The Michigan Wolverines and Michigan State Spartans are bitter rivals on the gridiron.
That much cannot be disputed.
Ask any current or former player and they’ll tell you exactly what it’s like playing their cross-state rival each year: hard hitting and intense, with no love loss between the two sides.
Michigan and Michigan State are bitter rivals on the field without a shadow of a doubt, but the question on everyone’s mind is whether Michigan views the rivalry in the same light.
MSU’s New Peach Bowl Rings Revealed
For years, Michigan State fans have taken their best shots at Jim Harbaugh’s program, calling him out for finishing 3rd or worse in the Big Ten East for numerous years.
Last season, Michigan State also finished 3rd in the conference — but that hasn’t stopped them from celebrating.
Harbaugh and Michigan won their first Big Ten title since he became coach last season, with one blemish on the regular season record: a 37-33 road loss to the Spartans in which the Wolverines surrendered a 30-14 third quarter lead, losing by a final score of 37-33 in East Lansing.
Michigan of course went on to play Georgia in the College Football Playoff, while MSU went on to defeat Pittsburgh 31-21 in the Peach Bowl.
Now, the Spartans are immortalizing their perfect regular season-spoiling victory over their arch rivals in a way that only MSU can: by placing a reference to the Michigan game on their new bowl championship rings.
The announcement was made on the official MSU Twitter page, and it has some media outlets discussing the team’s alleged “obsession” with Michigan, college football’s all-time winningest program.
The rings show the score of the 2021 Michigan vs. MSU game, along with Coach Mel Tucker’s name and the insignia ‘Peach Bowl Champions.’
— Michigan State Football (@MSU_Football) May 5, 2022
Video of the rings reveal can be seen below.
— Mel Tucker (@Coach_mtucker) May 5, 2022
‘MSU Obsession with Michigan Immortalized in Bowl Ring,’ Sports Illustrated wrote following the official reveal.
Comments from Michigan and MSU fans alike were pointed, as expected.
“That 37-33 score was such a blowout that it needs a ring ,” wrote a likely Michigan fan named Nancy Kreger-Aills on Facebook.
“Oh wait! The refs admitted to making a bad call which would have changed the outcome “
Best year this century and can’t even beat your instate rival.
Does Michigan Take the Rivalry as Seriously as the Spartans?
Michigan holds a 71-38-5 all-time record against their rivals up the road from East Lansing, but it seems like common knowledge that they don’t take the game as seriously as the Spartans.
This goes without saying for anyone who knows the rivalry, but it’s hard to envision any scenario in which Michigan would ever engrave the score of the MSU game on a bowl championship ring or conference championship ring of any kind.
Harbaugh has a 3-4 career record against Michigan State, but with the success and upward trajectory of Mel Tucker’s program, it’s easy to envision a scenario in which MSU could win more than its fair share in the rivalry.
If Harbaugh and Michigan are to continue their overall success, they might have to start focusing a little more on MSU from now on, because Tucker and the Spartans certainly have a laser focus on beating the Wolverines.
What do you think about this? Is MSU obsessed with Michigan? And should Harbaugh start taking this rivalry more seriously?