REVISED 07.09.11 – With Ohio State vacating all of it’s 2010 wins, they drop from #3 to #5.  This could change again as the NCAA has not weighed-in as of yet, but for now, these are the Top Ten All-Time Winningest Football Programs through 2010.

Going back 140 years (through 2010), and using the NCAA as the source, here are the top 10 schools and the percentage of winning games:

1. Michigan  73.453%

2. Notre Dame  73.266%

3. Texas  71.730%

4. Oklahoma  71.704%

5. Ohio State  71.562%

6. Alabama  70.747%

7. Southern Cal  70.496%

8. Nebraska  70.131%

9. Tennessee  68.993%

10. Penn State  68.940%

Four of the top 10 are B1G schools now including Nebraska.  I like that.

The University of Michigan is number one.  I hate that.

I’m a Michigan State University grad, and always hated Michigan football growing up.  For the record, my MSU Spartans came in #29 at 59.145%.

If you want to see the big list, click here.

I was looking for some direction, instructions, tips, inspiration, etc. on how to paint a cycle helmet, and really couldn’t find anything worthwhile. Why is that?  Who knows.

I recently purchased a 1973 Honda CL175. It’s a pretty fun little bike, but my old Polaris ATV helmet felt pretty out-of-place. I wanted an old school open-face helmet like the old Bell helmets of my youth. I found a great Fulmer helmet, gold sparkle, at Ray Price H-D on sale and I snapped it up.

But it just didn’t seem exactly right yet. Not quite “me” yet. So I decided to put some racing stripes on it. Again, no luck finding any help online, but I’ve been a spray-painter going back to my elementary school model building days, so I decided to just do it myself. And pray that I don’t ruin my brand new, pristine helmet.

I got some 3M thin line tape to use to mask off the racing stripes. I originally planned for some thinner ’60s style stripes, but got on a roll and ended up with something that would have been right at home on the hood of a 1970 Chevelle Super Sport.

Step #1a. The trick is to start with long strips of tape and work on getting a nice, straight center line going from snap to snap.  You can peel and adjust as needed, but keep a long strip instead of focusing on a small area. Once you get it right, press down the tape firmly and make sure that there are no wrinkles, breaks or bubbles.

Step #1b. I used some of the blue tape as a guide for stripe thickness. I laid down a strip on either side of my center strip, but that was a bit too narrow, so I added a second strip to each side that 50% overlapped the first piece. That looked about right. I used the thin line tape again to mask off the outside edge of the fat stripe (also the inside edge of the outer (thinner) stripe). This was pretty easy using the blue tape as a guide and again I worked in long strips and focused on getting an even, smooth line.  Once I had both sides down, I removed the blue guide tape.

Step #1c. The space between the fat stripes and the thin stripes should match the center space, so I used a piece of thin line as a space guide. Then I added the thin line tape to mask off the outside edge of the thinner stripe in the same manner as mentioned in Step 1b. Once I had the outside edges masked to my liking, I peeled the guide tape. Viola, stripes!

Step #1d. Using regular painters (blue) tape, I masked off everything that I didn’t want painted.

Here is how it looked masked off:

Next, you head over the paint shop, on in my case, five feet away from my work bench on my garage floor. I used the Fulmer box as a stand and put a plastic shopping bag on it so that it didn’t get covered in paint. I also threw down a plastic tarp to protect my basement floor.

Step #2. Pull the trigger!  Yep, it’s time to paint. I went to Ace Hardware and browsed their selection of flat black spray paint and decided to go with their house-brand premium lacquer because it promised to dry quickly, leave a hard yet smooth finish, and you didn’t have to re-coat in less than two hours or more than five days. Following the directions, I put down three light, even coats taking care not to put it down too thick and cause runs or ripples.

It looked a little funky after the first coat. Not flat and not black. I figured I may have ruined my helmet, but oh well. Too late for regrets now.Here is how it looked right after applying the first coat:

I applied the coats about 30 minutes apart, and after the third coat, I let it dry for about two hours. Then curiosity got the best of me. I HAD to see how it looked, and how well the masking tape worked.

Step #3. Peel the tape. I peeled the blue stuff first. Success, no errant spray paint. Next I peeled the thin line tape one by one and it came off nice and clean. No bleeding, no issues. It didn’t even leave any residue. That was it. Done and done. Here is the final product:

What do you think? I’m digging it! And the best part, nobody but me has one just like it.

And just like that, the season is over. What a season it was!

  • 11 wins, the most ever for MSU
  • A Big Ten Championship, the first since 1990
  • #8 BCS / #7 AP and USA Today ranking after the regular season
  • Beat Michigan for the third year running which MSU hasn’t done since ’65-’66-’67
  • Beat Penn State in Happy Valley for the first time since ’65
  • Beat Notre Dame on an amazing OT fake field goal
  • Beat Wisconsin handily, their only loss on the year
  • Became a team that finishes strong with big come-from-behind wins against Northwestern and Purdue

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It was Senior Day at Spartan Stadium, and the last home game of the season. A season where MSU has not lost at home, and has only lost one game  to their nine wins. The Spartans were the clear favorite against the 4-6 Boilermakers.

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The AP and USA Today put MSU at #10, but the sages at the BCS take them down a notch to #11. I guess beating a 1-9 Minnesota doesn’t impress the computers all that much.

Elsewhere in the Big Ten…

  • Wisconsin moves up from #9 to #7, and is currently the highest ranked Big Ten team.
  • Almost-Big Ten Nebraska slips from #7 to #8.
  • Ohio State moves up from #11 to #9.
  • Iowa moves up from #16 to #13.

Not too bad for the Big Ten with two teams in the Top Ten and four teams in the Top 25.

Edwin Baker celebrates MSU’s win over Minnesota, and deservedly so.

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In some ways, I expected worse.  Iowa is a good team so losing to them isn’t as bad as losing to Tulsa or Appalachian State. The BCS computers don’t factor in the score, so they do not distinguish a close game from the trainwreck that was MSU-Iowa. In the Big Ten…

  • Michigan State drops from #5 to #14 after losing to Iowa
  • Wisconsin moves up from #10 to #9
  • Ohio State stays put at #11
  • Iowa moves up from #18 to #16
  • And finally, almost-Big Ten school Nebraska moves up from #14 to #7

Big Ten rankings got a little more interesting with State’s loss to Iowa.  There are now four one-loss teams duking it out for the conference.  MSU and OSU both have four wins, so they are up top.  Wisconsin and Iowa have three wins each, so they are right behind the leads.  There is a gaggle of two-loss clubs waiting for the whole thing to bust lose .  Michigan, Indiana and Minnesota are holding down the bottom of the list.

Oregon and Auburn flip-flop at the #1 and #2 two spots with the Ducks as the top team in the country.  They handled USC pretty well and looked good doing it. I agree with Oregon at #1. TCU and Boise State flip-flop at #3 and #4. These are obviously good teams, but I can’t tell how good becuase most weeks they are playing teams I have never heard of.

Lastly, give it up for NC State!  The Pack slip in at #25 this week.

Sometimes nothing works for nobody none of the times. That’s a triple-negative, and that’s still not enough negatives to describe how MSU played against Iowa. It was awful. It sucked. I am very glad it is over and done. Let the healing begin.

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It just never gets old.

For three glorious years, we have enjoyed having old Paul Bunyan as a East Lansing resident.  GO GREEN!

We’ll find out tonight was the BCS thinks, but Michigan State at #5 is awesome.

Elsewhere in the AP Top 25, the Big Ten:

  • Wisconsin moves up from #10 to #9
  • Ohio State moves from #11 to #10
  • Iowa drops from #13 to #18
  • Almost-Big Ten school Nebraska hangs at #14

One other note, Michigan re-appears in the USA Today Poll at #25 after a bye week

That is three Big Ten schools in the Top Ten!

Got to give it up for Mark Dell and B.J. Cunningham. It was tough sledding, but these guys, and all of the Spartans, hung in there for the comeback victory against Northwestern.

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BCS Puts MSU at #7.

In 13 years of the BCS, this is the highest ranking that the Spartans have ever earned.

MSU is playing smart, balanced, inspired football this year. Congrats to the players, the coaches, and the fans.

Next week, on the road against a tough Northwestern club. GO GREEN!

They have every right to sing. They are 7-0 for the first time since 1966 (0ne year before I was born), they lead the Big Ten and they are ranked in the Top 10 schools in the country. Way to go Spartans!

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After a huge win yesterday versus the #18 Wolverines of Michigan, Michigan State moves up in the AP Poll from #17 to #13. In the USA Today Poll, the Spartans are ranked #11.  Michigan State’s play has been steady and balanced, and so has their systematic rise from un-ranked to #13.  Steady as she goes MSU!

Congrats to Ohio State for grabbing the #1 spot.

In the Big Ten, Iowa is #15, Wisconsin is #18 and Michigan drops out of the Top 25.  Soon-to-be-Big Ten team Nebraska is #5.

MSU played like champions. Michigan didn’t. And the Paul Bunyan Trophy continues to be an East Lansing resident for the third year running.

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More to come tomorrow, but how about those Spartans. Any time MSU beats Michigan, I’m happy. Add to it that it’s the third year in a row and now the Spartans are 6-0 and I’m super-duper happy. GO GREEN!

Spartans move up to #17.

Michigan state moves up the rankings after week five, from #24 to #17. I like the slow and steady way MSU is building this season. Way to go Spartans.

Also in the Big 10:

  • Ohio State remains #2 as they have been since the pre-season
  • Iowa moves up from #17 to #15
  • Michigan moves up from #19 to #18 (just behind the Spartans!)
  • Wisconsin drops from #11 to #20
  • Penn State drops out of the top 25 after a #22 ranking last week
  • Soon-to-be-Big 1o Nebraska moves down from #6 to #7

Honestly, a really, really good game for MSU.

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MSU ranked after week four.

The Spartans cracked the Top 25 last week, and made more progress this week:

#24 in AP Top 25

#21 in USA Today Poll

Next weeks game against #11 Wisconsin will determine whether MSU keeps moving on up.  Go Green!

What is this “D”?  Is it for “Domination”? “Demolition”? “Destruction”? The “D” is for Coach Dantonio. A nice touch. But the Spartans honored their coach with something even nicer than a helmet sticker, they gave him a resounding victory at Spartan Stadium!  Way to go Spartans!

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Good News / Bad News…

The good news is that the Spartans are ranked! #25 in AP and #23 in USA Today. Not a real big deal or anything, but I like seeing MSU in the rankings.

Now the bad news, Mark Dantonio suffered a heart attack following the Notre Dame game. He had surgery and is stable. He is out for an indefinite amount of time and Offensive Coordinator Don Treadwell will be filling in as Head Coach.

I hope Coach Dantonio makes a full and speedy recovery.

Sitting on my porch with my dog Dash, all I could do was shout “Are you kidding me” when the Michigan State Spartans pulled off a flawless fake field goal in overtime to beat the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.  It was near midnight and I’m standing up, shouting at my TV and Dash doesn’t even wake up. It was classic!  I loved it.

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The running game continues to be a strength as the Michigan State Spartans roll past Florida Atlantic at Ford Field in Detroit.  Give it up for Edwin Baker!

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Going back 140 years (through the 2009/2010 season), and using the NCAA as the source, here are the top 10 schools and the percentage of winning games:

1. Michigan  73.663%

2. Notre Dame  73.396%

3. Texas  72.032%

4. Ohio State  71.653%

5. Oklahoma  71.534%

6. Alabama  70.678%

7. Southern Cal  70.599%

8. Nebraska  70.116%

9. Tennessee  69.247%

10. Penn State  69.103%

Three of the top 10 are Big Ten schools. I like that. Add Nebraska in 2011 and we’ve got four of the top 10.

Ohio State moved form #5 to #4, overtaking Oklahoma.

If you want to see the big list, click here.

I love a Spartan victory.

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Next weekend!

College football is back and I’m really fired up.

Go Spartans! Go BigTen!

I might even try the BigTen Network on-demand this year for MSU games not televised.

I wonder how Michigan will do this year, and will it be good enough to save RichRod? Or Notre Dame, will they show indications of a return to glory? Or Ohio State / Iowa / Wisconsin / Penn State; will they all live up to expectations? Do you think Nebraska will win the Big12 in their last year in the conference before joining the BigTen?

It’s going to be fun watching it all unfold.

I’m not very successful at predictions, but I do think MSU will be much improved over last year, and I think they will be more in the hunt for the BigTen then people think. I’m feeling cautiously optimistic.

I think it is a first in my lifetime.

Looking only at Football and Basketball (the sports I really care about), the Spartans last loss to the Wolverines November 3, 2007.  That is back-to-back Football wins AND back-to-back-to-back-to-back Basketball wins.

Now that I pause and think about it, that is awesome.

Way to go Spartans!  Keep up the good work.  Sparty on!

picture of trees from the Dismal SwampThe Great Dismal Swamp Stomp was an unexpectedly great event. I was a little apprehensive about this when I first got to the hotel. The expo was very small (I had only been to one other half marathon, but it had a huge expo). And I found that there were not direction to the race in my packet, nor was there a map of the course, but those were available on the web (thank goodness for smart phones). Sadly the map of the race didn’t include water stops, but other than that I was in pretty good shape once the race day dawned (well I hadn’t slept well, but that’s just par for the course on race night).
The race site itself was easy to find and parking was pretty ample. And there was already a band play at 7:00 in the morning. Now that is excellent. It was a laid back bluegrass kind of sound – just perfect for this race.
The course itself is fantastic. I love an out and back race. Somehow it makes the second half of the race seem easier (or at least familiar). There were plenty of water stops (the other benefit of an out and back course). The volunteers were very enthusiastic and were great about cheering us on. And it could not have been flatter. That was a perfectly flat and east track.
The after race snack was fantastic (hello pizza, I’m so happy to see you). The band continued to play and the race with the kids was cute. The shirts and medals were lovely.
I may not have had my best race, but that was mostly due to lack of training. The race itself is excellent and I would do it again.

“I love March.”

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