As you may have heard, this is a big week. For Michigan, it is part two of a three part essay on how successful 2009 will be. In part one, we dispatched of Charlie Pudding Pants and his limp wristed signal caller. In part three we will take on the Sweatervest and his band of automatic weapon wielding illegally recruited retards. But now, in this second stanza, we face off against a team whose season is summed up by just a single line every year. Either Michigan State beats Michigan, or Michigan beats Michigan State. To them, nothing else matters. This is all they concentrate on. This is all they care about. They flirted a bit this preseason with delusions of "turning around the program," and through some gorilla math, dwelled on having out recruited Michigan, though I never saw a single ranking on Rivals or ESPN that illustrated that fact. I think they might of out recruited us in Lenawee County, and the Oakland press might have ran with the story. Today, they'd trade their whole class for Denard or Tate...and we'd decline.
It seems that now, in some way, we have become their oppressors. We're the bullies. We're the assholes. We don't give Michigan State respect...
"Before the game last year, Coach D told us that if you haven't played Michigan, within 30 seconds you'll realize why we don't like them," said defensive end Trevor Anderson. "After about 15 seconds, I realized why I didn't like them. Just the total lack of respect that they have for our school in general. Not just the program, but the general lack of respect they have for us."
Trevor, you are sooo right. I have absolutely no respect for you. It's been 20 years since your last Big Ten title. We have 8 to our name over that span of time. Hell, Northwestern has 3 since your last. Your coaches have embarassed themselves, and I'm not just talking about Bobby Williams or John L. Smith. Your current coach got in a war of words with Mike Hart, and he has placed so much pressure on this one game, I'm not surprised you can't win it.
"I know this is a very important game," Dantonio said. "I try and deal with the present right now. It's a critical game for us. It always will be, regardless of our record."
Right. And if you were to spend a little less time worrying about October 3rd, and a little more time figuring out the intricacies of Dan LeFevour, maybe you wouldn't have lost to Central Michigan in East Lansing.
And here's where I quote myself...
Some call Michigan vs. Michigan State a rivalry game. Geography plays a part in that. Just 60 miles separate the two campuses, but I remind you that just a few feet of stone separated East and West Berlin. And that's how different these two institutions are. To the Northwest, smothered in Green and White, lies Michigan State University. A land grant college (the first in fact), by definition it's an A&M...as in Michigan A&M. It was founded in 1855, but wouldn't become a University until 1955. In 1950, Michigan (yes, we were in charge) reluctantly allowed Michigan Agricultural College to join the Big Ten as a replacement for The University of Chicago, who left the conference in 1946. The University of Chicago stopped playing D1 football in 1939, but its seven Big Ten Football titles is still one more than Michigan State has managed to win since. No, seriously, Michigan State has six Big Ten Football championships. Six.
This is where the inferiority complex comes into play. It's a pretty serious one. Your typical Michigan State fan was shunned by the University of Michigan coming out of high school. (See The Thin Letter). Occasionally, you'll run into a Sparty that will tell you they chose Michigan State over Michigan. And occasionally, monkeys fly out of my ass. But you have to feel for them. You get shunned academically, then you stand by and watch as your school gets dominated on basically every possible field of play for your career there. And while there is dominance in the Big Ten athletic arena by Michigan over Michigan State, that isn't necessarily the problem. The problem is Michigan State's complete and utter ineptitude overall in sports.
Michigan State has 76 total Big Ten Championships all-time in all sports. Michigan has 337. As a reference for MSU's crappiness, Penn State has 41...they joined the conference in 1991.
But hey, this game...it's important to us too, albeit for different reasons. We've been known to tighten up for this game, to feel a little pressure ourselves. Not because we are worried about your talent, not because we are worried about your gameplan, but because we are worried about the fact that on any given Saturday, weird shit can happen. Weird shit like phantom penalties, missed calls, and clocks managed by members of the fan club that result in extra seconds. Thank god for rule changes and replay, eh? But basically, we're afraid that you'll find a way to beat us...and the fact that you are a useless Big Ten representative and useless as a football program in general, losing to you is embarrassing. Fortunately, it doesn't happen too often. Because when it does, a few days go by where you pretend to be one of the big boys, and I have to listen to your botched grammar diatribes about how your program is making the turn. That's of course before the next Saturday comes and you shit the bed against Indiana.
You hate ME? Let me tell you what...I hate you so much more. If you had your act together over the last 40 years we could have had something pretty cool going on here, like Texas-Oklahoma or Florida-Florida State. Unfortunately, you aren't any good, ever, so playing you is a lose-lose situation, just like when we play a MAC school. If we win, we were supposed to. If we lose, it's a black mark on the record of the winningest football program of all time.
You are not in our class, you are not in our league, and after Saturday, you will be in our rearview mirror.
GO BLUE!!! BEAT STATE!!!