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Schedule News: MSU-Michigan Set for a 7:30 Kickoff

The annual rivalry will be played at night for the first time in East Lansing on October 21

Syndication: Lansing State Journal
The lights were on for the last matchup in East Lansing, but it was a noon kickoff
Nick King/Lansing State Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

Set against the drab backdrop of the first of two Big Ten Football Media Days, some very interesting schedule news came to light. Action Network’s Brett McMurphy was given the tentative schedule for NBC’s slate of Big Ten football games this fall.

Three games for the Spartans show up on McMurphy’s list, two of which we’d already known about; Maryland’s visit to East Lansing on September 23rd and the Penn State game, now set to be played at Ford Field in Detroit on Black Friday. The new addition is the October 21st matchup against Michigan, now with a 7:30 kickoff time.

It’s a marquee game for NBC, one of the league’s two new television partners. The peacock network will show a Big Ten doubleheader that Saturday, with Minnesota and Iowa battling for the Floyd of Rosedale trophy at 3:30, leading into the fight for Paul Bunyan.

Michigan and MSU have not played each other at night at Spartan Stadium before. Former AD Mark Hollis was said to be opposed to the idea as it became more of a possibility through the highs of Mark Dantonio’s tenure. In 2021, when both squads entered the matchup undefeated and ranked in the top ten, Fox claimed it for its ludicrous Big Noon window, creating a logjam around campus with fans descending in droves in a tight window before kickoff.

Competitively, it’s hard to see how this is anything but a positive for MSU. The liquor consumed over the course of the several hours leading up to game time will easily be converted into uncut venom by the time toe meets leather. As a fan of that game in particular, that hostility, that tension and unpredictability, this is fantastic news.