Once, not so long ago in a land not so far away, a Midwestern college football team had a fabulous season. So fabulous, in fact, that it was rewarded with a bowl game against the best team in the SEC.
That team played solid defense, so-so offense, and had a former Big East coach trying to make a name for himself in a much tougher arena.
The team manhandled the Big Ten, and beat a number of ranked teams on the way.
Despite all the success, the team had many doubters, and even its own fans were unsure if the fairy-tale season was for real.
No need to guess, as the team would use this game against a top SEC team to tell them if they were for real.
That team was the 11-1 Michigan State Spartans of 2010, and they found out that they were real. Real bad.
The Alabama Crimson Tide wiped the floor with them, 49-7, in a game that looked like the ’67 Green Bay Packers playing a youth football team. At Lambeau, in February. The Tide out-gained MSU 546 yards to 171, and could have done the same with Bama’s seventh-string D, two equipment managers and the mascot on the field for most of the second half.
I wouldn't have been surprised to see an usher getting reps at outside linebacker.
You could safely say that if the two teams played another 10 times, ‘Bama would win 15.
Spartan fans who watched the game from their well-stocked man caves must have felt that their team got hit so hard that their couches were damaged. I'm sure many were so traumatized they still refuse to come out during daylight hours.
And yes, the MSU offense did prove that there actually is crying in football.
So with USC properly disposed of and Notre Dame lotioning up for a sunny date in Miami with the SEC champion, are the Irish looking at a similar fate?