with poll: One writer thinks Michigan's most important game of 2012 is vs. MSU; what say you?
The second year of Brady Hoke's Michigan football era opens with a primetime matchup against defending national champion Alabama.
From there, the Wolverines travel to Notre Dame for a night game and will eventually head to Columbus for their first look at Urban Meyer's Ohio State Buckeyes.
But Michigan's most important game in 2012?
Well, according to one ESPN.com writer, that would be vs. Michigan State.
"I know there are going to be a lot of Wolverines fans who disagree with this and insist that the Ohio State game is the most important one on the schedule," ESPN's Brian Bennett writes. "But it's also true that the Maize and Blue haven't won a Big Ten title since 2004, which is an eternity in Ann Arbor.
"Michigan State, the defending division champ, is one of the main obstacles in that path and just so happens to have beaten Michigan in each of the past four years."
Bennett argues that if Michigan drops its fifth straight game against the Spartans, then finding a way to Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship Game would be extremely difficult.
The Wolverines host the Spartans on Oct. 20, and will hope to bring The Paul Bunyan Trophy back to Ann Arbor for the first time since 2007.
"The Wolverines players definitely don't want to hear about a five-game losing streak to their in-state rivals," Bennett wrote. "Which is why, for this year at least, I see the Michigan State game as even more important than The Game."
When he was hired at Michigan in January 2011, Hoke, and his fists, were adamant that the Ohio State game would always be "the most important game on that schedule."
What do you think?
What's the most important game for Michigan in 2012? Ohio State? Michigan State? Alabama? Other?