Mich-MSU Rivalry: Worst, Over-Hyped, Neutral Site?


With the Backyard Brawl this weekend, we thought it would be fun to name some of our favorite and least favorite things about our teams.

We will cover memories, traditions and over-hyped recruits. We’ll also go over whether or not we would like to see this game be played at a neutral site, a.k.a. Ford Field. Make sure to tweet us your responses @woodwardsports.

Owen Oszust will answer for Michigan State, while Jeramy Stover will take Michigan.

Worst Alternate Uniforms

Jeramy: I’m not someone that hates every alternate jersey a team throws out there, like most fans these days. There aren’t many, if any, of Michigan’s recent alternate uniforms that I really liked, but I respect the effort. The one I really dislike is the white bumblebee designed one’s from the 2011 game against MSU. Those were a big swing and a miss.

Owen: So I’m not a big fan of the neon jerseys that MSU currently has. The only good thing about those jerseys is that MSU hasn’t lost in them. I’ve also heard this is the last year that they’re wearing them as well.

Jeramy: Wait, you don’t like the neon jerseys? I’ve never heard anyone ever say that before.

Least Favorite Gameday Tradition

Owen: I honestly can’t think of a tradition that I dislike. I guess the only thing would be the MSU DJs trying to force Stacey’s Mom to be our song. That just hasn’t caught on, and MSU should figure out a song to play. I think it all comes down to finding a song that students and all fans can sing along to. So, if anything, MSU should start a tradition.

Jeramy: To this day, I still don’t get how singing Mr. Brightside became a thing. MLive even did an article on this last year, and I still don’t understand. No one in the band has local ties, no mention of anything local in the song, nothing. It’s such a random song to play.

Owen: I actually have the answer to that. I know the DJ that got that started, named Josh Bennington. He’s a really great guy, and I got to know him during the MSU basketball season. Basically, the story goes that he was the DJ for the Michigan football games a while ago. He was asked to play a throwback song, and he played Mr. Brightside which became wildly successful with the student section.

The next game he didn’t play it and the students were extremely displeased. Josh then played it ever since until he left, and it has been a huge hit.

Most Underrated Former Player

Jeramy: Leon Hall was a hell of a player that doesn’t get talked about enough. He had 12 interceptions in his Michigan career. Hall was a first team All-American in 2006 and even was second team All-Pro in the NFL in 2009.

Owen: Shilique Calhoun was such a dominant player on defense. He finished his Spartan career with 27 sacks, 131 tackles, 44 TFL, four forced fumbles, and an interception. Calhoun was a part of some great defensive teams for the Spartans. He would be a guy that was fun to watch on every Saturday.

Recruit You Were too Excited About That Didn’t Pan Out

Owen: Not necessarily a big recruit, but after the 2020 MSU vs Michigan game, I had really high hopes for Ricky White. He averaged 22.3 yards per catch in his freshman year. If not for White, MSU wouldn’t have beaten Michigan that year. He ended up transferring to UNLV.

Jeramy: Similar to the Beatles wave that swept America, the Sam McGuffie hype train was at max capacity. If any Michigan fan says they weren’t aboard, then they’re lying. This guy looked like an American Ninja Warrior breaking tackles. He ended up transferring after one year at Michigan, where he racked up 486 yards and three touchdowns.

Biggest Reason Other Fans Bases Hate Your Team

Jeramy: Because they have the most wins in the history of college football… I’m kidding, of course. This is easy, it’s the arrogance. Plain and simple.

Owen: At the moment, I would say because of two words… ‘Tuck Comin’

Jeramy: I would say Brady Hoke uttering ‘This is Michigan’ was worse. That played straight into the arrogance.

Favorite Moment in the Rivalry

Owen: For me, it’s Kenneth Walker’s 5 touchdowns last year. Whether MSU won or lost that game, it was easily top 10 best college football games from last year. The fact that FOX Big Noon Kickoff, ESPN’s College Gameday, Barstool, CBS, etc. were all there built up the hype even more. I can’t remember being more nervous before a game, and I wasn’t even playing in it. The entire time was a rollercoaster of emotions, and the celebration was even better.

Jeramy: Watching WSN’s own Braylon Edwards destroy the Michigan State secondary and lead Michigan to a 45-37 comeback win in triple overtime. That 2004 game was truly an instant classic.

I have to mention this because it was a moment that turned the rivalry around. When former Spartan coach Mark Dantonio responded to Mike Hart’s little brother comments, you knew things would never be the same. “It’s not over, it’ll never be over here. It’s just starting.” I miss Mark, and yet I’m so glad he’s gone at the same time.

Would You Like to See a Neutral Site Game?

Jeramy: I’m going to say no, but I would be intrigued to see this tested out for a year. A big selling point to college football is the pageantry, and you lose a lot of that when you’re at a neutral site. Not to mention the only place they could play is Ford Field which I’m sorry that doesn’t really get the juices flowing for me.

Owen: I definitely will say no for this one. I don’t even think the College Football Playoff games should be neutral site games until the Championship. The only place it would make sense to hold a neutral site game would be at Ford Field, which is closer to Ann Arbor. I love the way that it currently is, and the atmosphere of the game being held on campus is fantastic.

Photo Credit: © Nick King/Lansing State Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK