At #12 we have the Michigan State Spartans. The Spartans have some really big shoes to fill on offense with the departures of quarterback Kirk Cousins and Wide Receiver B.J. Cunningham. Cousins is the winningest quarterback in MSU history and a three-year captain.
Replacing him will be quarterback Andrew Maxwell, an elite high school quarterback with a lot of talent, but not much experience. He needs to grow up in a hurry because the Spartans are playing one of the toughest September schedules in the country with Boise State, Notre Dame and Ohio State all coming to town.
Sparty’s defense will be stellar with returning players like William Gholston, Johnny Adams and Max Bullough. Michigan State’s defense should be one of the best in the country.
With running back La’Veon Bell back, the Spartans have a feature running back to carry the load. He ran for 948 yards a year ago in a mostly pass oriented offense. Should MSU decide to go more to the ground game, he will be more than capable of carrying the rock.
We mentioned the September schedule. It doesn’t lighten up a whole lot after that either. In October, they have Iowa, at Michigan and at Wisconsin in three straight weeks. Then immediately after that in the first week in November, Nebraska comes to town.
One thing in MSU’s favor is most of their tough games are at home. After the Nebraska game they have an open date, then end the season with Northwestern and Minnesota.
Head coach Mark D’Antonio has established himself as a top flight college football coach. He has had the Spartans consistently winning now for quite a few seasons. Michigan State has now beaten Michigan four years in a row. When was the last time that happened?
If the new quarterback can find some guys to throw the ball to, he will get opportunities to pitch it down the filed. Opposing defenses should be loading the box, trying to stop Bell first and making the kid prove he can beat them deep.
Wager Web has Michigan State at +7000 to win the National Championship. That’s a bet worth risking $100.00. Because it could very well be possible that MSU could wind up in the Championship Game. their schedule is tough, with a lot of home games, and they have the defense and running game.