(WHTM) – Penn State joined the Big Ten Conference in 1993 after being independent, but Penn State wasn’t the one who started the rivalry against Michigan State.
Michigan State Head Coach George Perles decided to make this a rivalry and Joe Paterno agreed, but the only issue is that the schools are around 453 miles from each other.
The two coaches had to get unique and they knew both schools had a rich, deep history, both schools were land grant universities.
Not only were the schools land grant universities, but they were the two schools to pioneer the land grant system.
Penn State was founded on February 22, 1855, and Michigan State was founded on February 12, 1855.
This was all the coaches needed to create the Land Grant Trophy which has been called beautiful by the current Head Coach for Penn State, James Franklin, but also has been called “hideous and pointless” by many others.
The trophy has many features that make it unique such as a list of the trophy winners, the Lion Shrine, Michigan State’s Spartan Statue, a picture of Old Main (Penn State), a picture of Beaumont Tower (Michigan State), a golden football figurine on top, and made of wood.
Since creating the trophy in 1993, Penn State and Michigan State would play each other in the last game of the season until 2010 when they would switch divisions within the Big Ten Conference.
From 1993 to 2010, Penn State would win 13 out of the 18 matchups.
In 2014, the teams would switch divisions again in the Big Ten but this time, both would be in the East.
Penn State and Michigan State resumed the battle for the Land Grant Trophy that same year.
Since 2014, Michigan State has won five of the nine matchups.
The two teams have history before 1993 though as they played each other for the first time in 1914 when Michigan State would win 6-3.
Before 1993, Michigan State and Penn State played each other ten times with Michigan State going 8-1-1 in that time.
The all-time record in this series is tied with each team having 18 wins and tying once.
Penn State has a current win streak of one game and is set to take on Michigan State on November 24, 2023, at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. This will be the 37 matchup between the two schools.