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MSU football: Ranking the appeal of every 2018 game

Offseason = ranking things season

Penn State v Michigan State Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Just three and a half more months. Can you feel the excitement?!

We can over here and, let’s be honest, we are also all about posting fresh offseason content in the form of ranking things.

Below is the 2018 MSU schedule, but in the order of how appealing they are. Maryland on the road? Snoozer. Michigan at home. Yeah, welcome to electric city.

What goes into the rankings? It’s simple – quality of opponent, home vs. road game and stadium atmosphere if it is a home game.

No. 12: Nov. 3 at Maryland

I’ve been sitting here for five minutes desperately trying to think of a way to beef up this game. Give me about five more months of thinking and I might have something for you guys.

No. 11: Sept. 22 at Indiana

OK I’ve spent a few minutes trying to think of a way to hype this game up and, you guys, I got it! You ready?!

REVENGE GAME, BABY. Don’t think we forgot about the game in Bloomington two seasons ago that was the second loss in what felt like a 500-game losing streak. The boys are looking to avenge that one!

Man, isn’t it great those 3-9 days are over? God bless Mark Dantonio.

Michigan State v Rutgers Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

No. 10: Nov. 24 vs. Rutgers

A Senior Day game during Thanksgiving week? A near-automatic win? The final game of the season before a bowl game or the Big Ten Championship Game? (knocks on every piece of wood in the Metro-Detroit area)

Sure, sign us up. We’ll get fired up about any home game, really.

No. 9: Sept. 29 vs. CMU

For those with CMU buddies coming to East Lansing for this one, this has Elite Tailgating potential.

The game itself? Meh. We’re sure it’ll be fine.

The pregame in (what should be but probably won’t be) pretty great weather? That alone is enough to have it ranked over three Big Ten games.

No. 8: Oct. 27 vs. Purdue

This isn’t your slightly older brother’s Purdue team. This team is actually not an automatic win as Jeff Brohm and Co. look to keep rolling in year two of his tenure.

While the Spartans have beat the Boilermakers seven straight years, Purdue has almost been the Spoilermakers and upset MSU in three games that were decided by four points or less. I think this game will be pretty decent.

Notre Dame v Michigan State Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

No. 7: Aug. 31 vs. Utah State

Any other week this is probably the 12th best game on the schedule. However, it might as well be Christmas as this one is the home and season opener.

MSU opening day is the best day on the calendar and I will not hear any other arguments. That’s just a fact.

Beautiful weather. Tailgate food. Parking lot shots. Sparty and the marching band entering the stadium. MSU crushing pads again. COME ON AUGUST 31, JUST GET HERE ALREADY!

No. 6: Sept. 8 at Arizona State

This game is…unique? Yeah, that’s a word for it.

MSU is the second team up in the Herm Edwards Experiment that Arizona State is running for an apparent research project. The Sun Devils are still the only non-conference team that poses a legitimate threat, and the fact MSU has to travel down to steamy Tempe throws a variable into the mix.

I’ll also be at this game (STOKED), so if you see a sunburnt fan in a Draymond Green jersey on camera, please tag me on Twitter.

No. 5: Nov. 17 at Nebraska

I am already shook for this game. There’s something about a late-season game in Lincoln that has me twitching and hyperventilating in my office chair right now. I still wake up screaming thinking of that 2015 game NAH I’M JUST KIDDING WE WON THE BIG TEN TITLE THAT YEAR ANYWAY, HATERS.

But still, with Scott Frost having two and a half months of coaching behind him, this could be the textbook definition of a trap game.

Michigan State v Northwestern Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

No. 4: Oct. 6 vs. Northwestern

MSU cleared a lot of teams out of their path during the 2017 Revenge Tour season. The Northwestern Wildcats were not one of those teams.

The Wildcats have an astonishing two-game win streak over the Spartans. And it looks like Northwestern will be annoyingly good again this year. Tie this in with the fact that it’s homecoming, and we’ve got ourselves a randy day in sunny East Lansing ahead.

No. 3: Oct. 13 at Penn State

I’m…already dreading this game. This is the first monster game on the Big Ten schedule and I would also be floored if it’s not a night game. I would rather see MSU share a field with actual lions than see them play a night game in Happy Valley. No road team leaves those games alive.

It will be a massive game, but also a nerve-wracking one. I already know I’ll be at a wedding that night, testing the limits of how open and “open bar” truly can be.

No. 2: Nov. 10 vs. Ohio State

Listen, we all know how last year went. This year will be a different story, and that’s not even a hot take. That’s just facts.

MSU comes back more experienced. OSU has some (but not a lot of) holes to fill. The game is at Spartan Stadium with late-season implications. I’m not saying this is a MSU win, but it won’t be a complete lambasting like last season.

What I know for a fact? Spartan Stadium will be absolutely electric that night.

Michigan State v Michigan Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

No. 1: Oct. 20 vs. UM

Jim Harbaugh’s team finally places first in something, congrats. Anyway...

No UM player has held the Paul Bunyan trophy twice since 2007.

Let me write that one more time – no UM player has held the Paul Bunyan Trophy twice since 2007.

What were you doing in 2007? I was trying to figure out how to tie a tie before homecoming during my sophomore year…of high school.

Dantonio will look to keep his wolverine death machine rolling in Spartan Stadium this year in front of a hostile atmosphere. Doesn’t matter if it rains, shines or snows – Dantonio will have the team ready for the game of the year. Like he always does.


What game are you looking forward to the most this season?

This poll is closed

  • 6%
    Sept. 8 at Arizona State
    (41 votes)
  • 0%
    Nov. 17 at Nebraska
    (3 votes)
  • 1%
    Oct. 6 vs. Northwestern
    (7 votes)
  • 3%
    Oct. 13 at Penn State
    (22 votes)
  • 16%
    Nov. 10 vs. Ohio State
    (106 votes)
  • 69%
    Oct. 20 vs. UM
    (445 votes)
  • 2%
    (14 votes)
638 votes total Vote Now