Year in Review: Part I

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As the Crimson Tide celebrate yet another championship in the second-ever College Football Playoff format, other teams across the country look back on their own season. Thinking what could have been – and many schools are already looking ahead to the 2016 campaign hoping they will be next to hoist the trophy.

The Michigan State Spartans are one of those teams thinking what could have been.

Except it was not a failure of a season. A lackluster game in the College Football Playoff semifinal will burn, but that sting will push these players even further.

Michigan State was looking for their third straight Associated Press top-5 finish, but after a demoralizing 38-0 loss to Alabama in the Cotton Bowl that dream vanished. The Spartans were knocked out of the top five and placed at sixth in the AP Poll.

It was, however, the first time the Spartans finished in the top-10 for three consecutive seasons since the 1955-57 stretch under Duffy Daugherty.

For the first time, Michigan State carved their name amongst the top four and reached the College Football Playoff – a huge step for head coach Mark Dantonio.

Dantonio reiterated it all season long: the team o vowed to reach higher and to dream big. That is exactly what they accomplished this season.

Week after week, the Spartans built their own road to the final four – of course, not shying away from a certain dramatic flare when doing so. Michigan State kept on winning in the most sensational ways possible.

Clinching a Big Ten title on a 22-play, 82-yard drive against the Iowa Hawkeyes was a testament to what truly characterizes this Spartan team – a never say die attitude.

It is the genetic makeup of Dantonio’s ball club – resilient, gritty, and tough. These qualities are the backbone of this team. A driving force instilled not just in training camp, but on recruiting visits as well.

During the dog days of summer those brutal two-a-day workouts will wear on anyone, but Michigan State will remember what it was like being so close.

It is amazing what people can do when they are backed up against a wall of uncertainty, and this is no unfamiliar spot for Dantonio and the rest of the Spartans.

With many doubting what the Spartans brought to the table this year, MSU used those doubts as fuel for the fire – charging towards a national title berth. Proving critics wrong time and time again, the Spartans overachieved and hurdled the obstacles standing their path.

It is time to do that once again.  

With another top recruiting class coming to East Lansing next year, Dantonio will find himself in the College Football Playoff once again.

Next on Year in Review: Jack Conklin’s departure to the NFL, next year’s depth chart possibilities and the recruits coming to the banks of the Red Cedar.