This philosophy that I have actually ignores academics and athletics altogether. It’s documented that Michigan is a better school and that Michigan leads them in every major sports Win-Loss record. Yes, even in Basketball.
No this philosophy is something a bit deeper, it’s because of a mindset. I consider Michigan State to be Michigan’s little brother because at least 50% of the Spartan fan base cares about nothing other than beating Michigan year in and year out. They would sacrifice Big Ten and National Championships to beat Michigan ever year. If Michigan State went 1-11, and the win was against Michigan, they would be content.
This is textbook little brother syndrome. The little brother only cares about beating the older brother, and when they do, they are obnoxious about it and don’t shut up, even if the older brother ends up with the better record.
This is not to say that everyone thinks like this. I know plenty of people that went to State or currently go to State that would happily lose to Michigan if it was the only way to win a Big Ten Championship. They are actually intelligent sports fans and I respect their view points, unfortunately they are not in the majority in East Lansing. I’ve had friends tell me that this year after both of Michigan State’s losses to Notre Dame and Ohio State that they overheard students saying “Who cares about this game? All that matters is we beat Michigan.” This is a terrible mindset to have, and if students already feel that way, then it is just going to continue year after year.
And until this mindset for the majority of the fan base changes, I will never consider changing my mindset. Sure, I would love to beat Michigan State this year, especially because we haven’t won a game in football in 4 years, but if we lose to State for a 5th year in a row, but manage to win a Big Ten Championship and go to the Rose Bowl, I won’t care at all.
The only things that matter are Big Ten Championships, Bowl Wins, and National Championships. I don’t even consider Michigan State to be our biggest rival; I’d rather beat Notre Dame and Ohio State. None of this is meant to be an insult, it’s just how I feel.
Also, rivalry games with State, at least in football, are a bit ridiculous. Why? Because if Michigan wins, a majority of State fans will say “whatever, you’re supposed to win,” and if Michigan loses then it’s non-stop ridiculousness. It’s practically a lose-lose situation for Wolverine fans.
And don’t even bother trying to bring up the all-time record, because most of them only care about what has happened recently. So what happens when Michigan beats MSU on Saturday? When they cite their last victory, does that means that Spartans are pointing towards history? I’ll stand by my statement that the historical record is all that matters, and another victory for Michigan will just add to the lead.
Don’t get me wrong, Michigan’s fan base is not even close to perfect, and I have plenty of issues with them as well. I just feel bad for my friends that go to State that are actually intelligent when it comes to sports, and have to deal with this little brother syndrome on a daily basis.