Not surprisingly, opinion is running heavily in favor of MSU in this game. And what can I say? I would be surprised if IU wins this game. It's not that I expect MSU to win the Big Ten, but trying to stop a back like Javon Ringer just doesn't seem to be in the Hoosiers' immediate future, and if IU stacks the box, as it must, I have a feeling that Brian Hoyer is going to break out of his slump (as mentioned earlier, Hoyer is completing only 44 percent of his passes, well worse than his ~60 percent last year). MSU just strikes me as a particularly bad matchup for the Hoosiers, and I don't think I would feel much better about it even if IU had beat Ball State 42-20 instead of losing by that score. My only hope is not based on anything either team has done, but based on Sparty's perceived history of gacking on should-win games, particularly after big wins, if Notre Dame counts as that this year.
First, make sure that you check out the Enlightened Spartan's gameday preview. He predicts a 38-17 win, which sounds about right, unfortunately. More significantly, he has a nice table setting out IU and MSU statistically, side by side. You know, the sort of thing I should be bringing you but haven't this week. Ground Zero East Lansing is new to the sidebar, and doesn't have a preview up yet. SpartyMSU also has pretty charts, and predicts 38-12. ESPN's Adam Rittenberg sticks with Vegas, predicting a 9 point MSU win (30-21).
It is a pretty interesting slate of games for the Big Ten's opening weekend. MSU and Ohio State (against Minnesota) are heavy favorites, but Iowa-Northwestern, Penn State-Illinois, Michigan-Wisconsin, and Purdue-Notre Dame all are intriguing.