At 2012 Big Ten Media Days, MSU quarterback Andrew Maxwell talked about playing Michigan, per ESPN's Joe Schad:
Andrew Maxwell says of UM: "We circle Michigan on schedule and it's on our minds a year. If we win it's the most important win of my life."— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) July 27, 2012
MSU has beaten Michigan four times in a row, and head coach Mark Dantonio is 4-1 against the Wolverines.
Schad also reported:
Andrew Maxwell says MSU had success vs Michigan b/c of emphasis Dantonio places on game— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) July 27, 2012
Many Michigan fans would argue that a large reason for Dantonio's success is because three of his wins came against Rich Rodriguez during dark times in Ann Arbor.
However, MSU fans would counter that last year's Michigan team was coached by Brady Hoke.
The Spartans have played Michigan 104 times in the "modern" era of football. In that time, MSU has only won four in row four times, with the last streak coming 1959-1962.
Needless to say, for Michigan, the end-of-the-season Ohio State game is of much more importance than the contest against MSU. In fact, some Wolverine fans might argue that the Notre Dame contest is a more heated rivalry than the game against the Spartans.
However, this season, with Michigan and MSU as the undisputed front-runners for the Legends Division championship, there may be no more important contest on either team's schedule than the Oct. 20 matchup at Michigan Stadium.