Preview 2018: Previewing and looking ahead to the Michigan State season with what you need to know.
Preview 2018: Michigan State Spartans
Yeah, Michigan State is a superpower program, and this should be just the team to cement that status.
After all of the horrible headlines in a very, very rough several months for the school and the athletic department, and after the basketball team went out with a whimper, Spartan fans are about to be in for something fun from the football side of things.
It’s possible Michigan State could be even better than it was when it won the Big Ten title and went to the College Football Playoff in 2015.
This isn’t some try-hard team that gets by with grit and attitude. It’s one of the big boys, with six double-digit win campaigns in the last eight.
Get ready for another.
In the East, Ohio State might still be the gold standard of consistent excellence, Penn State has been reborn, and Michigan gets the attention because it’s Michigan, but this MSU team should be better than at least the Nittany Lions and Wolverines, and it should set its sights on nothing less than a second CFP trip in four years.
Start with the experience. The team that cranked up ten wins last year welcomes back 21 starters, doesn’t have any glaring holes or needs, and – with the possible exception at quarterback – has just enough depth to be fine if and when disaster strikes a position.
And then there’s the schedule. The Big Ten East might be the toughest division in college football, but the Spartans get Michigan and Ohio State at home, don’t have to deal with Wisconsin from the West, and have one truly brutal road date – at Penn State.
The non-conference slate – Utah State, at Arizona State, Central Michigan – is a relative breeze for a program with legitimate Big Ten title hopes and dreams, and three of the four November games are against teams that didn’t go bowling last year.
There have been big seasons under Mark Dantonio, plenty of great bowl wins, and there’s the honor of being just one of two Big Ten programs – and one of nine teams total – to get into the College Football Playoff.
Yeah, it’s okay to keep beating Michigan. It’s okay to keep winning bowl games. It’s okay to be in everyone’s preseason top ten.
It’s okay to be a superpower.