When we last saw Michigan State the team was prepping to make a run at CCC in the fall. They had brilliant results at some early fall tournaments but by the time the snowy, muddy weekend in Chattanooga was over, Burning Couch was going home unhappy.
“I would say we were disappointed with how CCC turned out,” senior captain Alex Edinger wrote us in an e-mail. “We were really looking to come out and prove ourselves, and we certainly did beat some better competition on sunday, and took 9th, but we would have preferred to get a shot at the championship bracket. It’s always too late to wonder ‘what could have been’ had we gotten our whole roster to be there.”
While MSU certainly came away from the fall tournament regretting the fact that many of its core roster couldn’t make the trip. The team also came away with a greater knowledge of itself and what it wanted from its season.
“CCC really showed us that we need to be willing to be flexible in our game plan,” Edinger wrote. “We also learned that we have a slight hump we need to overcome in order to become the team we all want to be. The losses at CCC really made us hungry for more success, and therefore provided us with some great motivation once we moved inside and to track workouts.”
Losses can be great motivators for sports teams, take the 2007 New York Giants for example. Burning Couch, a team that has been missing from the Nationals scene for
five three years, seems to following a similar pattern. After finishing below where it desired at CCC and rededicating itself as a team, Burning Couch has had slightly different results.
Not only did MSU, now ranked tenth in the Nation, storm through the Glow-in-the-Dark Horse but the team also had an excellent showing at Queen City Tune Up, earning victories over Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech, Clemson and UNC-Wilmington before losing to Georgia in the finals. It’s a turnaround that can be attributed to the varying in strategy and intensity and practice that arose after MSU’s CCC’s finish.
“We run a wider variety of offensive sets now,” Edinger wrote. “We change it up a bit to keep defenses guessing. Zone offense has really become a strong point for our team, and our man-O is certainly not lacking either. We are changing up some defensive sets as well.”
“We’re a team filled with competitive spirits, who love to win and get better,” Edinger wrote. “This makes for some really great and intense practices/scrimmages.”
MSU’s play can also be attributed to one general idea in particular. The ever-elusive goal of being a Nationals team. While many a team has been laughed at for an Oh-For performance at Club or College Nationals, the fact of the matters is, Nationals is Nationals and only the best of the best see even the bottom seed at the UPA’s premier tournament.
Making it to Nationals is a worthy accomplishment in its own right and not an easy task. Michigan State is slowly learning what it will take and how it feels to be a Nationals contender.
“Every time we step out onto the field, we need to find it within ourselves to get better,” Edinger wrote. “We by no means have been letting up in our pursuit, and we feel as though if we work hard enough and stay focused, we can achieve our goals.”
After speaking with Edinger, we can safely say that there is no doubt that Burning Couch will be giving 100% when it arrives in Tallahassee this weekend.
“I think we’ll have a pretty successful weekend,” Edinger wrote. “There is for sure some great competition at this tournament, and I hope we can make it a great learning experience for our team. I hope it really adds to the progress of reaching our goals. Last year we made it to the finals in this tournament against a very tough Notre Dame squad. Our whole team is extremely excited for the weekend, and we’re itching to get out of this snow.”