MSU alters schedule to avoid missing opening week
In an effort to avoid opening the 2017 football season with a bye, Michigan State announced two changes to its schedule for next season.
The home opener against Bowling Green moves from Sept. 9 to Sept. 2 while the game against Western Michigan, originally scheduled for Sept. 16, moves up to Sept. 9.
That means Michigan State will have a bye in the third week, followed by its final non-conference game at home on Sept. 23 against Notre Dame. It pushes back by one week the situation the Spartans had in 2016 when their bye came in Week 2.
It’s a far better scenario than was set to take place if changes weren’t agreed upon considering it would have meant playing 12 straight weeks without a break. The scheduling snafu began when Alabama backed out of a two-year deal that was to be played in 2016 and 2017. Eastern Michigan pulling out of a game led to the Week 2 bye in 2016.
The Spartans will open the 2017 season with four consecutive home games for the first time since 2002 and for only the fifth time in school history. Michigan State will play a total of seven home games in 2017, including four Big Ten games against Iowa, Indiana, Penn State and Maryland.
2017 MICHIGAN STATE FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
Sept. 2: BOWLING GREEN
Sept. 9: WESTERN MICHIGAN
Sept. 16: Bye
Sept. 23: NOTRE DAME
Sept. 30: IOWA
Oct. 7: at Michigan
Oct. 14: at Minnesota
Oct. 21: INDIANA (homecoming)
Oct. 27: at Northwestern
Nov. 4: PENN STATE
Nov. 11: at Ohio State
Nov. 18: MARYLAND
Nov. 25: at Rutgers