Oct 29, 2016; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans quarterback Brian Lewerke (14) attempts a pass as Michigan Wolverines linebacker Jabrill Peppers (5) defends during the second half at Spartan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to rivalry weekend, as the Michigan Wolverines host the Michigan State Spartans at the Big House on Saturday, October 7, at 7:30 p.m. (ET). These two teams have a long history full of devastating upsets and complete blowouts dating back to 1898. Before our home state rivals take the field for ownership of the Paul Bunyan trophy, let’s take a look at how the teams’ all-time greats stack up against each other.


Charles Woodson, 1995-97

  • Led the Wolverines to a National championship in 1997
  • Memorable plays include his one-handed interception against MSU
  • Two-time All American, only primarily defensive player to win the Heisman Trophy
  • Selected fourth overall by the Oakland Raiders in the 1998 NFL Draft

Michigan State
Darqueze Dennard, 2010-13

  • Only Spartan to win the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation’s best defensive back
  • Unanimous All-American as a senior, first-team All-Big Ten selection
  • Led the Spartans to a Big Ten Championship and Rose Bowl victory in 2013
  • Selected 24th overall by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2014 NFL Draft

Wide Receiver

Braylon Edwards, 2001-04

  • All-time leader in career yards, receptions, and touchdowns at the school
  • Big 10 record for most career touchdown receptions: 39
  • Takes Desmond Howard’s place on the list due to his performance in the Wolverines 2004 comeback victory against MSU
  • Drafted third overall by the Cleveland Browns in the 2005 NFL Draft

Michigan State
Charles Rogers, 2001-02

  • First Spartan to win the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s top receiver and consensus All-American in 2002
  • Broke MSU records for receptions, receiving yards, and touchdown catches in both seasons
  • 14 straight games with a touchdown catch
  • Selected second overall by the Detroit Lions in the 2003 NFL Draft


Rick Leach, 1975-78

  • Dual-threat quarterback
  • Named All-Big Ten quarterback three times and the Big Ten’s MVP his senior year
  • Set a NCAA record for most total touchdowns in a career: 82
  • Selected by the Denver Broncos in the fifth round of the 1979 NFL Draft, pursued a career in baseball instead

Michigan State
Conor Cook, 2012-15

  • Led the Spartans to the Big Ten Championship in 2013 and 2015, named MVP both years
  • Won the 2015 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award as the nation’s outstanding senior or fourth-year quarterback
  • Career: Completed 673 of 1,170 passes for a school record 9,194 yards with 71 touchdowns and 22 interceptions
  • Selected by the Oakland Raiders in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft

Running Back

Bob Chappuis, 1942, 1946-47

  • All-American, Rose Bowl MVP
  • Led the Wolverines to 23 wins and a National Championship
  • Broke the Big Nine Conference record for total offense in 1946 and 1947
  • Selected in the fifth round by the Detroit Lions in the 1947 NFL Draft
NCAA Football: Michigan State at Michigan
Oct 17, 2015; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans mascot Sparty during the first half against the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State
Lorenzo White, 1984-87

  • Program’s career leader in rushing yards with 4,887, 2,066 yards of those yards coming in his sophomore season
  • Led the Spartans to a Rose Bowl victory his senior year
  • Consensus All-American his sophomore and senior years
  • Selected 22nd overall by the Houston Oilers in the 1988 NFL Draft


Tripp Welborne, 1987-90

  • Five interceptions his sophomore year in 1988
  • Consensus All-American in 1989 and 1990
  • Set Michigan single-season record with 455 punt return yards, averaging 14.7 yards per return
  • Selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the seventh round of the 1991 NFL Draft

Michigan State
George Webster, 1964-66

  • Played roverback, a combination of safety and linebacker created by head coach Duffy Daugherty
  • Named to the All-Big Ten, All-American teams in 1965 and ’66
  • Named a starting safety in Sports Illustrated NCAA Football All-Century Team
  • Selected fifth overall by the Houston Oilers in the 1967 NFL Draft


Erick Anderson, 1988-91

  • All-American his senior season and won the Butkus award that year
  • Led the Wolverines in tackles all four seasons
  • 428 career tackles, ranking third in school history
  • Selected by the Kansas City Chiefs in the seventh round of the 1992 NFL Draft

Michigan State
Percy Snow, 1986-89

  • Rose Bowl MVP his sophomore year, with 17 tackles
  • Two-time All-American, a first-teamer in 1989, first-team All-Big Ten all three seasons
  • First player to win both the Butkus and Lombardi awards
  • Selected 13th overall by the Kansas City Chiefs in the 1990 NFL Draft

Tight End

Jerame Tuman, 1995-98

  • All-Big Ten three years in a row, All-American in 1997
  • Game-winning touchdown reception to win the national championship in the 1998 Rose Bowl and securing an undefeated season
  • Known for his bread and butter play with Brian Griese
  • Selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the fifth round of the 1999 NFL Draft

Michigan State
Billy Joe DuPree, 1970-72

  • All-American his senior year in 1972
  • Caught 69 passes in three seasons for a total of 1,222 yards
  • Last tight end to lead MSU in receiving
  • Selected 20th overall by the Dallas Cowboys in the 1973 NFL Draft

Offensive Guard

Steve Hutchinson, 1996-2000

  • Four-time All-Big Ten and two-time All-American
  • In his freshman year, he led the Wolverines to the 1997 National Championship
  • Didn’t allow a sack his final two seasons
  • Selected 17th overall by the Seattle Seahawks in the 2001 NFL Draft

Michigan State
Joe DeLamielleure, 1970-72

  • All-American in 1972
  • Well-known for his professional career, he helped the Spartans average more than 260 yards per game in Big Ten play in ‘72
  • Biggest game was a late 19-12 victory over OSU, in which he helped MSU produce 334 rushing yards
  • Selected by the Buffalo Bills in the 1973 NFL Draft

Defensive Tackle

Rob Renes, 1996-99

  • All-American his senior year
  • Fifth Michigan player to be named both a first team All-American on the field and an Academic All-American
  • Career: 151 tackles, 24 tackles for loss, five sacks, and three fumble recoveries
  • Selected by the Indianapolis Colts in the seventh round of the NFL Draft

Michigan State
Travis Davis, 1986-89

  • Recorded 24 sacks as a Spartan, third in all-time school history
  • 39 tackles for a loss, fourth all-time
  • Named first-team All-Big Ten following his senior season
  • Selected by the Arizona Cardinals in the fourth round of the 1990 NFL Draft

Defensive End

Lamarr Woodley, 2003-06

  • Unanimous All-American
  • Lombardi Trophy, Hendricks Award, and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year
  • 12 sacks his senior year, ranked eighth in the nation
  • Selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second round of the 2007 NFL Draft

Michigan State
Bubba Smith, 1964-66

  • Two-time All-American
  • OSU, Michigan, and Notre Dame all complied negative rushing yards against MSU in 1965
  • After retiring from the NFL, he became an actor and is best known for his “Policy Academy” role
  • Selected first overall by the Baltimore Colts in the 1967 NFL Draft


David Baas, 2001-04

  • Earned All-Big Ten honors three times
  • Moved from guard to center his senior year because that’s where the team needed him
  • Co-recipient of the Rimington Trophy awarding college football’s top center his senior year
  • Selected by the San Francisco 49ers in the second round of the 2005 NFL Draft

Michigan State
Dan Currie, 1955-57

  • Consensus All-American center in 1957
  • Led the league’s No. 1 overall and rush defense at linebacker
  • MVP of the 1957 Spartans, with a 8-1 record second in the Big Ten and ranked third in the final Associated Press poll, beat Michigan
  • Selected third overall by the Green Bay Packers in the 1958 NFL Draft

Offensive Tackle

Jake Long, 2006-07

  • Two-time consensus All-American
  • Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year in 2006 and 2007
  • Co-captain of the 2007 Wolverines team
  • Selected first overall by the Miami Dolphins in the 2008 NFL Draft

Michigan State
Don Coleman, 1949-51

  • MSU’s first unanimous All-American
  • MVP of MSU’s 9-0  National Championship season in 1951
  • He led MSU to a victory at Michigan first time since the mid-1930s
  • Drafted by the Chicago Cardinals in the eighth round of the 1952 NFL Draft


Fielding Yost, 1901-23 and 1925-26

  • Record: 165-29-10
  • In his first season with the team, Michigan outscored its opponents 555-0 and won their first bowl game at the Rose Bowl
  • The very next season, the team outscored opponents 644-12 and won the national championship
  • In his first five seasons, Michigan had a record of 55-1-1, and outscored their opponents 2,821-42
NCAA Football: Big Ten Championship-Iowa vs Michigan State
Dec 5, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; A Big Ten logo on the field before the Big Ten Conference football championship game between the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Michigan State Spartans at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State
Clarence “Biggie” Munn, 1947-53

  • Record: 54-9-2
  • Led the Spartans to back-to-back undefeated seasons in 1951 and ‘52 and to a National Championship in 1952
  • In part because of Munn’s successes, the Spartans were accepted into the Big Ten in 1953
  • In MSU’s inaugural Big Ten season, he led the team to a Rose Bowl victory before retiring

Which team comes out on top? If you look at history, the Wolverines lead the series 69-35-5. But with some of the talent MSU has had in its tenure, they sure give Michigan a run for their money. I put the Maize and Blue all-time greats on top. Here’s looking forward to a victory!