Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 8/7/12

2012 Michigan State Spartans Football Quickview

2011 Record:  11-3

Head Coach:  Mark Dantonio-  6th year   44-22

Returning Starters:   12    4-Offense  8-Defense

Nonconference Schedule Breakdown:  In what is being suggested as ‘aggressive scheduling’ MSU has a pretty tough season opener as a team even more successful than themselves is coming to play in Spartan Stadium…Boise State will open up the Spartan schedule on Friday August 31st…THEN they  go to Mt. Pleasant to face CMU…then come back home to face Notre Dame and round out the nonconference slate vs EMU…the only real gimme in those is the road trip to Kelly/Shorts Stadium…but keep in mind the past of MSU & CMU…I know a lot of people are squawking about how MSU gets to play BSU without Kellen Moore…but BSU is a system team…they find QB’s who can play their system…they will have one ready…but ready enough?…should be fun to watch…

Schedule Rank (in Big Ten) 5th hardest:  middle of the Big Ten schedule…they get Michigan and Wisconsin on the road..but get Ohio State and Nebraska at home…it looks like the most well-balanced schedule I’ve looked at…their defense should keep them in each game in 2012, but their offense will lose a few for them…

Who they don’t play in 2012:  Illinois, Penn State,  Purdue

The Skinny:  They just lost too much on offense…losing a QB like Cousins is going to hurt…and that is nothing against Andrew Maxwell…I’m sure he’s great…but it doesn’t matter how good he is…there is something to be said about the intangibles that a 4th year starter like Cousins…the O line is the end all, be all of the unit in 2012…they will be the rock that is consistency this fall…if Maxwell struggles, run the ball…DeAnthony Arnett (transfer from Tennessee) will help the WR corp develop…just hope it doesn’t take long…it seems like the 2012 version of MSU is trying to find leaders…this could be a problem if some aren’t found soon..it may cost them some W’s…

Toughest Game in 2012:  September 29th vs Ohio State…they will get to play a Rich Rodriguez style of team…but with a defense.  This game also begins a stretch where MSU hits the meat of their schedule…OSU, then a breather (careful) at Indiana, Iowa, at Michigan, at Wisconsin then they get Nebraska before a much needed bye week…..zoinks!

Best Player:  DE Williamm Ghol. S. Ton…the much bally-whooed end will come back for his (junior) final season to terrify the Big Ten…look for constant double-teams now that Worthy is getting a legal paycheck nowadays…he is one of the Big Ten’s better defensive players

What MIGHT happen: The wide open offensive attacks (BSU, ND, OSU) light up MSU in the first 5 weeks of the season and they struggle to get to 2-3…

What WILL happen:  MSU will beat who they should, but they will not play for the Big Ten title…

What WON’T happen:  MSU loses more than 4 games…

Why they won’t win the Big Ten: a 1st year starter at QB…though their defense will be tough, they will certainly miss Jerel Worthy..

Why they will win the Big Ten: Defense baby…they will have a top 3 defense in the Big Ten..and maybe the best …

Gotta know about the Spartans: Only 6 schools have more wins than MSU the last 2 seasons…LSU, Boise State, Oregon, TCU, Stanford and Oklahoma State.

BOLD Statement:  MSU will not reach double-digit victories in 2012…

Related articles Latest Photos of Spartan Stadium scoreboards Michigan State’s Spartandawgs Spartan’s senior offensive linemen are ready to lead

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

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