Michigan State Football: Spartans Still Have A Shot At College Football Playoffs


When the Michigan State Spartans lost to the Nebraska Cornhuskers 39-38 in controversial fashion November 7th, all hope seemed to be lost for the season.

After climbing as high as #2 on the AP poll, they slowly fell down the rankings because of their lackluster play. They struggled to put away inferior opponents and the national media was paying close attention.

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Even after the miracle in Ann Arbor, there were skeptics nationwide. With a subjective voting committee, the odds were stacked up against the Spartans.

So when the Spartans lost to the Cornhuskers that cold November night, all hope was supposed to be lost. Right?

Well, no.

With the Spartans at the #9 spot in the CFP rankings, they still control a large part of their own destiny. When they were ranked #13 immediately following their loss to Nebraska, that was a great place to be all things considered.

All you need is to be in the top four at the end of the season. Being in the top four in the middle of the season doesn’t matter as much. Does it help? Sure. But it’s not a guarantee to the future.

Before the Nebraska loss, what the Spartans needed to do were win two huge games. The first game was on the road against The Ohio State Buckeyes, the #3 team.

That face-off is scheduled this Saturday, November 21st. That game has been circled on the calendar for both fan bases as these two programs have been elite for the past several years.

The winner of that game will control their destiny in the Big Ten East race and face off against the Big Ten West champs. That’s the second game the Spartans need to win.

And it’s looking like they’ll face off against the Iowa Hawkeyes, the #5 team in the CFP rankings.

If the Spartans win both games? Who knows how the committee will view that. Winning both games should be the Spartans’ top priority. They must control that part of their destiny.

A lot of the pressure will deservedly be on fifth-year senior Connor Cook. With the questions surrounding the secondary and special teams, Cook must shine in order for the Spartans to have a chance.

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  • With all the injuries thus far this season, it’s a marvel what Head Coach Mark Dantonio has been able to do with this squad. Players are slowly coming back and the Spartans will have a great chance to pull off the upset.

    But the Spartans need to be hopeful there’s a bit of chaos out in the college football world. They need the top teams in the rankings to fall in their respective match-ups.

    A bit of that has already happened over the in the PAC-12 when both the Utah Utes and Stanford Cardinals were upset this last weekend.

    They’ll also need the Big-12 to beat up on each other in their round-robin style schedule. If they can continually eliminate each other, the Spartans will rise up the rankings once again.

    The one wild card though will be the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. With no affiliation to a conference, them sneaking in will result in two Power-5 conferences being left out.

    The Spartans lost a lot of control when they fell to Nebraska. Even in a controversial finish, that was a game the Spartans should have won if it wasn’t for the secondary struggling.

    But the point is, the Spartans’ dreams aren’t dead. They’re very much alive. They just need a bit more luck on their side this time around.