(Tom Alexander / MJ / File)
Michigan Wolverines take the field as they take on the Fighting Illini (Tom Alexander / MJ)

By JOHN MACDONELL, Staff Columnist

A Heisman candidate vs. and elite defensive force. The power run game vs. an up and coming defense.

These are the kind of statements we all made before the season began. Well what about today? Honestly, this game has the looks of a snooze-fest to me.

Denard is hardly the quarterback the media hyped him up to be in the preseason and Michigan State has flaws all around. But it all comes down to this upcoming Saturday. Who’s going to win the big game?

I really wish that the outcomes of these two teams’ prior games would have been better. Both lost to, what I think is, a mediocre Notre Dame team. Michigan was totally overwhelmed by Alabama in the opener, while State looked lost while squeaking out a win over the lifeless Eagles of Eastern Michigan.

Before the season started, State was considered the “Elite” of the Big Ten. They were the class leader. Now, they don’t look fit to be in the MAC. Michigan? They were supposed to regress a little after a stellar season last year under first year coach Brady Hoke. If anything, Michigan has looked better than State so far.

The expectations were sky high for these teams. I’ll admit it. I am a State fan and I had high hopes for my team this year. I’ve pretty much flushed those dreams down the toilet after losses to the Irish and OSU, two games the Spartans really should have won. I thought Michigan would also be a disappointment after witnessing the first atrocity.

That Alabama game made me sick. They were outmatched, however. I honestly didn’t expect much. A close game with Air Force, and one forgetful game with Notre Dame later, here they are kind of right where I expected them to be. Robinson is a travesty throwing the football. He’s obviously more suited to run the ball. State’s “Elite” defense is suited to stop the run. Or so we thought.

So, what’s the outcome of these games going to be? Your guess is as good as mine. Will Robinson step up the ground game? Will State’s D come to play? Is Sparty going to actually going to score more than 10 points this game? It’s all up in the air.

I’ve given up trying to presume what these two teams will do on a week to week basis. But seeing as this game is in The Big House, and Michigan is looking stronger than State, I’m going Maize and Blue.