By: Evan Jankens
On February 19, 2012 Paul Grossinger of Bleacher Report published a story titled “5 Bold Predictions Explaining Why Michigan State Football Is Doomed.”
It probably sounded good at the time, but in hindsight their reasons might have been a little off-base.
The first sentence of the story reads, “Michigan State’s recent impressive run, which included Big Ten titles in 2010 and 2011, will soon come to an end. ”
Reason number 5 was, “The Return Of The Ohio State Buckeyes.”
At the time it actually made a lot of sense and it still does. Since Urban Meyer has taken over Ohio State in 2012 the team has only lost 3 games. In 2013 Ohio State lost to Virginia Tech and Michigan State. 2014 was a great season for the Buckeyes as they won the National Title but in 2015, who can forget, Michigan State beat Ohio State in Columbus and went on to win the Big Ten East.
Reason number 4 was, “Michigan State’s Weak 2012 Recruiting Class.”
Michigan State’s 2012 recruiting class had a couple key members from the 2015 Michigan State Spartans that are playing in the College Football Playoff.
The Spartans’ best recruits are guard Ben McGowan, safety Demetrious Cox and receiver Aaron Burbridge. Michigan State rounded out the class with solid players, but they did not net they type of elite recruits needed to elevate the program to the top of the Big Ten.
Looks like that bold statement was proved wrong. Aaron Burbridge only won the award for the Big Ten’s top receiver. Whoops.
Reason number 3 was, “Nebraska’s Entry into the Big Ten.“
The Cornhuskers are an elite program and, once they get used to the Big Ten, they will disrupt the division’s pecking order.
This reason I will give them credit. Michigan State has indeed struggled against Nebraska since they joined the Big Ten. 2011-12 Nebraska beat MSU 24-3. In the 2012-13 season Nebraska beat Michigan State at Spartan Stadium 24-21. 2013-14 Michigan State topped the Cornhuskers 41-28. This season we all know that Nebraska did beat State at home to ruin the Spartans perfect season.
Since joining the Big Ten, Nebraska has played in one Big Ten title game in which they lost to Wisconsin 70-31.
Reason number 2 was, “The Return of the Michigan Wolverines.”
Now Brady Hoke has led Michigan back to the promised land with a 2011 Sugar Bowl victory and a top 10 2012 recruiting class. With the best talent in Michigan again headed to Ann Arbor, it will be very difficult for the Spartans to keep up their recent momentum.
Anytime you mention Brady Hoke and Michigan in the same sentence the only thing that can follow is failure. Nice try, though, dude. But hey, who knows, maybe Jim Harbaugh can start leading Michigan to victories over the Spartans. So far he is 0-1.
The number 1 reason was, “The Big Ten’s New Divisional Alignment.”
Then, under the two-division alignment, they will have to face the champion of the Leader’s division. That winner will usually be Ohio State, Penn State or Wisconsin.
Since this was written, the divisions have once again been re-aligned. Michigan State seems to have done well for themselves as they are the 2015 Big Ten East Division Champions.
There are too many factors that will keep them from winning at their current elite level. Rival Michigan is back and will soon regain command of in-state recruiting, which will reduce the amount of easy-to-sign talent available to the Spartans.