Aug 11, 2011

Are the Spartans Cocky or Just Confident?

In the wake of their first Big Ten championship in decades and what ought to have been a trip to the Rose Bowl the Michigan State Spartans are coming into the 2011 season with a swagger. But many are questioning that swagger; are the Spartans on an ego trip or is their attitude deserved?

The 2010 campaign saw Michigan State win a school-record 11 games and advance to their third straight bowl game; their second on New Year's Day.

Michigan State only stumbled twice last season, being blown out by both Iowa and Alabama in Iowa City and the Capital One Bowl respectively. But in between those losses the Spartans stocked their trophy cases with victories over rivals Michigan, Notre Dame, Minnesota and Penn State.

During the 2010 season the Spartans climbed the national rankings, finding a comfortable spot in the Top Ten for several weeks after reaching all the way to No. 5. Michigan State finished the season ranked No. 14 nationally and enter the 2011 season as No. 17.

The attention and respect that Michigan State has long cried for is finally being paid to them; national television programs, newspapers and bloggers are all tabbing the Spartans as threatening for the inaugural Big Ten Title game.

With an overwhelming majority of their players returning this season and replacements for those who left with years of experience under their belt the Spartans look to be a tough team to beat this season. All three of Michigan State's running backs return to the team as well as several of the play-making receivers.

The offensive line took another hit this off-season but has appropriately plugged the holes and will be able to keep QB Kirk Cousins upright this season. One of the most exciting points for this football team is the defensive line; with the likes of Kevin Pickelman, Jerel Worthy and William Gholston all rushing the passer, the Spartans will improve greatly on defense.

With a Big Ten championship ring on their fingers and an impressive team around them, the Spartans have no need to be cocky, they know their good and they're acting as such. Michigan State has it's swagger back.

Do you have an idea for the nickname for the Spartan defensive front-four? Submit it in a comment or tweet one of our writers and if we like it we'll use it for the rest of the season in our articles.

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