East Lansing, Mich. – The 2020 college football season was as unusual as it was difficult for teams around the country.
Michigan State's Mel Tucker inherited a depleted roster that suffered in Mark Dantonio's last few seasons due to poor recruiting.
The coaching veteran didn't have a traditional spring, summer, or fall and installed schemes with an entirely new staff through Zoom meetings.
However, the Spartans still defeated two ranked opponents in Michigan and Northwestern while Tucker continued building a brand and connecting with future recruits.
Then Tucker flipped the roster, adding 15 new scholarship players from the transfer portal as 27 others decided to leave the program.
Even so, according to Athlon Sports, Tucker's second season in East Lansing won't be much better as they predict Michigan State to finish seventh in the Big Ten East alongside a 4-8 record.
"The timing of Dantonio's retirement handcuffed Tucker from doing much in the 2020 recruiting class ... In many ways, 2021 is the true Year One of the Tucker regime," Athlon Sports wrote in its College Football Preview.
2021 Michigan State Football Schedule
- Sept. 3: at Northwestern (9 p.m., ESPN)
- Sept. 11: Youngstown State (12 p.m., Big Ten Network)
- Sept. 18: at Miami (12 p.m. ABC/ESPN)
- Sept. 25: Nebraska
- Oct. 2: Western Kentucky (Homecoming, 7:30 p.m.)
- Oct. 9: at Rutgers (12 p.m.)
- Oct. 16: at Indiana (12 p.m.)
- Oct. 23: Bye
- Oct. 30: Michigan
- Nov. 6: at Purdue
- Nov. 13: Maryland
- Nov. 20: at Ohio State
- Nov. 27: Penn State
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