It came down to Kentucky, Michigan and Michigan State and the Spartans win under Tom Izzo again.  Russell Byrd, a 6-7 shooter from Fort Wayne, Indiana, verbally committed to the Spartans on Friday.  His dad called me with the news and Byrd becomes the second player for the 2010 class to commit.  He and Detroit Pershing's Keith Appling both have two years of high school play remaining.  But they'll be Spartans beginning with the 2010-2011 season.

     Rich Rodriguez has finally signed his Michigan contract.  It's a six year deal worth at least $2.5 million per year.  It's about $1 million a year more than what Lloyd Carr was making.  So far it's worth $1.2 million per win if the Wolverines don't win any more this season.

     Who goes the farthest in the state high school football play offs from this area?  In this order I see it being Ovid-Elsie, Mason, Sexton, Laingsburg and Everett among the top five, but I see no area team making it to the finals in Ford Field Thanksgiving Day week end.  The pairings will be announced at 6:30pm Sunday on Fox Sports Detroit and posted at 7pm on the website.  There are eight divisions with 32 teams in each class and six wins automatically gets a school in the field.  Division into specific tournaments is determined by school enrollment.

     It's a first but probably won't be a last this season-- The Detroit Lions are blacked out for Sunday's game at Ford Field against the Washington Redskins.  Peter King of Sports Illustrated picks the Lions to win 20-17 on a hunch.  The Lions are 0-6 and after 51 straight sellouts in Ford Field they have several thousand tickets left to sell for this Sunday.

     How is attendance supposed to grow for various MSU home athletic events if they are up against football games on television?  The Saturday MSU vs. Michigan football game won't end until just after 7pm.  But a home volleyball game begins at 6:30pm and a hockey game at 7pm.  Most fans will watch the end of the football game and then show up late or just bag those two events altogether.  Volleyball and hockey, in these instances, need to have some flexibility in their start times if they hope to draw more fans.



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