Don’t look now, but we might be heading for an all-timer in a few weeks, as on Halloween Eve, the Michigan Wolverines — currently ranked 9th in the nation — will be taking on the Michigan State Spartans, currently 11th.
And when the two meet … well, it’s very possible that the game will be a battle between a pair of top 10 teams — maybe even top 8 (top 6?!?!) — and it’s very possible the winner could be on its way to the College Football Playoffs.
But first things first: Both teams need to keep winning.
This week, the Wolverines — who are in the top 10 for the first time since 2019 — are on the road against the Nebraska Cornhuskers, and the Michigan oddsmakers like their chances to go to 6-0. Michigan’s a 3.5-point favorite, and FanDuel Sportsbook has the juice reduced to -105.
Best bang for the buck on the moneyline is Michigan at -167 at BetMGM.
— Michigan Football (@UMichFootball) October 2, 2021
As for Michigan State? It’s hosting Rutgers, and again, the sportsbooks like the Spartans’ chances of continuing their undefeated season, as they’re installed as 5.5 point favorites, with Barstool Sportsbook offering the best payout at -109.
On the moneyline front, Michigan State is at -222 at BetMGM Michigan Sportsbook.
Assuming both teams manage victories, the next battle for Michigan is against 2-3 Northwestern at home on Oct. 23, and Michigan State will be taking on 2-3 Indiana next week.
Clearly, all four games are winnable, which means that Oct. 30 game at Michigan State for the Paul Bunyan Trophy might feature both teams at 7-0 with very real playoff and national title hopes at stake.
And while the thought of the two teams facing each other undefeated would certainly be the main event, a little sideshow of sorts could be playing out as Michigan State running back Kenneth Walker III — who was on no one’s preseason list of potential Heisman candidates — is currently at +3000 on DraftKings to win the award. Granted, he’s seventh on the list, and Bryce Young at +120 and Matt Corral at +200 are seemingly making this a two-man race, but in the words of Yogi Berra, it ain’t over ‘til it’s over.
Top 10 Best RBs in College Football So Far 👀
1. Kenneth Walker III, Michigan State
2. Bijan Robinson, Texas
3. TreVeyon Henderson, Ohio State
4. Sean Tucker, Syracuse
5. Mataeo Durant, Duke
Full list: https://t.co/j21FQMkL9x
— Bleacher Report CFB (@BR_CFB) October 5, 2021
Walker currently leads the nation with 680 rushing yards (on 100 carries) and has eight touchdowns to boot.
And what a story: The transfer from Wake Forest never started a game for the Demon Deacons, and now he’s considered one of the best, if not the best, running backs in college football.
And if the Spartans continue their run — and knock off a potentially undefeated Michigan in three weeks — Walker might find himself smack dab in the company of Young and Corral.
Photo: Raj Mehta/USA TODAY