Michigan and Michigan State On Track To Do Something Not Done Since 1956
The Spartans and Wolverines are on a collision course for October 30 in East Lansing, when they resume their long rivalry. And this season, it could be historical.
After Michigan's harrowing 32-29 escape from Nebraska Saturday, and Michigan State's romp over Rutgers, both the Spartans and Wolverines are both now in the Top Ten of the Associated Press college football rankings.
The teams are tied for first place in the hyper-competitive Big Ten East at 6-0, and if they both win their next games, State at Indiana Saturday, and Michigan against Northwestern at the Big House on October 23, they will square off at Spartan Stadium on October 30 to do something not done in 65 years.
It was in 1956 that the teams last played each other while they were both undefeated AND ranked in the AP top ten.
That year, the second ranked Spartans used a vicious defense to outlast the 5th ranked Wolverines 9-0 at Michigan Stadium in the conference opener for both schools.
1956, like 2021, was a season with a lot of talent in the Big Ten, as both schools would go on to finish 7-2, with Michigan finishing second in the conference standings at 5-2, while Michigan State wound up fourth at 4-2.
Three of the Big Ten schools finished in the final collegiate top ten poll of 1956, Michigan at 7, State at 9 and conference champion Iowa at #3.
That's very similar to this season, as five conference teams are currently in the top 10, Michigan State at #10, Michigan at #8, Penn State at #7, Ohio State at #6, and Iowa at #2.
Of those five teams, four are in the East Division, and will duke it out with each other in the coming weeks, beginning on October 30 with the Michigan-Michigan State game in East Lansing and the Ohio State-Penn State showdown in Columbus, Ohio.
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