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Mel Tucker Is Refusing To Call Michigan By Its Name

Mel Tucker on the sidelines with a headset on for Colorado.

BOULDER, COLORADO - NOVEMBER 23: Head coach Mel Tucker of the Colorado Buffaloes watches as his team plays the Washington Huskies in the fourth quarter at Folsom Field on November 23, 2019 in Boulder, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

With the return of Big Ten football last Saturday came the return of Big Ten rivalries.

In his first year at Michigan State, head coach Mel Tucker is already leaning in to the Spartans' traditions of hate for, "that team down the road."

Ahead of Michigan State's matchup with the in-state rival Wolverines on Saturday, Tucker continually refused to call Michigan by its real name.

The tradition of Michigan name erasure isn't a new development in the Big Ten. Ohio State students have a years-long tradition of crossing out all "Ms" on street signs around campus ahead of Michigan game day.

Tucker is taking a page straight out of former Ohio State coach Urban Myer's book. During his coaching tenure, Myer only referred to Michigan as "that school up north" and "our rivals." Even now as a broadcaster for Fox Sports, the former Buckeye coach refuses to say the school's name.

Michigan State suffered a tough 38-27 loss last Saturday to an underdog Rutgers team. Michigan saw completely different results with an overwhelming 49-24 win over a solid No. 21 Minnesota team. Following a telling opening night for both teams, the betting line for this week's matchup has been set at (-25) in Michigan's favor.

After Michigan's 44-10 beatdown of Michigan State last year, it seems we could be in store for a similar outcome this year.

The Spartans will travel "down the road" to Ann Arbor on Saturday. The game will take place at 12 PM ET on Fox.