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Great book for the MSU-UM rivalry

October 15, 2012 - Burt Angeli
If you need additional incentive to get worked up for Saturday’s Michigan-Michigan State football game, check out the book “Arrogance and Scheming in the Big Ten: Michigan State’s Quest for Membership and Michigan’s Powerful Opposition.”

“Arrogance and Scheming in the Big Ten,” a thoroughly documented read by David J. Young, M.D., explains the distrust between the schools from Ann Arbor and East Lansing.

Michigan State attempted to enter the Western Conference, or Big Ten, five times in a 12-year span. Michigan put the kibosh on each opportunity, claiming Michigan State’s financial aid program violated “handbook” policy.

This would be the same Michigan school that permitted future star Tom Harmon to arrive from an Indiana high school. Michigan accepted only those students finishing in the upper third of their graduating high school class. Harmon, 243 out of 261, didn’t meet that requirement.

Author Young, who soured on college football after his research, offers other great points from the past:

— The “Buckeye Rule” stated colleges taking high school players from Ohio would be banned from the Ohio State schedule.

— Some of the Michigan State folks referred to Michigan as those “arrogant asses in Ann Arbor.”

— Notre Dame coaching great Knute Rockne turned down a position at Michigan State. In another coaching search, MSU decided against Oklahoma legend Bud Wilkinson and went with Biggie Munn.

— Michigan official Ralph Aigler, largely responsible for delaying MSU’s Big Ten bid, said in 1939 that “any high school graduate can get into Michigan State.”

Incidentally, Michigan hopes to snap a four-game losing streak to MSU on Saturday. Kick-off is 2:30 p.m. (Big Ten Network).



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