#23 Michigan State Spartans: College Football 77 in 77

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Back to back 11 win seasons, only 7 teams in the power conferences of college football accomplished that; and the Michigan State Spartans are one. But poor MSU has zero BCS berths to show for it. In 2010 they were shafted after feasting on an easy schedule. Last year, they were an unfortunate Isaiah Lewis penalty on a very well executed Brad Nortman flop from reaching the Rose Bowl. Poor Spartans.

The Michigan Wolverines went to the BCS undeservedly ahead of them, and the Michigan St. motto “P4RB, Prepare for Rose Bowl” hasn’t happened despite 22 wins in two years. This fall they’ll be underdogs to Michigan again, even though they’ve handed big brother a defeat the past four years. Should MSU handle UM, and the rest of the division, a rematch with Wisconsin in Indianapolis likely looms.

2011 was: a banner year in school history. They led the Big Ten in sacks, interceptions and run defense. Overall State was 6th in the nation in total defense. They had a monster defensive line, but now Jerel Worthy is gone to the NFL. There’s still plenty of talent at that position, led by Williams Gholston. Kirk Cousins, the most decorated passer in school history, is also gone. The Spartans will miss Cousins’ leadership greatly.

2012 will go smoothly if:  the signal caller runs things like a mayor. There isn’t much experience at WR for Andrew Maxwell though, they need to replace two NFL draft picks at that position. Maxwell has a lot of potential, but very little experience. The junior from Midland, Michigan was listed in the top 20 QBs by Scout.com when he was being recruited; ranked the 9th best pro-style/drop back quarterback.

But in two years, he’s only thrown 51 passes, completing 29 of them, for 294 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT, 57% completion.

So who would you compare him to?

“Our SID said when he saw my high school film, and I’m not saying I am Joe Montana but he said that I reminded him of a young Joe Montana, not what I said. His words, not my words,” Maxwell said.

2012 will be rough if: it won’t. Mark Dantonio has too much talent as a coach, and he has a ton of talent to work with. The linebackers are among the nations best in Chris Norman, Denicos Allen and Max Bullochs. The secondary will again be special with All-American candidate Johnny Adams leading the way. The offensive line has four returning starters.

BMOC: All the dudes I just mentioned, plus the running backs Le’Veon Bell and Larry Caper

All Name team: 

Bottom Line: 8-10 wins looks likely. They might be deserving of another BTC game appearance and possibly headed to the BCS for real this time. Road contests back to back at Wisconsin and Michigan, plus opening with Boise State will go a long way towards determining their fate

Rankings:

Lindy’s- 23 , Athlon-18, Phil Steele- 17 ESPN/USA Today Coaches- 13

All the 77s

#24 Louisville

#25 Stanford

#26 Auburn

#27 Kansas St.

#28 Utah

#29 Missouri

#30 Georgia Tech

#31 Virginia

#32 Notre Dame

#33 NC State

#34 Iowa

#35 BYU

#36 UCF

#37 Washington

#38 Tennessee

#39 Rutgers

#40 Penn State

#41 Baylor

#42 Texas Tech

#43 Pittsburgh

#44 Cincinnati

#45 Mississippi State

#46 North Carolina

#47 Northwestern

#48 Miami, FL

#49 California

#50 SMU

#51 South Florida

#52 UConn

#53 UCLA

#54 Illinois

#55 Vanderbilt

#56 Washington St.

#57 Wake Forest

#58 Ole Miss

#59 Purdue

#60 Iowa St

#61 Kentucky

#62 Arizona State

#63 Boston College

#64 Ohio

#65 Marshall

#66 Arizona

#67 Southern Miss

#68 Tulsa

#69 Oregon State

#70 Houston

#71 Syracuse

#72 Colorado

#73 Kansas

#74 Maryland

#75 Duke

#76 Minnesota

#77 Indiana

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Chicago Tribune.com, Fox Sports, Walter Football and Yardbarker

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too

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