Going at It on the GridIron: The Best College Football Rivalries in Michigan

The weather is cooling down, the leaves are changing color, and college football season is upon us! And that means one thing: Classic rivalry games are going to play out all around the state. While the University of Michigan/Michigan State game might get most of the buzz, it’s not the only one worth paying attention to. Here’s everything you need to know about all of the hottest and storied college football rivalries across Michigan:



  • University of Michigan vs. Michigan State University: Saturday, October 7 at The Big House in Ann Arbor
    Since 1953, the Paul Bunyan Trophy has been awarded to the winner of the Michigan vs. Michigan State game. The Wolverines are currently leading the series 69-35-5.
  • Wayne State University vs. Grand Valley State University: Saturday, October 7 at Tom Adams Field in Detroit
    In this east versus west match-up, these two teams will battle for the annual Wooden Shoes Trophy, which Grand Valley has won 27 years in a row. The trophy remains in GVSU’s athletic facilities, but could it be making its way back to Detroit this year?
  • Ferris State University vs. Grand Valley State University: Saturday, October 21 at Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids
    The GVSU Lakers have a few rivalry match-ups throughout their season, but this clash is for the Anchor-Bone Trophy. Having won the past two years, the Lakers will play hard to keep the trophy at home.
  • Hope College vs. Kalamazoo College: Saturday, October 28 at Angell Football Field in Kalamazoo
    Last year, The Flying Dutchmen of Hope College reclaimed this Wooden Shoes Rivalry Trophy (different than the WSU vs. GVSU trophy) from K-College. This year they hope to keep the shoes in Holland, where wooden shoes are a matter of pride.


Also, keep an eye out for the Michigan MAC Trophy rivalry between WMU, CMU and EMU. This is Michigan’s only rivalry involving more than two teams, and the trophy goes to the team which has the best head-to-head record in the season. All three teams have won the MAC trophy four times, with the Western Michigan Broncos in current possession. Keep an eye out for the WMU vs. EMU game on October 21 and the CMU vs. EMU game on November 8.

Now you know the best games to watch this college football season in Michigan, but how will you prepare? Check out these blogs to take your tailgate to the next level:

Photo credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture

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