Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Little Brother Scale after Week 8

The Little Brother Scale is a trolling topic. I won’t argue that.
The term hits a nerve with both Michigan and Michigan State.
It bothers the Spartans for its meaning that their program is the little brother to Michigan.
It bothers the Wolverines for its meaning over recent years since Mike Hart uttered those words.
When I started the topic prior to the season, I expected both teams to have a strong year and keep the debate lively.
Michigan State hasn’t been able to live up to expectations.
Saturday’s game was hard fought and perhaps would have went the other way if it was played in East Lansing. But, in the end, Michigan snapped the streak and beat the Spartans, 12-10.
It is hard to hand the balance of power in the rivalry to the other team after just one win, especially a 2-point victory, but when you break it down, Michigan State has taken a step backwards this season no matter what it does the rest of the year.
Michigan has all its goals in place for this season. The Wolverines can win the Big Ten title this year and still beat Ohio State in the process. That would certainly send a message that it has regained control of the state and even the Big Ten as a whole.
The Wolverines are now leading my scale. They will lead the scale for the rest of the season as long as they don’t completely tank down the stretch.
What interests me now that Michigan is back on top is where this rivalry will go from here.
Mark Dantonio said he will be glad to see Denard Robinson go, but is that really true? Michigan State has been able to contain Robinson as well as anyone. Will a new Michigan quarterback with a new offensive scheme really make it easier for the Spartans?
Michigan will be a new team next season without Robinson and it yet to be known if the Spartans will be able to bounce back in Maxwell’s senior year, but MSU will lose key pieces on defense.
I expect Michigan to continue to be strong under Brady Hoke for his recruiting and solid coaching staff. Michigan State may not have the resources and depth to stay in the mix in the Big Ten year after year.
Only time will tell.
For now, Michigan can enjoy just being back in the driver’s seat.
LITTLE BROTHER SCALE: Michigan 16½, MSU 15½ 

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