As fall camps continue around the country for all 130 Division I FBS programs, predictions will be flying off the handles left and right in the coming weeks leading up to the first slate of games on Saturday, August 26.
USA Today recently released their win-loss record predictions for all of the FBS teams. In the Big Ten, they see Michigan reaching the double-digit mark in wins for a third straight season. As for Michigan State, USA Today has the Spartans climbing back to .500 and getting to a bowl game after a 3-9 season a year ago.
USA Today predicts both Michigan and Michigan State will reach bowls this year, but neither will win the Big Ten https://t.co/C5qf9fdyNi
— 97.1 The Ticket (@971theticketxyt) August 7, 2017
Per USA Today, Michigan will endure just two losses once again in 2017, presumably both coming in league play against Ohio State, whom they have finishing undefeated in the regular season and winning the Big Ten, and Penn State (They do not predict individual games). Such results will end with a third-place finish for a third straight season in Ann Arbor.
Michigan travels to Penn State on October 21 and hosts Ohio State in the season finale. In their recent preseason Top 25 rankings, USA Today has Michigan slotted No. 9 overall.
As for the Spartans, a .500 record seems to be the early measuring stick for head coach Mark Dantonio, following a season and offseason marred by loss of talent and depth for a myriad of reasons. USA Today predicts a 4-5 conference record, which would mean a 2-1 non-conference record. Again, presumably speaking, they are likely anticipating a loss for MSU at the hands of Notre Dame, at home in Week 4.
Elsewhere in the Big Ten, USA Today is predicting a Big Ten Championship Game match-up of Ohio State and Wisconsin, whom they have finishing 11-1 overall. The Buckeyes are the only FBS team the outlet has running the table unblemished in the regular season.
The trio of MAC schools in the state of Michigan are going to have pretty pedestrian seasons, according to USA Today. Following a 13-1 year in 2016, Western Michigan will come back down to earth post-P.J. Fleck and finish 7-5. Both Central Michigan and Eastern Michigan will post 5-7 records.
Here are the predicted conference champions from USA Today:
— USA TODAY Sports (@usatodaysports) August 7, 2017