MSU vs. ND -- What is Best for Michigan?

Submitted by king_kerridge on September 19th, 2009 at 8:53 AM

From a cheering standpoint, Notre Dame vs. MSU this week has a similar feel as USC vs. OSU last week. Granted, for most people it was easy to cheer for USC and want to see the Buckeyes suffer, but I struggle weighing Big Ten respect against the delicious tears of the OSU faithful. I have a feeling everyone would agree that the best case scenario this afternoon would be if both teams lost, but reality makes that unlikely.

In order to make my decision on who to cheer for, it is pretty obvious to delineate the scenario that is best for Michigan. This is assuming the hatred for each team and its respective fan base is equal, which is not the case for most people. I used to hate MSU with a passion, but most of my friends in grad school are Spartys (sp?) which has tempered my distain significantly and I consider the Irish and MSU on the same tier just below Ohio State.

Brian has been using a constant theme to temper the expectations of the fan base after the great start this year -- Tate Forcier will inevitably regress to the mean. Freshman make mistakes and these are most likely to occur on the road. Considering the first road game is in East Lansing, the best scenario for Michigan is to be playing a MSU team that is in typical Spary Noooo! collapse mode. If MSU were to lose today and drop to 1-2, they would play @ Wisconsin next week and be in significant danger of falling to 1-3 before facing Michigan. I would much rather face a self-destructing MSU team than one whom has a huge win under their belt and some major confidence.

On the Notre Dame side, we can look short term and long term:

  • Long term – The best thing for Michigan is for Charlie Weiss to be the coach through 2053. I shudder to imagine what Notre Dame would be if they had a real coach (Urban Meyer) who recruited the same talent as the Blue Whale. Lose to a mediocre MSU team at home and you might as well ask Charlie to choose between death and sugar-free ice cream – well, that doesn’t make any sense but basically he is fired.

  • Short term – Other than seeing the Irish faithful taking a few steps closer to the edge, nothing is really gained. The win last week is not as impressive and the chances of ND making a BCS bowl go from slim to none. Unless you need Schadenfreude to survive, an Irish loss doesn’t do much for Michigan.

I hate Notre Dame as much as the next blue-blooded Wolverine, but for me the choice is clear this week…Go Irish!



September 19th, 2009 at 9:09 AM ^

Best case scenario is an MSU beat down. I would echo all your statements exactly. Going in to EL would be much better vs a 1-3 or 2-2 team vs one building momentum. Also ND going 11-1 or 10-2 would make that victory that much better. I'm actually not watching that game very much as I will be tuned into the Iowa-Zona game. We need the hawks to be strong when we go to Iowa City for their homecoming. But that's looking a little far ahead. I'm hoping to pound EMU today and see a lot of Denard.


September 19th, 2009 at 9:29 AM ^

As far as Big Ten respect goes, does an MSU loss to ND really have that much impact considering our win last week? I say no but the national reputation may take another one on the chin since the media (for whatever reason) thought MSU would be a top 3-4 Big Ten team this year.


September 19th, 2009 at 9:37 AM ^

What's best for Michigan: Beating both of them.

In the long run, it doesn't really matter who wins this game. One team wins, the other team loses. You could argue ND winning will make them look better, making us look better.

You could argue that we beat ND when they looked like they were going to be good, so that will make us look good, and if MSU wins, that will make them look better, so that will make us look better if we beat them. Pollsters tend to like who looks good over teams they beat now than teams they beat in September.

It doesn't really matter either way. As long as Michigan beats both of them, the world is a better place.


September 19th, 2009 at 9:51 AM ^

they're playing each other doesn't mean I cheer for one or the other.

That said, at this point, I want Notre Dame to run the table because they have more to gain from being 11-1 (media darlings - guaranteed BCS), than State does. State already lost and they're going to lose again on October 3rd. So, losing today just makes them miserable. That is good.

I'm off to the Cal at Minnesota game. Jahvid Best = dynamite.


September 19th, 2009 at 9:59 AM ^

If ND runs the table from here on out they'll be higher ranked than if MSU does, so if we want to have beaten the highest ranked team possible at the end of the season, I think we should root for ND to completely dominate.


September 19th, 2009 at 10:07 AM ^

If the thinking goes:

ND loses
Jabba the Weiss is fired sooner, rather than later
ND gets a better coach

I'm not sure I agree. Although Weiss is a blowhard of epic proportions, he appears the have finally assembled a very good staff of assistants. O-line and defensive play have really improved over the last couple of years. Wouldn't another upheaval, rejection by Urban Meyer and years of restructuring be good for Michigan?

That being said, I'll adopt my usual approach when 2 of Michigan's rivals play: Root for injuries.


September 19th, 2009 at 10:40 AM ^

When you see a player from a rival team go down with a serious, possibly career threatening injury, do you feel all warm and fuzzy inside?

I cheer for comic ineptness, but I'd never hope to see a ton of injuries on the field.


September 19th, 2009 at 10:11 AM ^

I think I would rather see MSU beat ND, and here's why: Looking toward Oct. 3, I would rather face an overconfident 3-1 MSU who thinks the CMU game is just a fluke than a desperate 2-2 or 1-3 team. Dealing the Sparty fans will be nearly unbearable until then, but I think Forcier & co. will show them who is the best team in the state.

On the flip side, ND will probably have a (forgive me in advance for this) come-to-touchdown-Jesus meeting after losing at home to MSU again. Other than USC, ND could win the rest of their games, end at 9-3, get into a New Year's day bowl, and (hopefully) save Charlie's job.

El Jeffe

September 19th, 2009 at 11:37 AM ^

First of all, ND is going to win this game by at least 28 points, so there's that. Book it.

Second, I think that, despite the fact that Fat Chaz turned out to be the biggest whining douche in recorded history, and deserves to be beaten in the most humiliating way imaginable, it probably would be best for UM to have ND win and completely demoralize State in the process.

In future years when I'm more confident that UM can beat anyone at any time, I'd probably change my vote; however, this year we need a road win at MSU, so I'd like them to be totally hapless by then, and a big beat down by ND would send them in that direction.


September 19th, 2009 at 1:27 PM ^

I don't think msu's pass defense will not be able to stop tate and floyd at all because they couldn't stop CMU's wide recievers and i don't even know their names. Fat charlie will get his win against a big ten team and espn and lou holtz will be kissing his big, fat butt the WHOLE weekend.