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Spartan Reacts: Being optimistic isn’t easy for Michigan State fans

It’s been a week since the embarrassment in Ann Arbor, but a little time hasn’t done much to improve spirits among MSU fans.

Rutgers v Michigan State Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NCAA. Throughout the year, we ask questions of the most plugged-in Michigan State Spartans fans and fans across the country. Sign up here to participate.

Sometimes a little distance from an event can ease bad feelings. A week clearly isn’t enough distance for Michigan State fans.

At the start of the year, playing Illinois after Michigan appeared to be a soft landing after the rivalry game. But because of the embarrassment that followed the loss to Michigan, confidence in the Spartans hasn’t found much solid ground. In fact, considering Illinois’ success so far this year, MSU fans appear to be as dejected as ever.

According to the latest SB Nation Reacts survey, well below a quarter of Michigan State fans actually think the Spartans will win Saturday against the No. 16-ranked Illini.

Illinois has found success this season with a ball control offense and a suffocating defense. Facing off against a Michigan State offense that found the end zone only once against Michigan, it’s fair be pessimistic about this matchup.

More than 50 percent of MSU fans think the Spartans will fail to score two offensive touchdowns, with 42 percent thinking MSU will score just one touchdown.

Making matters worse, the bad feelings heading into Saturday aren’t entirely due to the perceived strength of Illinois. The Illini currently sit atop the Big Ten West and earned the No. 16 ranking by the College Football Playoff committee.

While there is acknowledgement by nearly two-thirds of MSU fans that Illinois should win the West, a small percentage of MSU fans think Illinois is overrated.

In fact, Illinois controls its own destiny to win the division. After MSU, Illinois hosts Purdue, which would decide who gains a head-to-head advantage in the standings.

Regardless of what happens Saturday, be on the lookout for the next round of Reacts surveys next Monday. Cast your vote and let us know what you think about this year’s team.

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