It is a rare thing for the Skunk Bear fan base to come to terms with reality before it actually smacks them in the face – even then, it doesn’t always happen. However this article takes a remarkably clear-sighted look at their upcoming season.
In the process – by dwelling on the fact that there are six road games rather than four, and they are against ranked opponents rather than sacrificial lambs – the author reinforces my argument that U-M’s prestige was inflated by an amazingly soft schedule.
It is worth noting that MSU’s schedule was much more difficult – road games at Notre Dame, Ohio State, Nebraska and Iowa last year, and at Ann Arbor, Northwestern, Iowa and Penn State the year before. In addition, MSU has had to face the Wisconsin juggernaut – a fate the Skunk Bears have managed to sidestep.
A key variable for both teams will be the quality of the Fighting Kellys. With the Irish return to form or is Brian Kelly really just an ill-tempered poseur with a resume built on harvesting the fruits of others’ labors? Kelly’s tenure has been controversial, from the death of videographer Declan Sullivan to sideline theatrics and most recently returning quarterback Tommy Reese’s arrest .
BUT WHAT ABOUT THE SPARTANS? Congratulations to the NCAA for making an obviously correct decision and allowing DeAnthony Arnett to take the field with MSU this fall. Normally, I would regard this as somewhat of a non-issue – he would lose no eligibility and an extra year in the system would be to his benefit and help MSU as well. However, his father is in poor health and the possibility that he might pass away without seeing his son play college football was a compelling reason to let him play right away.
Memo to the NCAA: Remember when you worried more about students and less about rules and revenue?