MSU Is No Longer Little Brother; Chance for Big Ten Crown is Now

Mark TorosianCorrespondent IOctober 13, 2010

Walking back to my car this past Saturday was one of my lowliest walks of shame as a fan anyone could possibly encounter.

Here I am, a die hard Maze and Blue fan, flying all the way back from my second home in Miami, FL to see the battle of the Michigan and Michigan State.

Yes, I was the idiot covered in body paint, jumping up and down in the student section talking mad smack to any fan wearing green or white.

And yes, I am the jackass who believed Rich Rod was off the hot-seat, Michigan's high octane offense was untouchable, Denard Robinson would be crowned the Heisman Trophy winner and State was nothing more then a second rate Notre Dame team we had no trouble with earlier this year.

But man I was wrong.

The picture above says it all, Little Brother did indeed take it to Michigan again and there is nothing on paper that says they won't continue to do so in the distant future.

Dantonio is a wizard, they are recruiting just as well as Michigan, if not better. But most importantly, with what they have remaining on the schedule they can use this success to springboard them to the top of the Big Ten beginning next year.

Not playing Ohio State, having Wisconsin at home and a brutally talented Iowa team in Des Moines is all that will come between Sparty and the Big Ten championship this season.

I am not a mathematician, but that formula reads 2/3 of the way there, and you can bet that Greg Jones and company are still tasting that bitter comeback Stanzi schemed on his way to a slim defeat of MSU in East Lansing last season.

Other things need to happen though if MSU wants a complete grasp of that trophy. Someone needs to knock off the Buckeyes and more than likely unless its the Badgers this weekend, it probably isn't coming anytime soon.

Iowa needs to lose one more time regardless of what happens and that is very possible. I am am the farthest thing from a State fan, but am I crazy to think this team could run the tables or lose one game at the very worst? I don't think so. 

But like all erratic instances in life the time is NOW. The unveiling of the Big 12 did State absolutely no favors pairing them up with Iowa, Michigan and Nebraska for the future.

In terms of recruiting, Dantonio is going to have a rough time trying to stay competitive in this gauntlet, especially with how they are splitting the state pipeline with Michigan. 

But that all can change very quickly with a strong finish to the season, which has been State's Achilles for this past decade.

A three-headed monster at running back with Capers, Bell and Baker and a confident accurate passer like Kirk Cousins is going to be the ingredient for State to push to the front of this conference for years to come. 

Younger players want to play for Coach D, and most importantly will be able to adjust to the offense they run. Recruits saw how they dismantled Robinson and Co. and that will go a long ways in the state of Michigan.

It may be premature to say that State is somewhere where they never thought they would be in a million years but success and power is going to be on the horizon for year's to come.