Writers: MSU has legit national championship talent

The Detroit News
Connor Cook

Stewart Mandel and Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports believe Michigan State, with Connor Cook at quarterback and four returning starters on the offensive line, is a legitimate national championship contender.

Mandel and Feldman broke down the Spartans and explained why MSU is one of just a "handful" of teams capable of winning the title.

"Cook has shown he can read defenses and get deep into his progressions and can also adeptly handle pressure," they explain. "According to Pro Football Focus, he threw 16 TDs and just one INT when blitzed."

They also like MSU's "loaded" defensive line with Shilique Calhoun, Lawrence Thomas and Malik McDowell.

Among Mandel's and Feldman's concerns are the losses of defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi (head coach at Pitt) and linebacker Ed Davis (knee injury): "With a Week 2 game against an explosive Oregon attack, MSU's defense will miss Davis' athleticism. And they really may miss it when they visit the Buckeyes."