A pair of Big Ten coaches who just received massive extensions will face off Saturday in East Lansing as the #23 Penn State Nittany Lions will head to take on the #12 Michigan State Spartans. In a line that has hovered closed to even all week, let’s take a closer look at who has the value heading into Saturday.
The $95 million man will make his first official start with that title as Spartans coach Mel Tucker was rewarded handsomely this week for his first “successful” season at the helm in Michigan State. What a racket this game is.
The precursor to the contract wasn’t an indication of that success, as the Spartans trailed Ohio State last week 49-0 at halftime before ultimately losing 56-7. Even still, a win in this one would all but guarantee a spot in New Year’s Day Six bowl game, and a statement win would boost their position even stronger.
Also rewarded with a 10-year extension this week, Penn State’s James Franklin has also left a lot to be desired from the Nittany Lion faithful. Losing three of five in the build-up to this one, Franklin’s two wins have come against Maryland and most recently Rutgers has he has been plagued with the mediocre QB play of Sean Clifford.
Missing last week with flu-like symptoms, the Nittany Lions are expected to get Clifford back this week which could spell trouble for the Spartans defense.
To this point in the season, and as exploited last week by Ohio State, the Spartans have had the worst secondary in college football as they’re now allowing 339.9 yards per game. With that and the better overall defense in all facets, I like the Nittany Lions to do enough to get the job done and send Tucker into the postseason with two straight losses and many in East Lansing questioning their future.
Pick: Nittany Lions -1.5
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