Ohio State and Michigan State renew their rivalry, a year after Michigan State beat out the Buckeyes and the rest of the Big Ten en route to a seat in the college football playoff. When the Spartans got there, though, things didn’t go according to plan. Alabama coasted to a trip to the National Championship at the expense of Michigan State who were outmatched from the start. The Spartans had no answer, just like they haven’t had an answer this season. It’s been a season to forget in Lansing, with Michigan State having their worst season of the Dantonio era.
The tide has appeared to shift from Michigan State back to Michigan, with the Wolverines eyeing a spot in the college football playoff. It will be interesting to see how they respond next season, a team who can’t even reach a bowl game in 2016. It’s kind of unbelievable that they were two wins away from winning the National Championship, and now they can’t even qualify for a game like the Bahamas or Quick Lane Bowl.
Connor Cook is in the NFL with the Oakland Raiders now, which has left a glaring hole in their roster. The quarterback situation at Michigan State has been shaky at best this season. They sure wish they would have Cook now in the lineup. Michigan State has gone with Tyler O’Connor at quarterback, who hasn’t had a good game since last week against Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights are one of the worst teams in college football, so let’s cool it with the accolades. O’Connor passed for 3 touchdowns and no interceptions to bring his yearly total to 15 touchdowns and 7 interceptions on the season.
Ohio State are not going to be playing the same team from a year ago. Not only is Cook absent, but there are other key figures on the defense that are no longer here as well. Ohio State cannot be looking ahead to Michigan, it would be a big disservice to this team who need to win out to reach the playoff and win the Big Ten Conference. A lapse in performance here would make a mess of the playoff picture even more. Louisville already lost on Thursday night. We’ll see what Saturday brings for the top teams in college football.
Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Michigan State Spartans NCAAF Betting Odds:
Ohio State -21.5 (110)
vs. Michigan State +21.5(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Ohio State vs. Michigan State Pick:
If Ohio State wants to come and play at their maximum level, and Michigan State flounders around like they’ve been doing this season, it won’t be a close game. Michigan State put up a fight against another rival this season, Michigan, pushing them to their limit in a solid defensive effort. The Wolverines ultimately won by a margin of 32-23 but it was better than most were predicting. The Spartans will need a similar effort today, in what is their last home game of the season. It’s the last home game at Spartan Stadium for a lot of these guys, so emotions should be high. This Spartans jacked Rutgers up last week, smashing them 49-0 leading into this week’s game against the Buckeyes.
This is the Spartans’ bowl game. They realize that there is nothing to play for at this point and they have nothing to lose. Michigan State seemed to play like that against Notre Dame on the road earlier this season. Playing like they had nothing to lose, which resulted in a 36-28 win, proving to be their biggest win of the season, yet anyway. A win over the Buckeyes would give them a couple of successful points to celebrate once the season is over. If you were to say that Michigan State were going to beat Notre Dame and Ohio State in the same season, many would say that is a success. Conversely, though, who would predict them beating both and not even going to a bowl game?
Michigan State will need the defense to keep them in this one. They’re 30th in the nation, allowing 361 yards per game. I expect the defense to play a motivated style of football. Not only is it Senior Day in Lansing, but the Buckeyes are in town to play their most important game of the season. I know Michigan State have had a down year, but this is a heck of a lot of points to be laying under these circumstances. Ohio State plays a team, you might have heard of them, Michigan next week. A LOT is going to be on the line there, and I don’t think Ohio State is going to have a vested interest in the Spartans this afternoon. They should win but not by more than three touchdowns.