Last week, we asked you to pick the nonconference opponent you'd most like to see your favorite team play in the near future. You could pick a team already on the upcoming schedule or one that inexplicably hasn't been added.
The response, not surprisingly, has been strong. If you haven't done so already, please send us your picks here and here, and be sure to identify your Big Ten allegiance and why you're picking a certain nonconference foe.
Michigan State fans had some good thoughts on this topic, and here are several of them from around Sparta.
Brian from Conshohocken, Pa.: Adam, Michigan State alum here. And here are a few non-conference matches I would like to see happen: 1) USC - The Spartans vs. The Trojans, because it would be a great matchup and there are a lot of Homeric (as in the Illiad, not the Simpsons) allusions you could have during the game. Tommy Trojan and Sparty could duke it out at halftime! 2) One of the SEC teams, at Spartan Stadium, in November on rainy, freezing cold day. It is long past time for these guys to play on our turf and see what happens when the elements come into play. 3) Temple - because they play at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, and I want to see my Spartans in person without having to make a long road trip.
KMANZILLA from Texas: As a supporter of the Michigan State Spartans, I would like to see a home and home series against South Carolina, so that Spurrier will be embarrassed against us like he was in the 2000 Citrus Bowl and Coach D will get to beat his alma mater. Plus, it'll send a message that we can still beat an elite SEC team. I also would like to see a series against USC based on our epic Rose Bowl series against them. Plus, it could potentially get us to recruit well in California. Finally, we Spartans should play any good Big 12 team like Oklahoma considering that they are a rich program and us beating them will help us recruit the South. Plus, B1G vs. B12 matchups are always fun to watch!
Alexander from Plymouth, Mich.: As a Michigan State fan, I'd like to see a non-conference game against Cincinnati. I know it sounds bland compared to SEC or Pac-12 opponents, but Cincinnati's a decent team that has wound up getting coaches with experience from the Great Lakes state (Dantonio, Kelly, Jones). I also would like to see a series against North Carolina (to get back at them in some sport for 2009) or Texas Tech (still remember the exciting yet tough loss in the Alamo Bowl). I would also absolutely love to see a game between MSU and Southern Cal (Spartans vs. Trojans). We'll call it the Iliad Bowl (Many bonus points if it's for Rose Bowl, and MSU and its/B10's fans fly in on 1000 planes). Also, imagine the helmet logos: as they line up, a row of green and white Spartan helmets face off from a row of crimson and gold Trojan helmets. Can we also get a mascot fight?
James from Indy: On the subject of the non-con I would like my Spartans to play, I would have to go with Stanford. I was really excited to play them a couple of years ago but it didn't work out. Also I think Duke would be fun just so we can beat them at something. I hope they find a way to keep playing Notre Dame. Some might want another crack at Alabama. I am not one of those people.
Scott from Saginaw, Mich.: Regarding non-conference match-ups, I'm an MSU fan and alum. I have always enjoyed the Notre Dame match-up, and would like to see that continue as much as possible. In the overall historical pecking order of college football programs, MSU is probably at about the same level as programs like Texas A&M, UCLA and Arkansas, so match-ups with teams like that would be great.
Garret from Denver: I would be thrilled to see MSU vs. Virginia Tech! I think these two programs are similar with strong D and a blue-collar attitude. They are both have tremendous fan bases and both stadiums are rocking on game day. I think it would be a hard hitting battle managed by two of the more reserved yet respected coaches in the NCAA. I just see a lot of similarities Pat N. = Bud F. & Mark D. = Frank B. Offense is for wussies anyway!
Matt from Spartan Nation: For MSU, I'd have to say a home-and-home with Texas or UF/FSU. Recently Coach D has tried to pull big-time recruits from these recruiting hotbeds. A primetime matchup with one of these traditional powerhouses would give the Spartans excellent exposure to the recruits in these areas. I think this is important as MSU tries to turn its program into a national powerhouse.
Justin from Baltimore: Michigan State fan here responding to your request for desired non-conference match-ups. I would want to see MSU vs. Texas A&M, which I would call the Grandpa Bowl because my grandpa is an alum of A&M.
A Sparty-Tommy Trojan mascot fight? Sign me up, if nothing else but for the Homeric references, as Brian from Conshohocken notes. Tommy wouldn't be able to use Traveler unless Sparty also gets a horse to ride. Fans would wear togas to the game (if they don't already). I also like the Michigan State-South Carolina matchup because of the little-known Dantonio connection and the number of elite defenders on the field.
Several Michigan State fans want to see the Spartans play in Virginia, North Carolina or South Carolina, and I couldn't agree more. Those are excellent recruiting areas, and as Garret points out, the teams play similar styles for similar coaches and coordinators. Several Michigan State fans mention the Texas schools as potential desired opponents. Right now, the Spartans would be better off adding the school in Austin instead of the one in College Station (scary good).
More fan non-league picks: