How good will MSU be next year?

Submitted by MGoStrength on December 8th, 2013 at 5:25 PM

How good will Michigan State be next year without this group of seniors?  Since 2011 I had always assumed MSU would have a strong team through 2013 based on the group of defensive players that graduate this year.  But, MSU also has a number of offensive players graduating this year too, namely 3 offensive linemen.  But, the majority of difference makers will be lost on defense including Lewis, Dennard, Bullough, Allen, Hoover, and Reynolds.  I also wonder if Drummond may enter the draft.  That’s a lot of experienced defenders up the middle.  I personally see them taking a step back next year.  What are your thoughts?  I know it seems silly to worry about MSU but lets face, they’ve won 5 of the last 6 and we haven’t beaten them in E. Lansing since Carr and “Little brother”.


Blue from Ohio

December 8th, 2013 at 9:02 PM ^

that's a good point, I guess my point was MSU was always atleast more of a prostyle, no matter how lousy, compared to RR to Hoke, where you're changing an entire identity.  I suppose when you're at the bottom like MSU with no expectations years ago, the only way is up, where we get greedy, understandably so, as a MIchigan fanbase used to historically winning.  Damn expectations.


December 8th, 2013 at 10:08 PM ^

They'll be competent on offense and pretty good on defense.  Losing the players they have this year will be significant, and all the player development of 3* players doesn't replace a decent number of NFL players in a single year.  I think their offense will be better next year with Cook, and maybe that will make up for a step back on defense.  I figure they'll win 8-10 games next year as well.  Losing Narduzzi will probably hurt a bit too, but Dantonio knows how to coach and will keep them humming along.  They are a good team, and they'll be a tough out for years to come. 

That said, I do think this little stretch will be the apex for this team, just because of a bunch of factors that were out of their control.  OSU, PSU, andUM have been going through various struggles the past couple of seasons to various degrees, and that has helped MSU snag players and maintain stability while other squads have been unsettled.  But PSU should get over the hump in 2-3 years, UM seems largely back on track in terms of recruiting and (I suspect) player development, and OSU probably won't go undefeated for another 20+ games but is obviously a class leader in the conference.  This MSU team reminds me a bit of those Iowa teams from years past; a couple of seasons they look dominant and then they hit a bit of a rough patch with player development and recruiting and they struggle.  MSU will be a really good team in this conference as long as Dantonio sticks around, but I don't think the rest of the conference is going to let them get too far away.


December 9th, 2013 at 2:10 PM ^

Though most people like to do it, it’s probably way too early to speculate about the 2014 Big Ten season.  In fact, a not-too-crazy projection for 2014 might find Michigan expected to finish no better than fourth in the East Division behind Ohio State, Michigan State and Penn State, if (a) you knew that Braxton Miller (first team All Big Ten), Connor Cook (second team All Big Ten) and Christian Hackenberg (Big Ten Freshman of the Year) were returning at quarterback for those schools, and (b) you considered the difficulty of Michigan's 2014 schedule with Notre Dame, Michigan State and Ohio State all on the road and possible tough home games with Utah and Penn State.
Also, at quarterback in 2014, Michigan State will return a redshirt junior in his fourth year at MSU who has an 11-1 record as a starter plus 18 TD passes and five interceptions for his career.
Next year's expected Michigan quarterback starter will be a fifth-year graduate student who currently has a 10-7 record as a starter and almost as many receptions as a wide receiver (17) as he has TD passes as a quarterback (20), and as many interceptions thrown (17) as he has receptions as a wide receiver.
If you just compared only those stats and didn’t know who those players were, it might be easy to believe that Michigan State will be returning a better quarterback than Michigan will in 2014 and expect that Michigan State’s offense should be fine next year, while you might have doubts about Michigan’s QB situation.
Better to hope that Michigan's Football Team 135 (coaches included) will learn lessons from the disappointing 2013 season and, like 2013 Michigan State, be competing for a Big Ten championship in 2014.