MSU currently sits at 5-5 with two games left to play, a record that many wouldn’t call good, but they have also had some tough breaks. Maxwell handled the pressure well in his first game starting, defeating a tough Boise State team. He ran up the score against Central Michigan but it still didn’t seem like he had his coaches behind him. Timid play calling against the (still undefeated) Notre Dame Fighting Irish cost the Spartans their first loss of the season, despite the defense holding Everett Golson to only 20 points. The team has been unable to finish games all season with close losses to Ohio State, Michigan, Nebraska, and Iowa in double overtime. A combination of missed field goals and blown calls by the officials has resulted to a 5-5 season thus far, where truly only Notre Dame outplayed the Spartans.
Michigan State can still win their last two games and go on to a bowl game with a respectable record of 7-5. I’m sure the team would want the loss column to be a little smaller but it was a rebuilding year and having a winning record would still be an accomplishment considering the players they lost.
The Spartan football team has a lot of potential to be great next year. If star running back Le’Veon Bell stays for his senior season the MSU offense should be pretty solid. Maxwell still has one year to go and already has improved tremendously. If he gets comfortable with his wide receivers and plays with confidence, he has the skill to be a top QB in the Big Ten.
The Michigan State Spartans will be a contender for the Big Ten Championship next year with their always solid defensive play and now experienced offense. A few tweaks could be made such as more creative play calls on offense. The defense is going to be expecting the “Le’Veon Bell up the middle” play since it seems to be a staple this year. The fans miss the bold and memorable plays that Dantonio had up his sleeve last year. Student support could help be a factor too if they decide to stop being fair-weather fans and actually come out to cheer on their team. A loud stadium is electric and exciting, the turn out for games this year has just been embarrassing.
Watch the Spartans on Saturday, 11/17 at home vs. Northwestern and also their remaining game at Minnesota on Saturday 11/24. Even if a bowl game doesn’t happen in the 2012 season, next year the Spartans will return to the banks of the Red Cedar with a vengeance, and fight for their trip to the Rose Bowl. Go Green, go white!