Michigan State gave indication in its road victory of 30-6 over Northwestern on Saturday of why the Ohio State Buckeyes are not a lock to win the Big Ten title (as mostly everyone outside of East Lansing, Mich., is assuming).
In fact, it could be that it’s the Spartans, who are now Legends Division champions, are the lock to win the title.
Coach Mark Dantonio has the Spartans playing the way they need to to knock off Ohio State in what would be a Big Ten battle on a neutral field. The Spartans continue not to miss a beat defensively.
Northwestern has struggled but the Wildcats are still difficult to beat at their own place. They’ve been on a slide ever since the Big Ten season started while the Spartans continue to be on the rise.
Dantonio was winning with his defense early in the season and the offense has caught up. He was finally able to get Connor Cook to take ahold of the quarterback situation and was able to let Jeremy Langford emerge as one of the best running backs in the league.
But what’s more is that Dantonio has the Spartans playing hungry. This is a team that had quietly done its job all season while getting little credit from the rest of the nation. But Dantonio knows that’s a good position to be in. Sneak up on people and keep playing football. The Spartans haven’t been to a Rose Bowl in 26 years and Michigan State won’t be satisfied unless it makes a trip to Pasadena.
Dantonio has Michigan State right where he wants them, which is why the Spartans will defeat Oho State for the Big Ten title. NCAA football observers will call it an upset. But the way the Spartans are playing, it will hardly be a stunning result.