Michigan vs. Michigan State: Get ready for another major chapter in this rivalry

No. 6 Wolverines battle No. 24 Spartans in East Lansing

Brian Lewerke dives for the end zone against Michigan on Oct. 7, 2017, in Ann Arbor. (Leon Halip/Getty Images)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - This year's Michigan vs. Michigan State game is a day away and there's a lot on the line for both teams.

No. 6 Michigan and No. 24 Michigan State will kick off at noon Saturday in East Lansing. It's been one of the best rivalries in college football since Jim Harbaugh arrived in Ann Arbor.

ClickOnDetroit has you covered as game time approaches.

Michigan vs. MSU pregame reading

MSU stands in way of Michigan championship contention

At No. 6 in the country, it might seem like Michigan is already a national championship contender. But until it can get past Michigan State, it hasn't earned that title.

The Wolverines have struggled to get past the Spartans the past few years when Harbaugh had them on the brink of championship contention. This year, all that can be put to rest with a win in East Lansing.

If Michigan carries a seven-game winning streak into the bye, with wins over Wisconsin and Michigan State, it will be squarely in the mix for a Big Ten title and the College Football Playoff.

Read the full story here.

Here's how Michigan can win

Michigan State always plays its best game as an underdog -- just like James Franklin and Penn State, which had its conference title hopes crushed last weekend.

Michigan has enough talent to handle Michigan State, but that's been the case multiple times throughout the last few years.

MSU always plays its best game in this rivalry, and it's time for Michigan to return the favor.

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5 trends from 2017 MSU game that Michigan has to fix

Michigan played one of the ugliest games of the Harbaugh era against Michigan State last year, committing five turnovers, dropping passes and ultimately losing at home as a huge favorite.

This season, the offense is much improved, and if the Wolverines can fix those mistakes, they should be in good shape.

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MSU poses much tougher test than Wisconsin

It's on the road. It's a rivalry game. It's Michigan State.

Those have been three thorns in Michigan's side over the last decade. Combine them with the fact that MSU is coming off a road win against Penn State and this weekend is shaping up to be a difficult test.

The Wisconsin win was huge for Michigan, but one over Michigan State would be even bigger.

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Look back at last 5 meetings

The last three meetings between Michigan and Michigan State have been decided by single digits, with the road team eventually coming away with the win.

There was the crazy ending in 2015, the returned two-point conversion in 2016 and the five-turnover monsoon in 2017. Every year this game seems to deliver something strange.

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Michigan coming off impressive win

Harbaugh's best work

Michigan took care of No. 15 Wisconsin in impressive fashion last week, crushing the Badgers by 25 points and rising six spots in the AP Poll.

Was this Harbaugh's best win as the head coach at Michigan? Wins over ranked teams have been difficult to come by, and Michigan was dominant against a program that doesn't often get blown out.

The win elevated Michigan from resurgent middle-of-the-pack team to a legitimate contender.

Read the full story here.

Re-ranking the Big Ten quarterbacks

We ranked the Big Ten quarterbacks in August, and now that the regular season is halfway over, we had to reshuffle those rankings.

Shea Patterson and Brian Lewerke both moved in the rankings, though they're heading in different directions.

Plus, there are new names at the top and bottom of the list.

Read the full story here.

Michigan QB situation improving

Starting quarterback Shea Patterson continues to improve, and he looks like he could be the leader of Michigan's offense through 2019.

But beyond Patterson's tenure, the Wolverines are in good hands.

Backup Dylan McCaffrey and true freshman Joe Milton both got some playing time against Wisconsin, and they acquitted themselves well, especially in the running game.

For the first time since Harbaugh arrived, the quarterback situation looks bright.

Read the full story here.

Is Karan Higdon underappreciated?

Karan Higdon quietly put together another strong performance Saturday against Wisconsin, rushing for 105 yards on 19 carries. It was his fifth-straight game of more than 100 rushing yards.

After being held to 72 yards on 21 carries against Notre Dame, Higdon has rushed for 156, 136, 115, 103 and 105 yards during Michigan's six-game winning streak.

He was the first player to officially commit to Harbaugh on national signing day, and he's turned into one of the most productive players in Harbaugh's tenure at Michigan.

But is he underappreciated on the national level?

Read the full story here.

Wait ... what?

Former Iranian president says Michigan will return to glory

Yep, you read that correctly.

Former Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad weighed in on Michigan football on Twitter, and he's buying the hype.

It wouldn't be a season with Harbaugh if an obscure celebrity didn't endorse Michigan, right?

Read the full story here.

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