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Saturday, July 25, 2015


July is "Beilein Month"
Originally published on 2-6-15

The last time Michigan beat Michigan State in football was by two points on a last-minute field-goal after a dramatic fourth-down pass completion. It was about as close a game as you can get without overtime. You would have thought, at the time, that UM folks would have been somewhat moderate in their jubilation, seeing as how it was a super-close outcome.

But all we heard after that 2012 game were the chants of "Go Blue" and the charges of "Little Brother" and so forth. There was not discernible sense of realism on the part of Yellow Nation, no signature of respect for a great effort by their opponent in a rivalry game. They definitely wanted to treat that win like any other blowout victory in the distant past.

Fast forward to last weekend, when the MSU Basketball team beat UM, but needed overtime to do so. Not only do the Bluebloods want utter respect for their team effort (fair), they want to say the win didn't even really count (unfair), and that Wolverine Basketball dominance is alive and well throughout the State of Michigan. Despite those two losses in a row. (Ridiculous.)

In case the Michigan fans in your neighborhood want to suggest that close victories don't really count, you may want to direct their attention to the historical record of the basketball seriesIf narrow victory margins didn't count, UM would hardly have a "win" registered in the last 25 games between the teams.

We have grouped all of the last 25 games between Michigan State and Michigan into the list of wins by each team during that time frame. A quick review of the data shows that UM has beaten MSU by more than five points only three times this century.


(1-26-03) UM by 2    
(1-25-06) UM by 5    
(2-27-07) UM by 11  
(1-27-11) UM by 4    
(3-05-11) UM by 7    
(1-17-12) UM by 1    
(3-03-13) UM by 1    
(1-25-14) UM by 5    
(2-23-14) UM by 9    

  • Six of the last nine UM wins over MSU were by five (5) points or less
  • Only one (1) double-digit victory margin in last 25 games
  • Total victory margins of 45 points in nine wins
  • Average victory margin of five points per win since 2003


(3-03-01) MSU by 21  
(1-30-02) MSU by 27  
(1-17-04) MSU by 17  
(2-24-04) MSU by 3    
(1-27-05) MSU by 11  
(2-12-05) MSU by 15  
(2-18-06) MSU by 19  
(2-13-07) MSU by 15  
(1-27-08) MSU by 15  
(2-10-09) MSU by 12  
(1-26-10) MSU by 1    
(3-07-10) MSU by 16  
(2-05-12) MSU by 10  
(2-12-13) MSU by 23  
(3-16-14) MSU by 14  
(2-01-15) MSU by 10  

  • Eleven of the last twelve MSU wins over UM were by ten (10) points or more
  • Only two (2) single-digit victory margins in last 25 games
  • Total victory margins of 229 points in 16 wins
  • Average victory margin of 14 points per win since 2001

There's an old saying, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink." Maybe we need a new version: "You can lead a Michigan Fan to the facts, but you can't make them think."

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