Wolverines enter State in unfamiliar territory

Originally Published: September 26, 2005
By Rich Podolsky | Special to ESPN Insider
Michigan finds itself in a strange position as an underdog at Michigan State this week. It's only the second time in the last 35 meetings between these schools that the Spartans have been favored. Spartan coach John L. Smith may have had a hard time keeping his troops from reading how wonderful they are -- something that is sure to rile up the visiting Wolverines.

Elsewhere, Southern Cal finds itself in the sandwich this week, facing its toughest opponent, Arizona State. The Trojans are ripe for upset having just won an emotional game at Oregon with another big one coming up against Notre Dame (Oct. 15). The Sun Devils could be the best team in the Pac-10 this year and this spot could be USC's Waterloo.

Monday

Tennessee +6 over LSU: This is a game Tennessee has to win and probably will. As pointed out last week, the Vols' road record in the last few years is tremendous -- they've won 16 of their last 19 road games outright. Last time out, the Vols' defense outplayed Florida and they were unlucky to lose. The extra days due to Hurricane Rita has given Tennessee time to heal. Starting Erik Ainge at quarterback is a good move in light of the 461 yards LSU gave up to Arizona State in the opener.

Rich Podolsky

College Football
Since 1989, Chris Fowler has been ESPN's primary college football and men's college basketball studio host. He's anchored College GameDay, the network's award-winning Saturday morning college football preview show, since 1990.