SI's ‘America, Realigned’: Where does Michigan State Land?

McLain Moberg

On Monday, Sports Illustrated's Pat Forde released a project titled 'America Realigned,' and blew up the entire college football season featuring a hypothetical realignment of teams within the FBS.

They called it "The Forde Bowl Subdivision."

So, where does Michigan State fall at the end of this reinvented college football landscape? In a place called 'The Great Mideast Conference' where they find themselves with a few other Big Ten East and West opponents.

The Great Mideast Conference

  • Michigan
  • Ohio State
  • Michigan State
  • Indiana
  • Purdue
  • Cincinnati
  • Miami (Ohio)
  • Ohio
  • Toledo
  • Akron
  • Kent State
  • Ball State

How will the schedule work?

Each university will play a "full round-robin" schedule plus a single non-conference game. Forde says that particular opponent will be locked in for a minimum of four seasons before they can decide to opt-out and schedule new teams. The kicker is there will be no conference championship games.

Who is Michigan State's Non-Conference Opponent?

Michigan State's non-conference opponent will be Wisconsin, and unfortunately for MSU, Paul Chryst and the Badgers are 2-0 against MSU, including a 38-0 beatdown in Madison last year.

Where did the rest of the Big Ten End Up?

We've already mentioned that Michigan, Ohio State, Michigan State, Indiana, and Purdue are together, but where did the rest of the conference go? Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska ended up in The Great Midwest Conference.

Northwestern and Illinois are in The Mid-American Conference, whereas Penn State, Maryland, and Rutgers went to The Yankee Conference.

Rivals: Old and New

Forde says one of the downsides is "Big Ten schools that had been aligned since the start of the 20th century would be splintered off into different leagues. Same with the rest of the Power 5 – no conference would remain the same." 

Luckily, he took into account some of the older rivalries college football fans can't part with, seeing how MSU, Michigan, and Ohio State are still in the same conference.

The Spartans still get to battle the Wolverines every season, and Ohio State gets a shot at Michigan. That's all anyone cares about, right?

It can be fun to think of new rivalries, but it can also be challenging. Would Ohio State vs. Cincinnati turn into something special? In the past, Michigan State has recruited Ohio exceptionally well because of former coach Mark Dantonio and the ties he had to the state.

Does a rivalry materialize with Miami (Ohio), Cincinnati, or Ohio? I'm not sure. My first instinct is to tell you no; however, in this reimagined college football world, anything is possible.

Michigan State Football Prediction

The Michigan State Spartans have a new conference, a new coaching staff, and a new schedule for college football's theoretical shakeup.

Let's do a rundown of their new opponents and see what we think their record might be. We don't technically know which games are home or on the road.

  • MSU vs. Michigan – Loss
  • MSU vs. Ohio State – Loss
  • MSU vs. Indiana – Loss
  • MSU vs. Purdue – Win MSU vs. Wisconsin (non-conference) – Loss
  • MSU vs. Miami (Ohio) – Win
  • MSU vs. Ohio – Win
  • MSU vs. Toledo – Win
  • MSU vs. Akron – Win
  • MSU vs. Kent State – Win
  • MSU vs. Ball State – Win
  • MSU vs. Cincinnati – Loss

I recently reviewed Michigan State's 2020 college football schedule and had them losing to Ohio State, Michigan, and Indiana – nothing has changed here, including a non-conference loss to Wisconsin.

However, I feel the Spartans are good enough to beat Purdue and win most of their schedule.

Even so, I think Michigan State will drop a game to someone they shouldn't, and in my opinion, the Cincinnati game breathes life into my theory giving MSU a 7-5 record in year one of their new conference.

Tell us what you think in the comment section below.

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Comments (1)
No. 1-1

Are there bowls in this scenario? If so, the Spartans are in!!