A new era of Michigan State football begins in 2020.

Mel Tucker is entering his first season as the head coach of the Spartans, and he’s going to face some significant challenges in is inaugural year in East Lansing. Tucker’s late hire followed by the pandemic has allowed limited time for the new head coach to get acquainted with his new team. And playing in one of the toughest divisions in college football, that combination could lead to a rocky year.

Fortunately, Tucker did retain some members of Mark Dantonio’s staff, particularly on the defensive side of the football. So, there will be at least some continuity for Michigan State this season. The combination of implementing a brand new offense and welcoming in a new quarterback is going to be tough, though.

It’s a foregone conclusion that the 2020 season will be a rebuilding year, but what that looks like in terms of wins and losses, is yet to be determined.

ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI) doesn’t have a strong forecast for the Spartans this season, favoring them in just two of the first seven contests of the year. The regular season finale against Penn State does not currently have a projection.

Here’s a look at how ESPN’s FPI is predicting each game on MSU’s schedule:

  • Oct. 24: vs. Rutgers — 60.1% chance of victory
  • Oct. 31: at Michigan — 15.3% chance of victory
  • Nov. 7: at Iowa — 18.6% chance of victory
  • Nov. 14: vs. Indiana — 20.4% chance of victory
  • Nov. 21: at Maryland — 61.5% chance of victory
  • Nov. 28: vs. Northwestern — 21.8% chance of victory
  • Dec. 5: vs. Ohio State — 2.6% chance of victory
  • Dec. 2: at Penn State — N/A