How much have Michigan's struggles helped MSU? A lot?

Submitted by PeterKlima on August 10th, 2016 at 8:33 AM

We all know that MSU got SOME benefit on the recruiting trail when Michigan recruited a different type of player under RichRod and then had transition troubles.  How much benefit can be debated.  

And, we all know that being able to beat Michigan when Michigan was beatbale by many teams was a source of pride for MSU.

But, MSU has done well against other Big Ten teams.  They have found a way to win some other big games.  How much does MSU's success against UM really contribute to their team's confidence?

Wojo's article in the DetNews today shed some light on how important being able to beat weak Michigan teams has been to the Spartan psyche:

The way the culture is here, Coach D always has the constant reminder — don’t forget where we came from, don’t forget when we were little brother,” safety Demetrious Cox said. “We kind of take it personally, just knowing they always do kind of put us in the backseat.”

The edge doesn’t get rounded off, certainly not among the wild-mannered, wild-maned linebackers. And they make no apologies for the focus of their fire.

“I had a great teacher, Max Bullough, showing me the ropes,” Reschke said. “He quickly got me to understand it’s a mental game, and you gotta be the craziest person on the field playing linebacker. … Coach D keeps that fuel going, and (strength coach Ken Mannie) does a great job too. They have different tactics and sayings, but the bottom line is, they teach us to hate Michigan, and it brings our play to another level.

Did anyone really think that would go away just because the Spartans have delivered vicious vengeance upon the Wolverines seven times in the past eight meetings? They mention their rival and their driving force without any prompting, and that’s how they keep the heat on. It’s not complicated, really.

There has been some question about what will happen to MSU when Michigan starts to win big on a regular basis.  Will others who filled the power vaccum, like MSU, still be solid? Yes.  Will MSU drop off if they can't build off beating RichRod/Hoke teams? Yeah, it seems it would affect their whole identity.



August 10th, 2016 at 11:37 AM ^

What happened to you?  WHo are you to tell Michigan fans not to have confidence? Did you go around talking shit about MSU for so long that you had to take it on the chin?

Some of us never did or had to endure that.  Some of us are excited for Michigan and can see it heading in the right direction on the field.  This has nothing to do with feeling better about the past.  (Michigan fans normally feel fine about their history.)

This has to do with the future.  Will something that made the current B10 champion good be gone soon?  What if there were rumors of Dantonio leaving?  Could we speculate then?  What  if there were rumors of Meyer leaving?  Could we anticipate the future then?  Can we get excited about Jim Harbaugh choosing Michigan over the NFL yet?  What if we returned a bunch of starters and had a great QB coach with a GREAT track record?  Could we talk about the future at that point?

No, you don't want to talk about the future.  You demand results, now, August 10th, weeks before the first game.  (We all know it comes down to game results, but some of us allow ourselves to think about the future....)

Being a cynic or a critic does not make you a realist.  It takes a long time for some people to realize that.


August 10th, 2016 at 4:13 PM ^

End of season Jake Rudock and we would have been up by a couple of scores when the fumble - not a blocked punt - happened.  I expect to win by a couple of scores this year.


August 10th, 2016 at 11:45 AM ^

worked at GM a bunch of years ago one of the GM engineers was at MSU when mandarich was there... he told me a story about how he was in the weight room that the football players used and saw mandarich doing standing inclines with at least 300lbs on the bar and said he was picking it up like it was a feather... he said that even then everyone knew he was on roids...

UM Fan from Sydney

August 10th, 2016 at 8:39 AM ^

Our struggles tremendously helped them; however, Dantonio is a good coach. That said, stop making MSU threads and let's just kick the shit out of them like we should have last season.


August 10th, 2016 at 8:56 AM ^

Dantonio built his program because so-called "Michigan men" wre telling HS coaches not to send their kids to Michigan.  Izzo built his program and his quasi-legend because of the Ed Martin scandal.   

If not for Michigan's self-destruction, Izzo would be known as Heathcoate v2 and Dantonio would be a coach who got Sparty to some 9-win seasons but left for a better job because he was tired of taking shit from the 'Sparty faithful."

Michigan self-destruction didn't "help" Sparty; it made them.


August 10th, 2016 at 1:34 PM ^

I agree. I still had to read this in the OP's post: "We all know that MSU got SOME benefit on the recruiting trail when Michigan recruited a different type of player under RichRod ..."

Why does that bullshit continually get recycled on this blog? Many of Dantonio's "unearthed gems" (2- and 3-star no-names) didn't even have Michigan offers.


August 10th, 2016 at 10:28 AM ^

Yeah and then Dave Brandon hired a moron who was in over his head. So even though that aspect stopped, state was already better than us by then. If Michigan hadn't had the dip that we had, state would still be mediocre. Sure Marv D'antionolio is a sold coach, but without roids and Michigan not being a force they had a MUCH easier path to success. That's what sucks the most about all this; so much of their success (and our own issues) were self-inflicted by M.


August 10th, 2016 at 10:18 AM ^

The implication is that MSU surpassed Michigan because some coaches told their guys not to come here. This ignores the fact that

  • Michigan always recruits better than MSU. Including the RR & Hoke years
  • MSU only beat Michigan in in-state recruiting one time
  • Getting one or two other 4* players would not make the teams from 2008-2014 any less crappy. Dantonio would've beaten us even if we were recruiting better during that time.

It's our development and coaching vs. MSU's which is why MSU has owned us since 2008. Dantonio is a very good coach. They would've been good even if we hadn't fallen on our faces because lest we forget, they've been recruiting 3-4* guys under Dantonio just like MSU always has. It's not like our failure has seen them landing Alabama-level classes. 


August 10th, 2016 at 11:12 AM ^

So my formula is this:

65% That Mike Dantonio is a darn good coach -  he was going to succeed no matter what.

20% That Michigan floundered with poor coaching decisions.  We floundered.

5% Backstabbing by "Michigan Men", for reasons that I will never understand.

5% Brandon - no real explanation required here.

5% Can be added at your discression to any of the above catagories. 


To me the real question is, "To what extent did MSU benefit from Michigans slump?"  It is clear to me that they would have been very good regardless.  "How good?" is the unanswerable question.


August 10th, 2016 at 8:40 AM ^

To me, it is similar to basketball, though MSU has more staying power in that sport because of somewhat of a history before Izzo and better facilities. 

After the Magic Johnson years Michigan was the superior basketball program to MSU. When Michigan got in trouble after the Fab 5 and the program slid backwards a little bit, MSU hired Izzo, a good coach, and had less competition on their way to the top. 

The same can be said for football. State, a program only relevant to college football seemingly once every 30 years, hires a good coach right as Michigan falls into an extremely uncharacteristic rut. Less competition from a major power plus a home run hire allows them to turn a dump into a shiny, nice-smelling dump. 

So TL;DR - It's a large part Michigan declining and removing their main, massive competition. It's also hitting a home run hire at the exact same time. 


August 10th, 2016 at 8:41 AM ^

this quote: “I had a great teacher, Max Bullough, showing me the ropes,” Reschke said. “He quickly got me to understand it’s a mental game, and you gotta be the craziest person on the field playing linebacker."

didn't max have some "help" with being the craziest person on the field?!?! ;)


August 10th, 2016 at 8:44 AM ^

I would say there is a correlation. MSU's last period of this much success was what, in the 1960s? That also coincided with a downturn at Michigan.

I don't know whether there is a causal relationship there, but it would make sense if we start suffocating them for recruits and whatnot that they would backslide.


August 10th, 2016 at 9:01 AM ^

I know it is one that is part of program history, but I wish we could delete this thread. We have beaten the shit out of this horse. Just win and restore order and shut those clowns up for good.