Looking at who they play and barring key injuries, Michigan State can play with anyone the rest of the year. Minimum of eight wins, maybe more. They can even play with Ohio State here on October 18th. They are more physical with good players at the skilled positions, especially receivers.
Mark Dantonio is yelling caution, but State beats Florida Atlantic the same way it beat Eastern Michigan. Maybe the score is a bit different than 42-10 but I don't see by very much. The key is to get numerous players into the game to save on injuries to starters and to get other guys some experience. Notre Dame follows and State will want to hang one on the still weak Irish.
Notre Dame will be 2-0 coming to East Lansing. Maybe a very weak 2-0 but I don't think Michigan wins in its first road game. Notre Dame will play better in its second game, especially on offense. The game should be mighty entertaining if the skill level of the players is not at an all time high.
Ohio State doesn't cover 10 1/2 at USC. The Trojans are the best team in the nation-- period. I don't see them losing and falling from the number one spot all season long. Pete Carroll has a machine assembled that replenishes great players each season.
Other Big Ten teams in peril besides Michigan and Ohio State-- Wisconsin. The Badgers lose at Fresno State. Wisconsin is a one and a half point favorite and the Badgers would have a better chance being listed as an underdog. And Purdue probably loses at home on ABC to Oregon. Purdue doesn't seem tough enough especially on defense. Whereas the Big Ten went 11-0 last week end, that will change this coming week. Indiana doesn't play. Penn State has the easiest test-- a road win at Syracuse where the Orangemen will have a new head coach next season.
If Michigan doesn't beat Notre Dame, the Wolverines could struggle all fall. They'll get a week off before Big Ten play begins but everyone else in the conference realizes this is the year to get the Wolverines who are clearly undermanned on offense, especially at the skilled positions.