Power Rankings: No. 12 Michigan State
August, 8, 2012
By Adam Rittenberg | ESPN.com
After recording 11 wins in each of the past two seasons, Michigan State has its sights set on bigger goals. The Spartans aim for their first outright Big Ten championship and their first Rose Bowl appearance since the 1987 season. Although they lose most of their key skill players on offense, including quarterback Kirk Cousins, they return one of the nation's top defenses. Coordinator Pat Narduzzi leads a unit that returns eight starters, including All-America candidates William Gholston and Johnny Adams, and linebacker tandem Max Bullough and Denicos Allen. All eyes will be on junior quarterback Andrew Maxwell as he moves into a leading role, although he'll have help from running back Le'Veon Bell. Michigan State faces a challenging schedule, beginning with an Aug. 31 opener against Boise State.
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BIG TEN SCOREBOARD
Final Iowa 24 Pittsburgh 20 Final Eastern Michigan 14 11 Michigan State 73 Final Western Illinois 7 Northwestern 24 Final Southern Illinois 13 Purdue 35 Final Bowling Green 17 19 Wisconsin 68 Final Maryland 34 Syracuse 20 Final Utah 26 Michigan 10 Final Rutgers 31 Navy 24 Final Massachusetts 7 Penn State 48 Final San Jose State 7 Minnesota 24 Final Texas State 35 Illinois 42 Final Indiana 31 18 Missouri 27 Final Miami (FL) 31 24 Nebraska 41