Why Is Michigan State On A Bye So Early? Blame Nick Saban
"Hey Mark, sorry for whoopin' you 38-0. Oh, also, I'm going to completely screw up your guys' 2016 schedule--just a heads-up." -- Nick Saban to Mark Dantonio after 2016 Cotton Bowl, probably. [Getty Images][/caption]It's just the second week of the college football season, and Michigan State is on a bye.
That sucks for fans, obviously, who have waited eight months for the offseason to end only to have to endure another college football-less weekend. But it may also suck for players and coaches, depending on who you ask.
After all, once the bye is over, MSU will play for 11 consecutive weeks without a break (make that 12 if the Spartans make the Big Ten title game). That's a tough stretch, and conventional wisdom suggests a bye situated in the middle of the season would be better, giving the team a mental and physical break.
Next year it's even worse: MSU starts the season on a bye. That means State is in for 12 straight weeks without a break then (13 if they get to Indianapolis).
So why the screwy schedule? It's simple, really: Blame Nick Saban.
Basically, a home-and-home series MSU had set with Alabama for 2016 and 2017 is the issue. 'Bama canceled on State in 2013 once the SEC decided to go to a nine-game league schedule. That left the Spartans with some holes to fill, and voila!
Kyle Austin, who covers Michigan State for MLive.com, joined us to explain the situation--check it out in this video:
The positive here is MSU has two weeks to prepare for Notre Dame.
And they don't have to go to Tuscaloosa. Could you imagine MSU's first game after being humiliated by the Crimson Tide 38-0 in the second College Football Playoff taking place against Nick Saban and Co. in their own backyard?