On Saturday, November 27th at 12 Noon in Happy Valley; The stats become irrelevant.
And although Sparty has had arguably their best season since 1966, remembrance of past meetings versus Penn State should be noted.
Since the battle for the Land Grant Trophy began back in 1993, Penn State has a record of 13-4 against Michigan State. Including a 42-14 beat-down in 2009.
However, the complete series between these schools is 14-12-1 in favor of the Nittany Lions. Which means that prior to an actual trophy being represented to intensify the rivalry, Sparty is 8-1-1.
Maybe Michigan State should just, not acknowledge the fact that they're playing for a trophy... Just a thought.
The trophy is just an added incentive; Why? Because this season they are playing for much more than just a W over their rival.
Now although there is no chance for a national title, a share of the Big Ten title is still in sight. Also a rare feat in Spartans history has occurred.
Michigan State football began in 1896. And prior to 2010, only TWICE the Spartans won 10 games in a season (1965 and 1999 respectively). But only once have they won 10 games in the regular season (1965).
Will the Land Grant Trophy maintain its significance to either school when they face-off in the future?
With that being said, the 2010 Michigan State Spartans have the opportunity to solidify themselves amongst some of the best teams in school history.
With a chance to set the school record for wins in a season, Spartan fans should be extremely proud of their team.
And a win this week will only give them more momentum heading into 2011.
As for the 7-4 Nittany Lions, definitely not the 2010 campaign they were hoping for.
But early on, Freshman QB Robert Bolden did lead Joe Pa's Lions to a 4-3 record until the plug was pulled.
Beginning with the game against Michigan, Sophomore Mathew McGloin took over the QB duties. 3-1 as the starter this season, McGloin has gotten the Lions bowl eligible and playing the spoiler role this week.
Now with all that being said, there is one gigundo (a slang term that means "bigger than gigantic") reason why this game has even more implications.
We all know Nebraska is joining the Big Ten next season. Thus giving the conference 12 teams (which makes no sense whatsoever, but that's another issue) and total realignment.
Two divisions, with six teams in each division was expected. But, which team in which division became another issue.
Needless to say the Spartans and Nittany Lions are in separate divisions, and will only play one another twice every five years.
For such a great rivalry, its a shame the Land Grant Trophy will not be competed for each year. And since that's the case, each time these schools meet on the gridiron, the level of magnitude should astronomically increase.