Three weeks ago, Michigan and Michigan State’s first meeting was postponed due to COVID-19. The Spartans were riding an eight-game winning streak while the Wolverines had dropped back-to-back road games. It felt like a matchup of two teams heading in opposite directions and two teams inevitably due for a bit of course correction.
Since that postponement, Michigan has regained its footing with a three-game winning streak over Maryland, Indiana and Northwestern. Michigan State dropped its first two league games, including a shock upset at home to Northwestern, but also picked up arguably its most impressive win of the season at Wisconsin.
The stakes feel higher this time around. A Michigan State win would cement its place in the Big Ten title race. In contrast, a Michigan win would validate that its mid-season turnaround is for real, reinforcing that the Wolverines are becoming the team that so many expected in the preseason.
It’s no secret that great Michigan teams beat Michigan State and great Michigan State teams beat Michigan. Both programs will have their first shot at that accomplishment this season on Saturday (12:30 p.m., CBS).