The rosters aren't even set yet, and we're still months away from the first snap of the 2024 college football season - but here's a bold prediction.

The Michigan Wolverines will beat the Michigan State Spartans this fall.

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Hold up, Spartans fans - before any bees get into any bonnets - this prediction is simply an acknowledgement of a century's worth of history and the fact that the annual rivalry game will be held this year in Ann Arbor, not East Lansing.

Here's the logic.

Michigan State @ Michigan - October 5, 1929

Yeah, we're going way back - almost 100 years. Follow the bouncing ball.

Spartans coach Jim Crowley (photo via National Football Foundation), and Wolverines coach Harry Kipke (photo via Bentley Historical Library)
Spartans coach Jim Crowley (photo via National Football Foundation), and Wolverines coach Harry Kipke (photo via Bentley Historical Library)

On October 5, 1929, first-year Wolverines head coach Harry Kipke (fresh off a year at the helm of the team for what was then Michigan State College) led his team to a 17-0 rout of the Spartans in Ann Arbor.

Michigan State also had a first-year head coach that season: Jim Crowley.

Michigan @ Michigan State - November 4, 1995

Next, our time machine takes us to November 4, 1995, when first-year Spartans head coach Nick Saban surprised the college football world and the seventh-ranked Wolverines with a 28-25 Michigan State victory in East Lansing.


Wolverines coach Lloyd Carr (photo via Bentley Historical Library), and Spartans coach Nick Saban (photo via Ebay [Bill Daniels Sports Collectibles])[/caption]The Wolverines happened to have a first-year head coach that year themselves: Lloyd Carr.

SEE ALSO: The Real Rivalry in Michigan: Who Has the Better College Fight Song?

Those aren't just random stories. Those are the actual outcomes of the only two times in the past 100 years that Michigan State and Michigan went into a season with first-year head coaches on both sidelines.

Michigan State @ Michigan - October 26, 2024

MSU's Jonathan Smith and Michigan's Harlon Barnett will make history this season as only the third first-year coaches to face one another in the last century of this storied college football rivalry.

Regardless of either man's personal coaching skills or the talent on his roster, history is simply on the side of the home team when this happens. This year the game's in Ann Arbor.

Advantage: Wolverines.

Spartans - remember that records are made to be broken!

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