TMAPA, FL - JANUARY 02: Defensive end William Gholston #2 Michigan State Spartans sacks quarterback Aaron Muray #11 of the Georgia Bulldogs in the Outback Bowl January 2, 2012 at Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
(Note: TOC does not promote gambling. This is just a fun way to look at expectations for the upcoming season)
This just in: MSU football has an exciting schedule for 2012.
The Golden Nugget in Las Vegas loves the early college football point spreads, and the loaded MSU schedule was very much included on its list of 111 intriguing games. Of the 111 games, six include MSU. That's half of the schedule. The point spreads have since shifted a little bit, but here's how the MSU games opened:
Boise State at MSU (-6)
Notre Dame at MSU (-3)
Ohio State at MSU (-5)
MSU (+6) at Michigan
MSU (+5) at Wisconsin
Nebraska at MSU (-5)
(Another note: The lines are posted in hopes of getting an equal amount of money bet on both sides. It's not necessarily a final score prediction)
Riding a 14-game home winning streak, MSU is favored in every game at Spartan Stadium this season. Although the home schedule is loaded, this isn't a complete surprise. The Ohio State line did stick out to me a little bit. The road schedule isn't nearly as tough across the board, but the games at U-M and Wisconsin surely will be toughest of the season. While I don't agree with the six-point difference for MSU/U-M, it's understandable, given the hype the Wolverines are getting entering the season. These lines will obviously change as the season goes along.
Given that MSU would be favored in the other games, this comes out to a 10-2 record for the Spartans, which seems about right. There certainly are questions about the offense, and there isn't any time to build up confidence against lower opponents, but the talent is there. Having one of the top defenses in the country will help the learning curve.
In related news, Mark Dantonio provided an update on the health of Andrew Maxwell. From the LSJ's Brian Calloway:
Dantonio on Maxwell: "He’s healthy. He can throw 7 on 7 and do some different things."— Brian Calloway (@brian_calloway) June 12, 2012
It sounds like there shouldn't be any lingering effects for Maxwell come fall, but when your starting quarterback is coming off an injury, there's understandably going to be some worry.