Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Spartans and Wolverines play as Top 12 teams for the first time since 1999

For the since meeting in 1999, Michigan State and Michigan come into Saturday's game (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN) in the top 12 in this week's Associated Press.

The Spartans (6-0, 2-0 Big Ten) come in at the No. 7 spot, while the Wolverines (5-1, 2-0 Big Ten) are No. 12 and 16 seasons ago, Michigan came into the in-state showdown at No. 3 and Michigan State at No. 11.

Michigan State knocked off Michigan with a 34-31 victory at Spartan Stadium and Saturday's game could be as good, if not better.

On Tuesday's Big Ten weekly teleconference, Spartans coach Mark Dantonio talked about the importance of Michigan State/Michigan on not only a national level, but for the State of Michigan.

"I think it is a positive for the entire state and will put a lot of eyes on the State of Michigan across the country," Dantonio said. "Other than that, it is a big game internally because it is a rivalry game for us."

Despite the Paul Bunyan Trophy being awarded to the winner, Dantonio also views the Michigan game like any other.

"It is a game that creates separation a little bit in the Big Ten Conference, but every game is extremely meaningful," Dantonio said. "At the end, this is one football game within the stretch here. It is unique because of where we are at and who we are playing." 

Series History:

Michigan leads the overall series 68-34-5 over Michigan State and Saturday's game will be the 108th all-time.

Since Wolverines coach Lloyd Carr retired after the 2007 season, the Spartans have turned this affair into a one-sided show winning six of the last seven meetings.

Last season's game saw Michigan State have its way against Michigan as running back Jeremy Langford ran for 177 yards and three touchdowns in a 35-11 victory at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, Mich.

Last Five Meetings:

Oct. 25, 2014: Michigan State 35, Michigan 11

Nov. 2, 2013: Michigan State 29, Michigan 6

Oct. 20, 2012: Michigan 12, Michigan State 10

Oct. 15, 2011: Michigan State 28, Michigan 14

Oct. 9, 2010: Michigan State 34, Michigan 17

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