By: Terry Foster
Sports Illustrated is the only preseason magazine I can find that says Michigan State is a better football team than Michigan. The sports magazine ranked the Spartans number eight in its preseason rankings and lists Michigan 13th. Most magazines have it the other way for three main reasons.
Michigan sells. Michigan has a senior quarterback in Denard Robinson while the Spartans have Andrew Maxwell who most people are tempted to call Charlie Maxwell because they don’t know who the hell he is.
And finally Michigan is ranked ahead of the Spartans because they host MSU this season in their big October showdown. Nobody in their right mind can pick MSU to beat Michigan five times in a row. When you throw all that together the Spartans are sloppy seconds to the Wolverines.
However, MSU is a better football team until further notice. The Spartans have one of the nastiest defenses in the country and they are more mature. I will admit I tried to rile the Spartans up when I asked about five players their views on being ranked behind the Wolverines.
In years past the response would be something like this: “Bleep Michigan and bleep the voters and their mommas.”
This year the responses were “it is only the preseason.”
“We have not played any games so it does not matter.”
“We get to settle it on the field in October and the best team will win.”
No one screamed. No one wished death to Denard Robinson. The players responded in a way you seldom see the Spartans respond.
I still say the Spartans are a better team. It, however, does not mean they will win in Ann Arbor. But why does it matter now? MSU players are right. It will be settled on the field this fall and the better team will win.