Back to basics: Michigan State 10, Michigan 12

Michigan’s last-second victory over Michigan State last Saturday afternoon was a historic one for the Wolverines, marking the program’s 900th overall win and their first win over Sparty in five tries.

Despite nasty weather forecasts, the day remained dry and not too chilly, which made for a comfortable setting in which to watch one of the most competitive games I’ve seen in the Big House in recent memory.

While local radio callers and personalities, in the days leading up to the game, were predicting multi-touchdown margins of victory for Michigan, Saturday’s contest featured only one touchdown, and it belonged to the Spartans.

Although Michigan led for much of the game, this one really was the Spartans’ to lose, which they did, chiefly as a result of a missed field goal early and an inability to manage the final 5:48 of the game, eventually giving up a game-winning field goal with five seconds remaining.

College football rivalry losses on the road always are going to be rough, and that’s especially true when your team gave the game away, but as I said in our tailgate full of Michigan fans afterwards, there’s no MSU fan on earth in 2008 who, if offered a 4-1 record in the next five meetings with Michigan, would decline. And while these programs look, for the moment, to be trending in the opposite direction– Michigan on the upswing and MSU on the decline– that 4-1 record is good enough for me right now. At least until November 2, 2013.

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