After watching Michigan State's befuddling, inexcusable loss to Illinois last Saturday, the Spartans' fourth-straight defeat, it would be very difficult for the MSU faithful (including myself) to get fired up for this Saturday's game in the Big House.

Michigan's football team appears to be back on track, while Michigan State's is in the process of being totally derailed.

As of this writing, Vegas oddsmakers have the Wolverines as a 14-point favorite.

Personally, I thought it would be around 21.

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh is 2-2 vs. the Spartans, losing twice in Ann Arbor and winning twice in East Lansing. MSU coach Mark Dantonio, who the sharp-tongued Harbaugh actually praised this week, is 8-4 against the Wolverines.

The intense in-state rivalry has produced many surprises, especially in the last two decades, and has been filled with numerous twists and turns and tons of bulletin board material.

Perhaps the oddsmakers realize that, but the bottom line is — these two programs just don't like each other.

It's happened before, but the fact remains that teams playing walk-ons and two-and-three star athletes seldom beat teams loaded with four-and-five star athletes, even though Dantonio would disagree with that statement. Why? Because he's done it eight of the last 12 years.

I hate to say this, but make it:

Michigan 34, MSU 13

I'm debating whether to even turn it on, after watching the Spartans blow a 28-3 lead at home against Illinois.

Idle thought

When it's all said and done, it's going to be hard for the College Football Playoff committee to keep a one-loss Alabama out of the four-team playoff.

On with the forecast:


Last week: 3-1, .750

Season: 148-35, .809


Paw Paw 21, H. Unity Christian 20


Edwardsburg 28, DeWitt 10


Last week: 25-12, .676

Season: 426-106, .801


Pittsburgh 23, N. Carolina 20


Fresno State 38, San Diego St. 34


Michigan 34, MSU 13

Notre Dame 27, Navy 17

Ball State 28, CMU 27

Iowa 21, Minnesota 20

Northwestern 42, UMass 6

Penn State 35, Indiana 23

Ohio State 72, Rutgers 3

Wisconsin 35, Nebraska 21

Air Force 28, Colorado St. 18

Alabama 42, Miss. State 17

App. State 33, Geo. State 22

Arizona State 35, Oregon St. 31

Ark. State 28, Coastal Carolina 17

Auburn 31, Georgia 28

Boise State 42, New Mexico 17

Cincinnati 34, S. Florida 20

Clemson 45, Wake Forest 14

Duke 30, Syracuse 22

Florida 38, Missouri 28

Florida State 38, Alabama St. 10

Geo. Southern 31, La. Monroe 24

Iowa State 34, Texas 31

Kansas State 38, W. Virginia 21

Kentucky 35, Vanderbilt 24

La. Lafayette 42, S. Alabama 14

Louisville 33, N.C. State 27

LSU 37, Mississippi 17

Memphis 37, Houston 27

Middle Tenn. St. 31, Rice 17

Oklahoma 42, Baylor 31

Oklahoma State 42, Kansas 7

Oregon 42, Arizona 14

Southern Miss 31, San Antonio 15

Texas A&M 35, S. Carolina 27

Texas Tech 28, TCU 27

Troy 38, Texas State 28

UAB 34, UTEP 17

USC 38, California 34

Utah 34, UCLA 20

Utah State 27, Wyoming 23

Va. Tech 27, Geo. Tech 24

Wash. State 34, Stanford 23

Al Arend is a sports correspondent for The Herald-Palladium. His weekly football predictions appear every Thursday throughout the season.