It’s a little over a month until college football’s fall camps begin, with “Week Zero” scheduled for August 27 for the season’s opening games. With that in mind, it’s time to take a look at the schedule and unravel the hierarchy of opponents the Michigan State Spartans will face in the upcoming season.
I will look ahead and rank over the next few weeks State of Michigan‘s opponents in the coming season from the easiest (No. 12) to the most difficult (No. 1). First comes what I consider to be the easiest opponent: the Akron Zips.
Record 2021: 2-10
It seems like just yesterday Penn State head coach James Franklin declared that every opponent his team faces is like Akron to him. Things have sure gone wrong for the Zips since then, with Akron winning just three games combined over the past three seasons (including the 0-12 in 2019). However, familiar face Joe Moorhead — who was Penn State’s offensive coordinator the season before Franklin’s Akron remark — is the new head coach of the Ohio Mid-American Conference program.
The Spartans will take on Akron for the first time in over a century when the Zips visit East Lansing on September 10th. The programs were played back-to-back at College Field when Michigan State was Michigan Agricultural College in 1913 and 1914. MSU went 2-0 in the matchups, winning 41-0 in 1913 and 75-6 in 1914.
Program Outlook 2022
The MAC is a difficult conference to gauge how league play will evolve from year to year. After all, former Michigan State quarterback Rocky Lombardi just last season led Northern Illinois, a bottom-ranked team in 2020, to the MAC league title in 2021. However, success in the conference doesn’t necessarily equate to power five -Matchups outside of the conference.
Moorhead will have his hands full in his first year at the helm running his offense behind an incredibly young offensive line. As such, Minnesota transfer running back Cam Wiley will likely prove to be a key player. At the end of the day, however, the Zips will likely be a .500 program at best, going into a bowl at the end of the season. Even that feels like a stretch in late June, but Akron is hoping to show improvement in 2022.
Even with next week’s road trip to Washington looming, there’s no way this game is close to halftime when Michigan State head coach Mel Tucker and his staff do their jobs. The Zips have been one of the worst teams in the MAC in recent years and Moorhead will have his work cut out with such a young roster.
The Spartans are winning here, no question, and the focus will be on ironing out any mistakes the coaching staff found in the season opener ahead of the trip west to Seattle the following week.
2022 MSU football schedule
|3 Sept||western michigan||East Lansing, MI||19.00||ESPN|
|September 10||Akron||East Lansing, MI||4 p.m||BTN|
|17 Sep||Washington||Seattle, WA||19:30 o’clock||ABC|
|September 24th||Minnesota||East Lansing, MI||TBA||TBA|
|1 Oct||Maryland||College Park, MD||TBA||TBA|
|8 Oct||State of Ohio||East Lansing, MI|
|15 Oct||Wisconsin||East Lansing, MI||3:30 p.m./4:00 p.m||TBA|
|29 Oct||Michigan||Ann Arbor, MI||TBA||TBA|
|5 Nov||Illinois||Champaign, IL||TBA||TBA|
|Nov 12||Rueger||East Lansing, MI||TBA||TBA|
|Nov 19||Indiana||East Lansing, MI||TBA||TBA|
|Nov 26||Pennsylvania||State College, PA||TBA||TBA|