Monday, October 18, 2010

Face it: Michigan State is now Michigan's main rival, not Ohio State

I find a lot of the blabbering by Michigan fans about the past to be odd. They still seem to believe Bo Schembechler is the Wolverines' head coach, and Woody Hayes remains at Ohio State.
In truth, Ohio State, its loss to Wisconsin last week aside, has dominated the Big Ten in recent years, while Michigan is in danger of falling off college football's relevance map.
When Michigan plays Ohio State in November, the stakes don't figure to be high for Michigan, other than perhaps head coach Rich Rodriguez will be coaching for his job.
The game won't be nearly as big as the Wolverines' game Oct. 9 against Michigan State. That was, in reality, the crossroad game for Michigan. The Wolverines BIG GAME. And it took the wrong direction for the third year in a row.
Notre Dame isn't any good anymore, either. In fact, Michigan State has basically manhandled the Irish for more than a decade. Michigan's wins over ND the past two seasons have been rendered meaningless. Navy and UConn beat Notre Dame now.
The new standard for the Wolverines is Michigan State. It's all they hear about these days. The Curse of Mike Hart. How Michigan State has crashed the Top 10. How Michigan State painted Detroit green at the Final Four in 2009, and reaches the Final Four an average of every other year for a dozen years under Tom Izzo.
Ohio State? To the Buckeyes, Michigan is just a little blip on the screen. At least MSU cares when it beats Michigan. At this rate, Ohio State might not want to protect it "rivalry" status with Michigan in the future.
The Wolverines, 4-15 in the Big Ten since 2008, might be a more fitting opponent for homecoming.
Could be the case for the Spartans, too.

Random Thoughts

- I know the Rams have played pretty well at home, but I'm shocked they have three victories based on the team I saw play against the Lions at Ford Field. They just don't have that much talent. I predict that by the end of the season, the Lions will have more wins than the Rams.

- Ohio State was due for a fall. Wisconsin is a much better team at home traditionally than on the road. Madison is a very difficult place to play. Wouldn't surprise me if the Buckeyes still manage to find their way into the BCS title game.

- Scouts loved the talent of former Tiger Cody Ross, but didn't like his lack of size and, oddly, that is he is left-handed thrower, but a right-handed hitter. Ever notice you don't see that often? It's really rare. And it made scouts skeptical about Ross. Obviously, he's proved them wrong. There was some question at the time he was drafted, too, whether it would be as a pitcher or outfielder. His arm is that good.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is curious about Ross, who by the way is one of several ex-Tigers playing in the playoffs. Every team has ex-players in the postseason but Detroit has a ton. Polanco, C. Pena, Ross, Huff, Torres, Thames, Granderson, Jurrjens, Renteria. There's probably a couple of more that I'm forgetting ...


6:20 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Face it..." says the journalist with no Michigan State bias (as much as you'd like to deny it).

Pat, Pat, Pat... as a Michigan grad (class of 82), I must say it's adorable when I hear people say that State is our new rival. It only proves that you don't, and never will, get it.

Granted, the last three years have been hard, and we are no where near the level of Ohio State. But just because we've taken a hiatus from competing at the same level as the Buckeyes doesn't mean, by ANY stretch, that the game is not as important to us as ever....STILL the most important game on the schedule.

All you have to do is ask any Michigan fan this question, "Would you feel better about these losing seasons if you had beaten Ohio State? Or would you take losing to Ohio State and beating Michigan State?" %100 of the responses would choose to beat Ohio State.

Just as I am biased for Michigan (although I will go on record as saying that, since my University's season is headed toward mediocrity at best, I hope Michigan State runs the table and goes to the Rose Bowl), you are to Michigan State. That is why, no matter how you respond, and no matter what you would like to think about your bias, your journalistic integrity goes out the window regarding State v Michigan. You are the only one who doesn't think so. (It's pretty bad when your own radio colleagues joke about it on their shows.)

8:41 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Caputo you are a clown. There is a reason why you are in the Oakland Press.

8:50 PM 
Anonymous Steven said...

Funny, when we (Michigan) were beating Ohio State 8 out of 10 times I don't remember the game being any less important to us at the time. Just as it is not any less important now to Ohio State.

Do yourself a favor, Patrick, as a Michigan State guy, stop trying to speak to what other schools are feeling/thinking. Just enjoy the great season you are having and not do your annual "...what is important to Michigan is/should be..." speech.

8:51 PM 
Blogger ARTKNARF said...

The Ohio State game is just one of many big ten games that UofM loses these days. If the fans still want to consider it more important than other games fine, but UofM is not a special place any longer, and they can't compete w/OSU, and couldn't for a long time. ND is also a place living on its past. the UofM- ND game should be the big rivalry for these antiquated programs, they can play for the museum trophy and talk about the glory days when the Big ten had ten schools.


1:44 AM 
Blogger Jimmy Cigars said...

I love when MSU fans and Pat, I consider you a definite MSU Guy, get feeling good about themselves. It's always the same you want to be Michigan. The fact is MSU is having there once in every 20 year seasons. They are not only pretty good this year but there schedule is favorable. Every Big Ten Team has a season every 20 years leave out OSU, and Michigan as they typically reload. OSU was terrible before for 5 years, not nearly as bad as Michigan in this downturn but my point is M, OSU and PSU recruit different kids than the rest of the Big Ten. To say MSU is Michigans biggest rival is a joke, and only an MSU person would believe that. In spite of or after firing Rodrieguez Michigan will be fine. Too many kids that love football grew up watching the Maize and Blue, along with the Buckeyes and Penn State these schools are powers that recruit at a much different level than the rest of the Big Ten. Perles was the last coach to have a team like this team. I expect big things from MSU this year go Sparty enjoy your once in 20 year season.

8:25 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's pretty typical that the Michigan guys display a lot balls and start running their mouth on a blog. UofM fans like to consider their program as something of a national power, but if my memory serves me correctly, I believe there has only been on national championship in how many years (and that was sharing the hardware). Really the program is more of a story of constantly underachieving based on the highly touted recruiting class. I was in Florida a couple weeks back watching the UofM vs MSU game in a bar with complete strangers. I explained how the UofM fan has the worlds biggest mouth until they get smacked around and then you hear nothing again. As the clock was running out and MSU was in total control, the tv cameras showed all the "true blue" fans heading to the exits with a good 5 minutes on the clock. The strangers next to me couldnt stop laughing. My point is this, Caputo, keep up the good work. Those of you running your mouth on an internet blog and making personal attacks, get a life....or go get laid or something

Lil Rob

PS as far as your whole state bias goes, I do believe that on this same blog you picked UofM to win...

12:24 PM 
Anonymous Jeff H said...

As a MSU fan, I can say with a clear conscience that UM is now 3rd biggest rival, behind Wisconsin & Iowa.

1:18 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Michigan fans. Where's the trigger that all of you said was being re-cocked when you hired Rich Rod?

It's getting rusty, guys, you have to shoot the gun one of these days.

It's so funny when the older brother starts getting his butt beat by the little guy.

And unfortunately, the kid just gets stronger and stronger as he gets heavier and more skilled.

12:10 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Yeah, count me among those who didn't think he'd ever see Edgar Renteria leading off for the winning team in an NLCS game after he left Detroit. It's uncanny how many former Tigers are in the postseason.

1:17 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

The Ohio State game will only become important again when Michigan challenges Ohio State. Right now, Michigan is among the least feared teams in the Big Ten by Ohio State - and everybody else. And that's both in football and basketball. The Spartans only care so much about UM because of geography.

1:20 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

A clown? I resemble that remark. LOL. As for The Oakland Press, it is one of the finest newspapers in the country and extremely proud of it.

1:22 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

A little bitter? Seems like there is more than a little "blame the messenger" tone in your comment. In truth, I had nothing to do with Michigan's fall. In truth, I have written unbiasedly about both schools for years, In truth. MSU is now UM's main rival, not Ohio State.

1:25 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Yeah. But Michigan won a lot of games in the 1970s and 1980s. The Wolverines won a half of a national championship in 1997.It's all about the past at UM these days. They need to make the necessary changes to make it about the future.

1:26 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Lil Rob,
You couldn't be more correct. Michigan is happy on recruiting day. On the field, that's a different story. Thank you for your impartial and objective comments on the matter. Evidently you have been raised well by a family of smart and wise men.

1:29 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Jimmy Cigars,
This is deeper than just football. This also involves basketball. Michigan hasn't won over MSU in either sport since the Lions had a winning record and the stock market peaked at more than 14,000 points. That's long time to hear it day after day from your neighbors. There aren't many OSU people in this state compared to Spartans. I can say that as a totally impartial observer.

1:37 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Jeff H,
In regard to the current football season, not 1995 or whatever year Michigan fans are living in, you are correct.

1:39 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

It's getting to the point where UM may need to reload with a different football coach.

1:40 PM 
Blogger Sandy Gholston said...

I was not going to respond (had my original message taken down), but since I keep getting hit with the follow-up e-mails I will.

I think it is nothing short of absurd to claim Michigan State is now Michigan's chief rival. Wow, I am sure HBO can't wait to rank the Michigan-Michigan State rivalry up there with Michigan-Ohio State and Duke-North Carolina.

Someone made a tongue-in-cheek (I assume) comment about Wisconsin and Iowa replacing Michigan as State's chief rival. Very funny. I doubt most MSU fans could find Iowa City on a map and even fewer could name the University of Iowa's football stadium without looking it up.

I realize that State is having a great season and I applaud the Spartans. Coach Dantonio is doing a fantastic job. A few years ago, these same fans who were whining (Dantonio included) like children about Mike Hart's comments now are ready to break their arms patting themselves on the back.

Hey, enjoy the ride with humility before you put yourself on a pedestal and write laughably Michigan's football obituary.

2:11 PM 
Blogger Sandy Gholston said...


Your post is a classic example of the kind of jealousy that defines so many Michigan State fans. Because MSU has put Michigan on this pedestal as its sole hated rival, it is overwhelmed by the jealousy that Michigan considers Ohio State it's chief rival (and vice versa). I was especially amused by your "UofM is not a special place any longer," comment. It is beyond absurd. if Michigan is no longer a special place because it can't compete with Ohio State then Michigan State must not be special either because it has been decades since it last competed at anywhere close to OSU's level. Notre Dame is another issue, but don't be too quick to dismiss UND. Kelly is a good coach and MSU needed a miraculoous play at the end to bea that team living on its past.

2:16 PM 
Blogger Sandy Gholston said...

This comment ...

"Those of you running your mouth on an internet blog and making personal attacks, get a life....or go get laid or something"

... is your classic case of psychological projection.

2:18 PM 
Blogger Sandy Gholston said...


Yes, The Oakland Press is a fine paper. I just think your primary point in this column is, at best baseless, and at worst premature/absurd.

2:19 PM 
Blogger Sandy Gholston said...

Your comment about it being all about the past at Michigan these days, again, doesn't make much sense. Expectations are high at Michigan and that is part of the reason people are so disenchanted with Rich Rodriguez. That shows me people at Michigan are looking ahead to get back to being a national contender. Whether they can do it with this coach or not remains to be seen.

2:31 PM 
Blogger Sandy Gholston said...


I think Michigan does need to look at a new coach and preferebly one who believes in recruiting and shaping a defense.

2:32 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Face it Pat, you just can't get over the fact that Michigan is and always will be bigger and better than MSU.

MSU is and will always be second rate and you know it, stop acting like the worm has turned, you've been doing that act for 25 years, yawn.

Drop a few pounds fatso.

2:48 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeff H..... Oooh yeah, the whole state is buzzing whenever Michigan State plays Wisconsin/Iowa!

3:13 PM 
Anonymous Steven said...


Trust me, there is ZERO bitterness in my comment. Only annoyance. Whether you feel you are unbiased or not is irrelevant, what is relevant in my comment, and arrogant on your part, is that you seem to feel you know what the Michigan or Ohio State teams/fans are thinking or feeling.
It is also arrogant that you feel my comments are more about you, rather that what you say.

You can say State is the bigger rival all you want (and you seem to want to a lot), but without facts to back it up, it means nothing to anyone but you (and State fans).

As for you not feeling your own bias, just like the person above said, your "un-bias" is a joke to your own colleagues.

3:19 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Little sister MSU is not are biggest rival wow every 40 years state get a good unit then fall off again

3:34 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey Pat your a true moron Michigan haven't beat State in 3 years how about hockey and baseball that's right you won't say nothing sbout that. Michigan did beat State in baseball and hockey this season

3:37 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Sandy Gohlston,
I do believe MSU fans fully understand where Iowa and Wisconsin are. Have played tight, fantastic games against both schools the last few years. But Michigan will always be Spartans main rivals, and I think their fans are more than willing to admit it. It's the other way around people find disingenuous. Michigan fans not admitting MSU is their main rival.

11:50 AM 
Blogger Sandy Gholston said...

MSU fans are more apt to admit that UM is the main rival because it is so obvious. There's no one else even close. People tried to make Penn State a big rivalry game, but that has not gone over well. In football, there's no question for reasonable people that Ohio State is the big rival. For all other sports I would absolutely agree that MSU is Michigan's chief rival. There's a reason HBO chose to document the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry. I guess we will agree to disagree.

1:12 PM 

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