Are any Michigan football fans rooting for Michigan State this weekend?

Michigan State football hosts No. 8 Washington on Saturday

Are any Michigan fans rooting for Michigan State this weekend? (Getty Images)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – I know it sounds crazy, but are any Michigan football fans rooting for Michigan State to beat Washington this weekend?

The rivalry has reached a point in which most fans on both sides probably root against the other no matter what’s at stake. That’s fine, I understand how college sports work.

But I’m wondering if there are any Wolverines rooting for their in-state rival this weekend because of what it could do for Michigan in the long run.

Michigan State is a heavy home underdog against Heisman Trophy candidate Michael Penix and No. 8 Washington. As of Wednesday, the Huskies are favored by 16 points.

So there are a couple of reasons a Michigan State win could help Michigan down the road, if it wasn’t for that pesky “hate each other’s guts” thing.

For one, Michigan’s schedule could desperately use another quality team. Since the start of the season, Nebraska has lost all credibility, Purdue fell at home against Fresno State, and Maryland struggled to survive Charlotte.

After the Ohio State and Penn State games, Michigan’s best opportunity for a quality win might be Minnesota, a team that hasn’t looked overly impressive against Nebraska and Eastern Michigan so far.

But the Spartans, despite everything that’s going on with Mel Tucker off the field, have looked better than expected. Sure, they got off to a slow start against Central Michigan, but they’ve won the first two games by a combined score of 76-21 -- that’s pretty dominant.

Noah Kim is off to an excellent start, completing 67.9% of his passes for an average of 10.8 yards per attempt. He has five touchdowns, 571 passing yards, and no interceptions.

Nathan Carter is averaging 6.1 yards per carry. Three receivers have over 100 yards on at least five catches. The defense has 10 sacks.

It hasn’t come against top-level competition, but it looks like Michigan State has the raw ingredients to be a good team. A win over Washington would surely put the Spartans in the top 25 and give Michigan another marquee matchup on the road.

Not enough? OK, how about what it would do to Washington and the Pac-12?

Let’s say Michigan State upsets Washington, and then Washington goes out West and pulls a couple of upsets during the conference season (which is very likely). That could give Michigan a trump card against a potential Pac-12 playoff candidate if the Wolverines were to slip up against Penn State or Ohio State and finish the season 11-1.

I doubt many Michigan fans care. They’re probably thinking, “If we go 13-0, we’ll be in the playoff no matter how weak our schedule is.” And that’s absolutely true. But it’s very hard to go undefeated, and having an insurance policy is never a bad idea.

But if it takes rooting for Michigan State, I’m guessing most fans will say that particular insurance policy is too expensive. Let me know what you think:

About the Author:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.