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MnB B1G Preview: A few things to know about our rivals

Let's take a look at some things you should know about Michigan's two biggest rivals: Michigan State and Ohio

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Seeing as most fans already know the typical facts about Michigan State and Ohio, I decided to lump both teams together in the hopes of finding some possibly unknown facts that tie them together.

All three don't finish seasons the same way often:

Even with 110 collective bowl games between the three rivals, there have only been two years when all three teams had the same postseason outcome: 1984 and 1995. In '84, each team fell in their respective bowl game by single digits. Michigan failed to top undefeated and top-ranked BYU in the Holiday Bowl, 24-17, State lost 10-6 to Army in the Cherry Bowl, and Ohio fell 20-17 to USC in the Rose Bowl. A similar fate awaited each team in '95 with Michigan losing 22-20 to Texas A&M in the Alamo Bowl, State getting crushed 45-26 by LSU in the Independence Bowl, and Ohio falling against Tennessee 20-14 in the Citrus Bowl.

A 'rivalry' with Penn State:

Both Michigan State and Ohio claim a rivalry with the Nittany Lions, but neither series has more than 30 games played. The teams first met on the heels of Penn State's 8-0-1 record in 1911: Ohio was blown out 37-0 in 1912 while Michigan State stole a 6-3 victory in 1914. Both series continued sporadically through the next eight decades until both became a yearly contest with Penn State's entrance into the Big Ten. Michigan State and Penn State were designated rivals in '93 and started to battle over the Land Grant Trophy, or in other words, the ugliest trophy ever created. The trophy, and possibly the rivalry designation, is in reference to the fact that both schools are the oldest land-grant universities in existence. After going on hiatus in 2011 due to the addition of Nebraska, the Land Grant rivalry will resume this year since both teams are in the East Division. Penn State would lead the series 14-13-1 if not for nine vacated wins, so Michigan State is currently in the lead 13-5-1.

As for Ohio, it's also a land-grant university but doesn't battle over a trophy with Penn State. Both teams have vacated wins in the series (five for the Nittany Lions and one for Ohio), which currently sits at 15-8 in favor of the Buckeyes. For a longer take on the start of this rivalry, read this piece by Black Shoe Diaries.

Better performance after the New Millenium:

Prior to the Y2K scare, the Wolverines hadn't allowed Michigan State or Ohio more than a two-game winning streak in either rivalry series since the early '60s. The turn of the century must have distracted the Michigan Men because in 2004, Ohio started a six-game winning streak that lasted until 2009, and in 2008, Michigan State opened up a four-game winning streak that ended two years ago in one of the most boring yet satisfying football games I've ever attended.

However, even though recent years have seen the Wolverines struggle against their two biggest rivals, it'd take a pretty monumental winning streak for either team to surpass Michigan in either series's record. The Buckeyes would have to gain 14 wins to surpass Michigan's 58-45-6 series record. The task is even harder for the Spartans: they'd need a three and a half decade winning streak to pass Michigan's 68-33-5 series record.