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2013 Michigan State
Odds and Schedule
It's interesting that Michigan State are favorites or near favorites for most oddsmakers to win the Big Ten Legends Division this year, yet they aren't getting any recognition in the early preseason polls from the media. It doesn't quite add up, but in most places, the odds point to the Spartans having a better season than in 2012. They'll be returning 14 starters which is a good rate coming off a somewhat disappointing 7-6 season. Their bowl win over TCU left players with a good feeling, which wasn't the case for most of the year.
Michigan State is listed at odds of 125 to 1 to win the BCS Title at sportsbook.ag
On offense, eight starters will be back, but that side of the ball will once again be the biggest question mark for this team. They'll be losing running back Le'Veon Bell (his 414 touches led all of college football) who was the lone bright spot on the offense last year and they still only scored 20 points per game. At this point, they don't exactly have one player to fill his spot, so it's going to be interesting to see how that turns out. The good thing is that most of their offensive line will return which should help immensely. However, the injury bug from last year is back (seven of their top eight linemen were hurt at some point in 2012) and could prove to be a major problem. The biggest question mark is at quarterback where Andrew Maxwell could not do anything right last year. With new co-offensive coordinators taking charge, Maxwell's spot might not be locked in if he can't figure things out early on.
The Spartans defense has been one of the best in the nation over the last couple years and that should continue to be the case in 2013 even though they lost guys like William Gholston and Johnny Adams. The good news is that they will be returning their linebacking core (Max Bullough) and playmakers in the secondary (Darqueze Dennard). Expect to see more low-scoring games from MSU this season.
2013 Michigan State Football Schedule
Aug. 30 vs. Western Michigan
Sept. 7 vs. South Florida
Sept. 14 vs. Youngstown State
Sept. 21 at Notre Dame
Oct. 5 at Iowa
Oct. 12 vs. Indiana
Oct. 19 vs. Purdue
Oct. 26 at Illinois
Nov. 1 vs. Michigan
Nov. 16 at Nebraska
Nov. 23 at Northwestern
Nov. 30 vs. Minnesota
The thing about Michigan State predictions this year is that they have a very nice conference schedule compared to previous seasons. Instead of Ohio State and Wisconsin in their schedule, they'll get to play Illinois and Purdue. That sounds too good to be true for a guy like Andrew Maxwell.
Things should go smoothly for the Spartans with three straight home games to begin the season, but road battles at Notre Dame and Iowa will be tricky as neither place is easy to win. Without Everett Golson at the helm, that ND game could be a turning point for this team. A couple lighter games follow those and then another two-game stretch that could define their season. To start November, Michigan State will face Michigan who could be undefeated and then travel to Nebraska, a team they have not beaten since joining the conference two years ago.
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Michigan State's defense should keep them in games much like last year, but if their offense continues where they left off, it will be another frustrating season. However, the only way to go is up for the Spartans, at least record wise.
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