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A look at the upcoming NCAA season with John U. Bacon

Michigan is undefeated and ranked No. 2 in the country heading into next weekend's rivalry game in East Lansing against Michigan State.
Flickr user Anthony Gattine/Flickr

The wait is over: College football begins this week.

The University of Michigan kicks off the Jim Harbaugh era at Utah tomorrow night, and Michigan State will play Western Michigan at Kalamazoo Friday night.

Vegasinsider.com lists Michigan State at 20-to-1 odds to win the college football title, putting the Spartans at seventh in the rankings.

“It sounds like a long shot, but if you’re seventh, that’s not bad,” says Michigan Radio sports commentator John U. Bacon.

He also tells us that he’s not surprised to see the Wolverines ranked 21st with odds of 90-to-1.

“Look, they were five and seven last year. They earned every loss, and they could’ve lost some more,” he says.

Bacon says it’s too soon to tell exactly how the Wolverines will perform under Harbaugh, but initial signs suggest things might start looking better for the team.

“All we really know for sure is Jim Harbaugh has not failed wherever he’s gone,” he says. “So over time he’s probably going to turn it around, but it may not be this season.”

Bacon adds that the Wolverines benefit from having the element of surprise this season. It’s Harbaugh’s first go with the team, so opponents are going to have a hard time predicting what he’ll do with them, he says.

Friday’s game between Michigan State and Western Michigan could be, “a stub-your-toe game,” according to Bacon.

“Michigan State is a highly-ranked team, and should be,” Bacon says, but that doesn’t mean they should get comfortable. “Do not look past the Broncos.”

Bacon tells us the Broncos have the advantage of being on their own field, which he says does wonders for morale.

“They’re not looking ahead at the Spartans, that’s their biggest game of the year. … This is an easy chance for [coach P.J. Fleck] to get everybody jacked up.”

The Spartans beat the Broncos when they last met in 2013.


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