East Lansing, MI – It's about that time.
2021 is upon us, and college football might seem far away, but our predictions for Michigan State are right here.
It's an interesting year for the Spartans.
No, MSU is not a contender in the Big Ten, but Mel Tucker's second season as head coach could go a long way in setting Michigan State up for success.
The offense will need to make considerable strides, along with the defense and special teams, but if the Spartans can find the right mix of guys who gel well on the field, it could make for an intriguing year.
Either way, here are three predictions for Tucker and company.
The Spartans will play in a Bowl Game
At Colorado, Tucker missed out on a bowl game by mere inches, finishing 5-7, and although his first year at MSU didn't yield those same hopeful results, the thought is with a full offseason, Michigan State will be closer than in 2020.
Naturally, this assumes football goes back to normal, meaning six victories qualifies teams' for a bowl invitation.
Under those requirements, MSU is in line for a bid.
Games against Nebraska, Youngstown State, Western Kentucky, Maryland, Rutgers, and Purdue are all winnable. Add in an upset or two, and the Spartans can easily get to six wins.
A Crowded QB Room Results in Another Transfer
The transfer portal is a part of college athletics – simply put, it's not going anywhere.
Michigan State added Anthony Russo, a grad transfer from Temple, leaving former Spartan Rocky Lombardi with limited options.
As a result, he entered the portal and committed to Northern Illinois, but even without him, MSU still has five other quarterbacks on scholarship in 2021.
So what happens now? Russo's primary competition will be Payton Thorne, and he wouldn't have transferred to Michigan State if he didn't think the job was up for grabs.
Regardless, those are the players competing for the starting job; whoever loses remains the backup.
If it happens to be Thorne, he has a few choices; wait it out until Russo graduates or look elsewhere.
Plus, there's a lot of youth in Hampton Fay (a priority for Tucker) and Noah Kim, along with another QB in the 2022 class.
Michigan State Beats Michigan Again
Everyone saw the way Michigan State lost to Rutgers.
It was devastating, and the turnovers were alarming, whereas Michigan defeated Minnesota convincingly.
No one thought MSU would beat the Wolverines in Ann Arbor, especially during Tucker's first year; hence the enormous favorites Michigan became.
But it happened, and he instantly endeared himself to the fanbase, much like Mark Dantonio did for years.
Michigan State will beat them again in 2021 as Tucker improves to 2-0 against U-M.
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