Our 2020 Big Ten football forecast ... and early Michigan-MSU score predictions

Shawn Windsor, Rainer Sabin, Chris Solari and Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press
·3 min read

Free Press sports writers offer their predictions entering the 2020 Big Ten season, including the final score of the Michigan-Michigan State game, the Big Ten champion and College Football Playoff winners:

How will Michigan fare?

Rainer Sabin

U-M (4-4): It will be tough sledding for Jim Harbaugh and Co. this season. Road games at Minnesota and Ohio State along with home dates with Wisconsin and Penn State will make for a treacherous journey during the Big Ten’s truncated season. The Wolverines will navigate this schedule with a new starter at quarterback, a reconfigured receiving corps, a revamped offensive line and a reworked secondary. Expect the Wolverines to encounter some bumps before they arrive at the finish line.

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Shawn Windsor

U-M (7-1): Wait, what? Yes, 7-1. We know the Wolverines will be very good defensively. We know they have skill players and a promising quarterback. Or at least we think we know. And we know U-M owns Penn State and Wisconsin when they play at Michigan Stadium. The lack of fans shouldn't matter. We also know Ohio State will win. Again ... 7-1? Yeah, it's time.

Michigan State linebacker Noah Harvey tackles Michigan wide receiver Ronnie Bell after he completed a pass during the game at Michigan Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019.
Michigan State linebacker Noah Harvey tackles Michigan wide receiver Ronnie Bell after he completed a pass during the game at Michigan Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019.

How will Michigan State fare?

Rainer Sabin

MSU (3-5): Mel Tucker takes over Michigan State’s program during the craziest year of our lifetimes. Could he shock and awe Spartans fans with a winning season? Don’t bet on it. MSU has too many holes on a roster and question marks at key positions, including the most important of them all – quarterback. If Tucker and the Spartans can flirt with a .500 record in December, the folks in East Lansing should be optimistic about the future.

Shawn Windsor

MSU (4-4): The Spartans need to beat Northwestern — at home — to make this happen. If Mel Tucker finishes at .500, the season will feel like a win. If his teams show some competitiveness with Penn State and Michigan, it will really feel like a win. Anything more is gravy.

Other predictions

Rainer Sabin

U-M vs. MSU score: U-M, 28-10.

Big Ten champ: Ohio State over Wisconsin.

CFP semifinals: Alabama over Clemson, Ohio State over Georgia.

CFP Final: Alabama over Ohio State.

Orion Sang

U-M vs. MSU score: U-M, 31-14

Big Ten champ: Ohio State over Wisconsin.

CFP semifinals: Ohio State over Georgia; Clemson over Alabama.

CFP final: Ohio State over Clemson.

[ Michigan football depth chart: Our final projection ]

Chris Solari

U-M vs. MSU score: U-M, 21-13

Big Ten champ: Ohio State over Minnesota.

CFP semifinals: Ohio State over Georgia; Clemson over Alabama.

CFP final: Clemson over Ohio State.

[ Michigan State football depth chart: Our final projection ]

Shawn Windsor

U-M vs. MSU score: U-M, 26-13.

Big Ten champ: Ohio State over Wisconsin.

CFP semifinals: Clemson over Notre Dame; Ohio State over Alabama.

CFP final: Clemson over Ohio State.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Early Michigan football-Michigan State score predictions: Close at all?