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ESPN: Michigan State has Big 10's Toughest Non-Conference Schedule in 2016

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Spartans face Furman, Notre Dame, BYU this fall.

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

The Michigan State Spartans have a tougher non-conference schedule in 2016 than anyone else in the Big 10, according to ESPN.

The network's Chris Low ranks MSU's non-con slate of Furman (home, Sept. 2), Notre Dame (away, Sept. 17) and BYU (home, Oct. 8) the toughest in the conference, and the ninth-toughest nationally.

Here's what he had to say:

The Spartans are faced with having to reload at some key spots. Their Big Ten championship team a year ago was a veteran club, so it helps that some of the toughest conference games (Michigan, Ohio State and Wisconsin) are at home in 2016.

But two tough nonconference games await, including a trip to Notre Dame the third week of the season. Michigan State does get a bye before that game, but comes back home a few weeks later to take on BYU the second Saturday in October.

The Spartans actually had a game lined up with Alabama, but the Tide asked to be released from the contract back in 2013. Michigan State will get Notre Dame at home in 2017.