The Michigan State Spartans football program represents 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 nine Big Ten championships (1953, 1965, 1966, 1978, 1987, 1990, 2010, 2013, and 2015).
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 61 consecutive seasons, from 1953 through 2016. The Spartans' current coach, Mark Dantonio was hired on November 27, 2006. The team's iconic Spartan helmet logo has been ranked as one of the game's best.
|Michigan State Spartans football|
|Athletic director||Bill Beekman|
|Head coach||Mark Dantonio|
13th season, 107–50 (.682)
|Location||East Lansing, Michigan|
|Conference||Big Ten Conference|
|All-time record||701–459–44 (.600)|
|Bowl record||12–16 (.429)|
|Playoff appearances||1 (2015)|
|Claimed nat'l titles||6 (1951, 1952, 1955, 1957, 1965, 1966)|
|Conference titles||11 (9 Big Ten, 2 MIAA)|
|Division titles||3 (2011, 2013, 2015)|
|Rivalries||Notre Dame (rivalry)|
Penn State (rivalry)
|Colors||Green and White|
|Fight song||Victory for MSU|
|Marching band||Spartan Marching Band|
Starting as a club sport in 1885, football gained varsity status in 1896. 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.
Chester Brewer revolutionized the football program during three different stints as head coach: 1903–10, 1917, and 1919. Considered a defensive genius, his teams posted shutouts in 49 of the 88 games he coached. John Macklin took over as head coach in 1911 and owned a winning percentage of .853 (29–5), which is the highest in Michigan State history.
Jim Crowley, one of Notre Dame’s immortal Four Horsemen, served as the head football coach at Michigan State from 1929 to 1933. Charlie Bachman, another Notre Dame alumnus, succeeded Jim Crowley as head football coach at Michigan State, coming to East Lansing after a successful stint at Florida. A teammate of Knute Rockne, Bachman employed the Notre Dame system and forged 10 winning seasons in 13 years.
Clarence Lester "Biggie" Munn took over as head coach of Michigan State from Charlie Bachman in 1947. His 1951 and 1952 squads 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.
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.
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.
Duffy Daugherty 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.
During Daugherty's time in East Lansing, he recruited and coached some of the best players in Michigan State's history, including Herb Adderley, Brad Van Pelt, Bubba Smith, George Webster, and Joe DeLamielleure. He was one of the first college football coaches to field a racially integrated team.
After returning from US Army active duty, George 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 California 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 unfairly. He later went on to be the founder of The Little Caesars Pizza Bowl and is on the MSU board of trustees.
When Nick Saban arrived in East Lansing, Michigan prior to the 1995 season, MSU had not had a winning season since 1990, and the team was sanctioned by the NCAA for recruiting violations committed under his predecessor and former mentor, George Perles.
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.
On November 27, 2006, Mark Dantonio was hired from the University of Cincinnati to become Michigan State's new football head coach. Dantonio served as an assistant coach at MSU from 1995 to 2000 and was Ohio State's defensive coordinator during their 2002 national championship season. Dantonio was also an assistant at Kansas and Youngstown State University. 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. His 2011 team won their division and appeared in the inaugural Big Ten Football Championship Game. His Spartans would win outright Big Ten Championships in 2013 and 2015 with victories in the 2013 and 2015 Championship Games. He has compiled an 8–4 record against the arch-rival Michigan. Michigan State's streak of four wins in a row, from the 2008 season through 2011, tied Michigan State's best in the rivalry. Dantonio's record also includes a 4–4 mark for the Megaphone Trophy, which goes to the winner of the Notre Dame rivalry game.
He is considered a defensive-minded coach and has been on the coaching staffs of Glen Mason, Jim Tressel and Nick Saban. As of February 2018, his contract runs through 2024. Dantonio makes approximately $4.3 million annually.
Michigan State has won six (1951, 1952, 1955, 1957, 1965, 1966) national championships from NCAA-designated major selectors.:113 Michigan State claims all six championships. The 1952, 1965, and 1966 titles by NCAA designation are regarded as Consensus National Championships.:120
|1951||Clarence Munn||Billingsley, Helms, Poling:113||9–0|
|1952||Clarence Munn||AP, Boand, DeVold, Dunkel, Football Research, Helms, Litkenhous, NCF, Sagarin, UPI , Williamson:113||9–0|
|1955||Duffy Daugherty||Boand:113||9–1||Rose||W 17–14|
|1965||Duffy Daugherty||Berryman, Billingsley, DeVold, Dunkel, FB News, FW, Helms, Litkenhous, NFF, Poling, Sagarin, Sagarin (ELO-Chess), UPI:113||10–1||Rose||L 12–14|
|1966||Duffy Daugherty||Football Research, Helms, NFF, Poling:113||9–0–1|
Michigan State has won 11 conference championships, seven outright and four shared.
|Year||Conference||Coach||Overall Record||Conference Record|
|1903||Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association||Chester Brewer||6–1–1||3–1|
|1905†||Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association||Chester Brewer||9–2||4–0|
|1953||Big Ten Conference||Clarence Munn||9–1||5–1|
|1965||Big Ten Conference||Duffy Daugherty||10–1||7–0|
|1966||Big Ten Conference||Duffy Daugherty||9–0–1||7–0|
|1978†||Big Ten Conference||Darryl Rogers||8–3||7–1|
|1987||Big Ten Conference||George Perles||9–2–1||7–0–1|
|1990†||Big Ten Conference||George Perles||8–3–1||6–2|
|2010†||Big Ten Conference||Mark Dantonio||11–2||7–1|
|2013||Big Ten Conference||Mark Dantonio||13–1||8–0|
|2015||Big Ten Conference||Mark Dantonio||12–2||7–1|
|December 3, 2011||Big Ten Legends||Wisconsin||L 39–42|
|December 7, 2013||Big Ten Legends||Ohio State||W 34–24|
|December 5, 2015||Big Ten East||Iowa||W 16–13|
Michigan State has appeared in 28 bowl games, garnering a 12–16 record.
|1937||Charlie Bachman||Orange Bowl||Auburn||L 0–6|
|1953||Clarence Munn||Rose Bowl||UCLA||W 28–20|
|1955||Duffy Daugherty||Rose Bowl||UCLA||W 17–14|
|1965||Duffy Daugherty||Rose Bowl||UCLA||L 12–14|
|1984||George Perles||Cherry Bowl||Army||L 6–10|
|1985||George Perles||Hall of Fame Classic||Georgia Tech||L 14–17|
|1987||George Perles||Rose Bowl||USC||W 20–17|
|1988||George Perles||Gator Bowl||Georgia||L 27–34|
|1989||George Perles||Aloha Bowl||Hawaii||W 33–13|
|1990||George Perles||John Hancock Bowl||USC||W 17–16|
|1993||George Perles||Liberty Bowl||Louisville||L 7–18|
|1995||Nick Saban||Independence Bowl||LSU||L 26–45|
|1996||Nick Saban||Sun Bowl||Stanford||L 0–38|
|1997||Nick Saban||Aloha Bowl||Washington||L 23–51|
|1999||Bobby Williams||Florida Citrus Bowl||Florida||W 37–34|
|2001||Bobby Williams||Silicon Valley Football Classic||Fresno State||W 44–35|
|2003||John L. Smith||Alamo Bowl||Nebraska||L 3–17|
|2007||Mark Dantonio||Champs Sports Bowl||Boston College||L 21–24|
|2008||Mark Dantonio||Capital One Bowl||Georgia||L 12–24|
|2009||Mark Dantonio||Alamo Bowl||Texas Tech||L 31–41|
|2010||Mark Dantonio||Capital One Bowl||Alabama||L 7–49|
|2011||Mark Dantonio||Outback Bowl||Georgia||W 33–30|
|2012||Mark Dantonio||Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl||TCU||W 17–16|
|2013||Mark Dantonio||Rose Bowl||Stanford||W 24–20|
|2014||Mark Dantonio||Cotton Bowl Classic||Baylor||W 42–41|
|2015||Mark Dantonio||Cotton Bowl Classic (CFP Semifinal)||Alabama||L 0–38|
|2017||Mark Dantonio||Holiday Bowl||Washington State||W 42–17|
|2018||Mark Dantonio||Redbox Bowl||Oregon||L 6–7|
|Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl||1||1||0||1.000|
|Champs Sports Bowl||1||0||1||.000|
|Hall of Fame Classic||1||0||1||.000|
|Silicon Valley Classic||1||1||0||1.000|
Duffy Daughtery is MSU's all-time winningest coach with 109 wins. Daughtery was also the longest tenured coach at 19 years. Daugherty won four national titles while Clarence Munn won two; no other MSU coach has won a title. "Biggie" Munn leads coaches since 1940 with a .846 winning percentage. MSU's current coach, Mark Dantonio, is the third longest tenured current coach in the Big Ten at ten years.
|Coach||Years||Seasons||Record||Pct.||Conf. Record||Pct.||Div. Titles||Conf. Titles||Bowl Games||National Titles||Conference|
|Chester Brewer||1903–1910, 1917, 1919||10||58–23–7||.699||19–2–2||.833||0||2||0||0||Left MIAA in 1907|
|Ralph H. Young||1923–1927||5||18–22–1||.451||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||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||11||100–45||.682||53–28||.654||3*||3||11||0||Big Ten|
* 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 to 2013. In 2014, with the addition of Maryland and Rutgers, the divisions were realigned and Michigan State now plays in the East Division.
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.
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 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.
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. 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.
For the 2007 season, the student section held approximately 13,000 fans. 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.
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).
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. Graphics in the space were provided by Ohio-based environmental designer, Ze Design.
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. The Fighting Irish currently holds the trophy after a 38–18 win in East Lansing in 2017, which is the last time these teams have played in the series. Notre Dame leads the series 48–29–1 while the Megaphone Trophy series record is 34–27–1 in favor of Notre Dame. The two teams are not scheduled to play each other again until 2026.
The Old Brass Spittoon is presented to the winner of the Indiana–Michigan State football game which was first presented in 1950. 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 held onto the Old Brass Spittoon from 2007 to 2015, but lost it in 2016 with a 21–24 OT loss in Bloomington, but won it back during the 2017 season when they won the game by a 17-9 mark. Michigan State currently leads the all-time trophy series 45–12–1.
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 takes possession of the trophy until the next year's game. Michigan won the 2018 contest in East Lansing by a 21-7 mark; Michigan State is 2-2 against Michigan in the Dantonio vs Harbaugh era. M The Wolverines lead the trophy series 36–27–2, dating back to 1953, and the overall series record between the two is 68–37–5 in favor of Michigan.
The Land Grant Trophy is named so because Penn State University and Michigan State University are the nation's oldest land-grant universities, both founded in 1855 (Michigan State on February 12 and Penn State on February 22). When Penn State joined the Big Ten Conference in 1993, the Nittany Lions and Spartans have played each other for the trophy in the last week of conference play until the 2010 season. The trophy, designed by former Michigan State coach George Perles, features pictures of Penn State's Old Main and Michigan State's Beaumont Tower. 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. Michigan State is the current holder of the Land Grant Trophy after upsetting the number 8 ranked Nittany Lions 21–17 on the road in Happy Valley, on October 13, 2018. Michigan State currently leads the series 16–14–1.
|The "Game of the Century" (1966 version)|
|Date||November 19, 1966|
|Location||East Lansing, Michigan|
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. 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.
Irish quarterback Terry Hanratty was knocked out after getting sacked in the first quarter by Spartan defensive lineman Bubba Smith. Starting Notre Dame running back Nick Eddy was out entirely after hurting his shoulder getting off the train in East Lansing. Michigan State held a 10-0 lead by early in the second quarter. But the Irish came back, scoring a touchdown right after Michigan State's field goal and tied the game on the first play of the fourth quarter. Notre Dame had the ball on its own 30-yard line with 1:10 to go, needing about 40 yards for a game-winning field goal. But Notre Dame coach Ara Parseghian chose to run the clock out, not wanting to risk a turnover, preserving the tie and Notre Dame's #1 ranking. The game ended in a 10-10 tie.
Notre Dame beat Rose Bowl bound USC 51-0 in Los Angeles the next week, completing an undefeated regular season and moving them to #1 in both polls. The Irish did not accept bowl bids until 1969, and Michigan State was the victim of a pair of Big Ten rules that would be rescinded a few years later: The same school could not represent the league in the Rose Bowl in back-to-back seasons, and only the league Champions could accept a bowl bid, unless they refused the Rose Bowl bid or, because it was on probation, were prohibited from accepting the bid, which, in either case, would then go to the second-place team. So despite being Big Ten Champions and undefeated in the regular season, in each case for two seasons in a row, the Spartans could not play in the Rose Bowl.
For nearly 50 years, Parseghian has defended his end-of-the-game strategy, which left many fans feeling disappointed at the game not having some sort of resolution. College football expert Dan Jenkins lead off his article for Sports Illustrated by saying Parseghian chose to "Tie one for the Gipper." Others chided Notre Dame by calling them the "Tying Irish" instead of the "Fighting Irish."
The game was not shown live on national TV. Each team was allotted one national television appearance and two regional television appearances each season. Notre Dame had used their national TV slot in the season opening game against Purdue. ABC executives did not even want to show the game anywhere but the regional area, but pressure from the West Coast and the South (to the tune of 50,000 letters) made ABC air the game on tape delay.
The Sporting News named the 1966 Fighting Irish and 1965-66 Spartans the eleventh and thirteenth greatest teams of the 20th Century respectively.
|Bubba Smith||DL||1965, 1966|
|George Webster||DB||1965, 1966|
|Brad Van Pelt||DB||1972|
|Lorenzo White||RB||1985, 1987|
|Greg Jones||LB||2009, 2010|
|46||John Hannah 1||-||-||1969|
|95||Charles "Bubba" Smith||DE||1964-1966||2006|
1 Although Hannah did not play for the Spartans, the University retired No. 46 as a recognition to his 46 years of service to the institution.
Michigan State alumni and coaching inductees into the College Football Hall of Fame include:
Michigan State alumni inductees to the Pro Football Hall of Fame include:
Michigan State alumni inductees to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame include:
Michigan State alumni inductees to the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame include:
Michigan State plays the other six Big Ten East opponents once per season.
|Even Numbered Years||Odd Number Years|
|vs Michigan||at Michigan|
|vs Ohio State||at Ohio State|
|vs Rutgers||at Rutgers|
|at Penn State||vs Penn State|
|at Indiana||vs Indiana|
|at Maryland||vs Maryland|
|vs Tulsa||at BYU||vs Youngstown State||at Boise State||vs Boise State||at Boston College||vs Boston College||at Notre Dame||vs Notre Dame||at Washington||vs Oregon||at Oregon||vs Washington|
|vs Western Michigan||vs Toledo||at Miami (FL)||vs Western Michigan||vs Richmond||vs Western Michigan|
|vs Arizona State||vs Miami (FL)||vs Western Kentucky||vs Arkon|
The 1930 Michigan State Spartans football team represented Michigan State College in the 1930 college football season. In their second season under head coach Jim Crowley, the Spartans compiled a 5–1–2 record and played to a scoreless tie in their annual rivalry game with Michigan. In inter-sectional play, the team defeated Colgate (14-7) and North Dakota State (19-11) and lost to Georgetown (14-13).1937 Michigan State Spartans football team
The 1937 Michigan State Spartans football team represented Michigan State College in the 1937 college football season. In their fifth season under head coach Charlie Bachman, the Spartans compiled an 8–2 record and won their annual rivalry game with Michigan by a 19 to 14 score. In inter-sectional play, the team defeated Kansas (16–0), Temple (13–6), Carnegie Tech (13–6), and San Francisco (14–0), but lost to Manhattan (3–0) and Auburn (6–0 in the 1938 Orange Bowl).Halfback John Pingel was selected by the Associated Press (AP) as a second-team player, and by the International News Service (INS) and Central Press Association as a third-team player, on the 1937 College Football All-America Team. Pingel was later inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.1951 Michigan State Spartans football team
The 1951 Michigan State Spartans football team represented Michigan State College in the 1951 college football season. The Spartans played their home games at Macklin Stadium (now known as Spartan Stadium) in East Lansing, Michigan and were coached by Clarence "Biggie" Munn.
The Spartans went undefeated and were selected national champion by NCAA-designated major selectors Billingsley, Helms, and Poling. Georgia Tech, Illinois, Maryland, and Tennessee also received recognition as national champion by various selectors.1952 Michigan State Spartans football team
The 1952 Michigan State Spartans football team represented Michigan State College in the 1952 college football season. The Spartans were led by head coach Clarence "Biggie" Munn and recorded a perfect 9–0. The team was selected national champion by AP, Boand, DeVold, Dunkel, Football Research, Helms, Litkenhous, NCF, Sagarin, UPI/coaches, and Williamson, marking the school's first Consensus National Championship. Five additional major selectors chose Georgia Tech as national champion. This was Michigan State's last year as an Independent, as MSU would join the Big Ten the following year.1953 Michigan State Spartans football team
The 1953 Michigan State Spartans football team represented Michigan State College in the 1953 Big Ten Conference football season. This was the Spartans' inaugural season in the Big Ten Conference and had them winning the league along with Illinois with a 5–1 record. They represented the Big Ten in the Rose Bowl, defeated UCLA, 28–20, and finished ranked third in both the AP and Coaches polls.1964 Michigan State Spartans football team
The 1964 Michigan State Spartans football team represented Michigan State University in the 1964 Big Ten Conference football season. In their 11th season under head coach Duffy Daugherty, the Spartans compiled a 4–5 overall record 3–3 against Big Ten opponents) and finished in sixth place in the Big Ten Conference.Two Spartans were selected as first-team players on the 1964 All-Big Ten Conference football team. Halfback Dick Gordon received first-team honors from the Associated Press (AP) and United Press International (UPI), and tackle Jerry Rush received first-team honors from the AP. Rush was also selected as a second-team All-American by the AP.1965 Michigan State Spartans football team
The 1965 Michigan State Spartans football team represented the Michigan State University in the 1965 Big Ten Conference football season. The Spartans won the Big Ten Championship and competed in the 1966 Rose Bowl, losing to UCLA. Despite the loss, the Spartans shared the national championship with Alabama. Michigan State was selected national champion by UPI/coaches, Berryman, Billingsley, DeVold, Dunkel, FB News, Helms, Litkenhous, NFF, Poling, Sagarin, and Sagarin (ELO-Chess) and also co-national champion by FW. Both Alabama and Michigan State were Consensus National Champions for the season.1966 Michigan State Spartans football team
The 1966 Michigan State Spartans football team represented Michigan State University in the 1966 Big Ten Conference football season. Michigan State lodged a 9–0–1 record, with a season-concluding tie against Notre Dame which is considered among the greatest games in college football history. The College Football Researchers Association selected Michigan State as national champion, while Helms, NFF, and Poling selected them as co-national champion. Notre Dame claimed the AP and Coaches selections and earned a consensus title with a majority of selectors.1968 Michigan State Spartans football team
The 1968 Michigan State Spartans football team represented Michigan State University in the 1968 Big Ten Conference football season. In their 15th season under head coach Duffy Daugherty, the Spartans compiled a 5–5 overall record (2–5 against Big Ten opponents) and finished in seventh place in the Big Ten Conference.Three Spartans were selected for the 1968 All-Big Ten Conference football teams. Defensive back Al Brenner was selected as a first-team player by both the Associated Press (AP) and the United Press International (UPI). Tackle Charles Bailey received first-team honors from the AP, and linebacker Rich Saul received second-team honors from both the AP and UPI.1969 Michigan State Spartans football team
The 1969 Michigan State Spartans football team represented Michigan State University during the 1969 Big Ten Conference football season.1978 Michigan State Spartans football team
The 1978 Michigan State Spartans football team represented Michigan State University during the 1978 Big Ten Conference football season. Finishing the season on a seven-game winning streak, the Spartans won their fourth Big Ten Conference championship, which they shared with in-state rival Michigan. The Spartans finished number 12 in the final AP Poll.
Wide receive Kirk Gibson caught 42 passes for 806 yard during the 1978 season. Gibson was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2017.Quarterback Ed Smith led the Big Ten in 1978 with 2,226 passing yards, a 139.0 passing efficiency rating, and 2,247 yards of total offense. He was also selected as the most valuable player on the 1978 Michigan State team. He finished his career as Michigan State's and the Big Ten's all-time leader with 5,706 passing yards.1987 Michigan State Spartans football team
The 1987 Michigan State Spartans football team represented Michigan State University in the 1987 NCAA Division I-A football season. The team went 9–2–1 overall and 7–0–1 in conference play, becoming Big Ten Conference champions. Michigan State beat USC to win the 1988 Rose Bowl, and finished the season ranked #8 in the AP Poll and the Coaches Poll. The first game of the season, also against USC, was the first night game ever at Spartan Stadium.1990 Michigan State Spartans football team
The 1990 Michigan State Spartans football team represented Michigan State University during the 1990 NCAA Division I-A football season.1992 Michigan State Spartans football team
The 1992 Michigan State Spartans football team competed on behalf of Michigan State University in the Big Ten Conference during the 1992 NCAA Division I-A football season. Head coach George Perles was in his tenth season with the Spartans. Michigan State played their home games at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, Michigan. The Spartans went 5–6 overall and 5–3 in conference play.1993 Michigan State Spartans football team
The 1993 Michigan State Spartans football team competed on behalf of Michigan State University in the Big Ten Conference during the 1993 NCAA Division I-A football season. Head coach George Perles was in his 11th season with the Spartans. Michigan State played their home games at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, Michigan. The Spartans went 6–6 overall and 4–4 in conference play. Michigan State was invited to the 1993 Liberty Bowl and was defeated by Louisville, 7–18.1996 Michigan State Spartans football team
The 1996 Michigan State Spartans football team competed on behalf of Michigan State University in the Big Ten Conference during the 1996 NCAA Division I-A football season. Head coach Nick Saban was in his second season with the Spartans. Michigan State played their home games at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, Michigan. The Spartans went 6–5 overall and 5–3 in conference play during the regular season. The team played in the Sun Bowl on December 31, 1996, and were defeated 0–38 by Stanford.1997 Michigan State Spartans football team
The 1997 Michigan State Spartans football team competed on behalf of Michigan State University in the Big Ten Conference during the 1997 Big Ten Conference football season. Head coach Nick Saban was in his third season with the Spartans. Michigan State played their home games at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, Michigan. The Spartans went 7–4 overall and 4–4 in conference play during the regular season. The team played in the Aloha Bowl on December 25, 1997, where they were defeated 51–23 by the Washington Huskies.2001 Michigan State Spartans football team
The 2001 Michigan State Spartans football team represented Michigan State University in the 2001 NCAA Division I-A football season. The Spartans played their home games at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, Michigan. This was the second year for head coach Bobby Williams, who led the Spartans to a 7-5 record including a 44–35 victory in the 2001 Silicon Valley Football Classic over the Fresno State Bulldogs of the Western Athletic Conference.
The controversial final play of the home game against Michigan on November 3 led to a change in the official timekeeping policy of the Big Ten Conference. Beginning in 2002, a neutral official appointed by the Big Ten keeps track of the game time on the field.2003 Michigan State Spartans football team
The 2003 Michigan State Spartans football team represented Michigan State University in the 2003 NCAA Division I-A football season. The Spartans play their home games at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, Michigan. This was the first year for head coach John L. Smith, who would win Big Ten coach of the year in his debut, but would later be fired after the 2006 season.
The Spartans were coming off a 4–8 season and had just let go of head coach Bobby Williams.2005 Michigan State Spartans football team
The 2005 Michigan State Spartans football team represented Michigan State University in the 2005 NCAA Division I-A football season. Michigan State competed as a member of the Big Ten Conference, and played their home games at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, Michigan. The Spartans were led by third-year head coach John L. Smith.
Michigan State Spartans football
|Bowls & rivalries|
|Culture & lore|
National championship seasons in bold
Located in: East Lansing, Michigan
Big Ten Conference football
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