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Michigan State Spartans football

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Michigan State Spartans football

Michigan State Spartans football
2015 Michigan State Spartans football team
First season 1896
Athletic director Mark Hollis
Head coach Mark Dantonio
9th year, 83–31 (.728)
Home stadium Spartan Stadium
Stadium capacity 75,005
Stadium surface Grass
Location East Lansing, Michigan
Conference Big Ten
Division East
All-time record 677–439–44 (.603)
Postseason bowl record 11–14 (.440)
Playoff appearances 0
Claimed national titles 6
Conference titles 10 (8 Big Ten, 2 MIAA)
Division titles 2
Consensus All-Americans 31
Current uniform

MSU Green and White

Fight song Victory for MSU
Mascot Sparty
Marching band Spartan Marching Band
Rivals Michigan Wolverines
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Penn State Nittany Lions
Indiana Hoosiers

The Michigan State Spartans football program represents the Michigan State University in college football at the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision level. The Spartans are members of the Big Ten Conference. Michigan State claims a total of six national championships (1951, 1952, 1955, 1957, 1965, and 1966); the AP Poll voted Michigan State as national champion one time (1952). They have been named national champions twice in the Coaches Poll (1952 and 1965). The Spartans have also won two Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association championships (1903 and 1905) and eight Big Ten championships (1953, 1965, 1966, 1978, 1987, 1990, 2010, and 2013). The team's iconic Spartan helmet logo has been ranked as one of the game's best.[1][2]

The Spartans home games are played at Spartan Stadium, which is located on the main university campus. Spartan Stadium has ranked among the NCAA's Top 25 in attendance for 59 consecutive seasons, from 1953 through 2014. The Spartans' current coach, Mark Dantonio was hired on November 27, 2006. The Spartans main rival are the University of Michigan. The winner of their annual contest is awarded the Paul Bunyan Trophy.


1913 Michigan Agricultural College (MSU) vs Michigan
Starting as a club sport in 1885, football gained varsity status in 1896.[3] Early teams at the then Michigan Agricultural College (MAC) competed in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA), which was chartered in 1888 and is the oldest existing collegiate leagues in the United States. Previously, in 1884, Albion College and Michigan Agricultural had played in the first intercollegiate football game held within the state of Michigan. The MIAA's other charter members included Albion, Olivet and Hillsdale Colleges. The Association's first season of competitive football was in 1894 which by then also included Eastern Michigan University (then Michigan Normal School) and Alma College; Kalamazoo College was added in 1896. In those early years the MAC Aggies could only accomplish one outright league football championship (1905) and share another with Albion (1903). The first decade of the 20th Century generally saw the MIAA and MAC being dominated by either Albion or Olivet Colleges. MSU left the league and became an Independent in 1907.
A football signed by the 1979 Michigan State Spartans football team

During the 1950s when Detroit was known as the world's leading automobile manufacturer, Michigan State was often referred to as the nation's "football factory." During this era, the Spartans produced great players such as Lynn Chandnois, Dorne Dibble, Don McAulliffe, Tom Yewcic, Sonny Grandelius, Bob Carey, Don Coleman, Earl Morrall and Dean Look. In 1951, the Spartans finished undefeated and untied to claim a share of the national championship with Tennessee. A second consecutive undefeated season led to a consensus national title in 1952. The team was admitted into the Big Ten as a regular member in 1953, winning the league championship and defeating UCLA in their first Rose Bowl game. After the 1953 season Biggie Munn, the Spartan coach, turned the team over to his protégé Duffy Daugherty.

Coaching history

Mark Dantonio

On November 27, 2006, Mark Dantonio was hired from the University of Cincinnati to become Michigan State's new men's football head coach. In 2010, Dantonio led MSU to earn a share of the Big Ten Championship after finishing the year in a three-way tie with Ohio State and Wisconsin, and an out right Big Ten Championship in 2013. He has a 7-2 record against the University of Michigan (UM). Of the seven wins, three came against former Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez and three against former Michigan football coach Brady Hoke. Michigan State's streak of 4 wins in a row, from the 2008-2011 seasons, tied Michigan State's best in the rivalry. Dantonio's record also includes a 3-4 mark for the Megaphone Trophy, which goes to the winner of the MSU vs. Notre Dame rivalry football game. Dantonio served as an assistant coach at MSU from 1995-2000 and was Ohio State's defensive coordinator during their 2002 national championship season.[4] Dantonio was also an assistant at Kansas and Youngstown State University. He is considered a defensive-minded coach and has been on the coaching staffs of Glen Mason, Jim Tressel and Nick Saban.

Nick Saban

When Saban arrived in [5]

  • 1995–1997 – Beginning in 1995, Saban moderately improved MSU's fortunes, taking the Spartans to minor bowl games (all of which they lost by double-digit margins) in each of his first three seasons. From 1995 to 1997, Michigan State finished 6-5-1, 6-6, and 7-5. In comparison, MSU had finished 5–6, 6–6 and 5–6 (prior to NCAA forfeits) in 1992–1994.
  • 1998 – On November 7, 1998, the Spartans upset the #1 ranked Ohio State 28–24 at Ohio Stadium. However, even after the upset and an early-season rout of then-highly ranked Notre Dame the Spartans finished 6–6, including three last-minute losses featuring turnovers, defensive lapses, and special-teams misplays, and failed to earn a bowl invitation.
  • 1999 – Saban led the Spartans to a 9–2 season that included wins over Notre Dame, Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State. Conversely, the two losses were routs at the hands of Purdue and Wisconsin. Following the final regular-season game against Penn State, Saban abruptly resigned to accept the head coaching position with LSU. Saban's assistant head coach and successor, Bobby Williams, then coached MSU to a Citrus Bowl victory over Florida, giving the Spartans an overall record of 10–2 for the 1999 season. It would be the best season in terms of wins for the Spartans since 1965, and it would see the Spartans reach their highest ranking since the 1966 team.[6] Future former NFL Head Coach Josh McDaniels served as a Graduate Assistant on Saban's 1999 coaching staff.

Saban never won a bowl game in his tenure at Michigan State, going 0-3 and losing those bowl contests by a combined 85 points.[7]

George Perles

After returning from US Army active duty, Perles returned to Michigan where he enrolled at Michigan State University and played football under legendary coach Duffy Daugherty. Perles played the 1958 season before his playing career was cut short by a knee injury. Perles then started his football coaching career as a graduate assistant at Michigan State before moving on to the high school ranks in Chicago and Detroit, where his St. Ambrose High School team won their first Detroit City League Championship in 1961. Perles returned to Michigan State as defensive line coach under his mentor, Daugherty.

In 1972, Chuck Noll, head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, offered Perles the position of defensive line coach. In Perles’ first season, the Steelers made the NFL playoffs for the second time in franchise history, the first since 1947, losing to the Miami Dolphins in the AFC Championship Game. In 1974, the Steelers won the first of six consecutive AFC Central division championships and also their first Super Bowl. Perles became the defensive coordinator for the Steelers in 1978 and then assistant head coach under Noll in 1979. During Perles' ten years with Pittsburgh (1972–1981), the Steelers won a then-record four Super Bowls and became known as the team of the decade for the 1970s, largely on the back of their "Stunt 4-3" defense designed by Perles.

Perles returned to Michigan State University on December 3, 1982. In 12 years, he led the Spartans to two Big Ten Conference titles, seven bowl games and a victory in the 1988 Rose Bowl. The 1987 season marked the Spartans' last outright Big Ten title until 2013. During the 1987 season Perles and Michigan State beat Southern Cal twice in the same season, once in the regular season and one in the Rose Bowl.

During 1994–1995, an extensive external investigation conducted by the law firm of Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC. uncovered various infractions including grade tampering by an athletic department administrator. MSU president M. Peter McPherson fired Perles before the end of the 1994 season, and ordered the Spartans to forfeit their five wins for that season. Perles was found "not culpable" . Many fans and alumni believed he was treated unfair. He later went on to be the founder of The Little Caesars Pizza Bowl and is on the MSU board of trustees.

Duffy Daugherty

Duffy Daugherty (September 8, 1915 – September 25, 1987) replaced Biggie Munn in December 1953, following Munn's retirement to become Michigan State's athletic director. Daugherty would serve as the head coach at Michigan State University from 1954 to 1972, where he compiled a career record of 109–69–5. Duffy's 1965 and 1966 teams won national championships. Duffy's tenure of 19 seasons at the helm of the Michigan State Spartans football team is the longest of any head coach in the program's history. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1984.

  • 1954–1964 After compiling a disappointing 3–6 record in Daugherty's first season in 1954, the Spartans improved and finished second in the Big Ten behind Ohio State in 1955 with an 8–1 record in the regular season. Michigan State received the conference's invitation to the 1956 Rose Bowl instead of the Buckeyes due to the conference's prohibition against consecutive trips to the Rose Bowl. In Pasadena, the Spartans defeated UCLA, 17–14, for their second bowl win in school history. From 1956 to 1964, Daugherty's Michigan State teams were usually good, three times placing second in Big Ten, but never captured the conference crown. The Spartans did, however, beat Notre Dame eight straight times between 1955 and 1963, a feat matched only by Michigan (1887–1908) and USC (2002–2009). On November 5, 1964, the NCAA found Daugherty's program at Michigan State guilty of NCAA infractions prior to and during the 1957, 1958, and 1959 seasons. Daughtery's football program was put on probation for three years following the 1964 decision.
  • 1965–1966 The 1965 and 1966 seasons were the high points in Daugherty's coaching tenure, if not in the history of Michigan State football. The 1965 team finished the regular season 10–0 and ranked first in the country, but was upset by UCLA in the 1966 Rose Bowl, 14–12. Nevertheless, Michigan State was named national champions by the UPI and the National Football Foundation. The 1966 team began the season 9–0 and headed into their final game ranked #2 against #1 Notre Dame at Spartan Stadium on November 19. The #1 vs. #2 showdown, dubbed the "The Game of the Century" by national media, ended in a 10–10 tie. The Spartans did not play in a bowl game following the 1966 season due to Big Ten rules in place at the time that prohibited its teams from playing in the Rose Bowl in consecutive years and barred participation in any other bowl. Notre Dame and Michigan State were declared co-national champions of the 1966 season as a result of the 10-10 tie.
  • 1967–1972 Beginning with the 1967 season, there was a decline in the Spartans football program under Duffy. Daugherty's teams in the late 60s and early 70s consistently hovered around the .500 mark, with only his 1971 squad finishing with a winning record (6–5). Under pressure from MSU's administration, Daugherty retired after the 1972 season and was succeeded as head coach by Denny Stolz.

During Daugherty's time in Joe DeLamielleure. He was one of the first college football coaches to field a racially integrated team.

"Biggie" Munn

Clarence Lester "Biggie" Munn (September 11, 1908 – March 18, 1975) was head coach of Michigan State from (1947–1953). His 1951 squad and 1952 squad won national championships. Munn retired from coaching in 1953 to assume duties as Michigan State's athletic director, a position he held until 1971. Each year, the Michigan State Spartans football team hands out the "Biggie Munn Award" to the team's most motivational player. MSU's Munn Ice Arena, built in 1974, is named in his honor. Munn was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1959, and, in 1961, he became Michigan State's first inductee into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame. He authored the coaching textbook Michigan State Multiple Offense in 1953.

  • 1947–1950 In 1947, Munn and the Michigan State administration, led by university president John A. Hannah, approached Notre Dame president Father Cavanaugh to have his Fighting Irish play the Spartans for the first time since 1921. MSU initially offered to let Notre Dame take 80 percent of the gate, but Cavanaugh insisted they split the receipts down the middle. Munn was the only coach to beat Notre Dame head coach Frank Leahy three years in a row (1950–1952). Starting with a 33-14 win over William & Mary in East Lansing on October 14, 1950 Biggie Munn start his historic 28-game winning streak.
  • 1951 The 1951 Michigan State Spartans football team went undefeated and were elected the National Champions by the Helms Athletic Foundation; however, the rest of the polls voted for the Tennessee Volunteers, who lost in the Sugar Bowl to the Maryland Terrapins, but post season games did not count back then.
  • 1952 The 1952 squad continued Munn's undefeated streak going 9-0. Michigan State won a national championship for the second year in a row and for the first time in school history were voted #1 in both the AP and Coaches' polls. Munn was named the AFCA Coach of the Year, coaching MSU to 9–0 record and a national championship.
  • 1953 In 1953, Michigan State's first year of conference play in the Big Ten, the Spartans shared the conference title with Illinois and went to the Rose Bowl, where they beat UCLA, 28–20. On October 24, 1953, Purdue upset the Spartans 6-0 ending Munn's 28-game winning streak. The Spartans won the first ever Paul Bunyan Trophy after beating rival Michigan 14-6 in East Lansing.

Shortly after the Rose Bowl victory, MSU's athletic director, Ralph H. Young retired. Munn stepped down from coaching to assume duties as athletic director and remained in that position until 1971. Munn named his assistant, Duffy Daugherty, as his successor to helm the football team. During his tenure as Michigan State's head football coach, Munn tutored 17 All-Americans. His teams have retained the school's top four season marks for rushing-yards-per-game: 1948 (304.5 yards/game), 1951 (293.9 yards), 1952 (272.4), and 1950 (269.3). Munn was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1959.

Head coaching records

Coach Years Seasons Record Pct. Conf. Record Pct. Div. Titles Conf. Titles Bowl Games National Titles Conference
No Coach 1896 1 1–2–1 .375 0–1–0 .000 0 0 0 0 MIAA
Henry Keep 1897–1898 2 8–5–1 .607 5–2–1 .688 0 0 0 0 MIAA
Charles Bemies 1899–1900 2 3–7–1 .318 1–3–0 .250 0 0 0 0 MIAA
George Denman 1901–1902 2 7–9–1 .441 5–4–1 .550 0 0 0 0 MIAA
Chester Brewer 1903–1910, 1917, 1919 10 58–23–7 .699 19–2–2 .833 0 2 0 0 Left MIAA in 1907
John Macklin 1911–1915 5 29–5–0 .853 n/a n/a n/a n/a 0 0 Independent
Dutch Sommers 1916 1 4–2–1 .643 n/a n/a n/a n/a 0 0 Independent
George Gauthier 1918 1 4–3–0 .571 n/a n/a n/a n/a 0 0 Independent
George Clark 1920 1 4–6 .400 n/a n/a n/a n/a 0 0 Independent
Albert Barron 1921–1922 2 6–10–2 .389 n/a n/a n/a n/a 0 0 Independent
Ralph H. Young 1923–1927 5 18–22–1 .451 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 0 Independent
Harry Kipke 1928 1 3–4–1 .438 n/a n/a n/a n/a 0 0 Independent
Jim Crowley 1929–1932 4 22–8–3 .712 n/a n/a n/a n/a 0 0 Independent
Charlie Bachman 1933–1942, 1944–1946 13 70–34–10 .658 n/a n/a n/a n/a 1 0 Independent
Clarence Munn 1947–1953 7 54–9–2 .846 5–1 .833 n/a 1 1 2 Joined Big Ten in 1953
Duffy Daugherty 1954–1972 19 109–69–5 .609 72–50–3 .588 n/a 2 2 4 Big Ten
Denny Stolz 1973–1975 3 19–13–1 .591 14–9–1 .604 n/a 0 0 0 Big Ten
Darryl Rogers 1976–1979 4 24–18–2 .568 19–12–1 .609 n/a 1 0 0 Big Ten
Muddy Waters 1980–1982 3 10–23–0 .303 8–18–0 .308 n/a 0 0 0 Big Ten
George Perles 1983–1994 12 68–67–4 .504 53–42–2 .557 n/a 2 7 0 Big Ten
Nick Saban 1995–1999 5 34–24–1 .592 23–16–1 .589 n/a 0 3 0 Big Ten
Bobby Williams 2000–2002 2+ 16–17 .469 6–15 .286 n/a 0 2 0 Big Ten
Morris Watts 2002 < 1 1–2 .333 1–2 .333 n/a 0 0 0 Big Ten
John L. Smith 2003–2006 4 22–26 .458 12–20 .375 n/a 0 1 0 Big Ten
Mark Dantonio 2007–present 9 83–31 .728 49–19 .721 2* 2 8 0 Big Ten
Totals 1896–present 119 677–439–44 .603 292–216–13 .573 2 10 25 6

* The Big Ten split into the Leaders and Legends Divisions with the addition of Nebraska for the 2011 season. Michigan State played in the Legends Division from 2011-2013. In 2014, with the addition of Maryland and Rutgers, the divisions were realigned and Michigan State now plays in the East Division.

Football facilities

Spartan Stadium

Spartan Stadium hosts varsity football games and other events.

Until the 1920s, the Spartans played on Old College Field just northwest of the current stadium. In the early 1920s school officials voted to construct a new stadium. The new College Field was ready in the fall of 1923 with a capacity of 14,000. In 1935 the seating capacity was increased to 26,000 and the facility was dedicated as Macklin Field. By 1957, upper decks were added to the east and west sides, boosting the capacity to 76,000. That same season Michigan State dropped the name Macklin Stadium in favor of the current name, Spartan Stadium.[8]

In 2005 the university finished a new $64 million expansion project to Spartan Stadium. It featured the addition of nearly 3,000 club seats in the "Spartan Club," 24 suites and a 193-seat press box, bringing the current stadium capacity to 75,005. The original World War II-era terracotta cast of the "The Spartan" statue was moved indoors to the atrium of the new structure to protect it from the elements and occasional vandalism, and a new bronze cast was made for outdoors. The 200,000-square-foot (19,000 m2) addition also houses the MSU Alumni Association, University Development and other units.[9]

The stadium boasts a capacity of 75,005, making it the Big Ten's 6th largest stadium and 23rd largest college football stadium in the country. In 2010 Spartan Stadium had the 19th highest attendance in NCAA Division I FBS.[10] Crowd noise in the stadium gets so loud that Stanley Kubrick’s Spartacus (1960) uses a recording of the crowd noise during the 1959 Michigan State-Notre Dame game.[11]

For the 2007 season, the student section held approximately 13,000 fans.[12] Like the basketball student section (the Izzone), the Michigan State Student Alumni Foundation used to oversee a subgroup in the football student section named "Corner Blitz." When head coach Mark Dantonio took over the football program in 2006, "Corner Blitz" was united with the normal student section. The entire student section now receives a special T-shirt which is voted on annually.[13]

Three new video boards were installed prior to the 2012 season. The larger South LED board measures 47.2 feet (14.4 m) high by 114.8 feet (35.0 m) wide for a total of 5,412 square feet (502.8 m2). The two North LED boards measure 31.5 feet (9.6 m) high by 52.5 feet (16.0 m) wide for a total of 1,653.75 square feet (153.638 m2) each. When combined, the three boards measure 8,719.5 square feet (810.07 m2), making it the largest combined board system in the country. Also, the stadium includes a 10 feet (3.0 m) high by 450 feet (140 m) wide ribbon video board along the top of the bleachers in the north endzone, which adds another 4,500 square feet (420 m2) to make a grand total of 13,219.5 square feet (1,228.13 m2).

Duffy Daugherty Building / Skandalaris Center

In 2007 Michigan State expanded its Duffy Daugherty Football Building with a $15 million expansion and renovation project. The face-lift started with construction of the 25,000-square-foot (2,300 m2) Skandalaris Football Center that features new team, staff and position meeting rooms, coaches' offices, MSU football Players Lounge and The Demmer Family Hall of History. MSU alumni Robert and Julie Skandalaris of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., donated $5 million as the lead gift for the $15 million project. In 2008, weight room was increased in size from 9,000 to 16,500 square feet (1,530 m2) at a cost of $2 million. The complex includes a 86,000-square-foot (8,000 m2) indoor practice facility with a full in-door football field, two outdoor practice football fields and a training room with a rehab and hydrotherapy section.[14]

Records, championships, and notable games

All-time record

At the completion of the 2014 season, Michigan State's all-time win/loss/tie record is 670–439–44.

National championships

Michigan State claims a total of six national championships, three of which are consensus national championships after being declared the national champion by the AP and Coaches' Poll in 1952, the Coaches' Poll in 1965, and the National Football Foundation in 1966.[15]

Year Coach Selector Record Bowl
1951 Clarence Munn Billingsley, Helms, Poling 9–0
1952 Clarence Munn AP Poll, Coaches' Poll, Helms, NCF, UPI 9–0
1955 Duffy Daugherty Boand 9–1 Won Rose
1957 Duffy Daugherty Dunkel 8–1
1965 Duffy Daugherty UPI, FWAA, Helms 10–1 Lost Rose
1966 Duffy Daugherty Helms, NFF, CFRA 9–0–1
National Titles 6

Conference championships

Year Conference Coach Overall Record Conference Record
1903 MIAA Chester Brewer 6–1–1 3–1
1905* MIAA Chester Brewer 9–2 4–0
1953 Big Ten Clarence Munn 9–1 5–1
1965 Big Ten Duffy Daugherty 10–1 7–0
1966 Big Ten Duffy Daugherty 9–0–1 7–0
1978* Big Ten Darryl Rogers 8–3 7–1
1987 Big Ten George Perles 9–2–1 7–0–1
1990* Big Ten George Perles 8–3–1 6–2
2010* Big Ten Mark Dantonio 11–2 7–1
2013 Big Ten Mark Dantonio 13–1 8–0
Conference Titles 8 Big Ten, 2 MIAA

* Denotes co-champions

Divisional championships

Date Division Big Ten CG Result Opponent PF PA
December 3, 2011 Big Ten Legends L Wisconsin 39 42
December 7, 2013 Big Ten Legends W Ohio State 34 24
Divisional Titles 2

Bowl games

The following are bowl game results for Michigan State football:[16]
Date Bowl W/L Opponent PF PA
January 1, 1938 Orange L Auburn 0 6
January 1, 1954 Rose W UCLA 28 20
January 2, 1956 Rose W UCLA 17 14
January 1, 1966 Rose L UCLA 12 14
December 22, 1984 Cherry L Army 6 10
December 31, 1985 Hall of Fame Classic L Georgia Tech 14 17
January 1, 1988 Rose W USC 20 17
January 1, 1989 Gator L Georgia 27 34
December 25, 1989 Aloha W Hawaii 33 13
December 31, 1990 John Hancock W USC 17 16
December 28, 1993 Liberty L Louisville 7 18
December 29, 1995 Independence L LSU 26 45
December 31, 1996 Sun L Stanford 0 38
December 25, 1997 Aloha L Washington 23 51
January 1, 2000 Citrus W Florida 37 34
December 31, 2001 Silicon Valley Classic W Fresno State 44 35
December 29, 2003 Alamo L Nebraska 3 17
December 28, 2007 Champs Sports L Boston College 21 24
January 1, 2009 Capital One L Georgia 12 24
January 2, 2010 Alamo L Texas Tech 31 41
January 1, 2011 Capital One[17] L Alabama 7 49
January 2, 2012 Outback W Georgia 33 30
December 29, 2012 Buffalo Wild Wings W TCU 17 16
January 1, 2014 Rose W Stanford 24 20
January 1, 2015 Cotton W Baylor 42 41
Total 25 Bowl Games 11-14 501 644


The Megaphone Trophy is awarded each year to the winner of the football game between the University of Notre Dame and Michigan State University. The rivalry includes games such as the Game of the Century, arguably the greatest college football game ever played. Notre Dame leads the series 48–28–1. The Megaphone Trophy series record is 34–26–1 in favor of Notre Dame. Notre Dame currently holds the trophy after a 17-13 win in South Bend in 2013.
The Old Brass Spittoon is presented to the winner of the Indiana–Michigan State football game which was first presented in 1950. Michigan State currently leads the all-time trophy series 45–12–1. After facing each other in one of the so-called protected cross-division rivalry games from 2011 to 2013, MSU and Indiana will continue to face off each year as members of the Big Ten East division starting with the 2014 season. The Spartans currently hold the Old Brass Spittoon after beating Indiana 52-26 in 2015.
The Paul Bunyan-Governor of Michigan Trophy is a college rivalry trophy awarded to the winner of the annual American football game between the Michigan State University Spartans and University of Michigan Wolverines. The winner retains possession of the trophy until the next year's game. Michigan leads the trophy series 35–26–2, which dates back to 1953. Michigan leads the series 68–35–5, dating back to 1898. Michigan State has won the Paul Bunyan Trophy for seven of the last eight years. The Spartans retained the Paul Bunyan Trophy with a 27-23 win in 2015.[18]
The Land Grant Trophy is named so because Old Main and Michigan State's Beaumont Tower. The series is tied 14–14–1. After spending the 2011 to 2013 seasons in opposite Big Ten conference divisions, MSU and PSU resumed playing each other annually for the trophy in 2014.[19] Michigan State is the current holder of the Land Grant Trophy after beating Penn State 34-10 in State College, PA on November 29, 2014.

Historic games

Game of the Century

The 1966 Michigan State vs. Notre Dame football game ("The Game of the Century") remains one of the greatest, and most controversial, games in college football history.[20] The game was played in Michigan State's Spartan Stadium on November 19, 1966. Michigan State entered the contest 9–0 and ranked #2, while Notre Dame entered the contest 8–0 and ranked #1. Notre Dame elected not to try for the end zone on the final series, thus the game ended in a 10–10 tie with both schools recording national championships.[21][22]

Awards Individual awards and honors

National award winners



Big Ten Conference honors

List of Consensus All-Americans

Player Position Year (s)
Neno DaPrato B 1915
Sidney Wagner L 1935
Ed Bagdon L 1949
Don Coleman L 1951
Bob Carey E 1951
Don Dohoney E 1953
Earl Morrall B 1955
Norm Masters L 1955
Walt Kowalczyk B 1957
Dan Currie L 1957
Sam Williams E 1958
George Saimes B 1962
Sherman Lewis B 1963
Bubba Smith DL 1965, 1966
George Webster DB 1965, 1966
Clinton Jones B 1966
Brad Van Pelt DB 1972
Lorenzo White RB 1985, 1987
Tony Mandarich OL 1988
Percy Snow LB 1989
Bob Kula OL 1989
Charles Rogers WR 2002
Brandon Fields P 2004
Javon Ringer RB 2008
Greg Jones LB 2009, 2010
Jerel Worthy DL 2011
Darqueze Dennard DB 2013
Total 31

Team Honors

Retired numbers

No. Player Position Tenure Year Retired
46 John Hannah 1 - - 1969
48 Percy Snow LB 1986-1989 2013
78 Don Coleman T 1949-1951 1951
90 George Webster LB 1964-1966 1967
95 Charles "Bubba" Smith DE 1964-1966 2006

1 Although Hannah did not play for the Spartans, the University retired #46 as a recognition to his 46 years of service to the institution.[24]

Michigan State's All-Time Team

Chosen in 2001 by Athlon Sports[25]

Hall of Fame


Michigan State alumni and coaching inductees into the College Football Hall of Fame include:

Professional (United States)

Michigan State alumni inductees to the Pro Football Hall of Fame include:

Professional (Canada)

Michigan State alumni inductees to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame include:

Rose Bowl

Michigan State alumni inductees to the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame include:

Notable players

Current NFL players

Other notable players

Future non-conference opponents

2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027
vs Furman vs Bowling Green at Arizona State vs Western Michigan at BYU at Miami (FL) at Boise State vs Boise State Notre Dame (site TBA) Notre Dame (site TBA)
at Notre Dame vs Western Michigan vs Central Michigan vs Arizona State vs Miami (FL)
vs BYU vs Notre Dame



  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ p. 9.
  4. ^ ESPN - Michigan St. hires Dantonio, Iowa State still looking - College Football
  5. ^ Infractions Case: Michigan State University, NCAA Register, October 7, 1996. Accessed May 15, 2008.
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ College Gridirons, Spartan Stadium. Accessed 2006-06-23.
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ "History: National Championships." "Michigan State Football Gameday Magazine" 10 September 2011
  16. ^ College Football Data Warehouse. Michigan State Bowl History
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ Notre Dame's Championship Record
  22. ^ Michigan State's Championship Record
  23. ^
  24. ^ "Big Ten retired football jerseys"
  25. ^
  26. ^ College Football Hall of Famers
  27. ^
  28. ^ Current NFL Players
  29. ^, Michigan State Spartans Football Schedules and Future Schedules. Retrieved August 23, 2014.

External links

  • Official website

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