This is one of the biggest sports weeks of the year for me, Michigan vs Michigan State. Despite what Wolverine fans say after the game, this is a big game to them and a big rivalry. Not the biggest, but still. I hate how they make MSU seem on the level as Indiana or Purdue.
Mike will take a look at MSU's season, and we will both make a prediction on the game. This should be an awesome week of football coverage, with a special You're Welcome tomorrow.
U of M has played a schedule almost the same as the one the played last year. It looked much better to start the year, but UConn has proven to be frauds, Bowling Green is a crappy MAC team, UMass is D-1AA no matter how you slice it. Indiana is one of the worst teams in the Big Ten, and Notre Dame is a 5-7 team at best. Last year, they beat WMU and EMU, who won 5 games combined (WMU had 5) beat a 6-6 (they were worse than that) Notre Dame team and barely pulled out a win against a terrible Indiana team. All games were at home. After losing to MSU in OT, Michigan beat a D-1AA team and then went winless. Look familiar? The only difference is Michigan is ranked now and at the time, the schedule looked decent.
So is Michigan better than last year? Yes, without a doubt. They are a better team, but by how much? The defense is 120 out of 120 in the nation in stopping the pass. And that was against UConn's now benched starter for a game, a game against Bowling Green's backup, a second half against Joe Montana's kid, a guy who plays for a D-1AA team, and "Pistol" Ben Chappell, who is about fifth team Big Ten. So, against terrible competition, Michigan has been all time bad. They couldn't stop East Lansing High School right now. They have some good players, Mike Martin and Obi Ezeh, but no secondary and the rest of the team doesn't have a ton of playing time/talent. Plus they switch between a 4-3, 3-4 and a 3-3-5. All three formations aren't effective, and nothing can be done to fix the defense this year. Greg Robinson should be fired, and never hired in the first place.
So the defense is terrible, and Michigan can't play special teams at all. Hopefully they were watching Monday Night Football or MSU will kill them in special teams. Special teams and defense help win close games. Rivalry games are almost always close. So if you suck in that field, it'll affect your chances of winning games like this. Especially when MSU has such good special teams.
So the defense and special teams are terrible, like Sun Belt terrible. The offense is a bright spot. Mostly Denard Robinson. He has put up incredible stats, but the team around him isn't terrible. The WRs and RBs haven't stepped up this season consistently, and the offensive line hasn't been too good. They have to block for about 2 seconds, then Denard throws or runs and they are good to go downfield. Robinson is very quick, and has improved passing as well. He must be contained for any team to stop this offense and win a game.
Season prediction: For the rest of the way, I see Michigan winning 7 or 8 games and finishing the year in a decent bowl and ranked. Michigan isn't as good as you think now, but they aren't as bad as last year. They will not beat OSU, and if RichRod doesn't beat them and/or MSU, he will be coaching somewhere else next year.