Rivalry between Michigan and Michigan State is always very heated, and things came to a head last Saturday as the in-state rivals matched up in East Lansing.
Much to the chagrin of the maize and blue fans, it came up all Spartans Saturday afternoon, as the Michigan State defense paced the team to a resounding 29-6 victory.
The Paul Bunyan trophy returned to East Lansing along with bragging rights for Spartan fans, but now it is time to look forward. This team has the chance to play in the Big Ten Championship with a shot at the Rose Bowl, and a bye week is integral to those chances.
Nebraska (6-2 overall, 3-1 Big Ten) travels to Ann Arbor to play the Wolverines (6-2 overall, 2-2 Big Ten) in a game that has huge Legends Division title implications.
If the Cornhuskers can hand Michigan their first home loss under Brady Hoke, they would be only one game behind the Spartans, making next week’s trip to Lincoln an even bigger matchup. However, if rival Michigan pulls out the win, that will put both them and the Huskers two games behind the Spartans in the Legends Division.
What does that mean? It means Michigan State would likely have to lose their remaining three games in order to not make it to Indy. The way this team looks right now, I cannot see that happening.
Michigan State’s remaining games are on the road against Nebraska and Northwestern, then at home to finish the season against Minnesota.
Northwestern is in complete and utter free fall, losing all five of their Big Ten games.
Minnesota is quietly 3-2 in conference play right now, but with remaining games against Penn State and Wisconsin before traveling to East Lansing for the season finale, it doesn’t look likely that they’ll remain a threat.
With all that being said, IF Michigan beats Nebraska Saturday, Michigan State could seal the Legends title next Saturday in Lincoln.
The point is, Spartan fans – we already beat our rivals. Now it is time to cheer them on for a week, and getting a little bit of help never hurts.
Dan Tyler is the host of Spartan Red Zone for Impact Sports.
Photo: Michigan State Athletics