Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Little Brother Scale

"Sometimes, you get your little brother excited when you're playing basketball – let them get the lead…..And then you come back."
Who knew that quote from Mike Hart on Nov. 3, 2007 could be so impactful.
Was it necessary to say? No.
Was it the truth at the time? Yes.
At that time, the perception in the state to those not entrenched in the rivalry was that MSU was inferior to Michigan, or the “little brother” to the Wolverines.
But since that quote, the tables have started to turn.
Michigan State has won four straight over the Wolverines, three of which have been by 14 points or more.
Head Coach Mark Dantonio has almost adopted an inferiority complex in his absolute dislike for Michigan and Hart’s quote. That passion has carried the Spartans to a new level and control in the state’s biggest rivalry.
Has Hart’s quote ultimately become some sort of curse for the Wolverines? Probably not. But, it sure did wake a sleeping giant in East Lansing.
As the 2012 season is set to begin, I thought it would be fun to take the “little brother” quote and use it as a measuring stick each week following the games of both teams.
While MSU has a long way to go to catch Michigan in the overall history of both programs (i.e. winning national championships and regular BCS bowl appearances), there is little doubt that State has the superior product on the field right now compared to Michigan.
The Wolverines may be winning the recruiting battle, but I don’t factor that in. Wins and losses are what matter the most. If the recruiting pans out and develops as it should, it will show on the field.
Right now, the Spartans are in the head of the Wolverines. Michigan fans, players, and coaches can deny it all they want, but they are.
That MSU defense looms large over the abilities of Denard Robinson. A potential fifth straight loss to MSU, in the Big House no less, has the Wolverine world anxious about the Oct. 20 meeting.
Right now, MSU is the talented junior in high school that is seeking a championship to validate his talents. Michigan is the freshman with a lot of potential, but not been good enough to beat his older brother.

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