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Tuesday, November 3, 2015


The ninth season of the Mark Dantonio Era is well underway, with the Spartans riding a 12-game win-streak and standing pat during the bye week at 8-0. Much still to be determined this year. But as we get ready to come out of the mid-season break we take a look at the football series between Michigan State and Michigan.

Everybody knows by now that Michigan State has out-performed and generally surpassed Michigan in football under Dantonio, 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", as if 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
2015:  MSU won by 4 (27-23)
2014:  MSU won by 24 (35-11)
2013:  MSU won by 23 (29-6)
2012:  UM won by 2 (12-10)
2011:  MSU won by 14 (28-14)
2010:  MSU won by 17 (34-17)
2009:  MSU won by 6 (26-20, OT)
2008:  MSU won by 14 (35-21)
2007:  UM won by 4 (28-24)
2006:  UM won by 18 (31-13)
  • Ten Game Record = MSU 7, UM 3
  • Total Points = MSU 261, UM 183 (MSU +78 points)

You can see from the summary above that over the last ten years of the series, MSU has taken charge, winning both big and small, both home and away. (Important to note that this "Ten-Year Picture" will not change much to favor UM the next couple of seasons, even if the Wolverines win the next two games, as the game count for the decade would remain 7-3, MSU.)

Let's continue by summarizing the season results for each team over the past decade, not including the present season which is still in progress.


Michigan State Spartans
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
2014:  11-2, Second Place (division), Cotton Bowl Champion

  • MSU TEN YEAR TOTAL = 84-45 (.651)
  • Current Bowl Games in a row = 8
  • Total Bowl Victories = 4
  • Current Bowl Win Streak = 4
  • Biggest Bowl Win Streak = 4
  • League Championships = 2
  • Division Titles = 2

Michigan Wolverines
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
2014:  5-7, Fourth Place (division), no bowl

  • UM TEN YEAR TOTAL = 73-53 (.580)
  • Current Bowl Games in a row = 0
  • Total Bowl Victories = 2
  • Current Bowl Win Streak = 0
  • Biggest Bowl Win Streak = 1
  • League Championships = 0
  • Division Titles = 0

BOTTOM LINE:  Mark Dantonio promised that MSU would "measure up" when he took over the job in 2007, and the Spartans have done so, by winning league championships, division titles, and bowl games. By comparison to Michigan, Michigan State has won more rivalry games, they have a better bowl streak in progress, as well as a better bowl-win streak. The series is starting to become uneven when measuring total points scored.


Care to compare these numbers from two years ago?
Click Here for a similar summary compiled just after the 2014 Rose Bowl.

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