Tom Izzo: Definitely One of the Most Famous Natives of Michigan

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Tom Izzo, photo by Hillary Higgens

TRUE CONFESSION: Page-at-a-time slideshows make me want to smash my screen, but I have to say that what mLive is doing with slideshows has been pretty cool. Their feature on the Most Famous Natives of Michigan has their pick for the most famous person from each of Michigan’s 83 counties. Definitely worth a read. Share your thoughts here on on the Michigan in Pictures Facebook!

It’s hard to argue with their choice for the most famous person from Dickinson County, Michigan – Michigan State University Spartan coach Tom Izzo:

Since 1995, Tom Izzo has led the Michigan State men’s basketball team as head coach. Born Jan. 30, 1955, Izzo was recently inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Under his watch, the Spartan team has made it to the Final Four seven times and taken home an NCAA Men’s Division I Championship.

Hillary took this photo back in 2011. View it background big and see more in her 2011 Champion’s Class slideshow.

Bringing the Busy Bee back to Michigan

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The busy couple, photo by Jiafan (John) Xu

John writes that this photo was taken at a small pond with pink lotus and some other water plants at the Michigan State University farm in Novi, Michigan. That segues nicely to this Greening of the Great Lakes interview with Dr. Rufus Isaacs, bee researcher and professor in the Department of Entomology at MSU about what we can do to make our farms and gardens better for bees.

He (Dr. Isaacs) believes the use of pesticides, disease and reduced natural habitat from the development of land for residential and agricultural purposes have made it difficult for the over 400 different bee species native to Michigan to survive and pollinate.

Among other things, Isaacs and his colleagues hope to expand spaces for wild bees to thrive close to farmland. His strategy to improve pollination sustainability involves luring wild bees to farms so producers don’t have to rent commercial honey bees. By planting wildflowers and using bee-safe pesticides, farmers can become less dependent on high-cost and out-of-state honey bees to pollinate their crops.

“We’re supporting those bees with pollen, nectar and a place to nest, “ he says. “That’s boosting those wild bee numbers to help honey bees when it’s bloom time in the Spring.”

Similar procedures can also be done on a smaller scale to increase pollination and mitigate bee decline. Isaacs explains that home gardeners can look to resources like MSU’s Smart Gardening program to attract pollinators to their fruit and vegetable plantings.

Click through to listen!

View Jiafan’s photo bigger and see more in his slideshow.

“MU” merges University of Michigan & Michigan State University

via Absolute Michigan

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HOWELL, MICHIGAN – This morning, Ann Arbor based University of Michigan and East Lansing’s Michigan State University announced a historic merger that will create the largest university on the planet, known simply as “MU”.

“We stand midway between two storied colleges to create the greatest of them all,” stated MU co-President Lou Anna Simon as she welcomed an estimated 11,110 alumni, honorees, and angry sports fans to what will be the main campus of MU in Howell. “MU will become the largest college in the U.S. and instantly the leader in medicine, science, arts, and of course – sports.”

Her fellow co-President Mark Schlissel “Today we put aside our differences to crush all other universities with the aggregated research, industry partnerships, academic synergies, and the combined athletic might that two nationally powerful programs can bring to bear.”

Although barely hours old, the new school has already been ranked #1 for the upcoming football, basketball and cancer research seasons.

Reactions of fans of the two programs contacted ranged from “confused” to “enraged” while the entire state of Ohio pretty much just broke down and cried.

Michigan State Spartans and the 100th Rose Bowl

UPDATE: The top-rated Spartan D dug deep when it counted and stopped Stanford to seal a 24-20 victory in the 100th Rose Bowl and #3 or better ranking! View a photo gallery from the game via the Lansing State Journal’s Green & White section.

1954 Rose Bowl Game

1954 Rose Bowl Game, photo courtesy Michigan State University Archives

This afternoon at 5 PM the #4 Michigan State University Spartans will take the field against the #5 Stanford Cardinals to represent the Big Ten for the 100th Rose Bowl.

Wikipedia’s page on the Rose Bowl where you can see a pic from the very first Rose Bowl says (in part) that the game is usually played on New Year’s Day at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. It was first played in 1902, and has been played annually since 1916. As the oldest bowl game, it has earned the nickname “The Granddaddy of Them All”.

MSU has been to the Rose Bowl four times and has won three: the 1954 game pictured above, 1956 and their last appearance in 1988. MSU’s article on the Spartans and the 2014 Rose Bowl says (in part):

Big Ten Champion Michigan State (12-1, 8-0 Big Ten) will make its first-ever Bowl Championship Series appearance on Jan. 1, 2014, when the Spartans play Pac-12 Champion Stanford (11-2, 7-2 Pac-12). Winners of nine straight, Michigan State recorded its school-record 12th win of the 2013 season by defeating second-ranked Ohio State, 34-24, in the Big Ten Championship Game.

MSU ranked No. 4 in the final BCS Standings – its highest ranking ever. The Spartans are ranked No. 4 in the latest Associated Press and USA TODAY Polls. It marks MSU’s highest ranking in the AP Poll since Sept. 18, 1967.

The Spartans finished their Big Ten regular-season schedule with a perfect 8-0 record for the first time in school history and claimed their second Legends Division title in three seasons. Michigan State became the 14th Big Ten team to post an 8-0 mark in league play. The Spartans are the first Big Ten team to win all eight of its conference games by double-digit points since the league went to an eight-game schedule in 1971. In addition, MSU is the first undefeated Big Ten team to win all of its league games by double-figure points since Michigan in 1943 (6-0 record).

The 100th Rose Bowl Game marks the first time since the “Game of the Century” in 1966 (No. 1 Notre Dame vs. No. 2 Michigan State) in which MSU will play a top-five AP team while also being ranked in the top five. No. 5 Stanford is also the highest ranked opponent MSU has played in a bowl game since the 1966 Rose Bowl (UCLA finished the 1965 regular season ranked No. 4 in the final AP Poll).

Mike Downey put together 100 facts about the Rose Bowl. Most surprising to me was that 1925’s coaching matchup was Knute Rockne vs. Pop Warner.

The Michigan State University Archives says that the photograph above captures the action of the 1954 Rose Bowl game of Michigan State College versus UCLA in which the Spartans defeated the Bruins 28-20. View it bigger and check out some cool memorabilia in their Rose Bowl slideshow.

And oh yeah, Happy New Year & GO GREEN!

Coach Tom Izzo, #1 for the MSU Spartans

Final Four Homecoming #3

Final Four Homecoming #3, photo by Blackbeard Ben. © 2009 Red Cedar Log

Last weekend, Michigan State University Men’s Basketball coach Tom Izzo passed his predecessor and mentor Jud Heathcoate as the all time wins leader for the MSU Spartans. Check out Congratulations Coach Izzo! on Absolute Michigan for more about the Iron Mountain native, including video.

This photo is one of many in Ben’s Red Cedar Log Event Photos set ( slideshow).

Your NCAA Midwest Regional Champion, Motor City Final Four Bound, Michigan State University Spartans Photopalooza!

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_MG_9071.JPG, photo by eric.mackinnon.

Eric has a great set of photos from the Spartans Final 4 Welcome Home event at the Breslin (slideshow).

You can get the latest MSU Spartans basketball on Flickr.

If you have a favorite picture of Izzo’s crew (and Merchant’s too!) please add a link to it in the comments below.

…and oh yeah, GO GREEN!