In 109 years, Michigan and Michigan State have never played a night game. That could be changing as early as this fall.
As the networks look to ramp up their primetime inventory, there have been whispers that the Wolverines and Spartans’ heated Big Ten rivalry could be a candidate for the night game treatment. Nothing is official, according to MSU athletic director Mark Hollis, but in an article by the Detroit Free Press, it doesn’t sound like he’d be surprised.
“It would come out of the league office in conversations with the networks,” Hollis said Monday at the league athletic directors meeting at Big Ten headquarters. “It’s a little bit less on the institutions anymore.”
Two of the biggest factors Hollis has cited for a decade is keeping students and fans safe “before the game, during the game and after the game,” and to prevent them from drinking all day to exacerbate the already-tense rivalry. But with the Big Ten Network and major networks airing more Saturday night games, the conversation of moving MSU-Michigan to a primetime TV spot has increased.
This year’s edition of the Michigan in-state rivalry will be played in Ann Arbor on October 7. Other big games that day include Ole Miss at Auburn, LSU at Florida, Alabama at Texas A&M, Notre Dame at North Carolina, and Wisconsin at Nebraska.