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Expectations have Risen and Michigan State Football Is Victim to Own Success!

The Spartans have a 4-1 record with a bye this weekend.  The Spartans won eleven games last season and the expectations for the MSU program have clearly risen. MSU has beaten Michigan three years in a row. The recruiting has been solid under Mark Dantonio. In fact, MSU has gotten the top player in the state of Michigan three straight years as well (William Gholston ’10, Lawrence Thomas ’11 and Aaron Burbridge 12’).  Needless to say, there is a lot to feel good about.

The MSU football program is a victim of its own success. Quarterback Kirk Cousins has been under fire from the very beginning of the season largely because his play last season raised the bar dramatically. 

It is no secret that Kirk has been pressing, but the fan base seems to have forgotten all about the losses on the OL (Stipek, Deane and Young). They seem to have forgotten about the losses of TE Charlie Gantt and receiver Mark Dell. 

I have been right there with everyone else. I have been disappointed in our offense. The expectations of this football program are higher than they have been during my lifetime. The culture has changed around the football program. Every single player that MSU replaced on the offensive side of the ball was with someone that is arguably a better athlete. They just don’t seem to be clicking the way they were early last season. There is truly no substitute for game experience.

I think the high expectations are great for this program. Nobody looks at MSU anymore and expects them to go into hibernation in November. Everybody expects this team to win nine games and challenge for a conference championship. Oh how times have changed.

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Admittedly, I grumbled after the Ohio State game last weekend because our offense left so many points on the field. We dominated Ohio State and had a mere three points of margin when the clock hit triple zero. Sure, OSU isn’t what they were a year ago, but they are still dangerous and have a Michigan victory in the hopper yet this season.

If I had told you five years ago that MSU would have played for a Big Ten Title, won another, had a three year win streak over UM and the fan base would be down about a three point win at OSU would you have believed me? That is perspective.

Speaking of Michigan, isn’t it great that national media has started “rebuilding” the blue wall. Michigan is perched firmly at number 12 in the AP poll. People are talking about them as a potential Big Ten champ and I think it is great. Let me say this, Michigan will be lucky to survive Northwestern. MSU’s horses are resting in the stable this weekend and it spells disaster for the Wolverines.

Let ‘em crow at the water coolers if they beat Northwestern. Let them talk trash throughout the next week. Whether you like the pro combat unis or not, MSU’s defense is going to be sky high to put those babies on and blow up some wolverchuck ball carriers… and this is exactly what is going to happen. 

I am going to come out and say it. MSU’s front seven could be the best in the country. The defensive line is special. Bullough, Allen and Norman are just now hitting stride and starting to play downhill. Next week things will get pretty darn interesting.