The Michigan State Spartans upset Ohio State and won the Big Ten for the second time in three years in 2015, but many expect them to take a step back after losing 12 starters - including quarterback Connor Cook. However, head coach Mark Dantonio and this group are determined not to let that happen. Here's a game-by-game breakout of how we see their season playing out in 2016:
Week 1 - vs. Furman Paladins
Prediction: WIN (1-0)
A nice Friday night game to open the season against a FCS team. Easy win for the Spartans as they break in their new starters
Week 2 - BYE
Week 3 - at Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Prediction: LOSS (1-1)
Having an extra week to prepare for a road game at Notre Dame will be good and should help keep this game close, but ultimately, the Irish have more experience and talent. MSU loses a close one.
Week 4 - vs. Wisconsin Badgers
Prediction: WIN (2-1)
Michigan State's defense will be excellent against the run again this season. Considering that's what Wisconsin's offense is based around, they won't have success. The Spartans should win by a surprising margin in this one.
Week 5 - at Indiana Hoosiers
Prediction: WIN (3-1)
This will be an excellent game during basketball season - not in football. Spartans in a blowout.
Week 6 - vs. BYU Cougars
Prediction: WIN (4-1)
The Cougars are capable of beating anyone on any given night, but Michigan State won't let themselves lose to a lesser team in their home stadium.
Week 7 - vs. Northwestern Wildcats
Prediction: WIN (5-1)
Northwestern will be a tough out with most of their starters returning from last year's team, but again, the Spartans always elevate their play in East Lansing. They'll win a close one.
Week 8 - at Maryland Terrapins
Prediction: WIN (6-1)
New head coach D.J. Durkin will have Maryland going in the right direction sooner rather than later, but they still have a long way to go. Michigan State wins in a blowout.
Week 9 - vs. Michigan Wolverines
Prediction: LOSS (6-2)
Michigan State stole one in Ann Arbor last year, and this game will be another extremely close game. That being said, Michigan has the offensive weapons that the Spartans don't, and that will ultimately prove to be the difference.
Week 10 - at Illinois Fighting Illini
Prediction: WIN (7-2)
Illinois should make strides under new head coach Lovie Smith, but they're a long way off from contending. The Spartans will win this game easily.
Week 11 - vs. Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Prediction: WIN (8-2)
Rutgers is trying to find a way to build their program to find some sort of footing in the Big Ten, and they haven't been able to do that. Michigan State wins in a huge blowout.
Week 12 - vs. Ohio State Buckeyes
Prediction: LOSS (8-3)
Getting Ohio State at home gives Michigan State another chance to beat another top team in the conference, but as with Michigan, the Buckeyes are looking to get revenge for last year's loss to the Spartans. Ohio State is the only team on the schedule that is clearly better - on paper - than Michigan State. Buckeyes win by double digits.
Week 13 - at Penn State Nittany Lions
Prediction: WIN (9-3)
Close the season with a big win. Penn State is solid, but they are very weak along the line on both sides of the ball - the place where Michigan State is the strongest. Spartans win comfortably.Back to the Michigan State Spartans Newsfeed