Question about our rivalries

Submitted by duffman is thr… on January 14th, 2012 at 2:09 PM

So, with the basketball game coming up on Tuesday against MSU, I was chatting with some co-workers who happen to be State fans/grads about rivalries. We all know who the big dog is for us in football at least: Ohio. My question to you all is does this rivalry translate to the other sport's or is there another more meaningful game on the calendar? 

To me, I want to beat Ohio in everything obviously, but I think MSU might be the bigger rival when it comes to basketball and hockey, and I claim to know nothing about our baseball or other sports' rivals. Agree? Disagree? Blasphemy? Discuss.



January 14th, 2012 at 2:13 PM ^

I view Michigan State as a bigger rival in basketball.  When I was a kid, Indiana was a good rival in hoops....but I'm as old as dirt.

Mitch Cumstein

January 14th, 2012 at 2:21 PM ^

I view ND and MSU bigger rivals in hockey than OSU for sure.  I think all sports have different rivals. I mean, it nice to beat OSU in any sport, but I don't think the football rivalry really translate to all other sports.


January 14th, 2012 at 2:24 PM ^

The only time I would ever cheer for Sparty is:  any time they play USC, ND and/or Ohio.  They are the only teams I dislike more . . . have never liked them!  I even hated the fact that my high school colors were green and white! Not Gonna' LIe!


January 14th, 2012 at 2:31 PM ^

I don't think Ohio fans are really aware that they have a hockey program.  Value City Arena sounded like people started a hockey game in the middle of a library last night.  Tomorrow's game in Cleveland might be a pro-Michigan crowd.


January 14th, 2012 at 2:43 PM ^

... I think OSU in Football is king, MSU in basketball and hockey.

From MSU fans' perspective it's UM in football ... but from a basketball perspective I wonder if the years of MSU being so good at basketball while UM relatively not-so-good have changed things.  My theory is that OSU and MSU are the two kingpins in basketball for the past half dozen years, so MSU would view OSU as their rivals at that level of play.  Michigan basketball is coming back, but for many years they were clearly inferior to MSU.  That changes how MSU might have viewed the "rivalry."

I think ... just musing.



January 14th, 2012 at 4:27 PM ^

Michigan State has the fifth highest winning percentage of all Big Ten teams (behind Michigan, Ohio, Nebraska, and Penn State). They also claim 6 national championships, which is third of the Big Ten teams (behind Michigan and Ohio). However, they only have 7 Big Ten championships, which puts them at 9th in the conference. Regardless, to say they are "pathetic" is inaccurate.

Doc Brown

January 14th, 2012 at 7:58 PM ^

Sorry, but it is completely true. When the University of Chicago has more B1G titles than you, then you know you have a POS program that should just give up. They are pathetic. They care more about Michigan losing than MSU winning. I am embarrased to have that shitty halfway program, oops I mean university in our conference. We should kick them out and invite Syracuse. At least Syracuse has a Heisman winner. In conclusion, MSU blows.


January 14th, 2012 at 3:34 PM ^

Anyone who doesn't consider MSU a rival in football (especially now) is a douche.

I think most Michigan fans -- including me -- have MSU pretty squarely on the radar map now.  But that wasn't always the case.  Mike Hart's unfortunate "little brother" comment came from that stock of thinking.

But I think during all those down years for UM basketball the folks up in East Lansing looked at UM basketball in much the same way.  A rivalry on paper, but in reality pretty far down the list of things to get excited about.


January 14th, 2012 at 5:29 PM ^

should revise your comment to say: Anyone UNDER 25 who doesn't consider MSU a rival in football (especially now) is a douche.

Moo U is NOT a rivalry.  You need to understand the definition of the rivalry.  In a rivalry, we must compete in areas other than that sport.  We are not in competition with Lil Bro.  Look at recruiting the past 5 years and especially this year.  There is not one recruit that Michigan wanted desperately that ended up at Lil Bro.  Arnett went to Lil Bro after he found out that he could not get in.  Michigan does not compete for the same student as Moo U does.  We have a higher incoming SAT, we have higher ranked colleges, the only area where Moo U has an advantage is with the DVM degree.  This is not really a rival since we do not offer that degree.  We have a better band, we have a better campus, we have better Alums, we have better traditions, we ARE college football, we have the most wins.  I could go on and on.

In sports it is the same way.  We compete hard with OSU for recruits.  Dunn is the most recent name.  We wanted him bad.  He was on our sidelines for The Game.  Now that he went to OSU most of us wished him luck, except against us.  It is a respect thing.  OSU is a rival because of that.  We compete for the entire Northern Half of Ohio.  Woodson and Howard come to mind. 

A rival is a team that you HATE to lose to. 

Lil Bro is a team we want to beat every single time.  However, isnt that the same with every team?  The only reason we want to win a little more is because we will hear about it Monday at school or the office or at Church.  Whereas if Purdue beats us, we only see it in the blogs.  Moo U beat us 4 years in a row, big deal.  When they beat us 10 years straight, raise an eyebrow.  Lil Bro is not a rival, never has been, never will be.


January 14th, 2012 at 6:45 PM ^

In a rivalry, we must compete in areas other than that sport.

I can't agree with your conclusion because I don't agree with your premise. I see no reason why we need to include competition in fields other than sport in the definition of our sports rivals. And even if you do include this in the definition, Michigan competes more directly with MSU than it does with OSU for undergraduates, state funding, etc. (And yes, we do compete with MSU for undergrads; and yes, there do exist students who got into both schools who choose MSU over Michigan.)


January 14th, 2012 at 6:52 PM ^

is not to say there is never a student that is accepted to both schools that chooses MSU.  There might be 1 or 2.  My point is that overall the students that apply to UM and get accepted do not apply to Moo U.  However, according to USNWR, 60% of Moo U incoming freshman applied to UM but was rejected.  S

So I have no doubt that there are some reasons, unknown to me, that a student would choose to go to moo u instead of UM.  So the data is clear, and the debate is over.


January 14th, 2012 at 8:26 PM ^

The one quibble the I have with your argument, which also negates the complete post, is that the Spartan Marching Band is a far superior marching band than the Michigan Marching Band. This calls into question your entire judgement thus making your points invalid. 


January 14th, 2012 at 10:50 PM ^

Thanks for pointing that our.  I have it listed in my diary of why moo u is lil bro.  I just dont understand what people are thinking.  The MMB is #1 in every independant poll that I have seen.  We have the best pre-game as well as the best fight song.  The facts are in and the debate is over.

Lil bro hates the fact that we are better than him in just about every category.  I would think that Moo U would want to get out of the Big Ten like Nick Saben did just to avoid all the press we get.  It really isnt fair to them either.  How can they compare to us?  It really is not healthy for them.

Someone called me arrogant the other day.  Then I read a tag line that said, "We not arrogant, we are confident".  The wife and I went to the Sugar Bowl and got there on NYE.  I wore my M gear 24/7.  It was very nice to hear everyone talk about "Big Blue" and how they loved our fight song and how they wished they had a great band like ours.  I was even talking to some Va Tech alums and they were honored to be playing us.  They respected our traditions, love for academics and sports.  I always carried myself high and never berated VT or talked down to them.  I didnt even guarantee a victory.  I kept saying it will be a good game.

We have something very special here.  I just hope that people realize that.…


January 15th, 2012 at 4:52 PM ^

My dad used the term Moo U in Nov 1969 as I recall.  My sister went to sparty in 1973.  Every time she came home, I would call it moo u.  My dad stopped using the term so as not to upset her.  She tried to get me grounded but my dad told her to just ignore me, which of course, she couldnt.  Over the years, she always said that we cheated, or the refs favored us or some lame-assed excuse.  She even said she was "sick and tired" of hearing about the Wolverines. 

So you see, I have a long standing history with sparty.  I live an hour or so away from both campuses.  I work in the auto industry so I know many people from both schools.  There are many rational spartys that acknowledge that we are the "Leaders and Best".  I respect them and have no issues with going back and forth with them. 

However, those that continue to "hate" on us need help.  It is difficult for them to understand how we can be so Great and they cant.  It is pompus actually.  So I ask, "Why do you think that spart deserves to be in the same realm as UM?"  "Just give me one aspect of sparty that is better than us."  They have no answer and that is the real truth. 

They know deep inside that sparty cannot compete with us, and they hate that.  So instead of channeling that energy toward making sparty better, they hate on us.  I guess we need more shrinks in this state.





January 14th, 2012 at 2:56 PM ^

 To me it is ALWAYS Ohio!  Then ND, and then MSU. I want to beat Ohio in everything, first and foremost!

 However, Of the 3 the only one I ALWAYS root against is ND!

 Only makes sense to me that if a B1G wins against someone else, it is better for UofM. 

 Also, I guess Mike Hart really put it correct for me... "MSU IS our little brother", and though they may be irritating at times I also will wish them well for the most part.


January 14th, 2012 at 5:13 PM ^

I agree with you when you say, " I want to beat Ohio in everything, first and foremost!"

There's noone I like to see Michigan beat more than Ohio State, regardless of which sport were talking about. But the team I always root against  is also Ohio State. I don't care how it makes the big 10 look. I want Ohio State to lose everything all the time. I have almost as much fun watching Ohio State lose as I do watching Michigan win.


January 14th, 2012 at 3:03 PM ^

Its the reverse for MSU. They view Michigan as a secondary nuisance in basketball like Michign views them in football. They want to beat Michigan but its more because its annoying to lose to an "inferior" program. For MSU the team they hate the most is Wisconsin and its not even a conversation. Bo Ryan pisses off the fans. The style of play pisses off the fans. And not being able to win in the Kohl center (until this year) pisses them off too.


In football its just the opposite obviously. MSU hates Michigan 1. then Wisconsin and ND in some order


January 14th, 2012 at 4:40 PM ^

Bo Ryan pisses off the fans. The style of play pisses off the fans. And not being able to win in the Kohl center (until this year) pisses them off too.

That's not just an MSU thing though. Everybody hates Bo Ryan


January 14th, 2012 at 3:14 PM ^

is how good the teams are in a given year. Beating #2 OSU 4-0 at the Schott last night in hockey is obviously a huge rivalry win. If the opposing team is not as good/ranked then it's harder to get as amped up about the "rivalry" aspect of the game, at least in football.

Football pecking order: OSU, ND, Nebraska, MSU, Minnesota, ... Illinois (lol)

In basketball that school in Lansing is probably on par with OSU as far as rivalries are concerned. We don't play ND often enough in basketball for them to be a rival in that sport. Other B10 matchups are not as interesting since most games are decided by home-court advantage assuming both teams are reasonably competent.

Ice hockey ND is definitely our #1 rival, followed by Miami, then MSU, then OSU. The B10 hockey conference will start to change that after the CCHA goes the way of the dodo.

Perkis-Size Me

January 14th, 2012 at 3:24 PM ^

IMO, I always consider Ohio to be our biggest rival, whether its football, basketball, or water polo. I don't care what it is, I just want to beat them. Period.

Having said that, I think the overall opinion on who is the bigger rival in basketball is MSU. Simply because its instate, and they've always had the tradition of being very good. I'd still like to think Ohio is our bigger rival in basketball, but when I think of Michigan basketball rivalries, the first one that comes to mind is MSU.

Still, even if MSU is the biggest, Ohio isn't far behind. Every time I think of them, I think of Evan Turner in the B1G Tourney, and it makes me want to punch a window.


January 14th, 2012 at 3:32 PM ^

With hockey, it's definitely MSU.

With basketball, I don't see MSU so much as a rival, as the gold standard in the conference that everyone measures themselves against, which means it's always a big game. However, this is mostly due to Izzo than any sort of tradition.  If Izzo were the coach at NWstern, I'm sure I feel the same way about them.

For a team to bea rival, losing to them has to be infuritating. I don't think losing to MSU is basketball is infuriating the way losing to OSU in football is. But if you beat MSU, it's always a big win.


January 14th, 2012 at 3:40 PM ^

For a team to be a rival, losing to them has to be infuritating.

I like that formulation ... a lot.

For me, in football, a UM loss to OSU is the worst.  Puts me in a really bad mood.

Then Notre Dame.  I really hate Notre Dame football.  Losing to them is maddening.  Losing to them then having every TV sports commentor drooling over Notre Dame and how awesome they are and all that crap ... arggh.



January 14th, 2012 at 3:39 PM ^

In basketball is kidding you or themselves. Izzo doesn't run up the score past 50 against anyone else. He doesn't "guarantee" victory against other teams. There's no team he'd rather beat, that gets his juices flowing more. And the fans know that too. There may be bigger games, like a year in football where Wisconsin or Iowa or somebody means more to the Big Ten title, but it doesn't mean you want to beat them any more.


January 14th, 2012 at 4:02 PM ^

MSU lives and dies by Dramond Green . They are an average to bad team without him.
<br>Who matches up against him--Novak giving up some height but nit heart? i want that win. 2-0 last year was fantastic and shut up the MSU grad morons in the mail room.


January 14th, 2012 at 4:04 PM ^

I don't care what sport it is, Sparty always sux.  The difference is that I root for Sparty when they're not playing us, I always root for OSU to lose.

The Football rivalries translate to all sports.  So in order OSU, then ND, then Sparty. This means that even as rivalries go, the Sparty rivalry is little brother. 


January 14th, 2012 at 5:18 PM ^

I believe it was in the middle of March in 2000, right before I graduated, I believe. I think it might have been the last game of the year too. Sorry, couldn't pass up a trivia question. I would say that ND is not our primary rival in anything except maybe hockey really - it's been nearly 12 years since we played them in basketball, and they took a nearly a three-decade break from us in football, I believe, in the middle of the last century. 

When it comes to basketball, however, I would say MSU is our biggest rival, and really in hockey, I think MSU and ND share the honor. For football, it has been and always shall be Ohio, of course. 


January 15th, 2012 at 1:37 PM ^

 ND gets a super-nod in football as a rival just because of history.  Many in their 20's and under just weren't exposed to the constant Michigan and ND are THE two winnest college football programs in history (Now supplanted by TX).

 You watch any old movie on TV with references to ND then, and Michigan was being faced next week and was the "bad guy". So when they started playing each other again it was significant news and publicity.  ( Gawd, can almost hear Chris Schenkel, Keith Jackson, Dick Enberg, etc. calling or reporting the game in my head... 8P)


 "Get ready! It's #1 v. #2 the two winningest teams, Michigan and ND next!"