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Michigan State’s revised 2021 football schedule announced

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NCAA Football: Michigan State at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Today, the Big Ten announced its revised plans for the 2021 conference schedule. While it has not yet been determined whether or not Big Ten programs will play a non-conference schedule or not in 2021, today’s announcement focuses solely on Big Ten competition and is a direct result of how the conference had to alter the 2020 schedule due to COVID-19.

Before we get to the new/revised schedule, let’s take a look at Michigan State’s original 2021 schedule (including non-conference opponents) and quickly review what it was supposed to look like:

Original 2021 schedule:

Sept. 4 away at Northwestern
Sept. 11 home vs. Youngstown State
Sept. 18 away at Miami (FL.)
Sept. 25 home vs. Nebraska
Oct. 2 home vs. Western Kentucky (Homecoming)
Oct. 9 bye week
Oct. 16 away at Michigan
Oct. 23 home vs. Penn State
Oct. 30 away at Ohio State
Nov. 6 away at Purdue
Nov. 13 home vs. Indiana
Nov. 20 away at Rutgers
Nov. 27 home vs. Maryland

Now, let’s take a look at the new schedule for the Spartans:

New 2021 Schedule:

Sept. 4 away at Northwestern (Update: this game has been moved to Sept. 3 at 9 p.m.)
Sept. 11 home vs. Youngstown State
Sept. 18 away at Miami (FL.)
Sept. 25 home vs. Nebraska
Oct. 2 home vs. Western Kentucky (Homecoming)
Oct. 9 away at Rutgers
Oct. 16 away at Indiana
Oct. 23 bye week
Oct. 30 home vs. Michigan
Nov. 6 away at Purdue
Nov. 13 home vs. Maryland
Nov. 20 away at Ohio State
Nov. 27 home vs. Penn State

The opponents did not change for the Spartans, but some of the dates and locations have changed. For example, instead of having to go to Ann Arbor for a third-straight year, Michigan State will now have a home game against Michigan on Oct. 30 (originally scheduled for Oct. 16). Also, instead of playing Indiana at home on Nov. 13, MSU now will head to Bloomington on Oct. 16, which makes sense as the Spartans played the Hoosiers at home in both 2019 and 2020.

The first five games of the original schedule remain the same for now, but things change after that. Instead of having a bye week on Oct. 9, Michigan State now will have to wait two more weeks to take a break during the week of Oct. 23. The Spartans will instead have a road game against Rutgers on Oct. 9. The Maryland game will still be played at home, but flips from the final game of the season on Nov. 27 to now being played on Nov. 13.

The Ohio State game will still be played in Columbus, but now it comes later in the season on Nov. 20 instead of Oct. 30. For the second consecutive season, as it should be, Michigan State will end the season against Penn State with the Land-Grant Trophy on the line. This is a home game for MSU on Nov. 27, and the Spartans were initially scheduled to play the Nittany Lions on Oct. 23.

Michigan State has an evenly split six road games and six homes games in total as of right now (things can still change), but five of the six road games are against Big Ten opponents, while only four of the home games come against conference foes.

Here is a look at the fully revised 2021 Big Ten football schedule: