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Tuesday, December 1, 2015


A quick look back at the regular season shows that the Michigan State football schedule was a little tougher than advertised back at the beginning of the season. The Michigan jeerleaders were picking on the teams MSU played in September, scoffing at the many references to how those teams had all been "bowl-eligible" in 2014. The Spartans 4-0 record was discounted, overlooked, downgraded and misunderstood, as they actually dropped-while-winning in the polls.

But as it turned out, MSU beat eight (8) bowl-eligible teams this season, including all four opponents on the pre-conference schedule in September. The cumulative record of the eleven teams defeated by the Spartans this season is 73-59, a winning percentage of 55%. The only teams with losing records on the 2015 schedule were from the B1G.

Here are the season records of the teams defeated by Michigan State, listed in the order they were played:

  • 7-5 Western Michigan
  • 9-3 Oregon
  • 8-4 Air Force
  • 7-5 Central Michigan
  • 2-10 Purdue
  • 4-8 Rutgers
  • 9-3 Michigan
  • 6-6 Indiana
  • 3-9 Maryland
  • 11-1 Ohio State
  • 7-5  Penn State
  • 73-59 combined season record (55%)

The Spartans "signature win" is obviously Ohio STATE, but a couple of nine-win teams are on the list as well. The September opponents finished the regular season with 31 combined wins, or about eight (8) wins apiece. Not exactly Hillsdale College and Northern Michigan.

Here are the national (AP) ranks of the teams defeated by Michigan State this year, both at the time they were played and the current ranking:

When MSU Beat Them
#7 Oregon
#12 Michigan
#3 Ohio State

Current Ranking
#15 Oregon
#19 Michigan
#6 Ohio State

Seems like the Spartans schedule was a wee bit tougher than Wolverine Nation was howling about back in September and October. MSU's non-conference opponents had a composite winning percentage of 65%. Michigan as a team had a winning percentage of 75%. That's a difference of only 10%.


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