Crystal Ball Week 6

A year ago believed Michigan State was in for a special run during the 2010 college football season. We went out on a limb and predicted Mark Dantonio's team would go undefeated and took some ribbing from those who did not believe. In the end the Spartans went 11-1 during the regular season. How do we see Week Six working out against Michigan? We look into our Crystal Ball.

Michigan (Saturday October 15, 2011) Spartan Stadium

12:00 PM EST

Michigan 2010 Record: 7-6 overall – 3-5 Big Ten

MSU Overall Record Against: 31-67-5

Last Game Against Michigan:

Mark Dantonio may have spent the day in the press box, however, his pregame on field appearance added to the Spartans hype as they won their third consecutive game against the Wolverines 34-17 in front of over 113,000 fans.

About the Wolverines

Some thought the Wolverines had turned the corner at the start of the 2010 season as they posted a 5-0 mark with wins over Connecticut and Notre Dame. Then the Spartans made the trip down the highway and Rich Rodriguez was watching his team and coaching tenure end with a disappointing 2-6 mark the rest of the way.

Gone is Rodriguez, his spread option attack and thoughts of the Michigan program being dead in the water. In is Brady Hoke who is considered a "Michigan Man" with promises of bringing the Michigan program back from the depths it reached during the previous coaching staffs stay in Ann Arbor.

What We Expect This Year:

Brady Hoke is looking to bring back some swagger with his recruiting style and promises to bring the program back to the standards expected of fans and college football. Will season one be the year things get done? No, but we do expect Hoke to have success during his tenure at the helm of the Wolverines.

Greg Mattison is bringing a defensive mindset to the program that was missing the last couple of seasons. Many feel his NFL background will help him at Michigan, however, it's his deep background in the college game many overlook and reason a better defense should be seen this season.

While Mattison has the background to be successful at Michigan, there are concerns with depth on the defensive side of the ball and it could be a year or two before these areas are fixed. There is some talent on the defensive side of the ball as safety Jordan Kovacs returns after posting a team leading 116 total tackles a year ago and senior Ryan Van Bergen will again be looked upon to anchor the front of a revamped defense.

On offense Hoke has brought in another veteran coach in Al Borges who was at San Diego State last season. Borges has the dangerous Denard Robinson to work with at quarterback and while many will be watching his development in a new offensive scheme, no one will be surprised if Robinson continues using his legs and arm to attack opposing defenses.

Also back are three veteran offensive linemen and proven wide receiver Roy Roundtree. The Wolverines entered camp with an open competition at running back despite Michael Shaw and Vincent Smith both returning.

This will be another great match-up between the instate rivals and despite all the hype around the coaching change look for Mark Dantonio and his veteran squad to earn their fourth victory in a row.

However, it will not be an easy win and the rivalry between the two looks to be even more heated in the years to come. Crystal Ball Prediction: Spartans win 31-21

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