Thursday, April 18, 2019

College Game Day Week 6 is filled with amazing key matchups and some great rivalry games. But my pick for Game of the Week is the 103rd meeting between the Michigan Wolverines and the Michigan State Spartans. The two in-state rivals will once again be competing for the Paul Bunyon’s Axe Trophy, given to the winner every year.

Why is this the game to watch? Lessee….

It’s Michigan-Michigan State Week.

Let me say that again. It’s Michigan-Michigan State Week!

To Michigan State, this game is as serious as a heart attack. Just ask Spartan Coach Mark Dantonio who is coming back early to coach this game after having a heart attack only a few weeks ago: “You can’t keep me down Michigan week”

But in case you aren’t into football in the state of Michigan, let me give you a few more reasons why this is the Game of the Week:

  1. One team is ranked No. 17, the other No. 18.
  2. Both are 5-0 going into this game and it’s the only matchup on Saturday of two undefeated teams. No matter what, someone’s undefeated season is coming to an end.
  3. If the Spartans win, it will be their first 6-0 start since 1999 when a little guy called Nick Saban was leading them. Perhaps you’ve heard of him?
  4. Michigan has Denard Robinson, who is on Heisman Trophy Watch 2010 and he’s just a sophomore. The only other three to win the Heisman in their sophomore year are Tim Tebow, Sam Bradford and Mark Ingram. And they have all been in the last three years. If Michigan State can stop him, they have won the game!
  5. Finally, Michigan-Michigan State is a Relevant Rivalry, Once Again

Rivalry Stats:

This is the kind of rivalry that divides houses, strains relationships and causes bar brawls. Seriously, I know couples that do not talk to each other during this week. It’s Michigan-Michigan State Week!

  • All time: Michigan leads by a lot: 67-30-5 all-time 
  • Past Decade: Michigan is up 7-3.
  • More Recent History: MSU has won the last two years in a row and are looking to make it 3.
  • Three of the last 6 games went into OT, including last year’s matchup.

The MSU-UM Rivalry has been going on for over  a century, but like most In-State Rivalries, it’s meant more to State than to Michigan. To Michigan it’s just another game every season. To State, its the game every season.

Every state has a flagship campus, typically called the University of Your State, whose student body and alumni feel they are entitled to, well, pretty much whatever they want within state lines. That same state probably has another school — usually denoted by the words State, Tech, or A&M — that gets treated by the former like some Cinderella-like stepchild.

And just like Cinderella’s sibling rivalry, these in-state matchups are usually pretty intense.

Here’s the deal: The State Schools hate their Bigger University Stepbrother. Bigger Stepbrother always ignores Lil State, opting to focus on it’s main rivals – (like the other big name schools in the country: Ohio State, Notre Dame, Florida, Oklahoma, etc.)

And just like ignoring a younger sibling will irriate the crap out of them, ignoring Lil State makes them hate Big University even more. Which makes the University pretend not to notice them even more, which makes the State even madder and madder because, HEY, WE’RE RIGHT HERE IN YOUR BACKYARD AND THIS IS THE YEAR WE WILL STOMP YOUR POMPOUS FAT $@%*ES!” -Paraphrased from Bob Wojnowski, The Detroit News

Add to that that Michigan is in hoity Ann Arbor and State is down the road only an hour in East Lansing and you have yourself one heck of a “sibling rivalry”

Finally, I have a little recommended reading for you. Definitely check out Michigan-Michigan State:  Relevant Rivalry, Once Again I promise, this article is awesome. It’s funny, not saturated with stats and hoity-football speak. It’s good! And got me very amped up for this matchup!


Every time I do a Game of the Week I try to do some Game Day Recipes for the key matchup! I loved this week’s game day recipe because it focuses solely on Michigan Regional Cuisine and Food. Michigan is known for it’s cherry crop, apples, potatoes and using wild game like Elk and venison. Michigan is also all about the coney dogs! Enjoy!

The Game Day Menu (recipes follow below)


The Michigan Big Blue Meanie

  • 4 oz Gin
  • 2 oz Blue Curacao
  • 4 oz Sweet n Sour

Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into an old fashioned or collins glass. Garnish with a lime.

The Michigan State Spartan Warrior adapted by Cheri Loughlin from the Jagerita

  • 1/2 ounce Jagermeister
  • 1/2 ounce Tequila
  • 1/4 ounce Orange Curacao*
  • 1/4 ounce Blue Curacao*
  • Splash Lime Juice

Combine liquids in cocktail shaker with ice. Shake to chill. Strain into shot glass. *Hint: Orange and blue will make Spartan Green.


Michigan Apple Salsa

  • 2 medium Michigan apples
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped orange segments
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped Michigan onions
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped Michigan green pepper
  • 1 finely chopped jalapeno

Core and dice apples into 1/4-inch pieces. Toss immediately with lime juice. Stir in remaining ingredients. Chill 2 hours before serving over fish, chicken or turkey.
Suggested Michigan Apple varieties to use: Empire, Gala, Ida Red, Jonagold, Jonathan, or McIntosh.


Cheese Stuffed PigSkin Potatoes

  • 8,  baking potatoes, scrubbed
  • Butter
  • 1 pound lean ground beef, cooked and drained
  • 1 cup hickory-flavored barbecue sauce
  • 1 canned chipotle pepper (packed in adobo sauce)*, seeded and minced
  • 1 teaspoon adobo sauce (from can)
  • 8 ounces (2 cups) shredded Cheddar cheese (preferably smoked, sharp or combination of both)
  • 1/2 cup green onions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

  1. Prick potatoes with a fork and lightly rub with butter. Bake for 1 hour. Let cool slightly.
  2. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise; scoop out pulp (reserve for other desired use) leaving a ½ inch shell.
  3. Combine ground beef, barbecue sauce, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce and half the cheddar cheese.
  4. Fill potato shells with mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar cheese. Place potatoes on baking sheet; bake 10 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.
  5. Sprinkle with green onions.


For Coney Dog Burger recipes see: Michigan-Ohio State Game Day Recipes

Coney Dogs with Michigan Sauce (Rachel Ray)


  • * 1 tablespoon EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • * 1/2 pound ground beef
  • * Salt and pepper
  • * 1 tablespoon chili powder, a palmful
  • * 1/2 tablespoon smoked sweet paprika, half a palmful
  • * 1/2 tablespoon coriander, half a palmful
  • * 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • * 1 1/2 cups beef stock
  • * 2 tablespoons butter
  • * 2 tablespoons flour
  • * 1 1/2 cups milk
  • * 1 cup yellow cheddar cheese
  • * 1/2 cup yellow mustard
  • * 8 large good quality hot dogs, split down the middle
  • * 8 bakery hoagie, sub or dog rolls, split
  1. Heat a large griddle over medium-high heat. Heat a deep skillet with a few inches boiling water. Reduce heat, keeping water at low boil.
  2. Heat a saucepot over medium-high heat with EVOO, 1 turn of the pan. Add meat and brown, 5-6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, chili, paprika and coriander. Stir in tomato paste, cook 1 minute then add stock. Reduce heat to simmer.
  3. In a second small pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and cook 1 minute. Whisk in milk, season with salt and pepper and cook to thicken, 1-2 minutes. Melt cheese into milk sauce, add mustard and reduce heat to low.
  4. Add hot dogs to boiling water and cook 4-5 minutes to heat through. Remove, split lengthwise and place on hot griddle to crisp the inside of the dog as well as the casing. Nestle dogs in rolls and top with both Michigan and cheese sauce.


Spicy Cherry Sauce Chicken Wings


  • 8 chicken wings, halved at the joint
  • Salt & Pepper

For the glaze:

  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 red pepper, minced
  • Lemon juice from half a lemon
  • 2 tablespoon Michigan cherry preserves
  • 4 mint leaves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 lime, wedged
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Sprinkle the chicken wings well with salt and pepper & bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes or until golden brown
  2. While they are baking,  mix all the cherry sauce ingredients together and allow for flavors to blend together.
  3. Either baste the wings with the sauce in the final few minutes or just smother the wings in sauce after they are fully cooked and still warm!
  4. Serve with a lime wedge for an extra pop of flavor to enhance the cherry.


House Divided UM-MSU Cupcakes!

I’m going to send you over to a delicious website that I found called Things that Make You Go Mmmmmmmm for this awesome tailgating dessert recipe. The cupcakes are absolutely adorable and pretty easy to make!  Check them out:

Enjoy the game!

About the author: Jennifer Taglione is the owner of this fabulous website Stiletto Sports. Despite writing well over 500 posts, she still maintains that she is not a sports writer! She is however a huge fan of Kurt Warner, Larry Fitzgerald, Mark Sanchez, the Celtics, and totally kicks butt on March Madness brackets! Connect with her by following her on Twitter @StilettoSportsJ and subscribing to her weekly newsletter. For more info check out the About the Editor page!

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1 Response

  1. Michigan & Michigan State Cupcakes | Pictures of Cupcakes Said,

    […] VIA:  Stiletto Sports […]

    Posted on September 19th, 2012 at 5:55 pm

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