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17. Michigan State

The Spartans won a school-record 11 games in 2010, good for a slice of the Big Ten title. They boast a third-year starting quarterback in steady senior Kirk Cousins, the league's leading returning running back in Edwin Baker and a potential first-round pick in defensive tackle Jerel Worthy. If the offensive line can successfully replace three starters, this could be Mark Dantonio's best team yet. But was last year a mirage? Sparty benefited from a home-loaded schedule and a few last-minute heroics, while getting blown out in its two toughest away-from-home assignments (Iowa and Alabama). This year, the schedule includes tough trips to Notre Dame, Ohio State, Nebraska and Iowa. That could make matching last year's win total a tall order.
-- Brian Bennett, ESPN.com's Big Ten blogger