Edson: How Good Are Michigan and Michigan State Football Teams?

Two wins. Two lackluster performances.

I’m not sure how many fans of Michigan and Michigan State football were pleased with their teams performances on Saturday, but I saw more question marks than exclamation points.

What concerned me most about the Wolverines rallying to beat Northwestern 20-17 was such an uninspired first half. That falls on Jim Harbaugh and his staff as much as it does the players.

Michigan, with all of its 5-star and 4-star recruits, was a heavy favorite over the Wildcats. But it was Northwestern that carried the play. A second half rally was all that saved the Wolverines from a major upset.

Let’s face it, this isn’t a very good Northwestern team. So far, the Wildcats have been a huge disappointment. But hopefully they did Michigan a favor and woke the Wolverines up.

Michigan State beat Central Michigan in a non-conference test, 31-20. Still, the Spartans have done little to impress me this season.

They were a 28-point favorite over the struggling Chippewas. Michigan State’s problem isn’t motivation, it’s fundamentals.

The Spartans simply make too many mistakes for a good team.

big question is this: How good are both Michigan and Michigan State? At this point, I tend to think the Wolverines have a better shot at getting a major bowl bid than the Spartans.

But that could change. In fact, some things have to change for either of these teams to have a chance to win the Big Ten title.

The good news is that I don’t see a Big Ten “super team” this season.

So there is still time for either the Wolverines or Spartans to right their ships.

But we’re starting to get to the point of the season where something has to change for the better.

And it better start very soon for both state schools.

Nick Edson is a retired Hall of Fame columnist and sportswriter. He worked 25 years at the Traverse City Record-Eagle, 18 as sports editor. He is a two-time president of the Associated Press Sports Editors Association and a member of the Michigan Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame.

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