Closing the Gap Debate

Submitted by RationalMSUfan on January 17th, 2012 at 10:52 AM

May I just say that I hate the "closing the gap" debate in regards to MSU and UM hoops.

I hate it, because there is no debate.

MSU is a great program. I don't want to turn this into an "Is MSU elite debate", but lets just agree they are a top 10 program the last 10 years.

Michigan was awful.  Now Michigan is good and is trending up.

Therefore, of course the gap has closed.  Where's the debate?


p.s. Good luck tonight (not really, but just trying to be cordial).



Bando Calrissian

January 17th, 2012 at 10:59 AM ^

It's an RCMB meme based on a single newspaper article from the heady optimism of the early Amaker era.  Just like the "Michigan doesn't consider MSU their rival" meme.  They're not even worth paying attention to.


January 17th, 2012 at 12:14 PM ^

Does meme simply mean an inside joke on the internet? I thought meme specifically meant a picture with joke text above and below it (eg kork coupons or advice animals on reddit), but you're using it meaning something the internet created, I think. Which one's right? Or does it just completely not matter so use it however you want?


January 17th, 2012 at 11:01 AM ^

Not much to talk about, really.  MSU is at least a top-10 program in the last ten years - probably more like top-5, as much as I hate to say it.  Michigan has obviously improved. 

As for tonight, I can say with all honesty that I don't want any Spartans to suffer fatal health problems during the game.  I truly mean that. 


January 17th, 2012 at 11:06 AM ^

kind of like how the majority of MSU fan's now think their football program is elite for beating 3 of the worst michigan team's in their history.



January 17th, 2012 at 11:09 AM ^

Other than maybe to say the gap hasn't closed any more in football too...? It takes a long time to truly close the gap? Or just getting better means obviously the gap has "closed" when the programs aren't a million miles apart anymore...?


January 17th, 2012 at 11:14 AM ^

Hey now - I hate State as much as the next guy, but as far as some of the co-eds there go.... I wouldn't mind being on the banks of *their* Red Cedars, if you know what I mean (heyoooo)

I wasn't aware there was a debate, but this and not killing brain cells are some of the perks to not reading RCMB. The fact is that Izzo has put MSU on the map as a consistently good program and this year they are arguably the best team in the country's arguably best hoops conference.  That's nothing new.  What's different is that this year we have MSU's notice - that's not been something we've been able to say for awhile.  And we're going to be even better next year.  We still have a ways to go to get to where State is, but Brian Ellerbee isn't walking through that door - the "gap" has closed.  Having some hyped up Izzo vs. Beileing MSU/UM hoops games over the next several years will be great for the conference.


January 17th, 2012 at 11:21 AM ^

We have made some huge strides in the last few seasons, but I don't actually closed the gap on state.  They've gone to final fours in the last 5 years, and we have not.  Once we get to that point—making a deep tournament run—then I can say that the gap has been closed, but before then I still think a gap exists, albeit a shrinking one.  That being said, I think we're close to making a break through, and especially with McGary coming in next year, I think we have  a very good chance of making a tournament run in the next few years.

True Blue Grit

January 17th, 2012 at 11:53 AM ^

I'd say talent-wise, we'll be pretty comparable next year when our 2012 class comes in.  As far as facilities, we're now pretty even since the opening of our PDC and Crisler not being nearly the dump it was after the renovation.  And I'll say that Beilein can coach x's and o's as well as Coach Izzo.  Last year's sweep must have been a wake-up call for Sparty.  But, I expect the series to be much, much more even in the coming years. 


January 17th, 2012 at 11:53 AM ^

Shouldn't this thread title be called "Closing the Closing the Gap Debate?" Is that too wordy?

I don't have a problem with admitting that MSU has been a top 10 program over the past 10 years. They have been. Furthermore, I'll say that MSU has consistently exceeded expectations so far as tournament expectations and that's a testament to Izzo. Long before I was at Michigan, I overlooked State a few years in my bracket and they taught me! Izzo is one of the best coaches in the game. I have a lot of respect for him, even if I don't like him.

Our program is improving. It takes a while to raise the level of a program. We defeated State twice, but we need a longer track record to prove that we're getting back to that level. To get to State's level, we're going to need more wins in the rivalry as well as better performances in the tournament. This year, the teams might be more evenly matched with a slight edge to State. Next year, it looks like we should get the edge. As Michigan continues to improve, it'll be interesting to see how the tide of this rivalry changes. 

Hardware Sushi

January 17th, 2012 at 12:09 PM ^

Here are the things I know relating to Michigan, MSU, and gaps:

  • I don't care about MSU basketball at all.
  • I don't care if a gap exists or whether that gap is being made up because I evaluate Michigan sports teams based upon their overall season performance rather than compare our season to MSU's season.
  • MSU fans, even rational ones, have created these imaginary 'gaps' due to a complex to always validate their achievement by way of comparison with Michigan.

The reason MSU will always be little brother is because the collective fanbase's self-esteem rides on receiving recognition (or a chip on their shoulder from lack of recognition) of their superiority to Michigan.

Rather than MSU being the Legends division and Capital One Bowl champs to the MSU fanbase, they were the team that got screwed. It wasn't even about how MSU got screwed by the system; it was collective anger about Michigan getting something they didn't get.

The 'gap' will never close until MSU fans stop talking about this gap. Start recognizing your own achievement and there isn't a hypothetical gap to close.


January 17th, 2012 at 12:15 PM ^

This is the first that I've seen anything regarding any "gap" debate this season.  Basically, you are starting one by posting that there shouldn't be one.

Rational indeed.


January 17th, 2012 at 12:21 PM ^

Goes in cycles. The overall record minus the vacated wins from the 90's is M 91 State 71. I love how people assume State has always been better than us in basketball when in fact it's only been in the last 10 years that they have dominated.

El Fuego

January 17th, 2012 at 1:35 PM ^

With all due respect, did every State fan forget about last year?  MSU was not a top 10 team then, not even close.  Getting a 10 seed in the tourney and losing that game is not top ten material...

That being said, this year is completely different.  MSU is top 10 material.  This is the biggest game in the rivalry for both teams in a really long time.


January 17th, 2012 at 3:46 PM ^

I think Beilein has changed the tide of the Rivalry. Hell, rational Spartan fans in East Lansing are starting to believe him. Never in a million years would I have thought that. Closing the gap is a good start.