I'm assuming Nix is talking about ESPN coverage. Not only is our Alumni association larger, we are more widely dispersed around the country. MSU has ~10% out of state students while Michigan has over 40%. Tuition isn't cheap so many of those people are coming from lucrative markets on the coasts.
"The University of Illinois is also in turmoil. The university sports an Interim Chancellor, an Interim Athletic Director, and an Interim Football Coach; the game will be played at Soldier Field, making this an Illini Interim Home Game."