Against MSU, history's on our side

Submitted by GratefulBlue on October 5th, 2010 at 8:43 PM

For those of you with short memories, a quick history lesson on how seldom MSU has taken Michigan down at home.

Since the dreaded stretch from 1965-67 we keep reading about -- the last time MSU beat us three years in a row -- we've lost to to the Spartans exatly four times at home in 21 games. One of those years we were a mediocre 6-6, and the latest of course was the abyssmal Threet/Sheridan year of infinite pain. The other two instances we had good 9-3 and 10-2 UM squads.

So MSU has beaten Michigan teams that ended the season with a winning record only two times in the Big House in the last 40+ years.

Does that mean we'll win on Saturday? No, but let's all remember that MSU has never been a very good road team.

Here's to our return to historical kick-assedness. Go Blue.



October 5th, 2010 at 9:05 PM ^

1970, 1972, 1974, 1976 - Michigan wins

1978 - an MSU team on probation for recruiting violations wins

1980, 1982 - Michigan wins

1984 - MSU beats the worst team of the Bo/Mo/Lloyd era (6-6)

1986, 1988 - Michigan wins 

1990 - MSU wins the most controversial game in the series until Spartan Bob; even Spartan fans acknowledge Desmond got tripped.

1992, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006 - Michigan wins

2008 - MSU beats the worst Michigan team in forever

Conclusion: when we're good enough to post a winning season, we win this game at home (and frequently on the road as well).  The only two exceptions both involved serious chicanery on Sparty's end (either in recruiting beforehand or during the game).

I think we're good enough to post a winning record.


October 5th, 2010 at 10:47 PM ^

So we're unbeaten at home against MSU during the last 40+ years unless our quarterback gets knocked out of the game (please god no), serious chicanery occurs, or Threet/Sheridan.

Thanks for filling the details.


October 6th, 2010 at 12:15 AM ^

I was sitting in the student section at that game, about 15 rows up on the goal line. The trip happened right in front of me. I still think he had possession long enough for it to count, especially when viewed in slo-mo. I've never been more outraged in my life. We were walking back to the car after the game, I'd see a state fan, and I'd yell at them, "They TACKLED him in the endzone." We went out for dinner after and the waitress asked what I wanted, I responded, "They tackled him in the endzone." Seriously, that's all I could say for the rest of the night. That 1990 Michigan team was so loaded and headed for a national championship until those refs swallowed their whistles. Unconscionable. (sp?) Another reason to hate state, I suppose. 


October 5th, 2010 at 8:55 PM ^

Let us not forget that the team that won the rushing battle has won 37 of the last 41 meetings (or something crazy like that).  I have a feeling we'll win that battle (easily) on Saturday.  I guess that could be a little deceiving though, given that "rushing" normally indicates a slow, grinding attack.  I'm not sure how often a rushing attack has been a deadly long-distance, quick strike attack before.  In any event, no worries about outgaining them on the ground.

Also, ditto on the first road game for State.  We've played 2.  They've played zero.  It's going to rattle them without doubt.


October 5th, 2010 at 8:58 PM ^

Road Games in this conference are way different.  Doesn't matter if you get a few more of your own fans to trickle in or if it is short trip in road miles.


October 5th, 2010 at 9:38 PM ^

Nate, I think you're vastly understating it.  They played a home night game (loud drunken fans) against ND and needed OT and a trick play to sneak by.  How's that work out on the road when the clock strikes 00 and they get a delay of game penalty?  They played a hyped 3:30 home game (plenty of time to get drunk) against a good UW team and pulled it off with some 4th down magic.  How's that work on the road with a roaring crowd?

Coming into Ann Arbor, even for the upperclassmen, is going to be a shock to these guys who now think the world loves them.  They won't hear the snap count.  They won't be able to settle into a rhythm.  They won't have Spartan Bob.  Sparty crumbles under pressure and they haven't had a drop of road stress to deal with.  The homefield advantage will be much bigger than normal on Saturday, especially for a team so coddled by the comforts of home.  (even if the "home" is a shitty strip mall like East Lansing)


October 5th, 2010 at 9:27 PM ^

When I should have been working earlier today, if you look at average points for and points against for each team on a home/away basis, you'll find that home field advantage is worth 8.05 points in this rivalry.

Can't argue with history ;)


October 5th, 2010 at 9:33 PM ^

but, couldn't you say the same things about mostly everyone on our schedule?


If we looked back to our records against B10 teams of the past to comfort ourselves, we would all sleep like babies every night of the week. Part of what constitutes a REAL rivalry is the possibilty that the game could go either way in any given year. Thus, Michigan has two REAL rivalries: OSU and ND. Historically, we've played them relatively even (although I believe we have winning records against both of them). The MSU "rivalry" mostly stems from in-state recruiting battles and their wonderful inferiority complex, not from a historically even match-up.


My point is, we aren't supposed to lose to any of these other teams, let alone in consecutive seasons. HIstorically, none of them are an even match-up. This includes Little Brother. We're Michigan, let's not forget that.


October 5th, 2010 at 10:46 PM ^

I get nervous when folks point to history in sports - especially after the last few years of Michigan football. Heck, I just watched a 30 for 30 about the Red Sox bucking 86 years of history. The Blackhawks and White Sox did it too. When it comes to today, let's look at these teams. The game's in the Big House, and we've got an amazing offense. But they also have a good offense, and a more competent defense. I hope to see us get it done on Saturday.


October 5th, 2010 at 9:34 PM ^

In the Dantonio years the Spartans have beaten only two teams ranked in the AP Top 25 at the time of the game:

* Michigan, last year, at home

* Wisconsin, this year, at home

So, beating a ranked team on the road would be a first for Mark.  Notable ...


October 5th, 2010 at 9:43 PM ^

Let's not forget that last year wasn't exactly a definitive win either.

Between the Space Emperor's temporary loss of Earth-based logical decision-making and Tate not being Denard, I'd say that Dantonio's record against Top 25 competition isn't exactly stellar.

The Wisconsin win does have me slightly concerned although it's possible Wisky just ain't that good.


October 5th, 2010 at 9:54 PM ^

That's a good point - it's possible that UW just isn't so good.

They beat UNLV by 20, but UNLV is 1-4 including a beating by Idaho.

They beat 1-4 San Jose St. by 13, but SJSt. couldn't even beat UC-Davis at homecoming.

They beat 2-3 ASU by one home...not super impressive.

They crushed 2-2 FCS Austin Peay, but shouldn't they?'s an interesting point that I really hadn't thought about.  UW hasn't beaten a winning team all season. 


October 5th, 2010 at 10:26 PM ^

Sadly, I agree.  I'm usually the first fan to point at history (obviously) but after all the insane winning streaks we had coming to an end the last 2 years, I can't look at history to make me feel better for upcoming games anymore.

Don't get me wrong.  You have to love MSU's pathetic record at the big house - losing 17 of their last 21 trips.  But this is a rivalry game.  And the defense hates me.  So I'll remain nervous. 

One thing I'm extremely happy about?  The game is in Ann Arbor.  In 1999 when UM and MSU were 5-0, the game was in East Lansing.  We lost by 3.  In 2006 when UM and OSU were 11-0, the game was in Columbus.  We again lost by 3.  Finally we have an undefeated rivalry game at home.  That's nice to think about.  The Big House better be louder than it's ever been this Saturday.


October 6th, 2010 at 2:13 AM ^

While I agree with your argument, history in this case is telling us "no matter how bad Michigan has been for whatever seemingly uncontrollable reason, Michigan wins at home when they should."

With that said, (similar to your point) I am going in to this game with preseason expectations...  believe the win when I see it, and be happy.


October 5th, 2010 at 10:22 PM ^

I really hope that MD is on the side line for the game. 1st and most importantly becasue I hate to think of anything bad happening to him, but also I don't want lil bro to have any excuses when we kick their face in the dirt.

Meeechigan Dan

October 5th, 2010 at 10:24 PM ^

I will add the talk about MSU nationally is very pro-MSU. I watched the Experts on ESPN and the Sparty love was just dripping from my plasma screen. Why is this important? Sparty is fueled by their inferiority complex, and suddenly getting the national love + the drain of two big games in a row may have them ill-prepared for this road test.

The key: get ahead early! Two score lead in Q1.


October 5th, 2010 at 10:43 PM ^

If we can get the crowd loud during the huddle rather than when they're lining up, I guarantee we'll cause some delay of games. Please tell all your friends that don't understand the concept of crowd noise disrupting playcalling.


October 5th, 2010 at 10:45 PM ^

does not guarantee future returns I have to believe that the angry Michigan-hating gods will take a day off and allow the universe to unfold as it should on Saturday. Too much misery over the past couple of years to contemplate another loss to little brother. They beat the two worst Michigan teams of the last 40+ years. Big accomplishment. Time to put our house (and theirs) back in order.

M_Born M_Believer

October 5th, 2010 at 11:24 PM ^

10) Even though Sparty's Defense is ranked 41st.  Take a closer look at the numbers you will  see that WMU, FLA Atlantic and ND exceeded the season average in offense output.  (I will not count No. Colo).

9) Sparty's first game in a hostile environment.

8) Turnovers - Sparty has more, Denard takes care of the ball

7) Michigan's rush defense ranked 37th - I know not great, but their job is only to contain Sparty's ground game.

6) Michigan offense conversion rate for scores

5) Mike Martin

4) Whoever leads this game in Rushing...wins..Michigan ranked #3....MSU Ranked #20 with over a 100+ yard difference

3) Team speed......

2) The O Line (while the media is in love with you know who), this unit is what is really making this offense go...

1) DUH!!!  In close game it is always nice to have the best player on our team.  Especially when said player touches the ball on every snap on offense


October 6th, 2010 at 12:49 AM ^

I think the stars are aligned for us on this one; we will change up some defensive packags, blitz a little more and hopefully Cam Gordon will separate a couple TE's from the ball. Sparty has been woefully short of "Sparty, No!" moments this season. This + Denard = M Win