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Tuesday, October 20, 2015


Michigan fans complain about Michigan State people "playing the disrespect card", as they call it, even as Blue Nation collectively projects its own Inferiority Complex onto the Spartans. What else but personal insecurity could explain all of the huffing-and-puffing, the chest-beating, the annually-resurrected crazy claims of superiority, and the deeply-held fascination with a bygone era in which, yes, they were generally the best team around. (Just that it was a RUGBY team, not a football team.)

So how do you measure respect? Many ways, but few more reliable than public opinion polls ("Top 25") and game-by-game predicted outcomes.

Along those lines, we've seen MSU actually drop-while-winning in the polls this season, several times already. Other teams can remain undefeated with choppy performances without suffering a drop in the polls. But when the Spartans "win ugly", down they go. UM fans actually credit the small drop in the polls for their team this week (three places) as a "sign of respect" for their own team. But if they had lost the same game in the same way to Rutgers, wouldn't they have dropped more than three notches? If so, doesn't that mean the respected-team in this equation wears green-and-white? That's another sign of underlying disrespect on their part. Further, MSU held-even in the polls even though they beat UM; how is that a "sign of respect" for the Wolverines?

Mark Dantonio beat the spread again last weekend, making him 9-0 against the Vegas Line in games versus Michigan*. That means he beats the spread every year, win or lose. That means his team regularly gets less respect than warranted, year after year after year. The punctuation mark this season was when Dantonio was asked during a live interview on CBS-Radio whether he wanted to see the University of Michigan Football team be successful. What other coach (in any sport) gets that question asked of them?

Some other trends that continued based on the outcome last weekend:

  • MSU moves to 11-8 in games played against UM while any BULLOUGH was in the lineup for the Spartans.
  • Every first-year Michigan Football Coach since 1948 has lost his first game against Michigan State.
  • The series is TIED IN GAMES WON during this century.
  • The series is WITHIN TWO POINTS SCORED in games played this century.
  • MSU improves to 7-0 when both teams were ranked and playing in Ann Arbor
  • Dantonio teams have outscored UM teams with three different head coaches by 96 points over nine games (248-152)

When will Jim Harbaugh get the question,
"Are you rooting for Michigan State?"

*This "fact" was mentioned in pre-game articles, but we have not yet been able to find verification of it because we can't find a web site that shows point-spreads from games that were played years ago. If anybody can help us find that data, please report in to us. Thanks.


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