clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

1,000 Long Days

As pointed out by The Only Colors, SB Nation's Michigan State blog, it has been 1,000 days since the last time the Spartans lost to the Wolverines in football or basketball. As a current U-M student who has yet to witness a victory over the Spartans in those two sports since arriving on campus, it is especially painful to read through the list of defeats (via TOC).

  • January 27, 2008: Michigan State 77, Michigan 62 (Basketball; East Lansing)
  • October 25, 2008: Michigan State 35, Michigan 21 (Football; Ann Arbor)
  • February 10, 2009: Michigan State 54, Michigan 42 (Basketball; Ann Arbor)
  • October 3, 2009: Michigan State 26, Michigan 20 (OT) (Football; East Lansing)
  • January 26, 2010: Michigan State 57, Michigan 56 (Basketball: Ann Arbor)
  • March 7, 2010: Michigan State 64, Michigan 48 (Basketball; East Lansing)

The two that sting the most for me personally were from last football and basketball season. For football, Michigan was undefeated heading into East Lansing after a perfect Sept. and made a big comeback at the end of the fourth quarter to send the game to overtime. Despite playing horrendous all game long, Tate Forcier and the Wolverines finally started to move the ball and scored the game-tying touchdown on the last play of regulation. The comeback felt very similar to the one I witnessed in Spartan Stadium on Nov. 3, 2007, the last time Michigan was victorious over the Spartans in the two main sports.

Unfortunately, the end result of this comeback was not a Michigan win, but rather the Spartans' second consecutive victory over U-M in football. A gassed Michigan offense returned to the field to start overtime and Forcier threw an interception in the end zone. MSU appeared to just be content with setting up a field goal, but Larry Caper had other ideas, plowing over a Michigan defender and running into the end zone to win the game for the Spartans.

The basketball game that stings from last season is obviously not the 14-point defeat in East Lansing, but rather the one-point loss in Ann Arbor. That game was Michigan's best chance to get a win over MSU in basketball for quite some time, and the play was evident of that notion. MSU played extremely sloppy, and although Michigan wasn't much better, they led for a good part of the game. With the seconds ticking down, however, that lead went away when Kalin Lucas nailed a shot to put MSU ahead by one.

Despite trailing with very little time on the clock, Michigan still had one last chance to pull off the upset. DeShawn Sims caught the inbounds pass and attempted to make what was no more than a layup. It was an awkward shot because of the way Sims was positioned, and it bounced off the rim as a result, giving the Spartans another victory.

As nice as it was to watch Michigan beat MSU in football for six straight years after clockgate in 2001, this is different kind of domination because it involves two sports. As bad as the Spartans were in football at times over those six years, MSU fans at least had basketball to fall back on. Sure, Michigan won a few games here or there over the years, but the only thing to show for it was the NIT. In the last few years for MSU, however, they have had the thrill of not losing to Michigan in football or basketball and going to a couple Final Fours. And here I got excited to see Michigan in the tournament during my freshman year.

All I can say is I hope the second half of my time as a student at Michigan is a lot different than the first half sports-wise, especially when it comes to playing MSU. The thing that does worry me a bit is that when my dad went to U-M, the Wolverines' football record against MSU was a dismal 1-3. When my brother went to MSU, he never once witnessed a Spartans victory over the Wolverines in football. I'm pretty much ready to write off basketball right now considering the different directions U-M and MSU seem to be going in, so football is really my only hope (although watching a good beatdown in hockey is very enjoyable as well). Based on the lack of success for my family members when they went to schools involved in this rivalry, I'm hoping I can break the trend and watch a couple U-M victories as I wrap up my time in Ann Arbor. At the very least, I don't want to be here a couple years from now talking about how we are getting close to 2,000 days since the last Michigan win over MSU. That would just be depressing.