5 Reasons Why Michigan State Football Should Be Taken Seriously

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Why Should Michigan State Be Taken Seriously?

Pat Lovell - USA Today Sports

The Michigan State Spartans have not been taken seriously all season.

It is likely because they are in the Big Ten which is known as being a weaker conference than the other power conferences and is the same problem the Ohio State Buckeyes are having. The weak Big Ten schedules have not done the Spartans or the Buckeyes any favors, especially since they do not play each other this season. Their only opportunity to play one another could likely come in the Big Ten championship game.

It could also be the fact that the Michigan State offense has struggled to find its identity for most of the season. Their defense is one of the best in the country and has had to win games for them this season while the Spartans were trying to figure out which quarterback would be best for their offense. They have since decided on Connor Cook, who seems to improve each week.

Then what is it? Why will no one take the Spartans seriously? It has to be the fact that they are in the Big Ten.

It is hard to overlook that they are a Big Ten team, but they are one of the best teams in the Big Ten this season and their only loss came on the road to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish before they decided who their quarterback would be. The Spartans have since won six straight Big Ten games including a big win over their rival Michigan Wolverines and a win on the road over the Nebraska Cornhuskers last week to clinch a share of the Big Ten’s Legends Division title. The Spartans could meet the Buckeyes in the Big Ten championship game if they win out.

Maybe the Spartans won’t get taken seriously until their defense stops Ohio State’s offense in the Big Ten championship. Who knows, but here are some reasons why Michigan State football should be given some more credit now.

Jenna Aquino is a Big Ten Football writer for RantSports.com. Follow her on Twitter, "Like" her on Facebook, add her to your network on Google, or reach her by e-mail at starz9815@hotmail.com.

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5. Mark Dantonio

Bruce Thorson - USA Today Sports

The defensive-minded head coach was hired at Michigan State towards the end of the 2006 season. He has since put up back to back 11-win seasons and has had four straight victories against rival Michigan. This season his Spartans have only lost one game, which was a close one to Notre Dame early in the season. Dantonio’s team is undefeated in the Big Ten so far and could have a chance to go to the Big Ten championship.

Never underestimate Dantonio. He is a great defensive coach whose teams win games with their defense. He has coached under such great coaches as Earle Bruce and Jim Tressel at Ohio State, Glen Mason at Kansas, and Nick Saban when he was the head coach at Michigan State. With such a great reputation and resume, he could be considered one of the better coaches in college football.

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4. Ability to Win Big Games

Mike Carter - USA Today Sports

Their last two games have been big games, both of which they won. The Spartans got a big 23-point win over rival Michigan on November 2 followed by a win last week over Nebraska on the road to clinch a portion of the Big Ten’s Legends Division. The Michigan game is always a big game since they are such great rivals no matter how good either team is. The Spartans win and win big when it matters. They have another big game coming up on November 30 against the Minnesota Golden Gophers. A win for the Spartans would dash Minnesota’s hopes of a Legends Division title and earn the Spartans a spot in the Big Ten championship game.

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3. Offense Keeps Getting Better

Bruce Thorson - USA Today Sports

Since deciding who their starting quarterback would be, the Spartans' offense has just kept getting better. The offense is still somewhat overshadowed by the defense, but they have recently shown what they can do offensively. Cook and running back Jeremy Langford have been able to lead the way with the help of a much-improved offensive line. Cook has completed almost 60 percent of his passes this season while passing for 1,683 yards and 14 touchdowns. Langford has also gotten better as the season has progressed. The junior has been given more opportunities and has put up five straight 100-plus yard games.

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2. Jeremy Langford

Mike Carter - USA Today Sports

As I mentioned previously, Langford only continues to improve. He has been given more opportunities this season but was not able to really break out until the Spartans’ game on October 12 against the Indiana Hoosiers. Langford ran for 109 yards that game and began his streak of five straight 100-plus yard games. He ran for 151 yards last week in the Spartans’ win over Nebraska and has rushed for a total of 926 yards and 13 touchdowns this season.

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1. Great Defense

Raj Mehta - USA Today Sports

The Spartans are ranked No. 1 in the nation in total defense by only allowing opponents an average of 228 yards per game. Their defense has kept them in many games this season and is the reason why they have only lost one game and are undefeated in the Big Ten. The Spartans defense only allowed a very explosive Indiana offense a total of 351 yards and held them to just 92 yards rushing.

Many are interested to see Michigan State’s top defense against Ohio State’s explosive offense, which is one of the top offenses in the country. The two will not play in the regular season, but it is very likely they could meet in the Big Ten championship game. It will be a great matchup and could possibly come down to a battle of Michigan State’s offense and Ohio State’s defense if the Michigan State defense is able to contain Ohio State and the explosiveness of Braxton Miller and Carlos Hyde.

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