It's hard to believe that we're nearing 40 down in our countdown of the greatest games you need to see if you're a true college sports fan. But tonight, we're higlighting a game that's become much more relevant in the past few years than it was before. It's Big Brother vs. Little Brother - Michigan vs. Michigan State.
No. 62: Michigan vs. Michigan State (FBS Football):
This rivalry is hard for Badger fans to maybe understand at the deep level because we're a state where one school dominates the landscape, you know the one we give you coverage and opinions on? But having gone to school in a state where two schools split the state I can attest that the rivalry is deep and bitter because you grow up wanting to go to one school or another and hating the other from a very young age.
Michigan is seen as the "sexy" school because it's been a national football powerhouse until recent years and Michigan State has a bit of a "Little Brother" complex to it because of that and the percieved lack of coverage in the biggest media market in Detroit.
To say this one goes beyond football should go without saying, but for both schools the annual football game holds the most significance. Up until recently it was a football rivalry completely dominated by Michigan. The Wolverines own a 67-32-5 record in the rivalry that dates back to it's inception in 1910.
One thing needs to be clear, it's not that Michigan State wants so badly to beat Michigan, Michigan also LOVES to beat it's little brother just to remind them every chance they get who the biggest and baddest in Michigan actually is.
If you listent to a Michigan fan they'll point out the overall record, but a closer look into things proves that just like any good or great rivarly these two teams have had periods of dominance.
Before the Spartans joined the Big Ten in 1950 and became full members in 1953 virtually every game since 1910 had been played at Ann Arbor and before the introduction of the Paul Bunyan Trophy in 1953 it was Michigan dominating the series at 33-9-3.
With the introduction of of the trophy the Spartans took over the series with MSU going 14-4-2 from 1950 to 1969, then there's the recent history which Michigan fans would rather forget. Currently Michigan State is on a four game winning streak and will be going for five in 2012.
The Maize 'n Blue's longest winning streak stands at 8, but they dominated the series from 1970 to 2007 before MSU's current winning streak, going 30-8 during that nearly forty year stretch.
If you need any proof of how bitter this one is, just take a gander at the replay of last years game. It was full of old school nasty if you know what I mean.
This one should be very interesting going forward as both are now contenders for Big Ten championships thanks to Mark Dantonio at MSU and Brady Hoke bringing Wolverine football back from the dead at Michigan.
If you were just thinking of today this one would be vastly higher on the list, but the sheer dominance of Michigan overall put this one a bit lower in the standings. Nonetheless this is a must see game if you want to call yourself a true college sports junkie!