College Football in Michigan: The Changing of the Guard

James BowlbyCorrespondent IJuly 6, 2008

The tides will be turning in the Great Lakes State this fall.

The top two football programs in the state are UM and MSU.  In recent memory, Michigan has been the better team, while MSU has been, well..... the "little brother."  However, that was during the Lloyd Carr era, where Michigan had outstanding coaching and Bo-like morals.

But this is now the Rodriguez era—where players are leaving every day, and where a two-generation offensive lineman left for hated rival OSU because "the family values and atmosphere just disappeared with coach Carr."

Now is the time where the total program is under scrutiny from the former players, the press, and the fans.  

It may be partly because Michigan's prestige has declined in recent years, but the major reason will be one man—Mark Dantonio.  A man who has great pride and work ethic is now leading the Spartans.

Now with John L. (oser) Smith's departure two years past, the majority of the players present are recruits from Dantonio himself.  He doesn't recruit the biggest, fastest, or the strongest players in high school—he picks those who have a will to win and are willing go through great lengths to achieve that. 

With a revamped (little brother) team and a declining (older brother) team, you will see a great change in the Big Ten.  With Dantonio stressing speed, not size, MSU matches up pretty well against a Wolverine team that is frantically trying to find a starting quarterback.

This year, Michigan State has the best chance to beat Michigan in recent memory.