In the last Final Four Friday, we took a look at MSU's non-conference schedule. Today, we'll look at the most anticipated home conference games.
Michigan - The conference season starts out with a bang, thanks to a game against MSU's most hated rivals. This year's Wolverines won't be as good as those that won every in-state tilt from 2002-07, but they're not going to be as bad as last year's sad sack excuse for a squad. Despite MSU going in as the favorite - again - I don't think fans will have a problem getting up for this game.
Northwestern - The Wildcats will likely be just as solid a team this year as they were last year. Still, it's hard to get really animated about playing Northwestern, unless one remembers the last time they visited Spartan Stadium and how bad that overtime loss felt. One thing's for sure, Northwestern will remember how bad it felt to get spanked by us in their place last year, and they'll be looking for revenge.
Iowa - Very little would give me more pleasure than waxing the Hawkeyes, especially after their disgusting lobbying for a better bowl game than NW and MSU, despite being beaten by both. It's not that I dislike Kirk Ferentz, Kinnick Stadium or the state of Iowa. I like corn, really I do, and Field of Dreams was a good movie. But some of those shameless Iowa boosters just rub me the wrong way, so this home date is circled on my calendar.
Penn State - You know what we needed to make the Land Grant Trophy really valuable? A good MSU team, that's what. Last game of the season, possible January bowl game on the line against a team that's likely to be in the Big Ten championship hunt all year. Plus the annual "is this JoePa's last Big Ten game?" question. It'll be a big day for both schools. Yep, this rivalry is actually starting to mean something, even if it is a bit friendly for my taste.
And the winner is... Michigan. I want to pick Penn State, but quite frankly the game I'll always want to win most is against Michigan. It's just no contest.