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Can Michigan State Spartans Contend for a Big Ten Title?

Michigan State

Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

It’s almost the midway point of the season and the Big Ten season has just begun. Teams are starting to get looks at just how much of a contender or pretender their opponents are in the conference. One thing is for sure so far in early Big Ten play: the Ohio State Buckeyes are for real. With 18 straight wins, the Buckeyes look to be one of the best teams in the nation and the best team in the conference by a good margin.

With Ohio State in the Leaders Division, the Michigan State Spartans don’t have to worry about beating the Buckeyes out for a spot in the Big Ten title game, but they do have other tough teams on their plate.

Sitting at 4-1 — could easily be 5-0 — with their easiest stretch of games of the season forthcoming, the Spartans could realistically be 7-1 heading into their matchup with the Michigan Wolverines on Nov. 2. Winning four of the last five matchups with the Wolverines, the Spartans temporarily have recent history on their side. Also, the Wolverines are looking very beatable this season and that could bode well for the young Spartans.

If they do win the game against Michigan, which I predict they win in an overtime classic, the Spartans will be 8-1 with all the momentum in the world heading into two tough road games against the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Northwestern Wildcats in back-to-back weeks. However, Michigan State could win one of those games and finish in at least a tie for the Legends Division title and have a chance to play for the Big Ten title.

Will they win the Legends Division? I think this year is their best chance to do so since 2011 and could be the last year they have a chance to for a while. If they do, I think Ohio State will just be too much for them in the title game.

Big Ten title? I don’t think so. Legends Division title? Very likely.

The defense will carry this team and will be the difference in the rest of the games moving forward. If the offense can play like it did against the Iowa Hawkeyes in week six, this team will be in good shape.

Related: Michigan State Defense Is The Best In College Football

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Connor Muldowney is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at muldown5@gmail.com.