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Le'veon Bell Jr. is Michigan State's top returning option on offense.
Final 2011-12 AP Ranking: 11
The Spartans return eight players on a defense that led the Big Ten in rushing and total defense, as well as sacks and interceptions. So why would Michigan State slip in 2012?
Because MSU has to replace its best quarterback in school history.
Kirk Cousins left Michigan State as the career leader in wins, passing yards, completions and touchdown passes. If you think that the Spartans will be fine without Cousins and that the defense will carry the team to the Big Ten title, think again.
The only starting offensive skill player that is returning is running back Le'veon Bell Jr.
Michigan State will have to find alternative weapons if they want to compete in a defense-dominated league, or else it faces the possibility of getting shut down every week.
Michigan, Nebraska and Wisconsin are all worthy opponents in the Big Ten. Michigan State better find answers on offense quickly in order to stay in contention for the conference championship.