The odds were already greatly against Western Michigan on Aug. 30 — 27 points against, by Las Vegas’ standards. There is a formula for a team like WMU to upset Michigan State (which I’ll get into in a later column). For several reasons, this isn’t it.
And now it’s worse.
WMU star wideout Jamie Wilson — the Mid-American Conference’s freshman of the year last season — broke his left ankle during Monday’s practice.
Wilson, who caught 67 passes for 792 yards last season, is the sort of player a mid-major school needs in a matchup like this — a playmaker on the outside that can produce no matter the competition.
Without him, WMU is much less dangerous and, just as devastating, probably knows it. It’s takes a certain swagger to compete when you play up a level.
The Broncos are already without senior center Terry Davisson (non-football illness), their most experienced offensive lineman.
The Kalamazoo Gazette’s David Drew, who covers WMU, joined Jack Ebling and me on The Drive with Jack Tuesday on 730-AM. He talked about Wilson and impact of his loss on the Broncos. Here’s a link to that interview.
The Vegas line, which began at 24 and was at 27 before Wilson’s injury, is at 27 1/2 today in favor of MSU. The effect, though, is far greater than a half-point.