Sunday, December 30, 2012

On MSU's bowl victory over TCU

Beating TCU 17-16 in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl was an important measuring stick victory for Michigan State.
Will Le'Veon Bell return?
The fact MSU beat Georgia last bowl season has gained cache because the Bulldogs were so good this season. TCU, loaded with freshmen and sophomore starters, and likely to get standout QB Casey Pachall back next season (he left the team after being arrested for a DUI and reportedly has been in rehab; he likely will be back in the spring and has another year of eligibilty remaining), will be strong next season. Besides, how often do Big Ten teams knock off SEC and Big 12 teams in bowl games in back-to-back years? From that standpoint, it was an impressive accomplishment.
The bowl victory did not, however, mask the Spartans' bigger issues. Their receiving corps was terrible by major college standards this season. If running back Le'Veon Bell is not back (he is contemplating entering the NFL Draft) the offense could really be in trouble, although Connor Cook did show promise at QB in the bowl game and could beat out underwhelming Andrew Maxwell for the starting spot. Also, will defensive end William Gholston return? His production in 2012 was disappointing, but there is no disputing he is a rare talent would be sorely missed.


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