Not even close. The Fuckeyes are the worst/biggest rival. I have heard this argument a million times, and every time it is laughable. In some parts of Michigan people will say it is MSU, but even they will say it is just barely. Anywhere else MSU won't even get a mention.
Who is Michigan's biggest rival?
Yesterday, as I watched Michigan's awful performance against Michigan State, I wondered about who is Michigan's worst rival, Ohio State or Michigan State.
I am precluding this by mentioning that football is the most important, basketball is great, but still just a distraction from football's dead period. Also, we can leave out Notre Dame and Minnesota, the fact that Notre Dame is non-conference, Minnesota has been owned by Michigan recently, and the fact that game is not even played annually.
Call it whatever you want, heresy, channeling Gary Moeller perhaps, but I believe Michigan State is Michigan's worst rival. Maybe I say that because I live in Grand Rapids, west side of the state, where there are almost two State fans per Michigan fans, and not many of those Michigan fans really care. Or perhaps, in light of State's win in football this past year, or the debacle last night, I have a newfound passion for hating MSU this year. Also, there are not really too many Ohio State fans, that I see at least, I do not really know of any that live around here. They might live in southeast Michigan or in the Toledo area where the rivalry is seemingly most heated, but I am not really aware that many Ohio State fans exist in most of the state of Michigan.
I think that the Michigan-Ohio State bloodbath (not that I've had much experience with the rivalry) really is a tremendous rivalry, but to be honest, I believe that it is a rivalry that is based loosely on mutual respect, or at least acknowledgement for the other's program. I did actually just say that. Michigan is a better program by far, more class, dignity, intelligence, etc. but I have to say that Ohio State is a decent program. Also, I think that the Ohio State rivalry is by far the best rivalry in the state of Ohio, with Michigan fans and Ohio State fans going at it constantly. However, in the state of Michigan, particularly in West, North, and Central Michigan, even around Ann Arbor, Michigan State is a bigger rival, not by much more than the Buckeyes, but still more. The Michigan-Michigan State rivalry is based purely on the inferiority complex set on MSU by Michigan (which is not without merit, frankly it's true). Michigan State hates Michigan so passionately that it is really amazing. Michigan however, feels that State is just another win, and never gives them any credit for anything; and Michigan State takes that as an insult which only adds to the rivalry. Add to the inferiority complex the annual recruiting battles (especially in Detroit, which Michigan typically wins), the success of michigan now and in the past, and the fact that Michigan State rally does not compare with Michigan in respects to tradition, talent, history, or even fan base. Also, I could say that Michigan-Ohio State is fueled by the ESPN, SI, etc. hype on the rivalry, which is really just an excuse to fill their telecast, magazine, web site, whatever. That really just adds to the perception that Michigan-Ohio State is a bigger rivalry than Michigan-Michigan State, it is still an excellent rivalry, but I'd finally give kudos to Michigan State for once and call them a bigger rival. ESPN in particular hypes rivalries way too much, and I've heard it a few times during the North Carolina-Duke game by Dickie V, how that fits in I do not know. Rivalries are a huge thing, but they are mainly a product of the fans which goes down to the players, coaches etc. but not a national thing, moreover a localized one.
Maybe I say this because I am incredulous that State won this past year, or that they chanted Go Green, Go White, (Can't Read, Can't Write) after winning said game, followed up with a "little sister" chant, at the Big House. Or, maybe I held on to hope that Michigan would upset them last night. Maybe it was recent frustration in most of the recruiting battles in-state as of late (except William Campbell, yes...), or perhaps that I am outnumbered by State fans here in GR. I guess that most of what I am saying is a matter of present circumstance, or maybe I haven't experienced the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry for real. (Note: I have gone to the past four or five Ohio State games at home, and go to almost every home game, so I have seen the fervor in person.)
I guess what I've tried to say is that, at least right now, and around here, Michigan State is a bigger rival than Ohio State. Not by much, but still a little bigger ( at the very least, around the same).
Agree? Disagree? A matter of opinion?
(I am bracing myself for the explosion, so try not to be too vicious here, I am a fellow Michigan diehard, so insults are really not too appropriate).
Go Blue, little brother.
Dude, are you serious right now? State a bigger rival? Are you kidding me?
I think that the reason MSU if the little brother is because it isn't really considered a big rivalry because MSU isn't a good football program overall. OSU at least is a better comparison to UofM football. If you get basketball involved then you can say we are a rivalry just in basketball because the overall record is much closer with only 19 games between UofM and MSU which UofM is leading. MSU never had a Bo vs. Woody old man hatred.
I think that the history of UM-OSU, combined with the higher prestige of both schools in comparison to MSU, makes UM-OSU a better rivalry. I feel that a great rivalry requires both teams to approach the game without the expectation of victory (excepting years such as this past one, where one team completely sucks). In a typical year, Michigan fans expect to beat MSU, even if MSU fields a decent team. However, under normal circumstances, both UM and OSU fans really want to win, but do not necessarily expect to win. This is important because it adds a sense of tension to the rivalry, as neither program is truly superior to the other (excepting, of course, the tremendous advantages Michigan enjoys in its programs history, class, and general respectability, as well as actual academic standards and a respect for fair play; so basically, the only way that UM and OSU are equal is in performance since the Bo-Woody era, before which Michigan was superior in performance too).
Your point about our rivalry with SPARTAAAAA being based on their (well-deserved) inferiority complex
...is exactly true for Oohi State, as well. They know they will never be as great as us. It drives them nuts and turns them into irrational, backwards-thinking idiots. Actually they were pretty much like that before.
Anyway, I like your point about The Rivalry being the best in the state of Ohio. Case in point: it is their raison d'etre. Without us, they are nothing. Just wandering blobs of mass, floating around a desolate, polluted valley without meaning or purpose.
Sparty, at least, would have cows were it not for their rivalry with us
C'mon, your not a spartan are you? Seriously?
Maybe your hatred for msu fans drives your passions. But for me there is no comparison. Don't get me wrong, I get excited about an msu game. But the intensity of ohio state week brings on a bout of Attention Defecit Disorder. I can't concentrate at work, I don't sleep well at night, my blood pressure rises, and it seems like time itself slows down to a crawl.
Anyway, Michigans Rivals ranked in order of importance....
Notre Dame (does not matter if it is OOC, still a rivalry)
Even though I disagree with his point of view of the rivalry, I have a word for all of you haters.
You have to look at it from his perspective. I'm from a town not unlike his near GR . There is maybe 5 OSU fans in the entire town and they are probably all alumni. Whereas State is a good 65 percent of the fans. Whenever I get my confidence for one of the games, either basketball or football, I become just a wee bit cocky and in turn if they lose I will face hell the next day at school. All of the State fans I know are all cocky saying "yeah we are better in football and basketball" and when we win they say "just wait for basketball" or "you got lucky" because it's usuaully really close and we did get a few breaks in most of those games. On the flip side if we lose to OSU I will got school the next day and hate OSU with the State fans.
With that all said and done my list:
1. Ohio State
2. Michigan State
3. Notre Dame(close with them and State)
I am new to this blog site so I will only respectfully disagree. I would not sling any arrows your way anyway because I treat any and all true blue UM fans with respect and I do truly love this website. I live in a SEC state so I am separated from the haps in Ann Arbor E.L. or Columbus. I go to Wal Mart and it is not uncommon for me to see either a UM hat or a OSU hat. I have traveled to and through many states and have come to expect that anywhere I go I will find a UMer or a Suckeye fan, or both. I can tell you the last time I saw anybody wearing a Sparty hat was the last time I was in Michigan which was last August. I can even tell you that every one around here hates Ohio State. I hate to see UM lose to anyone and that includes MSU but I can tell you personally I get frickin' IRATE when we lose to OSU. I am not willing to give MSU the credit that would be required to call this a rivalry. We have owned MSU on the football field and they have owned us on the court but let's keep in mind, Last year a team like Memphis went to the final four 2 or 3 years ago it was a team like George Mason or whatever they were made it. It does not impress me to build a good Bball team (although I wish we could do it), but it does impress me when you can build a dominant Fball program that wins year in and year out the way that we have. If you can get a couple of guys that can dominate you can do anything on the court, (like Micheal Jordan and Scottie Pippen) but Tebow and Harvin have to have stars other than them on the team or they would not be as successful.
"basketball is great, but still just a distraction from football's dead period."
I enjoy other sports other than football. Hockey and Basketball merit a Michigan fan's support. You can't take the Sparty selective attitude of "oh but our BLANK is better than yours".
Michigan - OSU is a bigger rivalry on almost all levels. It's a bit more painful to lose to MSU because you're reminded of it every day for the next 5 years, but its much sweeter to win against OSU.
I apologize for being harsh. It just seemed like a silly question. There is a consensus among Michigan fans that osu is our biggest rival.
The only reason I hate losing to sparty is because there are so many younger siblings to deal with the next day. But hypothetically, if msu maintained its historical record, but was located in another state, the ONLY people who would call this game a rivalry would be msu fans.
State is the bigger rival in basketball and hockey. But you're right when you say those are just distractions for when football isn't around. When Ohio State week rolls around, there's no doubt about who I hate more.
One thing that does annoy me is when people try to claim State isn't even a rival. That's BS. They're our little brother who doesn't win much (in the sport I care about), but I still love beating them more than anybody but OSU. Could be because the State fans I know really get on my nerves. Makes Braylon-fest taste all the sweeter.
1) Ohio State
2) Michigan State
3) Notre Dame
There aren't books and movies about Michigan/Michigan State.
I understand where white_tiger is comming from but I agree with those who say Ohio State is the bigger rival. OSU like Michigan (except for last year) plays on the national stage in football, college sports biggest sport so that means a lot. Sparty was relevant this past year for the first time in over a decade so they have a ways to go while Michigan and Ohio State have been powerhouse programs for decades.
Now who is the most annoying rival? For me that's Michigan State because when they wim their first football game in decade they practically have a parade in East Lansing. Their coach constantly runs off at the mouth about Michigan and talks trash with 20 year old players though the press. That doesn't make State a bigger rival, just a pathetic douche.
This will cause people to freak but screw it. As much as I hate to say it and as much as I hate OSU I can at least respect Tressel and some of their players like Animal Jr. State has nothing to respect. I have no respect for Dantonio for his comments after getting shelled by Penn State (he was asked if the loss was embarrassing only to respond "going 3-9 would be embarrassing"). Thats middle school, thats State.
So in terms of importance it's Ohio State but in annoyance it's the couch burning Mecca of State.
3a.) another big 10 school? Wisconsin? Penn State?
3b.) ND (because they have sucked for years)
Michigan and Ohio State, the biggest FOOTBALL rivalry in the country. And that's it.
Name every other sport, every single other sport, men's or women's, and MSU is the biggest rival. This type of debate brings out the worst in Michigan people, people who try to minimize the geographic and family ties that make the MSU game so intimate while blowing up A SINGLE WEEK of the football season into the end-all be-all of sports. And ND more important than State, are you fucking kidding me? Maybe if you're from Niles . . .
True, MSU is a more enjoyable rival, but that doesn't make it a lesser rivalry. If you're from in-state, a bunch of your high school buddies went there; if you're from out-state, your roommate's high school buddies went there and by senior year they're your buddies too. MSU weekend in football is a huge party, and to me, that's a good thing. Better than traveling into Columbus and not being able to drink or stay the night for fear of assault or jail (not an exaggeration). Not the constant anxiety that's (especially lately) turned in on itself 3.5 hours a year.
Besides football (M dominant) and basketball (Sparty dominant), these two schools go toe-to-toe on even ground for every recruit in the State. Many kids on either side in the sports world have offers from both. And although Michigan's better academically, which does leave them with an inferiority complex at times, they have some things going for them as well (ladies anyone?).
Ohio State sucks. I hate that university. I hate their students, alums, all people that cheer for them. I'm not friends with any of them, they could all jump off a cliff. The OSU Michigan rivalry is the apex of the M sports calendar, but it's not the lone bullet in the chamber.
Or read any of the books put out there about the rivalry?
Like others have alluded, Michigan - Ohio State is probably the biggest rivalry in college sports. (To me it definitely is, but to sound more open-minded I'll use probably.)
The bigger question is "Who is the bigger rival between ND and State. I think the best way to find that answer is to ask yourself "When ND plays MSU, who do I root for?" Chances are, if you find yourself rooting for State, you think ND is the bigger rival. Unless you need the team to lose for other reasons.
Personally I'd put ND over State as #2 Rival. Probably because ND gets treated and acts like their college football history is 100% unmatched. That being said, I come from a family of domers so I could have a love-hate bias going on.
I think the reason White tiger thinks State is a bigger rivalry is because he's surrounded by State fans. For Michigan State, we're their #1 rival. I've heard from many Spartans that they root for Ohio State over us. Not sure if that's representative of the larger State fan base, but geez, that's just ridiculous. I root for State when they play OSU.
For my conclusion, please see the last paragraph in the post below by The Nicker. 100% agree.
Ohio State is our biggest rival. The reason: on many an occasion, the winner of the OSU-UM game is the winner of the big ten. This is why its always the last game of the season. Its a rivalry because most of the time that game has such high stakes. Sometimes the national championship has even been on the line. We NEVER have that situation with MSU. Its not like MSU basketball has to get through a final contest with UM to get to the final four. We just play them a lot. They are clearly our 2nd rivalry as far as all sports go, but the disparity between the programs in everything but hockey keeps the rivalry from being a great one.
I don't believe that UM has ever lost the Pontiac challenge going between the two schools.
I guess it's based on what is important in a rivalry, and which sport we are talking about. Here are some factors to consider:
1. Bragging rights
Bragging rights are mainly based on where you live. When you're in the state of Michigan, like I was for most of my life, then beating MSU in football is huge. You want/need the satisfaction of being able to go to work, walk around the neighborhood, etc. wearing your Michigan gear with pride and even a bit of arrogance..."that's right little brother". It's that important locally because that many people have ties to the rivalry.
Now having lived in FL and DC as well, I'll tell you that there the OSU-Michigan rivalry is much bigger. I see similar amounts of Michigan and OSU fans in FL/DC, but I don't see many State fans at all. On the contrary, it's a shock to see MSU garb, and the people are usually traveling from Michigan (I think). So in FL/DC, losing to State is no big deal in terms of bragging rights. No one cares. You won't see anyone who will brag if you lose, and you won't be able to rub it on any MSU fans since their aren't any. OSU fans, however, are fairly common in these parts. I'd say I even saw more OSU stuff than Michigan stuff in Florida.
Suffice it to say that for national bragging rights, OSU is bigger, for local Michigan, MSU is bigger. In this category, I'd say MSU and OSU are close to even, considering U-M plays in the state of Michigan. To Michigan players, I'd say bragging rights are equal for each rivalry, but I'd give a slight advantage here to OSU. WINNER: OSU
Losing to OSU in basketball sucks, but MSU is the clear bragging rights winner here. Nationally, no one cares about Mich-MSU or Mich-OSU in basketball, so really only local bragging rights matters. WINNER: MSU
MSU is the clear winner here. Mich-OSU hockey is a big event each game, and it's pretty evenly divided. In Michigan this is a big grudge match for those who follow college hockey. OSU, not so much. WINNER: MSU
In general, only local bragging rights matter here. I don't think the average Michigan fan cares if Mich beats OSU in gymnastics or women's basketball or baseball or softball. Bragging rights are all local here cuz no one nationally cares. WINNER: MSU
OVERALL CATEGORY: Edge to MSU
2. Impact on future success. Does losing this game impact your team now and in the future?
With MSU, if you lose the annual football game you could lose *some* recruits, but the game will usually not have a big bearing on the B10 title. With OSU, recruiting is a HUGE outcome with Michigan heavily recruiting Ohio (let's face it, the state of Mich doesn't have that many good recruits). Losing this game means changing the mind of some 4 and 5 star recruits who want to go where they can win (among other things). And with OSU, nearly every year the game has B10 or BCS importance. In football, this is all OSU. WINNER: OSU with a bullet!
MSU is in contention for the B10 championship every year and beating them means: 1) establishing yourself as a power in the state; and 2) moving up in the conference, perhaps winning it by beating them. Recruiting is greatly impacted by this game(s), and in-state basketball talent is quite good, so this matters a lot. OSU is a basketball rival, but not king at all. I'd put MSU, Indiana, and even Illinois ahead of OSU. No contest. WINNER: MSU
Michigan and MSU are always competing for the CCHA title and the same players, so these games are very important. OSU...not so much. WINNER: MSU
The other sports have their following, but I don't know enough to say one way or the other. WINNER: ???
OVERALL CATEGORY: In terms of quantity, it's MSU, in terms of quality, it's OSU.
So, where does that leave us? Overall, considering all sports, I'd say the winner is MSU in terms of quantity of rivalries. As far as quality goes, I think football trumps all others, so the edge goes to OSU, but it's close. But you could make the argument that no other event has more bottom line impact on Michigan athletics than Michigan-Ohio State football, at least in terms of fundrasing success and bragging rights.
Overall it's very close, and it all depends on how you define what "biggest" rival means. But if I had to make a choice, I'd lean towards MSU. Clearly in football, it's OSU.
i get a little upset whenever i read that osu beat our ladies volleyball team. it doesnt even matter that i dont care about volleyball - i hate osu so much.
michigan state is a one-week rivalry whereas osu is all year long. it never stops. also, i can root for msu to do well every other game than our game. i just cant do it for osu, even at times when it would make the big ten look better - it just feels wrong
Honestly, from the title, I thought this was gonna be one of those moments like when my little brother (who went to state) suggested MSU was M's biggest rival because, heck, look how excited State fans are about it. But you provided a thoughtful basis for your (very incorrect) thesis.
Ever hear the story of six blind men and an elephant? It's an Indian proverb. Six blind guys touch different parts of an elephant. The one at the leg says an elephant must be like a tree trunk. The one at the tail says an elephant is like a rope. Etc.
It's about making judgments on half truths, and I think that's the fault in your logic. If you take a sample of 2 Sparties and 1 Michigan man and ask who's Michigan's greatest rival, you get MSU.
Long before Mike Hart gave it national voice, the analogy of Michigan State as the Little Brother was well-established. The other part of that analogy is that Ohio State is the other big kid down the block. Brotherly rivalries are one thing; in the end you both go back home and, when you grow up, learn to support each other. But that dumb fuck down the street, he's out for your blood.
Little brother wants to borrow your Radio Flyer; the big kid down the street wants to throw it into oncoming traffic, or bury it in a ditch.
Little brother is an annoying pest. As you point out, he is constantly there. You can't get away from Little Brother. When he out-competes you, he's going to talk about it all the time. He's going to pick up the phone when you're talking to someone and shout "ha ha bitch, 54-42!!!" This makes you want to beat the piss out of the little shit.
But the big kid down the block, well, you may only run into him once a year. But when you do, the whole school comes out to watch. This isn't a fight like you have with Little Brother, where once in a while you just gotta knock him down, then make up. This is the kind of fight where, victorious or defeated, you're probably coming home with at least a bloody lip, and whatever shirt you wore has seen its last day. After that fight, fuck any bowl games. Even a national championship game is secondary to that bout.
As for Notre Dame, well, that's our respectful rivalry, although "respectful" has to be used loosely considering we have t-shirts with whales on them. Notre Dame is the pageantry fight, the one where neither combatant really wants to get bloody -- we just hold the match so that we both can show off our glimmering academics and beautiful campuses, and drum our historical winning totals ad nauseum into America's collective conscience. It's the equivalent of an Original Six hockey game, except there are only two.
(This got me thinking about where that kid down the street moved to? I haven't seen that kid for like 20 years. He's probably like 300 lbs. now. Is it kind of freaky that I still want to kick his ass?)
If you've spent 5 minutes in Ohio, this wouldn't even be a question...Here's my list of rivals:
2. Eastern Michigan
3. Charlie Weis's appetite
5. Then Michigan State
If you live in Michigan and don't think MSU is pretty close to 1B with OSU, then I guess you just don't have many Spartan friends or you are reallllly into that whole arrogance thing.
Beating OSU is more satisfying than beating MSU. Losing to MSU sucks worse than losing to OSU. In other words, we are supposed to beat Little Brother every year, but if we don't beat OSU every year, well, stuff happens. (This losing to them EVERY year business is for the shitter, though.)
Thus, OSU is our biggest rival. Besides, don't you get more satisfaction out of relegating Little Brother to second best? It's part of what makes them so bitter.
I care more about beating OSU in every sport. Football is a given, but I even consider them a bigger rival in basketball. Then again, I'm not from Michigan so I have no neighbors who went to MSU, plus my dad went to OSU. It could be the bias talking, but defeating OSU in every sport, including hockey, matters more. Remember, we're their biggest rival in every sport. They never hate us any less. Do you really want to see another video of a crazed crowd in Columbus gleefully cheering the OSU hockey team as they have at it with a defeated Michigan team?
Nationally, I agree that OSU is the bigger rival, since the football game is traditionally between two teams contending for BCS appearances and, recently, shots at the MNC. Beyond that, though, I don't think too many people care about OSU/UM in swimming or baseball, and the only basketball rivalry people seem to know about (thanks to ESPN) is Duke-UNC. In my limited experience, people don't really care much about MSU/UM rivalry because one team tends to be irrelevant nationally in a particular sport - MSU in football, UM in basketball. In the state, though, I think the UM/MSU rivalry tends to be more relevant simply because you meet more people from the opposing school, and family ties are stronger. From an early age, kids are encouraged to pick sides on which school is better, and that preference grows throughout the years. When it comes to UM/OSU, everyone hates OSU, so you care about beating them but rarely do you run into a contrary opinion.
Thus, nationally - OSU
In state - MSU
Ohio State is a much bigger rivalry, end of.
I don't know if you can even consider it a rivalry when the outcomes have so heavily favored one team. With Ohio State, though we hold the advantage, the series is close, and getting closer. This is a game that, as stated previously, often determines the winner of the big ten and often times has national championship implications.
When we lose to MSU I am sure people living in Michigan hear about for a while but when the talking stops so does the pain. When we lose to Ohio state I never get jabs about how our suckeyes beat your wolverines (I live in Nova Scotia Canada) but I never forget about that loss......never!
I would sooner have testicles clamped in a vice and then be tarred, feathered and lit on fire than lose to that sweater vest wearing fruit cake in Ohio again!!!