BTN details how Mark Dantonio altered the Paul Bunyan Trophy celebration in 2008
The Michigan State-Michigan rivalry series is one of the best in the B1G. During his tenure, former Spartan head coach Mark Dantonio helped reignite what had become an especially one-sided series.
In the years leading up to Dantonio’s first season in East Lansing in 2007, the Wolverines had won 5 straight and 9 of the last 11 matchups. During his first game against the Wolverines, Dantonio and the Spartans blew a double-digit lead which ultimately led to Mike Hart’s famous “little brother” speech and Dantonio’s “it will never be over” response.
In 2008, Michigan State had its revenge and celebrated by switching things up with the Paul Bunyan Trophy. Previously a trophy reserved for the locker room, the Spartans paraded with Bunyan around the Big House.
BTN aired a clip of how that incident shook up the rivalry:
Paul Bunyan’s on the line this weekend in Ann Arbor.
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) October 24, 2022
“Michigan State came over to me and they said ‘Just so you know, if we win the game today, we’re gonna take Paul Bunyan on the field,'” said Jon Falk, Michigan’s Assistant to the Head Coach. “And I said well, Paul Bunyan isn’t a field trophy, it’s been a locker room trophy for years… They ran him around the stadium here in Michigan.”
We’ll see who gets the last laugh — and the Paul Bunyan Trophy — on Saturday.