Saturday, October 20, 2012

Final thoughts on Michigan/MSU

Michigan got the win it was looking for.
It ended the four-game losing streak to Michigan State on Saturday, 12-10.
It wasn’t a pretty game and it was closer than some expected, but the Wolverines made the plays it needed to in order to win.
Is order restored? Has the balance of power shifted back to Ann Arbor? Perhaps. At least the bragging rights have returned to Michigan.
I wrote my column from the MSU angle of the game. Keep in mind, I was at the game with Pat Caputo. He covered the Michigan angle. I don’t want any accusations of favoritism because my column focuses on the Spartans.
Cleary Michigan State is having a disappointing year and needs to figure out if it is going to go back to being an average program or if it is going to be a Big Ten contender in future seasons.
The only way that the Spartans can lay claim to something in this rivalry is if it is accompanied by accomplishments that go outside of just beating Michigan.
The same can be said for the Wolverines this year.
Obviously Michigan has a lot of championships and prestige to fall back on throughout its history, but the Wolverines are still seeking to get back to a level of championship play.
The Rich Rodriguez era took the Wolverines back, which opened the door for Michigan State to move ahead and claim bragging rights. That was supported by more than just wins against the Wolverines, but also by the Big Ten title in 2010 and the Legends Division title in 2011.
For Michigan to really put a stamp on this season and leave the Spartans in the rear view mirror, it needs to make its way to Indianapolis and play for, if not win, the Big Ten Championship.
Brady Hoke and the Michigan players said that beating MSU was good but their goals are much greater than a win over the Spartans.
Winning championships is what has separated Michigan from Michigan State in the past and will be the only thing to separate the Wolverines from the Spartans in the future.
That’s the next big step for Brady Hoke and the program, to win a championship. This year seems to be Michigan’s best shot in a while to do just that.

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