Martin, Molk & Koger
Graham discussed what he felt after watching Michigan State University beat the University of Michigan in football for the fourth consecutive year. I thought I might quickly add what this means for MSU and the future of our program.
I have an idea of what the viewers out there might be thinking: "Sure, MSU has beat UM four in a row for the first time since JFK was president. This was one of the least successful senior classes in Michigan history. It's a nice accomplishment, but so what."
You are correct to a certain extent with this line of reasoning. While I do not wish to demean the athletic abilities or character of the men pictured above (they are representative of their class by their selection as captains for the 2011 season) they are in fact the first gentleman in nearly 50 years who can say that they never played in a winning effort against the Spartans. These were men recruited for the most part by the (now) sainted Lloyd Carr and while it is not their fault that were poorly coached, they remain very talented and good athletes.
It is Michigan. It is our biggest rival, so to win four straight against even when down, means something. It doesn't mean that we'll win every game from now on, or that we'll suddenly become the favorites in state. UM has been too good for too long for that to occur. They have too many inherent advantages for them to remain down forever. (All the big boys rebound...Alabama, Texas, OSU, USC...they all come back just as strong as ever...like zombies).
Still, I have mentioned (and will mention again soon) that this is different. That these Spartans are different. What would it have said about our program, about our coaching staff, about what we are building in East Lansing, if we had gone 1-3 or god forbid, 0-4 against a class whose career record stands at 21-22 after Saturday (for historical consideration the 1959-62 class for UM was 17-19)?
I know, as most rational Spartan fans will tell you, that in the grand scheme of things this streak against this class doesn't mean much. If UM's senior class was 36-7 with three Rose Bowl victories it might mean much more. However, we play them when we're scheduled to and want the best result possible. Our seniors this year gave us the best result possible. 4-0.