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Michigan State football could face 4 of nation’s top 5 teams in 2023

An absolute gauntlet.



Michigan State football
© Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

If you thought the 2022 schedule was tough, Michigan State football could be facing four legitimate top-five teams in 2023.

Coming off a 5-7 season, Michigan State football fans are not only going to want to see an improvement in play but also an improvement in the record. While I, and a lot of fans, believe that this team has more depth and is probably better overall than last year’s team, this season’s schedule is no joke.

Some fans might want eight or nine wins, and while that is possible, it is not going to be remotely easy and that is because of the teams Michigan State plays. Those teams include four out of the top-five teams in the country, according to CBS Sports which released its post-spring projected Top 25. This Top 25 has three Big Ten teams and one Pac-12 team on MSU’s schedule.

The top-five teams include:

  • (5) Washington Huskies
  • (4) Penn State Nittany Lions
  • (3) Ohio State Buckeyes
  • (2) Michigan Wolverines

This list of teams, while some may disagree especially about Alabama not being on the list, does make sense.

For Washington, it has Michael Penix Jr. coming back who was in the Heisman race for a while last year. Penn State is returning its two leading rushers from last year’s team and they have Drew Allar as the starting quarterback. Ohio State is going to have elite wide receivers. Michigan is basically returning everyone.

And projected No. 1 Georgia has won two straight National Championships so it’s hard to argue with them being in that top spot.

The other four happen to be on Michigan State’s schedule this year.

This schedule is going to be one of the toughest in the country. This does not mean that Michigan State can’t win one of these games. If Michigan State does win at least one of these games, that would be a very important victory, especially for how good these teams are supposed to be.

An eight-win season is not impossible. While it isn’t impossible, it’s going to be tough, especially with those four opponents above. That’s why an eight-win year would be a large leap forward for this program especially if a couple of them come against those four teams.

Now some fans might not be thrilled with eight wins. With this schedule and this team, eight wins would be huge for the future of the program. This schedule is not going to be forgiving for Michigan State and it is important to get off to a good start. Be prepared for some tough games and speedbumps because this schedule is going to be a gauntlet.


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