Herbstreit: Michigan not a slam dunk
If you meet a non-Michigan State fan that’s picking the Spartans to win in East Lansing this weekend, consider yourself lucky.
The Victors are an 8-point favorite, a spread that doubled since the opening lines came out. Even former Michigan coach Brady Hoke is picking the Wolverines to take down the unbeaten Spartans.
But with everybody buying the Wolverines, ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit cautioned those doubting the Spartans.
“Michigan this weekend is not a slam dunk, even though it’s in Ann Arbor and they’re a big favorite,” Herbstreit said Wednesday on ESPN’s Mike and Mike in the Morning. “Mark Dantonio does as good a job as anybody in a rivalry game at getting his team to really feel disrespected. The media and Las Vegas this week has done his job for him.
“That team will show up in all white and green and they’re not going to be in a good mood.”
Herbstreit has a point. With Connor Cook under center, the Spartans are 4-1 against the Associated Press top five and 3-1 against Michigan and Ohio State.
The Spartans won six of the last seven meetings against their intrastate rivals. That, obviously, was not with Jim Harbaugh running the show. The Wolverines also didn’t have the same unit as the one that will be entering Saturday riding a streak of three straight shutouts.
Herbstreit praised the physical approach Harbaugh implemented at Michigan. Prior to the season, Herbstreit said he thought Michigan could reach eight or nine wins. And while everyone is stunned by the overnight turnaround, he said it wasn’t a matter of “if” so much as “when.”
Herbstreit and the College GameDay crew will be making their way to Ann Arbor on Saturday. He and Chris Fowler will be heading south to Columbus to call the Penn State-Ohio State game, but it sounds like if Herbstreit had his way, he’d be staying in Michigan all day.
“There’s a lot of great games Saturday, but if there’s any game I want to see because it’s old school — just two teams punching each other in the face as hard as they can — it’s gonna be Michigan and Michigan State,” Herbstreit said. “It’s definitely going to be a game you’re going to want to watch if you like contact and that old-school mentality.”