More Michigan State players suspended, weak schedule strength and more Big Ten football news
Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio, center, talks to his players following a spring NCAA college football scrimmage, Saturday, April 1, 2017, in East Lansing, Mich. The defense won 33-23.
Today’s Big Ten football links return to East Lansing, Mich., where Michigan State has suspended more players before taking a peek at how the conference’s schedules stack up against the rest of the country.
Three Michigan State players are currently in limbo as part of a sexual assault investigation as the Ingham County prosecutor decides whether or not to file charges. Meanwhile, 15 total players did not dress for the program’s spring game for undisclosed reasons. And now coach Mark Dantonio said more players have been put into “red-lock” status since then.
Dantonio addressed the situation — vaguely — on the Big Ten’s spring teleconference:
Via Chris Solari of the Detroit Free Press:
Asked today whether anyone who participated in the April 1 scrimmage has been suspended or no longer is with the program, coach Mark Dantonio said players beyond the 15 who did not dress for the game are in what he termed a “red-lock” situation.
“Well, we red-lock people from time to time. We use the term red-lock for various things,” Dantonio said on the Big Ten spring football teleconference. “So yes, there has been. That’s a constant. There is constant people in and out of different situations. I think that is normal.”
Dantonio did not identify players nor specify how many are in “red-lock” status.
Dantonio said there could be more attrition before the team gets back together for fall practice.
ESPN’s Football Power Index projects win-loss records along with conference and national title chances, and its strength of schedule tool doesn’t view the Big Ten’s schedules with the highest esteem. According to Land Of 10, eight of the top 10 easiest Power 5 schedules in the FPI belong to Big Ten teams, including the top seven.
Northwestern, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana and Penn State make up the top five. The Big Ten is sometimes maligned for a quality of play that might not match up to the SEC in prestige or difficulty. But the schedule could help clear a path for deep runs for Penn State or Wisconsin.
According to FPI, Ohio State has the best chance of winning the Big Ten at 69 percent, and the Buckeyes also have the best chance at finishing the season undefeated at 32.8 percent. Alabama has the second-highest projected chance at 9.1 percent.
Here’s a look at the rest of the day’s Big Ten football news: