ESPN's Chris 'Bear' Fallica provides keys to know for UM vs. MSU rivalry clash
All eyes on Saturday seem to be focused on East Lansing. In fact, both Fox’s “Big Noon Kickoff” and ESPN’s “College GameDay” are going to be on the Michigan State campus to give their pregame coverage of the showdown between No. 6 Michigan and No. 8 Michigan State.
GameDay’s “The Bear”, Chris Fallica has looked deeper into the numbers and trends. Turns out, whichever team comes away the winner will have to break from their past.
For the Spartans to take the “W” they will need to buck a 7-game trend of being on the short end of games against teams in the AP Top-10. Mel Tucker was 0-2 in such games during his first year in East Lansing.
Here were the last 7 games for MSU vs AP Top 10 that I promised someone earlier I would post
20 +22.5 3 Ohio St L 52-12
20 +7.5 10 Indiana L 24-0
19 +5.5 6 Penn St L 28-7
19 +8.5 8 Wisconsin L 38-0
19 +20 4 Ohio St L 34-10
18 +4 8 Ohio St L 26-6
18 +7 6 Michigan L 21-7
— Chris Fallica (@chrisfallica) October 29, 2021
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On the Wolverines side, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh has just a 3-3 record against MSU. But those wins have been by large margins. If the Wolverines can take control early and get some points on the board, the results could take Harbaugh above the .500 mark against the Spartans.
Despite being favored in all six meetings with Michigan State under Jim Harbaugh, the Wolverines are just 3-3 outright. All three losses have been by four points or fewer, while the three wins have been by 34, 14 and 9…
— Chris Fallica (@chrisfallica) October 28, 2021
More than just bragging rights are at stake this time around for the two in-state rivals. It marks the first time the two have taken the field with 7-0 records or better. Furthermore, they haven’t matched up this high up in the rankings since 1961.
The winner will likely be in the discussion for the CFP Playoff and have their fate in their own hands looking ahead to the B1G Championship Game.
Kickoff is set for 12:00 PM EST on Saturday, Oct. 30 at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing with the broadcast on FOX.