Little brother like no other?

Submitted by blueheron on October 7th, 2009 at 12:01 PM

Recently I've been wondering how any other in-state rivalries compare to the Wolverines & Spartans. In the (state of) Michigan case, we have one school that has historically dominated another school on and off the field (if not the court, ha). How might that be quantified? Well, these two resources were helpful:…

Michigan has a 68.8% winning percentage against MSU and is a whopping 45 spots ahead of it in the U.S. News and World Report ranking (for what it's worth). Domination, correct?

What other in-state rivalries compare? Sticking to apples-and-apples comparisons, there aren't many. This will be restricted to BCS-level public schools. So, I won't be comparing USC and UCLA or OSU and Kent State.

Here are the rivalries where the dominant football school (one that has won at least 60% of the games) is at least forty spaces ahead in the academic ranking. The number shown is the difference between rankings.

**: Texas and Texas Tech (which is a "Tier 3" school, meaning it's ranked somewhere beyond 130, which means that the difference is at least 83, since UT is #47)
75: Washington and Washington State
53: North Carolina and NC State
53: Florida and Florida State
47: Clemson and South Carolina
45: UM and MSU
41: Kansas and Kansas State

Here's how the ranking looks for football (with winning percentage):

74.1%: Texas and Texas Tech
68.8%: UM and MSU
65.2%: Washington and Washington State
64.6%: North Carolina and NC State
63.7%: Kansas and Kansas State
62.4%: Clemson and South Carolina
61.1%: Florida and Florida State

So, by the numbers, Texas Tech is much more of a little brother to Texas than MSU is to UM. It could be that it's just accepted there, unlike here. Any Texans care to comment on that? UW and WSU have impressive numbers, too. I have the sense that it's similar to our rivalry. None of the other rivalries (despite the impressive numbers) seem comparable. UNC, Clemson, and Kansas aren't historical football powers. Florida is obviously at the top of the heap now, but FSU has had some good years in the modern age.

Comments welcome...



October 7th, 2009 at 12:20 PM ^

I have friends at both these schools. The little brother analogy fits basketball as well. The only difference between their situation and ours is that UNC does not have an engineering school so the excuse of going to NCSU for a specific program is significantly more valid. That said, I would say that NCSU has a definite little brother complex.

MGoBlog Fan

October 7th, 2009 at 12:39 PM ^

...Tech is not really a rival to Texas. Lubbock is over 330 miles away from Austin. Tech is more like Directional Michigan to Texas.

Texas / A&M is more comparable, geographically and emotionally. Texas has .644 win percentage against A&M since nineteen ought two.


October 7th, 2009 at 12:40 PM ^

With several family members having gone to WSU, this comparison seems pretty close to me. UW is a top tier public university with an outstanding med school, law school, etc, while WAZZU is the cow college. UW has typically dominated the rivalry, and has a much greater national image. There is even a commonly used phrase, to "coug it", which is basically analogous to "Sparty, NO!". See here:

There are a couple difference - first, the Apple Cup is THE rivalry for both schools. Second, the schools are five hours apart and the state is very divided geographically - if you live on the west side of the Cascade Mountains, you generally root for the Huskies. On the east side, the Cougars. Michigan doesn't seem to have similarly split loyalties.


October 7th, 2009 at 2:49 PM ^

in addition to those already mentioned
Purdue - Indiana
Oregon-Oregon State
Iowa-Iowa State
Georgia-Georgia Tech
Colorado - Colorado State
Arizona - Arizona State
And, if you consider private schools,
Stanford - Cal
Utah - BYU

The King of Belch

October 8th, 2009 at 12:25 AM ^

I think it's called "Bedlam" or something: Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.

And uh, am I alone in wishing Message Board Guy would finally PLEASE give up the "Lil Bro" bullshit as well as the college academic ranking asshat stuff? That crap is more arbitrary and vague than Joe Paterno handing his coach's poll ballot to his paperboy.