It's been three years since the Michigan Wolverines were victorious over the Michigan State Spartans. Those have been a long, painful, and soul crushing three years for the Michigan fan base. Excuse me while I shed a tear real quick. Sorry, I get real emotional when I think back on the dark ages of Michigan football.

Since 1993 -the year I was born- the Wolverines and the Spartans are all tied up with each school winning 11 of the last 22 meetings. However, the Wolverines still hold a slight 32 game advantage over the Spartans. But in this, the 109th installment of the storied rivalry, anything can happen.

Just like what we learned last year in the final 10 seconds of the game in Ann Arbor.

This Saturday in East Lansing, Jim Harbaugh and the unbeaten Wolverines will take the field against Mark Dantonio and the embattled Spartans, in hopes to reclaim Paul Bunyan. A trophy that dates back to 1953.

The Trophy

The Paul Bunyan trophystands four-feet tall and is a statue of the fictional lumberjack and Midwestern icon, Paul Bunyan. The trophy was introduced in 1953 by Michigan Governor G. Mennen Williams, who presented the trophy to Michigan State for joining the Big Ten Conference. So in all reality, the trophy is actually Michigan State's.

Before the game in 1953, Michigan A.D. Fritz Crisler refused to accept the trophy had the Wolverineswon the game.

The Spartans took the first victory by a score of 14-6 and the trophy along with it. In1954 and 1955, the trophy was so unimportant to the Wolverines, that they neglected to engrave their scores on the trophy and even kept it an equipment closet in the locker room at Michigan Stadium.

But after the tie game in 1956, in which the Spartans reclaimed(?) the trophy, the scores were recorded and the rest is history.

As the rivalry heated up, the trophy became more significant.

The Rivalry

This rivalry dates back to 1898 and has met every single year since 1910, and every year is met with the same excitement. Granted, there have been some seriously one sided games, but there have also been five games that have ended in a tie.

But that's not even the most exciting part. The excitement really began in 2004, when the rivalry took three overtimes to determine the winner.

Michigan State has been riding an eight year high, winning 7 of the last 8, including last year's thriller in the Big House. So records aside, this isn't about who really has the better team or bragging rights. For the Spartans, it's about pride. Because, well, with the season pretty much unsalvageable pride is the only thing left to play for. Andfor the Wolverines, it's about more than just revenge from last year. It's about the last eight gut wrenching and demeaning years. From Rich Rod to Brady Hoke. This is redemption. But you can almost guaranteethe Spartanswill bring theirbest game come Saturday.

This rivalry goes much deeper than just athletics, it can tear families, friends, and coworkers apart. So watch out on Saturday, anything can happen. But for now, let's be civil until kick-off at noon then we can have war of the words. Go Blue. #HAIL

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