It is a tale nearly as old as college football itself: Michigan State and Michigan, two in-state rivals, don’t really like each other.
On Monday, sources from each team revealed their level of distaste for the other, and also revealed why possible plans for a night game between the Spartans and Wolverines on the gridiron was nixed.
It was during a news conference that Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis and his Michigan counterpart, U-M AD Dave Brandon, both agreed that a night game between the two storied teams on the football field was a bad idea.
“We don’t think it’s a good idea, from our perspective – the nature of that rivalry and the intensity of it,” Brandon said before he and Hollis led their respective teams in the annual B1G AD Golf Challenge at Lansing Country Club.
“When you put that on at prime-time and give everybody all day long to gear up for it, I know hosting that at Michigan Stadium, we think that’s probably taking it a step further than it needs to go.
“There’s plenty of excitement and plenty of high-pitched emotions associated with that game, I don’t think we need to kick it off at 8 p.m. I don’t think that will add anything to it and potentially could detract from it.”
When it comes to intensity between these two teams, there’s certainly nothing lacking. After four-straight years of victories, the Spartans narrowly lost last season in The Big House, adding more fuel to the already raging fire burning on both sidelines.
Michigan State senior linebacker Max Bullough knows how fierce the rivalry actually is between the two programs, and commented on the matter to help illustrate just how much both teams genuinely do not like one another.
“To the highest level that dislike goes,” Bullough said last week in Chicago. “I think it’s respect, though. We respect them; they respect us. But I think that’s the most intense rivalry as there gets in sports, Michigan-Michigan State. Similar to Notre Dame-USC, whatever it is. Florida-Florida State. It’s all those rivalries that are of the utmost whatever you want to call it. Utmost dislike.”
As for last year’s slim 12-10 victory by the Wolverines in Ann Arbor, Bullough agreed it was only about to make things much more impassioned.
“I remember they didn’t score a touchdown on us. That’s the first thing I remember about that game,” Bullough said. “I really only remember the last drive, when they scored on us, when they scored that field goal and drove 20, 30 yards to get into field-goal range. It was devastating, you know? We thought we had the win again. I was on the sideline before that drive and I thought it was over. I was on the bus. And then all the sudden we’re back out there and we lose again. It’s devastating.”
You can follow MSU writer, Michael Ferro, at twitter.com/MichaelFerro.