On Tuesday, Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio delved deeper into his logic and reasoning as to his distaste for the Michigan Wolverines, whom the Spartans are set to do battle with in East Lansing this Saturday.
But, in a somewhat-surprising move during Tuesday's press conference, Dantonio set aside time to speak of his admiration for University of Michigan head coach, Brady Hoke, as well. Dantonio was quick to clarify that just because he liked Hoke, didn't mean that he like anything else about the Michigan "family".
"But I will say this so you guys can print all this: Just because you like somebody in the family doesn't mean you like the whole family," Dantonio said.
The coach has limited the media access to his players this week in an effort to keep the bulletin board material and distractions to a minimum for his team, but that didn't stop Dantonio from discussing his thoughts about a truly good rivalry like the one that exists between the Spartans and Wolverines.
“I think for it truly to be a rivalry, it cannot be one-sided,” Dantonio said. “I mean, it can still be a rivalry, I guess, but I think it makes ... when it’s much more competitive, obviously things take on a whole new meaning. (Otherwise) it’s just words. If you can’t back up the words, it’s just empty words.”
MSU senior captain and linebacker Max Bullough, who has become a kind of spokesperson for the Spartans this season, said that while Michigan State has their sights focused upon Michigan each and every season, that doesn't mean that they're not always looking further ahead, as well.
“I think if you ask the Michigan players that have played us the last four, five, six years they wouldn’t even know what gap you’re talking about, and I quite frankly don’t, either,” Bullough said. “We’re Michigan State, we’ve got good football players here, we always have. We don’t take a back seat to anybody, Michigan or anything.
“We can play with the best. We’ve always had as good a talent as you can have.”
You can follow MSU writer, Michael Ferro, at twitter.com/MichaelFerro.