Announced before the season began, the “Celebrate the State Football Series” promised Michigan State would be playing the three directional Michigan schools from the 2011 season until 2020.
Despite the obvious positives this has for both MSU and Central, Western, and Eastern Michigan universities—MSU gets cheap out-of-conference games and the Mid-American Conference schools get a guaranteed Big Ten team—there are some negatives, namely, the chance that MSU may lose those games.
Take Sept. 13 for example. MSU hosts the Chippewas, and thanks to a lot of Dan Lefevour and a little bit of luck, the Spartans drop the game. It’s an embarrassment that hasn’t been felt since the George Perles era and the type of game State fans could assume were part of the past. It just shows what happens when one assumes.
It was bad enough seeing maroon-clad drunks stumbling around East Lansing screaming “Fire up Chips!” in victory that night, but even now Central alums still bring the game up to MSU fans in passing conversation.
Heading into this weekend’s game against Western, the same sort of nervousness as a fan applies: We expect to win, but good God, we really don’t want to lose, because losing to the Broncos means we have to hear all about it from people who really have no business talking trash to us.
This is the type of game that generates relief after a win, not joy. Assuming that the vast majority of CMU, WMU, and EMU students are mainly Michigan fans that root for their school after the Wolverines, there’s a vast amount of pent up hate for our university coming from these people. The only way to avoid their annoying trash talk is to simply win the game.
And if Sept. 13 proved anything, it’s that simply winning the game isn’t that easy all the time.
Back when this game was scheduled, it was supposed to be a breather from the grueling Big Ten season. Now that confidence is so low in this squad after reaching such a high three weeks ago, it’s a pressure-packed game. Expect the atmosphere in Spartan Stadium to feel like it on Saturday—tense and apprehensive.
With two wins separating MSU from bowl eligibility, this game has to end up in the W column.
And if it doesn’t, expect to hear all about it.