A New Rivalry--Based on Mutual Respect

Jonnferrell's picture
December 8, 2013 at 8:27a

This Michigan State loss--it now becomes the newest "damn Michigan State game," has a distinctive feel, doesn't it?  It felt like every bit a rivalry game, but different than TotherTUN.  I have no desire to tell Michigan State jokes, or even to manufacture internet memes of Dantonio as "the grinch who stole the championship game."  In some ways I think that the Big 10 might just get more respect when this season is all over.  It has really been difficult the last few years to nurture any real respect for the U of M--that traditional football power that currently only has its ancient tradition to tout.  The Michigan State Spartans have the real thing going on, and it's not going to stop any time soon.  Recruits will take note that on a big stage, Mark Dantonio and his followers have defeated the Ohio State Buckeyes and their superstar coach, Urban Meyer.  MSU could make a case that if it weren't for an early loss that should have been a win against Notre Dame, they should be in the NCG.  Of course the worldwide leader would never allow such a thing to be considered.  There is a sports revolution going on with MSU football, not unlike what Thad Matta has engineered with OSU Basketball--except in this case a basketball power is also blossoming into an actual football power.  I believe that the Spartans have to cement this with a Rose Bowl win, but the stage is certainly set.  Ohio State has a loss, but it will live--it also needs to have a bowl win also to help relaunch the Big 10 into the land of the college football elite.  The true loser here is TTUN, who are demoted to middling status in the conference and will cease to be a serious player.  We will always hate them, they will always hate us (and the Spartans), it will always be "the Game," but something has changed over the past decade.  The stage is set for a new rivalry, one based on mutual respect--with the Spartans of Michigan State.  We have longed for a renewal of the ten year war--but there is no "Bo" in Ann Arbor--and there will not be one there for a very long time.  There is a "Bo" in East Lansing--one who has been inside Ohio State, intermingled with Jim Tressel in heart and mind, and even studied at the feet of Nick Satan himself!  This is not a Bielema we love to hate, or a Hoke that is the butt of a joke--it is a real, honest-to-god, rival that we respect.  We will be fighting for many of the same recruits, and the playing field will be much more equal than it has ever been before.  He is the anti-Urban, the neo-Tressel, and it is going to be one helluva ride from now on.  Hang on to your cleats, boys and girls.

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