Okay, as you know, I expected MSU to lose that game against Cal. It is just a tough thing to ask a team to do - fly to the West Coast and play a quality team in the opener (just ask Tennessee which lost to UCLA over the weekend as well!).
What I didn't expect is to have MSU leave so many points on the field. The Spartans had at least three touchdowns called back - Mark Dell's catch which was reviewed and overturned, BJ Cunningham's offensive pass interference on MSU's first drive and the Javon Ringer run in the second half. Too many times the Spartans had a chance to take the lead but they shot themselves in the foot.
So there are some things to take away from this game...
On the positive side - MSU put up some points, even without a steady running game; they kept fighting back when pre-Dantonio teams would have folded up their tents in the first quarter; and Mark Dell looks like he could be the replacement for Devin Thomas.
On the negative - Brian Hoyer did not look good at all, but how much was on him and how much was on the young receiver is unknown; the offensive line needs some work, MSU needs to run the ball to be successful and Hoyer cannot be forced to throw the ball that much; and the defense needs some work, there were a few nice plays (Otis Wiley's two interceptions) but Cal got yards in big chunks in the second half.
I think MSU is a better team for having played this game and they'll be better prepared for hostile Big Ten environments. Let's face it, Cal is a better team than MSU right now. Behind USC, they might just be the second best team in the Pac-10 and MSU had some chances to take them out.
The schedule is light for the next six weeks and MSU will be favored in all of them, so the Cal game is certainly not the end of the season.