Michigan State–Penn State football rivalry
|First meeting||November 13, 1914|
|Latest meeting||November 28, 2015|
|Next meeting||November 26, 2016|
|Trophy||Land Grant Trophy|
|All-time series||Michigan State leads, 15–14–1|
|Largest victory||Penn State, 61–7 (2002)|
|Longest win streak||Michigan State, 5 (1949–66)|
|Current win streak||Michigan State, 3 (2010–present)|
The Michigan State–Penn State football rivalry is an American college football rivalry between the Michigan State Spartans and Penn State Nittany Lions. The Land Grant Trophy is presented to the winner of the game. The Spartans retained the trophy after beating Penn State 55–16 in 2015. Michigan State leads the series 15–14–1.
When Penn State joined the Big Ten Conference in 1993, the Nittany Lions and Spartans were designated as permanent rivals, and met each other for the trophy in the last week of conference play. The trophy, designed by former Michigan State coach George Perles, features pictures of Penn State's Old Main and Michigan State's Beaumont Tower, as well as figurines of The Spartan and Nittany Lion Shrine statues. The trophy is infamous for its unwieldiness and hodgepodge appearance.
In 2011, Nebraska joined the Big Ten, and the conference split into two divisions. Michigan State was in the Legends division and Penn State was in the Leaders division, so they no longer played each other annually. Instead, Indiana and Nebraska were designated as Michigan State and Penn State's permanent rivals, respectively. Under this setup, Penn State and Michigan State would compete on average two out of every five years, but the two teams did not play against each other during the three years that this system was in effect (2011–13).
In 2014, when Maryland and Rutgers joined the Big Ten, the conference was realigned into two geographically-based divisions, East and West. Michigan State and Penn State are both in the East division, and thus resumed a yearly series. As before, the game is played on the final weekend of the regular season, which is the week before the Big Ten Championship Game.
Michigan State University followed by Penn State University are the nation's oldest land-grant universities, hence the name for the trophy. In 1955 on the 100th year anniversary of the founding of the land grant system, Michigan State and Penn State were commemorated on a U.S. postage stamp honoring the "First of the Land-Grant Colleges". These two universities were the first ever universities to be placed on a U.S. postage stamp.
They are the 4th and 5th most recently joined members of the Big Ten, after Nebraska, who joined in 2011, Maryland and Rutgers, who both joined in 2014. Fellow Big Ten members Illinois, Minnesota, Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin all these being land-grant schools.
|Michigan State victories||Penn State victories||Ties|
|1||November 13, 1914||State College||Michigan State||6–3|
|2||October 24, 1925||State College||Penn State||13–6|
|3||November 17, 1945||East Lansing||Michigan State||33–0|
|4||October 19, 1946||State College||Michigan State||19–16|
|5||October 23, 1948||State College||Tie||14–14|
|6||October 22, 1949||East Lansing||Michigan State||24–0|
|7||October 20, 1951||State College||#3 Michigan State||32–21|
|8||October 25, 1952||East Lansing||#1 Michigan State||34–7|
|9||September 25, 1965||Stage College||Michigan State||23–0|
|10||September 24, 1966||East Lansing||#1 Michigan State||42–8|
|11||November 27, 1993||East Lansing||#14 Penn State||38–37|
|12||November 26, 1994||State College||#2 Penn State||59–31|
|13||November 25, 1995||East Lansing||#14 Penn State||25–20|
|14||November 23, 1996||State College||#7 Penn State||32–29|
|15||November 29, 1997||East Lansing||Michigan State||49–14|
|16||November 28, 1998||State College||#23 Penn State||57–28|
|17||November 20, 1999||East Lansing||#15 Michigan State||35–28|
|18||November 18, 2000||State College||Penn State||42–23|
|19||November 24, 2001||East Lansing||Penn State||42–37|
|20||November 23, 2002||State College||#16 Penn State||61–7|
|21||November 22, 2003||East Lansing||Michigan State||41–10|
|22||November 20, 2004||State College||Penn State||37–13|
|23||November 19, 2005||East Lansing||#5 Penn State||31–22|
|24||November 18, 2006||State College||Penn State||17–13|
|25||November 17, 2007||East Lansing||Michigan State||35–31|
|26||November 22, 2008||State College||#8 Penn State||49–18|
|27||November 21, 2009||East Lansing||#14 Penn State||42–14|
|28||November 27, 2010||State College||#10 Michigan State||28–22|
|29||November 29, 2014||State College||#10 Michigan State||34–10|
|30||November 28, 2015||East Lansing||#6 Michigan State||55–16|
|31||November 26, 2016||State College|
|Series: Michigan State leads 15–14–1|
- "Series History: Penn State vs. Michigan State". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved 2007-02-26.
- "Big Ten Schools to Play Nine Conference Games Beginning With 2017 Season", Big Ten, August 4, 2011. Retrieved November 22, 2015.