I'VE HAD JUST ABOUT ENOUGH OF YOU SONNY
Enjoy, brah. Keep in mind the highlights are just placeholders for the Bow Down Little Brother 2010 Review video.
My "little" brother is now several inches taller than me (and carries several more pounds of muscle) but when we were kids I owned him at nerf basketball, knee football, one-glove boxing, living room wiffle ball and any number of other outdoor sports that we adapted for indoor play during our scorching Arizona summers. The release of Nintendo games like 10 Yard Fight, Tecmo Bowl and Double Dribble gave us a new outlet for our never ending competitive battles, and here was another arena in which I was seldom defeated. Seldom. Mostly I experienced victory, but those of you who grew up with little brothers know how aggravating it was to be defeated by them. Losing to a little brother felt very different than losing to a peer, and on the rare occasions when I experienced back-to-back defeats it changed my amused, condescending attitude toward our "rivalry" into unquenchable competitive fire and I could not rest until I had regained my crown.
That's way more of an introduction than a wallpaper deserves, but replace me with Michigan and my brother with Michigan State and the story above is a pretty good description of how I feel right now about the Michigan/Michigan State football rivalry. Yes, we have more than twice the number of wins in the rivalry and there's the national championships and the Heismans and all of that, but after two consecutive losses it's not enough to have dominated them in the past.
Fast forward several decades and my brother is a strapping fire fighter and I am a pale and balding desk jockey. We rarely play video games anymore but when we do, the same competitive edge returns and suddenly we're 9 and 12 year olds again. I bet it's the same for many of you. I've couched (wait for it) this homage to brotherly competitive fire (yes, I see what I did there) in video game imagery as a memorial to the veterans of 8-bit battlefields and their modern-day counterparts.
The image below is a preview only. You can get this week's widescreen, 4:3, iPad and mobile wallpapers at The Art. The Art. The Art!.
All of the 2010 Schedule Wallpapers
Last week (in UV?) Brian mentioned the fact that 40 years of continued beatdowns and general success is why there are so many Walmart Wolverines. Little Brother's fans are just jealous that people who attended neither school seem to be more willing to pick a much more successful program for their rooting interests.
So I thought I'd go further into the numbers. It's pretty staggering. Let's look at it in a thinly veiled hypothetical.
Suppose there are two schools, A and B.
A and B are both large, long established, public universities roughly 70 miles apart in the same state.
A and B have played each other in football 41 times since 1969. During that period:
- A has won 30 games in that series, B has won 11 games.
- A's winning percentage over B is .732.
- A has outscored B 1100-659. That's an average game of 29-16.
- A has shutout B five times, and has allowed only three points in two additional games.
- A has never failed to score at least a touchdown against B.
- A has won 1 national championship. B has won none.
- A has won 21 conference championships. B has won 3.
- A has appeared in 35 bowl games, including a streak of 33 straight, with 15 wins.
- B has appeared in 16 bowl games, with 5 wins.
- A has appeared in 16 Rose Bowls, 2 Orange Bowls, 1 Sugar Bowl, and 1 Fiesta Bowl.
- B has appeared in 1 Rose Bowl.
- A's players have won 2 Heisman trophies. B's have won none.
- A's winning percentage against all opponents is .756.
- B's winning percentage against all opponents is .509.
Since 1898, A and B have played each other in football 102 times.
- A has won 67 games in that series, B has won 30 games, with 5 ties.
- A's winning percentage over B is .681.
- The all-time series between the schools includes a score of 119-0 in favor of A.
- A is the NCAA FBS leader in all-time football wins with 881, 33 wins better than second place.
- B has 621 all-time wins, good for 32nd place among all FBS schools.
- A is the NCAA FBS leader in all-time football winning percentage at .737, .005 (roughly 3 whole games) better than second place.
- B's all-time winning percentage is .592, also good for 32nd place among all FBS schools.
- A has earned 11 consensus national championsips.
- A has been selected as national champions in 5 additional years by various recognized selectors on the idiot fringe of college football opinion.
- A claims only its 11 consensus national championships.
- B has earned 3 consensus national championships.
- B has been selected as national champions in 3 additional years by various recognized selectors on the idiot fringe of college football opinon.
- B still claims a total of 6 national championships.
- A has won 41 conference championships.
- B has won 6 conference championships.
Which team's football program would YOU root for?
A is the University of Michigan. B is Michigan State University.
Is it any wonder that there are so few Walmart Spartans? Little Brother indeed.
Okay, so there's also that basketball thing. A few years ago ESPN ranked the top all-time basketball programs. Michigan was ranked 13. Sparty was ranked 16. Yes, MSU fans: basketball actually existed as a sport separate from the exploits of Magic Johnson and Tom Izzo. U-M men's basketball actually owns a 91-74 record over MSU (84-71 adjusted for vacated games).
Hockey? Let's not even bother to share the stats. MSU has a good hockey program historically, but U-M is far and away the most celebrated hockey program in history, with its record 9 national championships and current record streak of 20 straight years in the NCAA tournament. There's acutally a guy in my hometown who claims that Sparty has won more championships and has had more tournament success than U-M. So okay, let's go to the stats anyways since thinking about that guy has pissed me off:
- National Championships: U-M 9, Sparty 3.
- NCAA Frozen Fours: U-M 23, Sparty 9.
- NCAA Tournaments: U-M 33, Sparty 23.
- CCHA Regular Season Championships: U-M 10, Sparty 7.
- CCHA Tournament Championships: U-M 9, Sparty 11. WOO-HOO! GO SPARTY!
Today's Wojo column in the Detroit News is about the MSU - ND game.
The link to the article is here: http://www.detnews.com/article/20100917/OPINION03/9170358/Spartans-vs.-Irish-rarely-disappoints-tipsy-masses
However, he couldn't resist a little, Little Brother trash talking. To wit:
I like it when Wojo stokes up the fires of resentment in East Lansing. No better place, I always say.Michigan State's Kirk Cousins has been billed as, possibly, the best quarterback in the Big Ten who actually ties his shoelaces. Always eager to keep up with their brotherly neighbors, the Spartans sent word to the national media Cousins often runs around with his chinstrap unbuckled.
Would you pay $$$ to see your 6-6 team with 11 members suspended get dismembered by 8-4 Texas Tech?
I think I'd rather go to Disney World.
New England put in their backup quarterback for the fourth quarter, and it's none other than Brian Hoyer. He was 9-11 for 52 yards in garbage time. Think he'll be the next Matt Cassel?