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How would past Michigan State football teams match up in new CFP format?

MSU would have had three playoff teams if this format existed since the beginning.



Michigan State football

The College Football Playoff is expanding to 12 teams. How would Michigan State football teams from the past fare in this format?

The College Football Playoff is expanding to 12 teams for the first time beginning in the 2024 season. You know what that means? More football for us diehard Michigan State football fans. On a serious note, I think 12 teams is perfect for college football because every season you can always point to a couple of teams left out of the four-team playoff that would have a realistic shot at winning at all.

With it moving to 12 teams in 2024, we no longer have to wonder if any team excluded could win it all because a team outside of the top 12 likely wouldn’t stand a chance against the top teams.

The format of where these games will be played has also been confirmed, and its a big win for college football as the four first-round games will be played on college campuses. This will make for some wild atmospheres as the home teams fans will be going absolutely crazy in these games, but the potential weather some of these games will be played in only increases my interest level. Imagine for one second getting to watch Michigan State football play an SEC school in a late-December playoff game in a snowy Spartan Stadium. I don’t think those SEC boys would stand a chance.

As it stands now, the 2024 and 2025 playoffs will consist of 12 teams with the top four receiving a bye to the quarterfinals. The bottom eight teams will play their opening round games with seeds 5-8 playing host to their game on their home field. The quarterfinals, semifinals and championship games will all continue to be held on neutral site fields similar to what we are used to with the current version of the playoff.

If the playoff consisted of 12 teams since it began in 2014 like this new format, what would that have meant for past MSU teams?

Michigan State football would now have three playoff appearances in program history compared to the one we currently have now. The 2015 Big Ten champion MSU team would have earned the 3-seed and a bye from the first round of the playoff and would have played the winner of (7) Ohio State and (10) North Carolina. A rematch against Ohio State on a neutral field would have been crazy that year.

Under this new format, MSU’s 2014 squad that finished the regular season 10-2 would have made the playoff earning the No. 8 overall seed. This would have led to the Spartans hosting a first round game in East Lansing against (9) Ole Miss with the winner playing the top overall seed Alabama in the quarterfinals. I doubt that team would’ve been able to hang with Alabama that year, but hosting a playoff game in the inaugural College Football Playoff would have made for one of the best nights in Michigan State football history.

The final MSU squad that would have made the playoff is the 2021 team that also finished the regular season 10-2. This would have had MSU traveling on the road to face No. 7-seeded and Big 12 champion Baylor. This would have been another amazing game and a rematch of the 2014 Cotton Bowl that saw MSU come back to win after being down 20 points in the fourth quarter. I would have loved our chances to win this game with K9 in the backfield, and a win would then have us facing off against (2) Michigan. Sign me up for that.

Michigan State’s 2017 team that finished the regular season 9-3 would have narrowly missed out on the CFP that year as they were ranked No. 16 in the final CFP rankings.

What does this mean for MSU in the future? The main goal in relation to the CFP is still to get one of the top four seeds. Doing that will earn our guys a bye which means one less game needed to win a national championship and much needed extra rest. After that, earning a 5-8 seed is the next best option so we can host a first round game in East Lansing. Honestly, I kind of hope we get one of these seeds the next time we are in position to make the CFP because Spartan Stadium would be electric hosting a playoff game in late December.

However, I still won’t complain about getting seeded 9-12 because although we don’t get to host a playoff game, we are still in the field and have a chance to win a national championship and that is the ultimate goal at the end of the day.

The playoff expanding to 12 teams is the right move for college football, and having the first-round games played on campuses is even better. Earning a top four seed is extremely difficult in college football and that’s why Michigan State only has one playoff appearance in their history even with all the great teams we have had since 2014.

Now MSU stands a much better chance at making the playoff field, and any season where we finish 10-2 or better will end with a CFP berth and a chance to host a first-round game in Spartan Stadium.


Michigan State football: Washington game time, channel announced

Fans won’t be too thrilled about the channel.



Michigan State football
© Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington vs. Michigan State football rematch is on Sept. 16, and the Spartans have revenge on their minds.

The game time for the Washington vs. Michigan State football game was just announced and is one I think most Michigan State fans will be happy with. The game will kick off at 5 p.m. ET on Sept. 16.

This is a great start time for Michigan State fans. That will give fans plenty of time to travel to East Lansing, enjoy a tailgate and get into the stadium. On top of that, the game will get down around 8 p.m. ET which is good for the crowd that does not like to be out late.

However, I think a lot of fans were hoping for a noon start time in this game. A noon start would have been a 9 a.m. local time for Washington, likely giving the Spartans a slight advantage. It’s no surprise seeing this big of a game scheduled in the evening to avoid that.

On top of the game time announcement, where the game will be aired on TV was also announced. This is where the good news ends. The Spartans game against Washington will only be available for streaming on Peacock. That means Spartan fans at home will have to pay to watch this game. However, a simple Google search showed me that Peacock currently only costs $20 for the entire year. A lot of Big Ten football and basketball games will only be available on Peacock this season, so that may not be a bad investment to make right now if you can.

What would a win mean for Michigan State football?

Michigan State will have revenge on its mind in this game. Washington beat the Spartans last season in Seattle 39-28. The game however did not feel that close. Michigan State made a late comeback to make the final score look respectable, but a lot of fans will tell you we never really stood a chance.

Washington will likely be a top 10 heading into this matchup, so Michigan State has a great opportunity in front of it. A win would would help spring the Spartans into the conference season with a lot of positive momentum.

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Jordan Hall hosts second annual free youth football camp (Video)

Jordan Hall is a legend already.



Jordan Hall
© Nick King/Lansing State Journal via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Michigan State freshman linebacker Jordan Hall continues to show just why he’s one of the best out there.

Jordan Hall is already showing signs of being the next great Spartan on and off the field.

The Michigan State freshman linebacker was born and raised in Fredericksburg, Va. However, he most recently moved to Bradenton, Fla., to play football at IMG Academy.

This past weekend, Hall returned home to Fredericksburg to host his second annual free Jordan Hall Youth Football Camp.

Hall has already been making a name for himself on the field for the Spartans this spring. His play and effort has been praised by fellow players and coaches alike. IMG Academy has a long history of producing high-quality athletes. This makes Hall’s tenure in the program even more noteworthy. He became the first three-time captain in IMG Academy history.

When coaches are recruiting players, they are hoping to find the perfect mix of talent and character. You don’t become a three-time captain of a storied school like IMG Academy without having both.

In a recent interview with Spartan Shadows, Cryeeta Hall said of her son, “One of his favorite things he loves to do is teach the game of football to kids. He loves to coach.”

Michigan State fans are excited to see what Jordan Hall can contribute on the field, but his character off the field so far is creating just as much excitement. When you see a young man with the heart and determination to give back to his hometown, it lets fans know this is the sort of player you can to rally around and support. Mel Tucker has shown intentionality in his recruiting. He has a specific type of player that he’s looking for. Jordan Hall epitomizes a Tucker type of player.

Hall has the potential to earn immediate playing time this year as a true freshman. I’m not a betting man but if I were, I’d wager that we’ll see him as a team captain for the green and white sooner than later.

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Mel Tucker is best coach in the Big Ten when it comes to one stat

This may surprise you.



Mel Tucker

Mel Tucker is the best coach in the conference when it comes to this one surprising stat.

Michigan State football coach Mel Tucker is one of the best coaches in the Big Ten when it comes to close games.

This may surprise some considering two of Tucker’s three years at Michigan State have resulted in losing seasons. But the data shows that Tucker knows how to come out on top when the game is close.

He has been at Michigan State since 2020. During that three year timeframe he boasts a 10-1 record in games decided by 10 points or less which is the best record in the conference during that span.

Here is a list of all 11 of those games:


  • at Michigan (W 27-24)
  • vs. Northwestern (W 29-20)


  • vs. Nebraska (W 23-20)
  • at Indiana (W 20-15)
  • vs. Michigan (W 37-33)
  • vs. Penn State (W 30-27)
  • vs. Pittsburgh (W 31-21)


  • vs. Wisconsin (W 34-28)
  • at Illinois (W 23-15)
  • vs. Rutgers (W 27-21)
  • vs. Indiana (L 39-31)

How impressive is this really?

A 10-1 record when games are within 10 points is extremely impressive. The only loss on this list is Indiana from last season, a game Michigan State likely should have one. The Spartans ended up losing in overtime to the Hoosiers, but were a chip shot field goal away from winning in regulation. That is a field goal college kickers make almost every time, so Tucker’s one loss on this list could easily have been another win.

Regardless, 10-1 is the best winning percentage in games decided by 10 points or less in the Big Ten during that three-year span.

This is how the rest of the Big Ten teams fared during this same timeframe:

  1. Michigan State: 10-1 (.909)
  2. Maryland: 8-3 (.727)
  3. Iowa: 11-5 (.688)
  4. Indiana: 7-4 (.636)
  5. Purdue: 12-7 (.632)
  6. Ohio State: 3-2 (.600)
  7. Michigan: 6-4 (.600)
  8. Minnesota: 9-7 (.563)
  9. Rutgers: 7-6 (.538)
  10. Wisconsin: 6-7 (.462)
  11. Penn State: 5-7 (.417)
  12. Northwestern: 5-9 (.357)
  13. Illinois: 6-11 (.353)
  14. Nebraska: 5-16 (.238)

What does this tell us about Mel Tucker?

One thing this tells us is the Tuck is a great in game coach in tight situations. No coach goes 10-1 in close games by accident. Sometimes there is a lot of luck involved with winning close games, but that’s not necessarily the case when you win them this efficiently. Anyone can close a game out when you are up by 20, but not everyone can win a close game in the closing seconds.

This statistic is not all good though. Michigan State has won 18 games during the past three seasons. This means that over half of the games Mel Tucker has won at Michigan State have been within 10 points. For a program with extremely high goals, that fact is a little scary.

As I mentioned before, sometimes luck has to be on your side to win these close games. So relying on winning a lot of close games to have a great season is not a recipe for success.

One things for sure though, as long as Mel Tucker is the coach at Michigan State, we stand a very good chance at winning any close game.

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