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Thursday, January 2, 2014


The seventh season of the Mark Dantonio Era has been completed, finishing with a 10-game win streak, a conference championship, and a Rose Bowl victory. Everybody knows by now that Michigan State has out-performed and generally surpassed Michigan in football during that span, especially in the last five years.

But what about the last decade? UM fans are always heralding history, telling us that MSU has only been good recently, like it's just a passing fad or a blip on the sports screen. So let's take a look at the two programs compared to each other over the last 10 years of college football.

Wolverine fans are constantly bragging about their "all-time wins record", but to do so, they are actually counting rugby scrimmages from the late 1800s as "football". There's no way to stop those people, but we don't have to believe in their mythology.

Anyway, a decade is definitely a significant measuring stick, so here we go.

Last 10 Football Games Between MSU and UM
2013:  MSU wins by 23 (29-6)
2012:  UM wins by 2 (12-10)
2011:  MSU wins by 14 (28-14)
2010:  MSU wins by 17 (34-17)
2009:  MSU wins by 6 (26-20, OT)
2008:  MSU wins by 14 (35-21)
2007:  UM wins by 4 (28-24)
2006:  UM wins by 18 (31-13)
2005:  UM wins by 4 (34-31, OT)
2004:  UM wins by 8 (45-37, 3OT)
  • Ten Game Record = MSU 5, UM 5
  • Non-Overtime Record = MSU 4, UM 3
  • Total Points = MSU 267, UM 228 (MSU + 39)

You can see from the summary above that over the last ten years of the series, MSU "measures up" and even holds a slight lead in non-overtime games and total points. Let's continue by summarizing the season results for each team over the same decade.


Michigan State Spartans
2004:  5-7, Fifth Place, no bowl
2005:  5-6, Ninth Place, no bowl
2006:  4-8, Tenth Place, no bowl
2007:  7-6, Seventh Place, bowl loss
2008:  9-4, Third Place, bowl loss
2009:  6-7, Sixth Place, bowl loss
2010:  11-2, First Place (B1G), bowl loss
2011:  11-3, First Place (division), Bowl Win
2012:  7-6, Fourth Place (division), Bowl Win
2013:  13-1, First Place (B1G)Rose Bowl Champion

  • MSU TEN YEAR TOTAL = 78-50 (.609)
  • Current Bowl Games in a row = 7
  • Total Bowl Victories = 3
  • Current Bowl Win Streak = 3
  • Biggest Bowl Win Streak = 3
  • League Championships = 2
  • Division Titles = 2

Michigan Wolverines
2004:  9-3, First Place, bowl loss
2005:  7-5, Third Place, bowl loss
2006:  11-2, Second Place, bowl loss
2007:  9-4, Second Place, Bowl Win
2008:  3-9, Tenth Place, no bowl
2009:  5-7, Tenth Place, no bowl
2010:  7-6, Seventh Place, bowl loss
2011:  11-2, Second Place (division), Bowl Win
2012:  8-5, Second Place (division), bowl loss
2013:  7-6, Fifh Place (division) bowl loss

  • UM TEN YEAR TOTAL = 77-49 (.611)
  • Current Bowl Games in a row = 4
  • Total Bowl Victories = 2
  • Current Bowl Win Streak = 0
  • Biggest Bowl Win Streak = 1
  • League Championships = 1
  • Division Titles = 0

The differential in winning percentage equals only one game over the last ten years. If you can think of any one game in the last decade that UM might well have lost, that's the difference. Or, if you can think of any one game over the past decade that MSU barely lost, there's your gap.

Many have noticed that Michigan has scored fewer points against Michigan State in each of the past 10 seasons. Here is a look at that list:

Points Scored by UM vs MSU
2004 - 45
2005 - 34
2006 - 31
2007 - 28
2008 - 21
2009 - 20
2010 - 17
2011 - 14
2012 - 12
2013 -   6

BOTTOM LINE:  MSU has "measured up" by winning more league championships and division titles over the last decade. Michigan State has a better bowl streak in progress, as well as a better bowl-win streak. The series is tied in wins/losses, and the Spartans lead in points scored.

Every one of the ten games was a battle, not only to win
on the field, but for Michigan State to establish parity
and then supremacy. These last ten battles have
changed the face of the rivalry for years to come.

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  1. To be fair, I think it should be mentioned that Michigan has played in the Rose Bowl twice (2004, 2006) in the past 10 seasons, losing both.

    Rose Bowl Records:

    UM 0-2
    MSU 1-0

    One other thing pops out from the data you published. UM won only 1 of the past 10 by 10 points or more. MSU won 4 of the past 10 by 10 points or more.

    UM's "worst" win was by 2 points
    UM's "best" win was by 18 points.
    UM's average margin of victory (5 wins) is 7 points.

    MSU's "worst" win was by 6 points.
    MSU's "best" win was by 23 points.
    MSU's average margin of victory (5 wins) is 10.6 points.

  2. And...
    Rose Bowl Championship:
    MSU = 1 day ago
    chUMps = 16 years and 1 day ago

  3. Those are all good suggestions, I will probably add them in later today. I had considered including the Rose Bowl stats, but UM was actually there twice to our once...but RTG spells it out clearly with his point (although it goes beyond the past decade of results) {which is actually the point}

  4. So, saying UM 0-2 and MSU 1-0 in the Rose Bowl over the past 10 years isn't clear enough. Ok. I bow to the master... (just kidding).

    1. Probably just going to list it as "Rose Bowl Wins" and mark it down as 1-0.


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