Spartan Reacts: A sad end to the season for Michigan State fans

Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a poll of fans across the NCAA. Throughout the year we ask questions to the most connected State of Michigan Fans and fans across the country. Sign up here take part.

What a difference a week makes. Just days after Michigan State fans almost unanimously agreed that a win over Indiana would see the team through to Bowl qualification, they now believe this upcoming clash against Penn State will almost certainly be the last game of the year for the MSU will be.

When Michigan State gambled away a 17-point lead against the Hoosiers, most fans also believe the team missed any chance to bowl. While technically there’s still a remote possibility of reaching a postseason game with just five wins, the season most likely boils down to beating No. 11 Penn State at Happy Valley. To be perfectly clear, fans don’t think it’s going to end well.

According to the latest SB Nation Reacts poll, over 90 percent of Michigan State fans expect the Spartans to lose on Saturday.

Penn State is a good team at 9-2, but at this point that number probably has more to do with a lack of faith in the Spartans than the Nittany Lions. After a season in which every big game became an embarrassment, MSU somehow found a way to keep the season alive en route to Senior Day against Indiana — a team that had been sitting right at the bottom of the Big Ten East after seven games lost a row.

For most of the game things seemed to be going as expected. Michigan State, while never looking pretty, managed to build a three-point lead at halftime and after point trading held the gap to start the third quarter. That’s when things fell apart.

In the period of just under 22 minutes of play, Indiana put on a 17-0 run. Then the Hoosiers ended things in a second overtime when the Spartans failed to get the Hoosiers’ touchdown.

The collapse was all-encompassing. Michigan State was overplayed on offense, defense and special teams while also being passed. Due to these failures, especially against IU, it is considered the worst loss of the season according to MSU fans.

Such a loss is related to a program. It’s not one that can be forgotten after the next game or feels like a distant memory when the team gets back on the field next fall. While the squad may look different next year, one key group is guaranteed not to change – the coaching staff.

Just a year away from taking over East Lansing in a way no coach had since Tom Izzo, Mel Tucker is looking a lot less polished. Tucker’s team and coaching staff have seen a number of embarrassments this season, but the Indiana game is probably the most glaring (for on-field actions, at least).

The defeat in Indiana is not glossed over by Michigan State fans. More than three-quarters of responding fans said the collapse against the Hoosiers was an indictment of Tucker and his coaching staff.

While the football season is being predicted by fans to end after Saturday’s game, the opportunity to voice opinions will continue. Keep an eye out for next week’s Reacts poll and vote to make your voice heard.

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