By Robert Harris
It all started in 1898 on a cold rainy day. Two teams from Michigan battled on the gridiron for the first time ever. Soon enough this would be one of the most exciting rivalries of college football: Michigan and Michigan State.
The Michigan Wolverines shut out the Spartans (MSU) 39-0 in that first contest. Michigan then went on that year to win the Western Conference, now known as the Big Ten Conference, championship. From then on, a dynasty was born within these two well-respected powerhouse teams.
Ever since that day, every fall Michigan and Michigan State have battled it out for four quarters either at The Big House or Spartan Stadium in hopes of a victory, bragging rights and of course, the Paul Bunyan Trophy. The trophy, first presented in 1953, is a four-foot wooden statue on a five-foot-high base, named after the mythical giant lumberjack Paul Bunyan to reflect the state’s history as a major lumber-producing state.
Michigan currently holds the series record at 67-32-5. MSU’s time of dominance in the series’ history was from 1950 to 1969, where they went 14-4-2.
The Wolverines have held longer winning streaks of six (2002-2007), eight (1970-77), and 10 games (1938-49), and an 18-game unbeaten streak from 1916 to 1933, in series history. The MSU Spartans also have won the past four meetings from 2008-2011.
Many at Central look forward to the annual battle between Michigan and MSU. “I remember watching the big game every season. It was always something to look forward to,” said Nebosja Stojkovic, WLC Track and Field Head Coach.
This year’s season is underway and the Wolverines are looking good. They’re currently 5-0 and with returning Senior Devin Gardner, Michigan has the drive and determination to make it far this season. The Spartans are currently 4-1 respectively and hope to make the same impact as Michigan if not bigger when it comes to the bowl games. This year’s game is sure to be a very intense one which will be November 2.
It’s a very exciting rivalry game every fall that the nation can look forward too. The intensity of that week of practice leading up to that game is unlike any other. Who will win the big game this year? Only time will tell as we continue to watch and be witness to the rivals of Michigan and Michigan State duke it out every fall for the win.