Michigan State just won a game maybe six people thought they could win.
But, shockingly, the better team won. Make no mistake about it. There were no missed calls from the refs. There was no clock keeper to blame. There was no weather that seemingly only impacted one team to point fingers at. There was no crowned field. No flukes. No anything.
There was, however, Rocky Lombardi throwing for 323 yards. There was true freshman Ricky White throwing up 196 receiving yards. There was Antjuan Simmons making an incredible play to end the half because, for some reason, Michigan didn’t trust Cam Newton 2.0 in the red zone. There were blue and yellow cornerbacks getting roasted every five minutes by MSU’s receivers. There was MSU rightfully carrying Paul Bunyan back home.
There was also Mel Tucker making Michigan football his son in year one.
There were no flukes. There are no excuses. And there is now a clear-cut best team in the state, and they reside in East Lansing.
Let’s not lose sight here that this is also Michigan’s Super Bowl. Great win for MSU, but denying your rival of their mountain top makes it even better. This one tastes extra sweet.
Don’t believe me that this is the Big Game in Ann Arbor? Let’s go back the last 15 years and take a look.
When MSU is at its best, what’s its apex? Big Ten Championships. Winning big games. College Football Playoff berths.
When UM has been at its best the last 15 years, what’s their apex? Is it Big Ten titles? Nope. Is it winning their storied Ohio State game? Negative. Is it beating MSU once in a while? It is, and they’ll beat their chest about it but lie and say it doesn’t matter. Even though it’s all they’ll talk about for the next year to anyone that’ll listen.
Sure, MSU has its issues this year and this will be our biggest win in 2020. But our biggest win in a down year is what their biggest win would have been in a great year. That’s facts.
Look at the $54 million-to-date Jim Harbaugh Era and tell me what their top five highlights are. I guarantee you the Jabrill Peppers two point conversion in 2016 and the Devin Bush photo opp/temper tantrum are amongst the top five moments. That’s all they ever talk about, anyway. It’s a win over a 3-9 team and another over a 7-6 team. Nice mountaintop.
Michigan State is their Super Bowl. It’s as good as their season will get every once in a while. And the Spartans just punked them. In year one of Mel Tucker. With four and a half weeks of padded practice. And a first year starting QB. With a corps of receivers that includes a true freshman that popped you for 196 yards.
They have no title to fall back on and haven’t for 15+ years (I’ve lost count). They have no win over Ohio State or any notable ones over Penn State that anyone remembers. They have the MSU game to look forward to every year for the last 15 years, and this is what they did. They lost their Super Bowl.