Despite having the worst MSU offense since Internet Recordkeeping began back in 2003, MSU lost to Michigan on Saturday by two. The Michigan/Michigan State internets have lit up like a brushfire about “what this all means” going forward.
Naturally, the Order of the Universe has been restored over at MGoBlog. One great throw to Drew Dileo in the last minute of the game is equal to total vindication of all Denard Robinson’s 14 of 29 day for 163 yards and no touchdowns. It’s cool to be excited about beating your rival that you don’t care about that much, but apparently cooler than I thought.
Denard Robinson is 13 of 29 for 143 yards; he's run 20 times for 96 yards. His team is down a point and has managed to turn 120 seconds into eighteen without moving the ball anywhere near plausible field goal range. A few drives ago Jeremy Gallon was as wide open as you can be on third and goal and Denard blasted it hard and behind the guy—if it was to keep it away from a defender it was because the throw was late—or Michigan would lead by three.
Behind me, some Michigan State meathead has spent the better part of four quarters screaming "throw it, Denard, huh huh huh." Juggalo Nation, reprazent.
Could it be the same Juggalo who saw this last year?
In this particular case, the stats were on the Juggalo’s side. Interesting fact. Andrew Maxwell after Saturday has a higher QB passer rating than any of Denard’s four showings against MSU. I get the delicious gooeyness of Robinson making a throw when it counts against the team that has not respected him, but it does not unmake a career of mediocre play against MSU.
Even better. After a two point home win in which Michigan did not score a touchdown.
MSU fans are still clinging to the recruiting-rankings-are-meaningless thing. They're in for a harsh reality check once Michigan's recruiting rankings are paired with something other than crippling attrition, lackadaisical talent evaluation, and crappy coaching. Maybe not next year, when Michigan's breaking in a new quarterback and the upperclass talent levels are still relatively even, but after that… back to the salt mines, Sparty. Or maybe Alabama, OSU, and USC are only good because of their helmets.
It’s certainly true that MSU is not recruiting at the clip that U of M is, but they never have. The last four years were the result of “crippling attrition, lackadaisical talent evaluation, and crappy coaching”. Which one was last year? Next year doesn’t count either since U of M will have a new quarterback and all. It might be easier if we can set up a schedule in advance of which years count based on quality of inbound recruits, home schedule and which years MSU will be having their worst offensive season since Internet Recordkeeping began. Who knows, maybe someday MSU fans can get enough UM cred to pick when it’s losses don’t count, but doubtful on account of the salt mining thing.
I’ve always hated the little brother quote. It’s always encapsulates the idea that if an MSU fan really wants to see U of M lose it’s because of a “complete obsession with the rivalry”. But if a distinguished U of M fan deigns to acknowledge the rivalry it’s because the pecking order of the Big Ten has been disturbed and requires correction.
This is a rivalry game and Michigan fans were exactly right to be excited as hell to win it. The same way MSU fans will be excited as hell to win it next time they do. This isn’t about relevance, if it were that I’d be writing about how much MSU cares about how Wisconsin not Michigan has kept them out of the Rose Bowl the last two years. It isn’t about recruiting either, after all on paper, Michigan had the better recruits the last four years. This is about being the champion of the state of Michigan. You won this year. Good for you, enjoy it while it lasts. We’ll see you in East Lansing next fall.