The Lions have so many labels stuck to their foreheads, it's hard to keep track. They're aggressive and maddening and talented and dirty and brash and fearless and undisciplined.
It's a long way from there to here, from the beginning weeks ago, even years ago, to thumping music, dancing players and rose stems in the teeth. The Spartans finished it off, finished off the Buckeyes, and gave every indication they're not finished yet.
Bell waited until he was fully dressed after Sunday's 34-20 loss to the Eagles in Philadelphia, until all the cameras and reporters were assembled in front of his locker. Then he turned around. 'Cameras rolling?' he said.
Their top-ranked defense rebounded when it had to and their underrated quarterback rose to the moment, and on a remarkable Saturday night, the Spartans finally rose to the Roses.
The way the Spartans figure it, they've waited long enough. There were heartbreaks, bad breaks and rough losses over the years, and now here they are, all fired up with someplace to go.
The Tigers are entrenched in title contention, and that's a good thing. It's also a daunting thing. It's why they can land one of the best closers, Joe Nathan, and immediately field more questions. Such as: OK, what's next? Who's next? What, who and when?
Yep, the Big Ten championship game Saturday night apparently is Ohio State against history, or Ohio State against conference perceptions, or Ohio State against the civilized world. In other words, it's exactly what Michigan State is accustomed to, and determined to change.
It was a momentous gamble few coaches ever make, but on this day, in this setting, it fit. It didn't work and it will be debated for a long time, but it fit.
So, this is what channeled anger looks like, stunning to behold. If this cold, ruthless gutting is what the Lions can do when ticked off, hey, might as well stay ticked off.
Someone has to make a stand, and it's up to our fine state to do it. Someone has to defend against the gathering scourge, because like a recurring rash, here come the Buckeyes again, all riled and red-eyed, itching and scratching to make a statement.
Hoke isn't wavering or getting defensive, and that's a good thing. Because this season — and Saturday's game against unbeaten Ohio State — might be the biggest football tests he'll ever face.
It was as bad as it gets for a team that was supposed to be past this nonsense. Matthew Stafford flung the ball recklessly, tossing four interceptions, and although they weren't all his fault, this begins with him.
Michigan State has come too far to stumble now, or next week against mighty Minnesota. If the Spartans are going to get exposed, darn it, it won't be until the championship game against Ohio State.
This is the price of doing business, and the fallout of postseason failure. The Tigers pulled off a shocker Wednesday night that made solid sense, which shows how far Fielder's standing had fallen.
Of all the things Mark Dantonio has built at Michigan State, this is the most impressive. The Spartans know who they are and where they're trying to go, and ...
Being aggressive is one thing, a good thing, something the Lions need to do. But for aggressive teams to win, they have to do it when it matters, and where it ...
Life is like football. Getting knocked down is part of the deal, and so is getting back up. As evidence, I present Michigan State and Nebraska, who meet ...
Panicking is more an emotion than a strategy, so yes, it's important in football to stay the course. But the line can blur, and rarely is it as blurry as it is ...
This isn't just about the players, or that young offensive line, or the beleaguered Devin Gardner. This is about the coaching staff that can't figure out how ...
Michigan and Nebraska were heaving symbols of strength who rammed the ball down the field, tackled without yelping 'ow!' and periodically stomped into the ...
The Lions haven't won a division title since 1993, when they last hosted a playoff game. For most of the past two decades, they haven't come close.
There's a new face to the Tigers, and it certainly isn't the same as the old face. Dave Dombrowski had preferred someone with more experience to replace Jim ...
The Spartans splattered the Wolverines 29-6 Saturday and if that counts as bullying, they might as well keep it up until someone stops them. Afterward, Brady ...
The Spartans just don't get it, or stubbornly refuse to get it. I thought the Wolverines made it pretty clear with their 12-10 romp last year that they were ...
During a 45-minute conversation, Gores said he was happy with the Pistons' home at The Palace but open to conversations about moving downtown. He also said ...
The Spartans have the superior defense, the more-physical offensive line, the tougher disposition. They’ve won four of the past five meetings and their top- ...
Bob Wojnowski is a Michigan native who grew up in Ann Arbor, went to high school in Battle Creek and graduated from the University of Michigan in 1983. He has been at The Detroit News since 1989, a columnist since 1992. He has covered everything from the Super Bowl to the Olympics to the World Series to the Final Four to the NBA and Stanley Cup Finals.
- Bob can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bob Wojnowski's favorites:
- Favorite food: A juicy steak. (Meat and potatoes, baby.)
- Favorite sport: Football, especially college football.
- Favorite movies: "Silence of the Lambs," "Fargo," "Animal House"
- Favorite performer: David Letterman
- Angelique Chengelis
- Terry Foster
- Tom Gage
- Jerry Green
- Lynn Henning
- Ted Kulfan
- Tom Markowski
- Chris McCosky
- John Niyo
- Bob Wojnowski
- Donna Terek
- Editorial + Opinion
- Nolan Finley
- Paul W. Smith
- Frank Beckmann
- George Will
- Thomas Sowell
- Froma Harrop
- Charles Krauthammer
- Clarence Page
- Kathleen Parker
- Michael Barone
More from The Detroit News
Seen in the Photo Store
Purchase Detroit News images of historic events, scenes, places and people.Go to the PhotoStore
The Detroit News Apps
Stay up to date on the go with the latest from The Detroit News apps
Our apps connect you with the best news, sports, auto and entertainment coverage from our team of award-winning journalists.