THE BEST SEND OFF FOR MSU COACH

     Joe Baum's 32-year career as MSU men's soccer coach is about to end and his players are sending him out in the best wa poossible-- winning games.  The Spartans beat Northwestern 1-0 Friday in the Big Ten tournament semi-finals in Madison, Wisconsin.  Mason's Doug DeMartin scored MSU's goal.  The Spartans are now 12-5-1 on the season and 7-0-1 in their last eight games.  MSU plays Indiana at 1pm Sunday in Madison for the tournament title.  Indiana won its Friday semi-final over Michigan, 1-0.  Earlier Friday, Baum was named Big Ten coach of the year and DeMartin was named conference player of the year.  Michigan State will also eventually play in the NCAA tournament.

     Central Michigan University Friday gave men's basketball coach Ernie Ziegler a $16,000 raise to $175,000 per year-- quite a contrast from the $2.8 million per season Tom Izzo earns at Michigan State.  According to a website, Mark Dantonio makes $1.15 million per season as the MSU football coach.  That ranks 52nd among division one head football coaches.  A total of 69 make $1 million per season.  Bob Stoops of Oklahoma is tops at $6.4 million per year.  Dantonio has beaten five coaches this season who make more than he does.

     The Sports Illustrated college basketball magazine has arrived.  Michigan State is ranked 12th in the nation.  The Spartans open their regular schedule at 6pm Sunday in the Breslin Center against Idaho.  Tickets are available.

     I think a Michigan win over Northwestern in Ann Arbor Saturday is noteworthy for the Wolverines' football program.  Bad a year as it has been, Michigan would take a two game winning streak into the final week of practice for the Ohio State game next Saturday in Columbus.  Michigan would finish no worse than 3-5 in the Big Ten.  And if the Wolverines could at least play the Buckeyes in a respectable game, it would offer some momentum and hope for the future.  The Michigan recruits on the sidelines in Ann Arbor Saturday need to see the positive side of Rich Rodriguez' program and a second win in a row would make everyone feel good, again heading into a final week of practice.  As it is, a win and loss to the Buckeyes would leave Michigan at 4-8, the most losses in school history in one season dating back to 1879.

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