there is always a new contender, someone that wants that top spot. Enter #4* Alma (5 – 2, 3 – 1 MIAA), the Scots had a 4 game winning streak snapped a couple of weeks ago, but have returned to the right side of the ledger with a victory last week, and look to start a new streak with another win on Saturday.

No small feat, Hope’s senior signal caller, Mason Opple is a dual threat that can carry a team, as he did last week during the cloud burst that was college football Saturday in Michigan. In Hope’s victory over previously unbeaten Olivet, Opple rushed for 217 yards, with a long of 50 yards! He also had 2 rushing TDs. Totals that earned him Player of The Week honors in the MIAA.

The two squads have played a common foe this season, Albion. The Scots defeated the Britons by a 32 – 28 score the first Saturday in October. Hope then piled on, making Albion win number 4, with a 52 – 33 victory over the Britons the following weekend.

Other Games of Interest this weekend:

Ferris State is a national powerhouse, ranked # 2 nationally and the state’s only remaining unbeaten team. Jayru Campbell the former Detroit Cass Tech. grad., is a a monster at QB. Last weekend he bucked the ground game trend and threw for a career high 347 yards and 2 TDs, while leading the team in rushing with 61 yards and 2 TDs. He won Player Of The Week honors in the GLIAC.

FSU (8 – 0, 6 – 1 GLIAC) is currently # 1 in the regional seedings for the D-2 National Championship Playoffs. Not to disparage the rest of the remaining foes this regular season, but other than their clash with Grand Valley State (7 – 1, 5 – 1 GLIAC) in the Anchor Bone Classic, which has been upgraded to a prime time national telecast on ESPN, they probably won’t be threatened until then.

Grand Valley State’s only blemish this season came in another rain soaked game, under the lights, and ESPN cameras, at the hands of Ashland…on a “Hail Mary”…as time expired, 20 – 17 was the final score. Easily the most dramatic finish to a game that I’ve seen this season.

The following games are out of state, but feature the new # 2 in the TPR(c) rankings, and nationally ranked Siena Heights. The Saints have rebounded well from their only loss, a 10 – 7 game at Concordia-AA in early October. They have won 3 straight including a strong (15.5 TPR) performance at Saint Francis (IN).

U-M is also on the road following their stunning performance against former Top Ten foe Notre Dame.

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A Rainy Saturday Washes Away Some Title Hopes And Strengthens Others!

October 28, 2019

By Tony Dixon for COLLEGE FOOTBALL WRAP-UP(c)

Ypsilanti, MI —

When the weather forecasters get it right, they get it right! All week long the forecast had been for day long, heavy rains…the kind of weather that would heighten the need for a strong ground game and a good grip on the football.

Michigan on this Saturday was not a place to showcase your “air-raid” attack! It was a place for your offensive linemen to show what those long, hard hours in the weight room had wrought. Fullbacks and running backs were full of anticipation of the coming game, knowing that they would be the focus of this week’s game. It was also the place where a mobile quarterback could prove…invaluable!

Case in point, the CFWU’s GAME OF THE WEEK, # 1 (TPR) Hope on the road at # 2 (TPR) Olivet…with sole possession of 1st place in the MIAA on the line! The Flying Dutchmen rushed for 310 yards, led by their senior QB Mason Opple’s 213 yards, 8.5 yards/rush and 2 TDs on the ground, on their way to a 21 – 7 victory. Opple is listed at 6-3, 236 pounds, and when his head coach was asked about the performance, he replied…“What can you say about Mason Opple? He’s a beast,” Stuursma said. “It’s like tackling a dump truck. He saddled us up and put us on his shoulders and carried us.”

Case in point, #2 nationally (# 6 TPR) Ferris State invited an old and familiar foe, # 10 (TPR) Saginaw Valley State out to Top Taggart Field to make their case for being the best team in the GLIAC. FSU’s senior QB Jayru Campbell had a monster day with over 400 yards of total offense and 2 rushing TDs.  Oddly enough, 347 yards of those yards came through the air, as Ferris remained unbeaten and in first place in the conference, with a 31 – 10 victory over SVSU.

The COLLEGE FOOTBALL WRAP-UP(c)’s Other Games Of Interest results:

  • #5 (TPR) Grand Valley  State grinds out a water logged 27 – 7 victory over #14 (TPR) Davenport-GR under the lights at Lubbers Stadium.
  • #4 (TPR and #18 nationally) Siena Heights goes on the road and upsets #4 (nationally) Saint Francis 24 – 14. It was the program’s first victory over a nationally Top Ten ranked opponent.
  • #19 (nationally) U-M shines under the lights at the Big House as they take #7 Notre Dame apart on national TV with a 45 – 14 victory.

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Tony Dixon is a Co-host for The College Football Wrap-Up(c), MISPORT-TV’s original content vehicle that reviews the past week’s college football games played by Michigan based colleges and universities across all divisions and conferences. The show also utilizes the TPR(c) (Team Performance Rating) to measure a team’s performance in the past game and also to quantify it’s performance over the seasons games. The teams are then ranked according to their TPR number, the higher the number, the stronger the performances.

Hope (#1 TPR) And Olivet (#2 TPR) Collide In College Football Wrap-Up(c)’s GAME OF THE WEEK This Weekend!

October 25, 2019

By Tony Dixon for COLLEGE FOOTBALL WRAP-UP(c)

Ypsilanti, MI —

#1 versus #2…The Battle for Supremacy…The Game of The Year…The Showdown For First Place! So many cliches can be used to describe Saturday’s upcoming game between Hope’s Flying Dutchmen and the Olivet Comets, but in the end, the game comes down to two very solid, and common denominators.

  1. First place in the MIAA Conference – The unbeaten Comets and the unbeaten (in the conference) Flying Dutchmen will put a serious dent in one or the other’s plans to win the conference with a victory. Both are currently in first place, and undefeated in the MIAA race.
  2. The end of a winning streak – Olivet is undefeated (6 -0) and Hope (5 – 1) has won it’s last five games in a row. Only unbeaten Ferris State (7 – 0) has a longer winning streak this year in the state of Michigan.

An interesting side note to this game is that Hope has put together 3 of the top TPR scoring weeks of the year. It has scored 20.0 points twice this year, and has the third highest performance with a 16.0 performance also. Michigan State has the next highest performance this year (15.5).

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Speaking of Ferris State, the state’s true juggernaut on the gridiron currently (and for the last 5+ years, if you do the research), they will be busy defending their turf against an old and familiar foe, Saginaw Valley State. The Cardinals are in the midst of a 2 game losing streak, but will be up for their annual GLIAC tussle.

Wayne State has been inconsistent this year, but it has been a true problem for any team not named Ferris State that has ventured into the confines of Tom Adams Field in Detroit. They have upset not 1, but 2, Top Thirty nationally ranked schools at home this year, including their double overtime victory over Ashland (OH) this past weekend.

EMU racked up a solid victory over WMU this past weekend both on the field as well as in the TPRs. It was also the Eagles third victory secured in the last 30 seconds of the game this season!

Lawrence Tech cracked the Top 20 in the state this week, by putting up the semblance of a struggle against Siena Heights.

Finlandia and Northwood remained winless on the season. Finlandia ran into a buzzsaw when they played #1* Hope. While Northwood’s foe was none other than the aforementioned Ferris State Bulldogs, ranked #2 nationally.

 

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