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 Eastern Illinois 20 Minnesota 42 Final Rutgers 41 Washington State 38
Final Penn State 26 UCF 24 Final Youngstown State 17 Illinois 28 Final Indiana State 10 Indiana 28 Final Northern Iowa 23 Iowa 31 Final Appalachian State 14 Michigan 52 Final 5 Ohio State 34 Navy 17 Final Western Michigan 34 Purdue 43 Final Florida Atlantic 7 22 Nebraska 55 Final California 31 Northwestern 24 Final James Madison 7 Maryland 52 Final 14 Wisconsin 24 13 LSU 28