Rants, comments, thoughts and funny - mostly funny - on all things Michigan and college football.

If you have ideas, tips, links or pictures for the blog, e-mail us at: MichiganZone at gmail dot com.

Thanks for checking out the M Zone. And if you enjoy the site, please pass the link on to a friend or two. We'd sure appreciate it.

Twitter: @MZoneBlog

Facebook/MZoneBlog

Best Of Tat and Tresselgate

M Zone Videos

Best Of MZone 2.0

Best Of The Original MZone

Tosu Favorites

MZone Archive

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Know Your Foe - Michigan State 2007

After maintaining possession of the Little Brown Jug last Saturday, Michigan will try to hold on to the Paul Bunyan Trophy this Saturday in East Lansing. The Wolverines have won four in a row in this series, including a dominating win last year. For the season, U-M has won seven in a row after a disastrous 0-2 start. Sparty started strong at 4-0, but has lost four out of five since and are in 10th place in the Big Ten. The Countdown Clock is about to strike zero, so without further delay, here is this week’s edition of the MZone's KNOW YOUR FOE.

History – Founded in 1855 as the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan, though there were no classes until 1857 (and not many since). Contrary to popular belief, it was not the first land grant college in the U.S., though it did serve as the model for which all following land grant universities were modeled. The original curriculum eschewed Latin and Greek studies, but did require three hours of daily manual labor. In 1859, this curriculum was deemed too elitist and the college became a two-year vocational school. A couple years later, the school changed its name to State Agricultural College (yes, SAC) and went back to being a four-year school. The school has had six different names including Michigan Agricultural College, Michigan State College of Agriculture and Applied Science, Michigan State University of Agriculture and Applied Science, and finally Michigan State University since 1964.

Location – East Lansing, Michigan, which is celebrating its Centennial this year. The town has a bit of a love-hate relationship with the university. The town was a dry town until the 1960s, but since then it has been known as a major party town. From huge block parties in the '70s and '80s, to near annual riots after big basketball games, it's almost surprising the flaming couch isn't on the town seal. The Cedar Village area, which is home to many MSU students, has been declared "blighted" by the city, with plans to demolish and develop the area with condos and shopping centers.

The Michigan State campus is huge, but is considered one of the prettiest in the country. The W. J. Beal Botanical Garden is the oldest of its kind in the U.S. The Red Cedar River on campus is a popular spot for students. Though named for the trees along the river's source, the trees are actually junipers, not cedars.

Nickname – Spartans. The teams were known as Aggies until 1925. At that time, a contest was held for a new nickname and - Know Your Foe is not kidding about this - Michigan Staters was selected. The name was deemed too unwieldy for headline writers, so Spartans was then taken as the de facto nickname. The mascot, Sparty, lives on campus in statue form, as well as comical mascot during sporting events. The terra cotta version of Sparty, which depicts the mascot as a Spartan warrior stood outside from 1945 until recently when it was moved indoors to be protected from the weather (not much of a warrior if you ask me). A bronze version of the original was erected in the former spot and is guarded during the week before the Michigan game by members of the marching band. Boy, those Sparties sure are hung up on protecting their turf in a literal sense, not figuratively, on the football field.

Cartoonish Sparty has shown up at MSU athletic events since 1989. He's won the Mascot of the Year award twice and was nominated to the Mascot Hall of Fame last summer (yes, there is such a thing).

Colors/Logo/Fight Song – Green and White. Know Your Foe has always been partial to these colors. They're sharp and not used all that much in college football, but Michigan will have played two of the five teams that use the combo this year. The Spartans made an improvement when they moved to a more metallic green in the mid '90s. But they've gone back and forth on so many of their logos that they can't really establish an identity. Of course not winning the conference outright since 1987 might have something to do with that, too. They've used the current Spartan head design on four different occasions. They've had the block "S" for two different stints, including one where they only had it on the right side of the helmet, mimicking the Pittsburgh Steelers. And my goodness, what in the world were they thinking in the mid-'70s?In addition to the Spartan head, the athletic department has used numerous wordmarks, most of them emphasizing the word "State." Talk to people not from Michigan - when they hear someone talking about State, they're bound to laugh. It truly does sound like something that would be said on Leave It To Beaver. "Yes, Mrs. Cleaver, Wallace and I are planning on applying to State..."

The MSU Fight Song is another among the top fight songs in the country. From the opening line of "On the banks of the Red Cedar" to the concluding "Fight! Fight! Rah, team fight!" it's a classic. But with the performance of the football team, they might want to think about dropping the "Victory for MSU" part.

Academics – MSU is ranked 71st in the U.S. News rankings, which ties them with last week’s opponent, Minnesota. Sparty is tied for 9th in the Big Ten, ahead of only Indiana. Of course, they pale in virtually every category to Michigan academically which has led to numerous family dinners being ruined. But talk to any Sparty alumnus and they'll be sure to point out how they have a real strong Hotel and Restaurant management program, something Michigan doesn't even offer. Plus, as a disappointed product of public schools in Michigan, Know Your Foe would like to blame Michigan State for producing so many of the teachers in the state.

Athletics – The Spartans became a member of the Big Ten in 1950. They currently excel in basketball (two national titles, four of the last nine Final Fours), and hockey (current NCAA champs). Oh, and of course dodge ball. But it's football they'd love to be good at. Unfortunately, they've only managed one Rose Bowl appearance in the last 41 years and have a 28-66-5 record against their one and only rival, Michigan.

Famous alums – There’s no excuse for a school as huge as Michigan State to have such a barren list of famous alumni. But they do. Come on, Robert Urich and James Caan? That's as good as they can do from an entertainment standpoint? The stars, respectively, of TV schlockapaloozas Vegas and Las Vegas? Please. Compare that to Michigan which can claim one of the most distinctive voices in the world (James Earl Jones) and a freaking Charlie's Angel in Lucy Liu. As far as politics, all the Sparties can claim are some past governors of Michigan. No Presidents. And they also claim a former Secretary of Energy (Spencer Abraham). But no astronauts. Space, bitches, Space.

The Game – As far as the Big Ten title goes, Michigan doesn’t need to win this game. As long as they win one of the next two, then beat tOSU, they’ll win the Big Ten and go to the Rose Bowl. However, a win is crucial to keep Michigan’s BCS bowl hopes alive. In my opinion, with wins the next two weeks, the Wolverines could pretty much assure themselves a spot in a BCS bowl regardless of the result on November 17. Sparty, on the other hand desperately needs to win this game. Their whole season has been built around the Michigan game and a loss would result in a disastrous end to a promising season. But a win would make everything right in Spartyland and would show that the program has taken a step forward under their new coach. Sorry, Sparty, Michigan is healthy again, and is just better. MICHIGAN 40, MICHIGAN STATE 27.

58 comments:

Jim Harbaugh Scramble said...

We've won 5 in a row not 4 in a row actually: 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006.

GO BLUE lets make it 6 in a row.

A2saint said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
A2saint said...

That's tSAC, right?

whetstonebuck said...

Sparty: Smell that? You smell that?

UM: What?

Sparty: Over confidence, son. Nothing in the world smells like that.
(moves into 3-point stance)

Sparty: I love the smell of over confidence in the morning.

WingRG said...

Sontino Corleone went to Michigan State? I have newly found respect for Sparty.

"Mikey, you look beautiful, just beautiful ... Hey, Sal, doesn't he look gorgeous?"

Katie said...

Today I can be positive! Sooooooooo

Let's GO BLUE! Let's shove that damn clock up their ....... ;o)

J. Lichty said...

Infamous alums too: Don't forget portly polemicist and anti-american propogandist, Michael Moore.

Benny Friedman said...

j. lichty,
You can call Michael Moore all the names you want if it makes you feel good. But don't call him a Sparty. He didn't attend MSU. As a matter of fact, he dropped out of U-M Flint. He does often wear a Sparty hat, but only as a fan not as an alum.

Jeetender said...

Didn't the Dr. Theodore John Kaczynski go to UofM? Hmmm... a true winner...

I usually don't go on rants and raves on how MSU is better than UofM... cause I have had loads of fun at both establishments, but here is some food for thought...

UofM, the most winning school in college history... but in the past 10 years... probably not even in the top 10

UofM vs. Appalachian State... Well hell, thats just like saying Dick Cheney, everyone just laughs

UofM... has dominated MSU in one sport over the past decade... but has been dominated in every other sport (Tennis however, I think MSU is worst at tennis then football)

UofM... did you have a professor who won the Nobel prize in physics in 2007... no you didn't

And lastly UofM, The only reason you are in Ann Arbor (after moving from Detroit), is because the State decided to move the Capital to Lansing, (Right next door to MSU) I know you all are pissed off about it still, not being able to by the States capital, but at least you're not in fucking Detroit, grow up

Chuck said...

jeetender, you are mistaken about your "domination of every other sport" -- UM women's gymnastics has won the last 16 dual meets with MSU, dating back to 1991. UM goes to the National Championships every year. I don't believe MSU has ever been.

That's just one example I know off the top of my head. I'm sure your hyperbole is flawed in other cases, as well.

Jeetender said...

Women play sports? I am confused... :) jk

I should have been more clear and listed specific sports... but in my defense... every gymnast I've dated is nuts, so I try to ignore the whole sport in general

whetstonebuck said...

Now it's getting good.

WingRG said...

Yost,
you better delete that last one before T9 gets here, she's about to go apeshit. :-)

whetstonebuck said...

Wing,

Shhhh. This is about to exceed the price of admission.

Jeremy said...

Jeetender...last ten years not in the top ten in wins? Since 1997 (including this season) Michigan has 103 wins, only tOSU with 106, Texas with 105, and Boise State with 104 have more. Are we now to add "can't count" to the "can't read...can't write" chant?

Killing My Liver said...

"UofM, the most winning school in college history... but in the past 10 years... probably not even in the top 10"

WRONG.WRONG.WRONG. I believe UM is #4 or 5 in the past 10 years. That will change after the 97 season falls off, though.
And everyone brings up App State. What's that gonna feel like when you get beat by a team that got beat by a team that lost to Wofford?
Scoreboard.

GP_GoBlue95 said...

Jeetender -

There are so many inaccuracies with your first post. I'm not really sure where to start. Do you remember the Pontiac Cup Challenege between UM-MSU that ran for a few years in the early 2000s? Of course you don't...MSU never won it, and it was never really close.

As for the state capital thing, you just don't know your history. UM was established in 1817 and was in Detroit for 20 years. It was moved to Ann Arbor in 1837, 10 years BEFORE Lansing was chosen as the capital. MSU was founded in 1855, eight years after the capital site was chosen.

Benny - Great KYF as always.

lovinum said...

Another great know your foe, but my Sparty friends probably would beg to differ in saying that UM is their "one and only rivalry." Many Spartys now consider ND a major rivalry game, which given recent history, is a point of great pride for their football program (one of few, to be sure).

gh said...

Did someone really bring up nobel prizes?

Because that score would be

UM 19, MSU 1

(though there's lots of ways to slice the data to manipulate your cause)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nobel_Prize_laureates_by_university_affiliation

Jeetender said...

WellthatescalatedjustasIthoughtitwould.Itsamazingatthegreatlengthsyouhaveallgonetoresearchandproveallmycommentsincorrect,ifnotthat,thenoneupmycommentsaboutyourschool.I'mhappythatyouhaveallrealizedthatyourresponsesareadditionalproofofthefactthatyouallcontinuetotryandbebetterthanMSU,asifweatMSUcarethatyouthinkyouarebetter.Myquestionis,whoreallycares?Doyouthinkwelosesleepoverourinabilitytofinishoffafootballseasonstrong?Sorryaboutthedelayinmyresponse,Iwaseatinglunchatpotbellysandtypinglikethistakesawhile,IamsureIspelledsomeshitwrong,andIjustdon'tgiveafuck.IampredictingaMSUvictorySaturday!

Jeetender said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeetender said...

Since I admit when I am wrong...
From 1986 through 2005, in order, they are: 1. Miami 2. Florida State 3. Nebraska 4. Michigan 5. Tennessee 6. Marshall 7. Ohio State 8. Florida 9. Auburn 10. Oklahoma

Jeetender said...

Can someone explain why you haven't won a bowl game since 2003? And I know you're going to look it up... yes, we haven't won since 2001, but everyone knows why already...

Truth or Fiction (Cause this kinda caught me off guard)

You haven't been the the consensus national champions since 1948 (according to wikipedia), though MSU has been in the 50s and 60s... is this true?

Mikoyan said...

Wow, Eastern Michigan is older than State. Did not know that.

As for the Nobel Thing, doesn't it depend on how you measure it (UG, G, professors, etc)?

dirty6 said...

Much as I love you guys...

I don't think UM has any chance of making a BCS game w/out beating OSU. The media has been dying to razz on UM since they lost those first two games. The media, I think, is rather dissiapointed that UM has avoided losing since then. So if UM wins the next two but drops the OSU game...the media will relish the chance to grate on UM as a team that blew the beginning and the end of its season. In fact, I think the lovely media (I don't like them, BTW) views UM's recent victories as more of a fluke than what we rational people know to be true. We rationals konw the real fluke was the app.st. game, and the oregon game was a conflagration of unfortuanate circumstances (depressed um team, scared coaching staff, oregon team looking to make a point, oregon qb looking to prove something....).

Much as I love you guys...the media wants to hate you. Lose to OSU, commence free-fall from any BCS chances.

-Formerly CapBuck

Mikoyan said...

wow, a State fan calling out on National Championships. There's an interesting one given that the last time they won one was before most of us were born.

Jeetender said...

What can I say... I like getting UofM "think tank" fired up...

And I was more looking for clarification on if Wikipedia was just straight up incorrect...

Yost said...

Ex-CapBuck,

I agree w/ you 100%. While I love Benny, when I read that, I was left scratching my head.

Plus, I don't even think we'd qualify for BCS if we lose that. We would probably be around 10th if we win next two, but at loss to Tosu will drop us out of top 15, I'm sure.

Killing My Liver said...

Jeer-
If you're going to stir it up, let's get down to brass tacks. We'll discuss your team, MSU, and our team, UM. This a football blog, so we'll limit the scope to football. And, since the past is the past, we'll speak in present day terms. MSU has not beaten UM in football in 5, count them, 5 years. Case closed, go riot somewhere.
The only reason you mentioned Ted K, nobel prizes, and tennis is to deflect attention from your laughable football team that continually gets beaten by "The University of Puke". How'd that work out for you, Stanton ?

Mikoyan said...

Looking at the List, Michigan has not had a consensus National Champion since 1948. That is correct. But it looks like Michigan State has never had one.

Part of the problem is that until 1998, the Champion was determined by polls (and pretty much still is) and polls are subject to shenanigans.

Killing My Liver said...

And, it's also funny that you say "consensus" National Championship, to disqualify '97, making your point valid. However, the point you're trying to make is not only insipid, it's ignorant. If you actually watched football that year, you would know Nebraska's undefeated system was aided by the refs who missed a call vs Mizzou, where a receiver kicked the ball to keep it in the air. The split championship was a very nice retirement gift for Tom Osborne.

Killing My Liver said...

*season, not system.

Jeetender said...

killing my liver -
You're an idiot, did you read the post on this blog before you said this... "This is a football blog, so we'll limit the scope to football" - Cause if you did, you would realize alot of non-football topics were covered

mikoyan -
This isn't met being an ass, though, I am an ass, but check out 1952, "Helms, College Football Researchers Association" was dealing out those titles all the way to the 60s... by that regard, I may, and do mean may be right. Not that it matters, cause we haven't beat you guys since I 2001 as memory serves, and haven't had a real riot since 1998, there was a "skirmish" back in 2005, but that was more like brutal use of police force which caused the head of the police department to step down... but the students were more running for cover than rioting at the time.

All things being equal, no matter what, I hope to god you win your bowl game this year... all the while hoping we get to a bowl game.

Jeremy said...

Jeetender,

False.

1. Michigan is #2 in wins in the last decade. Not "out of the top 10."

2. Michigan has one the Pontiac Challenge Cup Trophy every year since its inception. Not "been dominated in every other sport."

dirty6 said...

@Yost-

Aha, I didn't catch that Benny wrote it up, lol.

So what happens if UM loses one of the next two then beats OSU? Who bets the B10 BCS auto-bid? UM, for beating OSU? Is that the highest-level tiebreaker?

Benny Friedman said...

As for the BCS bowl talk, we may never find out but think about it. Say M wins the next two (not automatic, but let's say). They'll creep into the top ten and will probably be around 7 or 8. Say they then lose to tOSU (and it has to be a close game not a blowout), they probably won't fall much if at all. After all, I'm assuming tOSU will be headed for the MNC game. If that's the case Michigan would be a prime BCS bowl (probably Rose Bowl since tOSU will head to the Sugar) candidate. The only way Michigan falls into the teens is if they lose one of these next two or get blown out by tOSU.

Jeetender said...

killing my liver -

Let the past go... I am sure ppl in Nebraska have the same shit to say about you're season...

you tied for first... and it was within the realm of me being alive... here you go... just for you...

UofM... You have the most recent National Championship by 30 years... Hopefully you can sleep tonight.

dirty6 said...

@Jeremy-

Dude.

1.) Your first point has already been made multiple times in this thread. The author (jeer) himself even conceded the point already.

2.) One and Won are too different words. See how stupid it looks?

dirty6 said...

@ Benny-

I agree that is what SHOULD happen. But the reality is that the media wants UM to prove the theory that UM is terrible this year. UM only has to lose one to give the media the ammo they need. Even a close loss will have a lot of media-fallout.

Jeetender said...

Wtf is the "Pontiac Challenge Cup Trophy"

Since I don't know what it is, I'm not even going to look it up, doesn't seem important....

BCS talk...

The UofM running game will be a big part of the OSU game, the OSU linebackers lead by that evil son of a WWF wrestler is amazing and they are amazingly fast. Your offensive line will need to really step it up.

Tomorrows game, anything can happen, you should easily handle Wisconsin, who you should be cheering on in winning every game, except when they play you, so you look better to the computer rating system.

It all comes down to OSU, if you can't rush against them, I don' think Henne and Manningham can do it on their own... the D is too good, leaving you with a loss... I think you cats are gonna lose... leaving your season to end at either 1 - 2 or 2 - 1... one of those losses is OSU no matter what.

All things considered, I hate OSU... I'll be cheering for you skunk bears that game!

Yost said...

jeet,

Just want to take a moment to say thanks for your input and welcome to the debate. Contrary to other team sites that only seem to want incestuous pats on the back from like-minded fans, we love a good verbal throwdown with our rivals as long as it's not simply vulgar or asshat bs. That give and take and smacktalk is part of the fun.

However, I will say, since at the end of the day it is a Michigan blog, trying to change hearts and minds of our core readership will, shall we say, be difficult.

Thanks for reading and here's to a great game tomorrow (with "great" being defined as a Michigan victory).

Killing My Liver said...

Jeer-
2 retorts:
1. Lloyd didn't retire.
2. UM didn't have a game decided by a blown call that year.

I didn't bring up most victories or consensus national championships, you did. I'm not "living in the past", merely stating fact on a point you brought up.
I'll sleep just fine with images of Braylon Edwards prison raping your whole team.

Jeetender said...

Yost, I have one last thing to say...

UofM, has a sports blog worth going to...

MSU... I am ashamed to post the link... http://blog.spartymsu.com/

Its terrible... but its the closest type of blog to the spirit of this one... did I mention... its terrible

I'll be back post game to answer your questions, by post game... I mean Sunday if I'm not too hungover.

Have fun all!

Jeetender said...

Ok... Have to shoot something back...

liver-

Everyone (I hope everyone) will agree this is a very disturbing comment that you made...

"I'll sleep just fine with images of Braylon Edwards prison raping your whole team."

To all, have fun watching the game... except liver, you just freaked me out

Killing My Liver said...

Yes it is disturbing how many of UM's "signature" moments are against MSU.
1. Braylons 11- 170+ and 3 TD's, coming back from a 14+ pt dft.
2. Chris Perry's 51 carries for over 200
3. Woodson - THE interception
4. The 2004 comeback

If I offended anyone, I apologize. The term I used was in lieu of "owned", "pwnd", or "disemboweled".

Mikoyan said...

I think as far as National Champions go, up until the inception of the evil entity known as BCS (wouldn't they save us the trouble by taking the C out), I think the official National Champion was the winner of the AP Poll. In 1997 that team was Michigan.

samsoccer7 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jeetender said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dave said...

Didn't Bruce Campbell kinda sorta go to MSU?

I'd grant the coolness of that, if so. Bruce kicks Bob Urich's ass (though maybe not James Caan).

TitleIX said...

Hey Jeeter honey...
when does your mom get home from work and need the computer back????
It makes sense to me that you would not be aware that women play sports since the men's gymnastic team made for some pretty hot, but 'nutty' dates as you said. You should get out more. Try women's volleyball. SERIOUS legs.
Or Men's swimming and diving---mmmmmmmm Speedos!

(ok gentlemen, pays your money at the door, this apeshit show's over)

HOWEVER :-)

Benny Benny:
You left out the most fun fact of all----this will be the 100th meeting of the Boys in Blue against MooU.
Interesting to me how much was made of the 100th meeting between Big Blue and tOSU, yet this 100th goes virtually unmentioned.
Why do you think that is blogosphere????
Perhaps becuz, um, I dunno, um Sparty sucks in its irrelevance?????

ROUND 2---
GO!

Andrew said...

i just forwarded the link to KYF to a spartan buddy of mine and it reportedly crashed his computer. this portends good things for the game tomorrow!

GO BLUE!

WingRG said...

T9,
see, i knew you wouldn't disappoint. And for the record, jeetender, i'm not sure which gymnasts you've had such poor luck with, but i'm married to one and don't find them too nuts. Perhaps you mistyped and meant to say that "every gymnasts you've dated HAS nuts" (instead of "is nuts"). If that's true, the rest of your comments make perfect sense.

Katie said...

Holy Mother of Mary, I am gone for the day and you guys go and have all the fun!

616goblue said...

All right already!

Did you know that Drew "assclown" Sharp picked UM by 21? Ohhhhh, is that the first time he had something positive to say about his alma mater? Yost what was the count last season, something like 0 positive, 6 negative and 1 neutral columns?

at any rate, I will be behind the "green and white wall" tailgating with the Spartan faithful, representing the Maize and Blue -- naturally was asked if I was bringing "wine and cheese" since a typical Spartan tailgate is full of jello shots and jager bombs...need not worry, I will have Stoli bloody marys which my host (Spartan grad) said tonight "hey, I may want to start out with one of those..."

I expect much fun and playful banter in and around Spartan Stadium and will be leading the chant of "Motor City Bowl" as I leave Spartan Stadium after another Meeeechigan victory!

Kraut said...

Have any of you read the Wojo column in the Detroit News about this weekend's game? I found it pretty funny ...

http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071102/OPINION03/711020320/1004

My favorite line is "Michigan State, meanwhile, started 4-0, including the greatest victory in school history (Appalachian State over Michigan)."

I work with a bunch of MSU grads and that line is such a perfect representation of their psyche ...

diebuckeye said...

Spartans....Congrats on your basketball team losing to Grand Valley State University tonight! Please refrain from all App. State comments from now on. Thanks!

IamCris said...

My recent friday evening tradition, to drink WinterHook from my Wofford pint glass.

Go Blue!!!

Yost said...

Kraut,

Yeah, I did see that. Simply brilliant. Just put a link up to it in the Open Thread.