The 2022 season officially came to an end when they weren’t invited to a bowl game. The Spartans finished with a 5-7 record and a lot of questions before next year starts.
While it is obviously still completely unknown as to how Mel Tucker and the Spartans plan to address the issues of this season, it is worth setting expectations now. It’s safe to say that MSU wildly outperformed expectations in 2021, while falling short this season. So what is needed for 2023?
The biggest question facing any team is making sure they have the best possible option at quarterback. Next year the Spartans will have a two-year returning starter in Payton Thorne. Along with Noah Kim who had limited success as a backup in 2022 and Katin Houser, the highest rated recruit of the group.
But even with the possibility of a transfer quarterback joining the team, half of MSU fans believe Thorne will still be the primary quarterback in 2023.
The biggest wild card in the quarterback position is the possibility of a transfer. While not many fans believe State will land a transfer quarterback, there is the chance MSU could again bring in a key player in another position.
Despite stating he doesn’t want to build a program around transfers, Tucker has found success in the portal. But slightly under half of fans believe they will bring in a “star” this offseason.
With those things settled in the mind of fans, the last thing to decide is where the expectation will be set on what constitutes success. For a team looking to build back up, it’s not necessarily a simple answer.
At this point, it wouldn’t take much to be considered an improvement on 2022. But according to fans, making a bowl isn’t enough for the majority of fans. Nearly two-thirds of fans said the team would need to win at least seven or eight games next year for it to be a successful season.
On the other end of the spectrum, fewer than a fifth of fans said the team would need double-digit wins or to win the Big Ten in order for the season to be a success.
For Tucker and the rest of the staff, the work needs to start right away. Tucker will likely be working the portal, while also getting the young players into form for the spring game.
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