Michigan vs. Michigan State: Long-Standing Feud Still Alive and Well

1 of 5

There have been few dull moments in the Michigan-Michigan State football rivalry which dates back to 1898.

Nov 2, 2013; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans running back Jeremy Langford (33) runs the ball against Michigan Wolverines linebacker Joe Bolden (35) during the second half of a game at Spartan Stadium. MSU won 29-6. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

The upstart No.12 (AP) Michigan Wolverines (5-1, 2-0 Big Ten), are surprising 8-point favorites when they host the undefeated No. 7 (AP) Michigan State Spartans (6-0, 2-0) Saturday (Oct. 17, 3:30 pm) in one of the great in-state college football rivalry games.

The Spartans, looking for their second Big Ten crown since 2010, have dominated the series recently, winning six of the last seven meetings—outscoring the Wolverines 197-101 in the process.

It was Michigan who built a six-game winning streak before Lloyd Carr retired in 2007, the same year tailback Michael Hart delivered his famous “little-brother” line.

Spartan fans and even Coach Mark Dantonio cried disrespect, and vowed to win in 2008.

Michigan didn’t beat Michigan State again until 2012.

Meanwhile, coaches Rich Rodriguez and Brady Hoke floundered—Rodriguez getting the axe in 2010 and Hoke after the 2014 season.

A minor miracle occurred during the holidays as favorite son Jim Harbaugh left the NFL 49ers and took the Michigan job.

Harbaugh was expected to resurrect Michigan’s program, BUT NOT THIS FAST.

The 5-1 Wolverines have posted convincing shutouts over Brigham Young, Maryland and Northwestern in their last three outings.

The undefeated Spartans are doing well themselves, thank you, currently rated at No. 11 nationally.

While Michigan has lost six of its last seven games to Sparty, the Wolverines are ready to file away “little brother,” “spike-gate” and any other hoax that supposedly disrespected MSU.

Dantonio isn’t quite ready to relinquish his top floor penthouse, but this Michigan team might remind the folks in East Lansing who the arrogant fans really are.

Let’s explore some of the tales that have kept the rivalry churning:

Next: Spike-Gate