A brief taste of fall weather has the Posse eagerly anticipating the start of the college football season. The days of empty hype are over. From now on, the hype will require something to back it up.
AGGIES FACE HILL TOPPERS: Ah, nothing like a venerable in-state rivalry that goes back more than a century. The series was pretty even when the MAC Aggies last took the field against Kalamazoo College, but the programs have grown apart since then.
Western Michigan is pleased with the trajectory of their program, which is great. I count several Broncos in the family tree and like just about everyone who didn’t go to U-M or live in a trailer park, Spartans normally enjoy the support of the directional schools against the Colossus of Ann Arbor.
The Broncos return a veteran and talented quarterback as well as an experienced secondary. Many of their fans hope to use these advantages against MSU’s inexperienced and sometimes vulnerable secondary. At least that is the hope.
For a moment – and only a moment – I contemplated this possibility and thought that the game might be a shoot-out, but then my eyes fell on the Spartan defensive roster, in particular the front four.
The Broncos are doomed.
Two years ago the great debate was whether MSU’s defense could stand up against Ohio State’s vaunted offense in the conference championship. We at the Posse astutely noted that there was another, more pertinent question: could their defense stop us?
I expect the same dynamic will be in play in Waldo Stadium. MSU’s ground attack will likely chew up unlimited amounts of clock and yardage, with pass plays thrown in only for variety’s sake. Indeed, with the exception of missing a wing-back, MSU may as well dust of Biggie Munn’s playbook here because pounding it is the way to go.
THE VERDICT: Spartans by as many as they want.
MEANWHILE IN BIG SKY COUNTRY: I’ve got to hand it to the Skunk Bears’ press agents. They have really captured the imagination of the nation with their choice of head coach.
Now teams that might have looked past them are extra-motivated to earn notoriety by handing St. Harbaugh a defeat.
The Utes are at home and actually lead the series over all 2-1. They are a veteran squad with a stingy defense. The arrival of the “Harbus” is likely to fill them with even more motivation than usual.
The Skunk Bears on the other hand are riddled with attrition and the third offensive scheme in as many years. Their starting QB is shrouded in mystery, though the mercenary from Iowa is likely to get the nod. As someone who watched the debacle against Iowa State last year (and the struggle against numerous weak teams), I have to say I’m underwhelmed by their options.
The real question is whether the Great Harbaugh will be able to keep the team from falling apart once it falls behind on the road. To that, we have no answer.
PREDICTION: Utes extend their series lead.