If you know anything about the Michigan Wolverines–Michigan State Spartans rivalry, it’s that the two schools just don’t get along. Whether it’s Michigan thinking that they are superior or whether it’s Michigan State thinking they are entitled to trash talking because they have won four of five, the game means something.
There’s no doubt that Michigan is one of the most successful, and most winning, programs of all time. In fact, they are the winningest football program of all time by a margin of 32 over Yale. Michigan State has fought extremely hard to make this series a rivalry once again, seeing as the Wolverines have dominated the rivalry since 1970.
A true rivalry it has become. Michigan State has won four of the past five seasons and five times overall since 2000. You may not think that’s very impressive, but for a Spartan program that is trailing 68-32-5 all-time in the series, a 4-1 record in the past five seasons is monumental.
As an in-state rivalry, this becomes one of those personal ones. Friends go up against friends and people turn on each other one day a year — well three if you’re counting basketball.
This has always been a fierce rivalry, no matter who tries to downplay it, beginning with Michigan running back Mike Hart who was on the team in the mid-2000s. One thing Hart said that is still ringing in the ears of Spartan fans everywhere was that Michigan State was the Wolverines’ ‘little brother’. This angered many people.
Six years and a 1-4 record against the Spartans later and a former Michigan player has done the unthinkable again. It seemed as if Hart’s comments cursed the Wolverines, prompting Spartan head coach Mark Dantonio to say, “I find a lot of the things they do amusing. They need to check themselves sometimes. But just remember, pride comes before the fall”. These comments echoed through the newspapers and media platforms as Dantonio seemingly made it his mission to take down the rival no matter what.
Denard Robinson recently came out saying that Michigan State was the Wolverines’ little brother — again. As if he didn’t learn from the irrational, arrogant words of Hart, Robinson seemed confident in his words.
Well, if that’s not a pretty ridiculous statement, I don’t know what is. Let’s see here — yes, Ohio State is No. 1, but Notre Dame is surely not No. 2 in the rivalry category. The Irish would say that Michigan State is a bigger rival than the Wolverines seeing as they go back further and have played more meaningful games against each other.
Also, what gives Robinson the right to say anything about Michigan State? He got owned by the Spartans during his career in the maize and blue. In fact, he performed worse against the Spartans than any other school he faced in his career, passing for 501 yards on 40 of 82 completions and throwing five interceptions to two touchdowns.
Okay, Denard. Whatever you say. Go join Mike Hart in the NFL — oh, wait. Robinson will likely be the second player to call MSU a ‘little brother’ and then disappear from football.