Michigan State Fans Named College Football Fanbase Most Obsessed With Their Rival
File this one under "Water is wet": Michigan State has been named the college football fanbase most obsessed with its rival.
This designation comes from thepostgame.com, which compiled a ranking of such fanbases across NCAA football.
Most U-M fans could tell you this is the truth. What's more, most MSU fans know it's reality--whether or not they'll admit it is an entirely different matter.
(Full disclosure: I went to Michigan State and I am willingly and wholly acknowledging the veracity of thepostgame.com's ranking here.)
More from the rankings:
Fans of the Spartans have always been obsessed with Michigan, which doesn't even consider its in-state competition as the chief rival (not even close). But Sparty hate for the Wolverines has reached a crescendo after Jim Harbaugh's return to Ann Arbor as coach.
Ouch. That's painfully correct. The proof is in the pudding: While MSU has enjoyed marked athletic dominance over Michigan the past eight years, I can't help but think of all the obsessing and constant you-know-what-measuring many Spartan fans have done against U-M throughout this golden age.
And I've never understood that. Yes, I hate Michigan, too. But I've been more focused on MSU's successes since 2008 than the Wolverines' failures. Don't get me wrong: Michigan-induced schadenfreude is ethereal. But it doesn't even begin to encroach on the accomplishments of the Spartans.
A lot of MSU fans' preoccupation with U-M is institutional. After all, Michigan has stood against Michigan State at virtually every milestone of its development as an entity. Whether it was U-M in the mid-19th Century trying to dissuade legislators from creating a separate agricultural school in favor of one under the Michigan umbrella, or Michigan casting the lone vote against MSU's admission to the Big Ten, or even Walmart Wolverines discrediting the value of a Michigan State education even though many times they, themselves, sport only an associate's degree from the local community college or a vocational certification (or less), the Spartans' chip on the shoulder came from somewhere.
The truth is MSU fans are obsessed with Michigan. But the truth also is if you trace it back to its roots, you'll find there's pretty good reason for it.