Herbstreit: Expect MSU Football To Rise

ESPN GameDay analyst Kirk Herbstreit says he believes that Michigan State is a program on the rise and could be a real factor in the conference race going down the stretch of the 2008 Big Ten season.

CHICAGO - Michigan State's impressive showing in Mark Dantonio's first season as head coach - including an appearance in Orlando's Champs Sports Bowl - has impressed many analysts across the country, including ESPN College GameDay host Kirk Herbstreit.

Herbstreit spent some time with GSN at the Big Ten meetings and gave his assessment of the Spartans program.

I personally think they are on their way up, even higher," said Herbstreit. "They have an experienced quarterback (fifth-year senior Brian Hoyer), arguably one of the best running backs in the country (Javon Ringer) if he can stay healthy, there's enough at wide receiver there."

"Dino's (Coach Dantonio) expertise is defense, you know what kind of defense you're going to have. I think they're starting to understand things like discipline and being accountable and things that this program clearly hasn't had for years."

"He's making them go to class, he's making them show up to meetings on time. That may sound like, 'yeah, whatever' but when you do that, that makes your team different on the field. I think we saw that last year on the field, I think we saw just the beginning. I think they're only going to go up," said Herbstreit.

"I expect them to be one of those teams in the Big Ten that can get to eight wins and be a thorn in the side of somebody when they get them at home. They could be a big spoiler, I think."

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