But when asked for a game prediction, Rittenburg seemed to back-pedal from his green-glowing comments and picked UM to win the game. Not surprising, since the Wolverines are heavy favorites in Vegas. Plus, the four-letter-network has expressed it's undying devotion to the Bluebloods, in so many ways, at so many times.
When pressed to pick a winner, the ESPN expert began his explanation by talking about all of the injuries suffered by MSU players prior to and during the season thus far. He did not talk about the injuries as an "excuse" for his prediction; rather he presented the information as a "reason" for his view.
Injuries to players on the Spartan Men's Basketball team two years ago derailed their season, leading to two losses against Michigan and opening the door for the Wolverines to make it look like they were making a run that season. The chUMp fan-base laughed at any suggestion that injuries were a "valid excuse" and would not accept that starters getting placed on injury lists could ever be a "reason" for anything. Then their team had some injuries the next season and they cried a long river about how their season was ruined...by......(wait for it)......INJURIES.
Earlier today, Drew Sharp made his pick for the game as well. Sharp has been defending the Spartans as the "big boys on the block" for weeks, and he has been openly skeptical of the Wolverines bump in the polls based on the weak competition that has been run over by UM. But Sharp picked Michigan "in a close one", saying the Spartans are "too banged up" at this point in the season to win the game.
So the top college football expert from the top sports network pointed to injuries as the main reason he picks UM to win this game. The most prominent Detroit Sports Columnist followed with exactly the same viewpoint. From our perspective, the Spartan injury toll has certainly worked to level the playing field between the two teams. Without the massive player losses by MSU, who really believes that Michigan would be an 8-10 point favorite?