Word on the street is that Payton Thorne ultimately left Michigan State because he didn't like how Mel Tucker was handling the open quarterback competition going into the 2023 season. Thorne, purportedly, wasn't informed ahead of spring practice and instead found out that the job was no longer guaranteed to be his that same time as everyone else, when Tucker announced the news at a press conference in April.

Thorne recently appeared on the On To Victory podcast, an Auburn football-centric program co-hosted by former Tigers quarterback Jason Campbell, and didn't specifically address those rumors. He did, though, obliquely touch on the topic while offering other things that factored into his decision.

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If you would have asked me five days before I entered the portal if I was transferring I would have asked you what you were talking about. It was a series of events that happened that brought me to enter the portal, and they all happened really quick.

...When I came to Michigan State, Coach Dantonio recruited me. I came in — I wasn't a super highly recruited guy so I didn't have a ton of hype coming in. The comparison Coach Dantonio and his staff made was Kirk Cousins, and for me that was a high honor to be compared to him. I came in with the goal of doing what he did. I looked at his records the first day I got there and wanted to break those. That was a big thing for me. So that was one of the hard things for me to leave Michigan State.

But, ultimately, the pros and cons, it wasn't close, so that's what brought to me to Auburn. I enjoyed my time at Michigan State. There's a ton of great people there — a lot of great teammates and a lot of great relationships. But I'm looking forward to this new chapter here and I'm extremely excited to be here. I'm not looking back.

RELATED: Payton Thorne Left Michigan State For Auburn, Who's Basically The MSU Of The SEC

Thorne also mentioned the opportunity to play for an offensive-minded head coach in Hugh Freeze was a major factor in his decision to transfer to Auburn.

"It's gonna be really beneficial to me, I feel like, and that's a big reason why I decided that this was the move for me," he said.

I noticed that this was conspicuously absent from Thorne's list of reasons behind his transfer from MSU to Auburn.


Anyway, onward and upward for Thorne. He leaves MSU having set the school's single-season passing touchdown record with 27 in 2021, when he helped the Spartans to an 11-2 record and a Peach Bowl victory, but followed that performance up with a mediocre 2022 that saw MSU go 5-7, struggling to win just two conference games.

Thorne will have his work cut out for him in the SEC West, which is always brutal. Plus, Auburn is coming off a 2022 season where the Tigers — *checks notes — went 5-7, struggling to win just two conference games.

Sound familiar?

Vegas Sets Michigan State's Win Total For 2023 College Football Season at 4.5

Various sportsbooks have set Michigan State's 2023 win total at 4.5. The odds favor the over, but it's still an ominous sign when you consider that sportsbooks make their living on the accuracy of bets like this one.

Here's MSU's 2023 schedule. How many wins do you see?

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There's a whole hell of a lot to hate about Michigan State's choice to give away a home game and move its contest with Penn State to Ford Field in Detroit, but we've distilled it all down to seven solid gripes.

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