We often take shots at major-conference schools for soft nonconference scheduling, and rightfully so. But there's also a time to pass out praise when a team bypasses the cupcake tray for some Grade A beef.
Kudos to Michigan State for its recent plan to spice up the nonconference schedule, which continued on Wednesday, as the school announced it has finalized a home-and-home series with Miami in 2020-21.
The Spartans will host Miami on Sept. 26, 2020, and visit the Hurricanes on Sept. 18, 2021. Michigan State has a two-year break in its series with rival Notre Dame and used it to add another big name.
"To be the best, you have to play against the best, and over the last 30 years, Miami has been one of the marquee names in college football," athletic director Mark Hollis said in a prepared statement. "With the second two-year break in the Notre Dame series, it created this opportunity to schedule a home-and-home with a program like Miami that certainly has great national appeal."
Michigan State last year announced home-and-home series with both West Virginia (2014-15) and Alabama (2016-17). The MSU-Notre Dame series will continue through 2031 with two-year breaks in 2014-15, 2020-21 and 2026-27. Expect another good series to be added in the 2026-27 window.
The Big Ten still has its share of weak schedules, just like the SEC and the Big 12. But I'm seeing more aggressive scheduling from teams like Michigan State, Minnesota, Michigan and even Northwestern.
We should never have to endure another Saturday like Week 4 again. This is a good step for Michigan State and the Big Ten, and hopefully, more will follow.