College football is still about two-and-a-half months away, which means the summertime leading up to it is often used for predictions, listicles and hot takes.
One such prediction piece that I have been keeping an eye on is Chris Solari’s Michigan State Spartans predictions for the 2018 season. Solari, the MSU football and basketball reporter for the Detroit Free Press, predicted each of the Spartans’ regular season games in individual articles.
He apparently has high hopes for Mark Dantonio and the Spartans in 2018. Solari predicted an 11-1 regular season finish. That would be quite the feat seeing how Michigan States plays in the always brutal Big Ten East division.
MSU has the benefit of playing Northwestern, Ohio State and Michigan at home this year. The Spartans have an early road test at Arizona State and also travel to Happy Valley to take on Penn State.
Let’s take a look at Solari’s game-by-game predictions.
No trouble here: MSU 45, Utah State 13
Solari predicts a key early road win here: MSU, 27, Arizona State 21
The Spartans open up Big Ten play with a road win: MSU 33, Indiana 20
Apparently it won’t be “Fire up, Chips!” on this day: MSU 38, Central Michigan 10
Sweet revenge: MSU 24, Northwestern 17
This is the one that could define the Big Ten East for the rest of the season. Michigan State gets its first loss here, according to Solari: Penn State 28, MSU 24
Coming off of a close loss and right into another tough matchup, Dantonio once again gets his team up for Michigan week and improves to 9-3 against the Wolverines: MSU 23, Michigan 21
Michigan State extends its winning streak against the Boilermakers to eight: MSU 35, Purdue 20
The Spartans get their eighth win in 10 all-time tries against the Terrapins: MSU 27, Maryland 13
MSU was thoroughly embarrassed by Ohio State last year, and likely with huge Big Ten East implications, the Spartans get some pay back at home, per Solari: MSU 20, Ohio State 16
Solari predicts a close one here, as Nebraska may be a much improved team with new head coach Scott Frost’s new spread offense, but the road team still gets it done: MSU 31, Nebraska 27
This one is a cakewalk to finish the season: MSU 45, Rutgers 13
So there you have it. An 11-1 record with wins against Ohio State, Michigan, Arizona State and Northwestern. If Solari’s scenario plays out, we could surely be looking at another trip to Indianapolis and the Big Ten Championship if Penn State finishes with two or more losses, and with a win there, another trip to the College Football Playoff.
Personally, I am going to wait closer to the season to start before I make any official record predictions. I will say that as farfetched as an 11-1 season may sound with a schedule like Michigan State’s, keep in mind that MSU returns the most production in all of college football, and has favorable home matchups in 2018, so this is definitely not out of the realm of possibility.
What are your record predictions? Does an 11-1 regular season seem more likely than not? Talk to me in the comments section!