Michigan State Hasn’t Won A Regular Season Road Game On West Coast In 65 Years
The world was almost unrecognizably different in 1957.
Baseball was the most popular sport in the United States. Radio was just as popular as TV. Speaking of TV, broadcasts in color had only just begun. Elvis' "All Shook Up" was the year's biggest chart-topper.
And, to really put into context how much of a completely different world it was in 1957, the Detroit Lions were NFL champions.
It was also the last time Michigan State won a regular-season road game on the West Coast.
If that sounds like a long-ass time to go without winning a game on the Pacific coastline, that's because it is. However, it's worth pointing out that MSU doesn't play out that way regularly or even occasionally — although that will change once Los Angeles is officially annexed into Big Ten Country in 2024 (thanks, UCLA and USC!).
The Spartans' most recent regular-season win on the West Coast came at Cal back in '57,19-0. In case I haven't already clearly conveyed just how ancient this history is, check out The New York Times' archived game story from that day. The fact that MSU's having thrown three touchdown passes was the big story tells you all you need to know.
Michigan State was pretty good back then. The Spartans finished the year 8-1, with their lone loss coming at home to Purdue (friggin' Spoilermakers!). MSU was named national champion by something called the Dunkel System, which was officially designated by the NCAA as a major selector, whatever that means.
But since then, MSU has made 13 regular-season trips to the West Coast and has lost on every single one of those occasions. And not only has State lost all 13 of those games, the Spartans have lost them badly. The total combined score over that span is 445-212, meaning the average score of MSU's regular-season games on the West Coast is a 34-12 loss.
For the last 65 years, when the Spartans go on the road to the West Coast in the regular season they average a three-touchdown loss. Yikes. That doesn't bode well for MSU's trip to Washington.
Here's the history of Michigan State's West Coast regular-season road trips since '57.