Monday, November 26, 2012

Grade MSU's 2012 football season

The 2012 regular season is complete for Michigan State, and the final record is 6-6.
I am sure I am not alone when I say I didn’t expect that.
Coming into the season, the Spartans had some questions, but none of them seemed worrisome enough to keep MSU from having a winning record.
Despite the new quarterback and young receivers most expected MSU to be carried by its strong defense and be a contender in the Big Ten race.
To a degree, the expectations played out on the defensive side of the ball. The Spartans led the Big Ten in points and yards allowed per game and were 10th nationally in defensive scoring, allowing just 16.3 points per contest.
Where things all went wrong was on offense. The Spartans averaged just 20.3 points per game, which was down nearly 11 points from last year’s average (31.0).
Early on, the receivers were dropping passes. Midseason, the offensive line was banged up and not providing enough running lanes for Le’Veon Bell and pass protection for Andrew Maxwell. At the end of the year, Maxwell looked like he wasn’t progressing as he should.
The Spartans never really clicked as an offense outside of a lopsided win at Central Michigan. It will be a concern heading into next season with a defense that can’t be expected to be as strong as it has been the last two years.
It’s not a big surprise to call this year a disappointing one for Michigan State. It’s not just about a 6-6 record, or a 3-5 Big Ten record, or even an 0-5 conference record at home. The Spartans took more than a step back. They completely fell flat on their back.
The momentum MSU built the previous two seasons to be recognized as a legit program in the national spotlight has been lost. It will take some work to get back to that point.
For all those reasons, I give Michigan State a D for the season. The only reason I don’t given them an F is because they did manage to make a bowl. A losing record would have been the absolute failure in my eyes.
What are your thoughts on this season for MSU?

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