Michigan Wolverines vs Michigan State Spartans a nasty, bitter rivalry

Embed from Getty Images Michigan vs Michigan State is a bitter rivalry. It is a week in the state of Michigan where friends and neighbors stop talking to each other if they are on opposite sides of who they root for. Tomorrow, the two schools will square off again. One school headed in the right direction, one school is not.

The Michigan State downfall is and has been well documented. That is out the window. In a game like the one that kicks off tomorrow at 12:00 pm, Mark Dantonio will try to rally his team.

For Michigan, Jim Harbaugh is 2-2 against Dantonio but 0-2 in Ann Arbor, he is taking this years game very, very seriously. There have been a flurry of indications Dantonio might hang up his Spartan pullover and move on after this season. Harbaugh would like to be the one to sends him on his way.

All the pressure is on the Michigan Wolverines,  they have generally handled big game pressure with the poise of a student driver driving on the freeway for the first time.

Last season you may recall the Spartans were met by the solitary resistance  of Devin Bush, that game is now remembered as “StompGate.” As Bush dug his cleats into the midfield logo in Spartan Stadium and tore up the sod, forcing Michigan State to quickly call out the ground crew.

For better or worse the Devin Bush feet scrape defines the Wolverines, Spartans rivalry. Bitter, nasty and a genuine dislike for the opposition. Until last year’s 21-7 victory, Michigan had not covered the spread against Michigan State in 10 straight meetings.

This season, the Wolverines are playing some of the teams best football heading into the big game. Michigan State has dropped three in a row. Expect the Spartans to try to give it one last heroic shot.

One problem, Michigan is more talented and has much more riding on the season. I like Michigan to win comfortably.

Michigan vs Michigan State a rivalry built on desdain

Embed from Getty Images It was ugly. It always was going to be. Michigan State players who for years have done questionable antics started the show. Taking Michigan Wolverine players head phones, trying to trip them and throwing pregame punches. All as Spartans head coach Mark Dantonio stood by smiling.


Rivalries are by nature nasty. They build up and then release. Michigan linebacker Devin Bush in retaliation to the Spartans pregame brew-ha scraped his cleats across the Michigan State logo on the middle of the field. Childish? yes.


Michigan should not have an eye for an eye thought process. But in a rivalry emotions seem to take over. Right or wrong. They should have been the bigger group of players. Michigan State is known for this throughout Dantonio time at the school.


Michigan, destroyed Michigan State all over the stat sheet and scoreboard. That should have been enough. Michigan is in the drives seat to finish the 2018 “Revenge Tour.” That is what senior defensive end Chase Winovich labeled this season for the Wolverines.


In my opinion that is part of what lead to the pregame flare up. it is hard to have revenge when your school has struggled in recent years. I get trying to kick start it. Which it seems to have done.


With Michigan State having a bad season and Ohio State looking like they have lost a lot of luster. Michigan now has a clear shot to win the Big Ten and perhaps go to the College football playoffs. That and not revenge should be the focus.


Through it all Michigan has regained swagger that has been missing. Jim Harbaugh who has been building his program has caught up to Dantonio and Urban Meyer. Now the playing field is level.


So no matter what “little brother” does. Michigan can not let it get under their skin. Just line up and beat them. That is better than revenge.