Unfortunately, those "better recruits" were poorly coached by Rich Rodriguez. If you pair better recruits with good coaching, the Carr + Hoke years have been pretty successful. They're 6-6 this year and were 11-3 last year, bringing their record during Hoke's tenure to 17-9. Hoke is 19-6 in that time. I'm not saying Hoke is dominating the series or anything, but there's really nothing you can look at right now and say "MSU is the superior program." Recruiting, winning, etc. is all in Michigan's favor at the moment.
"The University of Illinois is also in turmoil. The university sports an Interim Chancellor, an Interim Athletic Director, and an Interim Football Coach; the game will be played at Soldier Field, making this an Illini Interim Home Game."