|Michigan State–Penn State football rivalry|
|Teams|| Michigan State Spartans|
Penn State Nittany Lions
|Number of Meetings||28|
|All-Time Series||Michigan State, 13–5–1 (9 Penn State victories were vacated by the NCAA)|
|Largest victory||Michigan State, 49–14 (1997)|
|Current Streak||Michigan State, 1 (2010–Present)|
|Longest Win Streak||Penn State, 4 (1993–96)|
The Michigan State–Penn State football rivalry is an American college football rivalry between the Michigan State Spartans football team of Michigan State University and Penn State Nittany Lions football team of Pennsylvania State University. The Land Grant Trophy is presented to the winner of the game. The Spartans are the current holder of the trophy after beating the Nittany Lions 28–22 in 2010; the victory ensured that the Spartans won a share of the 2010 Big Ten Conference championship.
When Penn State joined the Big Ten Conference in 1993, the Nittany Lions and Spartans were designated as permanent rivals, and played 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. Michigan State won the most recent meeting 28–22 on November 27, 2010, at Beaver Stadium State College, Pennsylvania. Currently, Michigan State leads the series 5–4 due to the vacation of nine Penn State wins as fallout from the Penn State child sex abuse scandal, though only games since Penn State joined the Big Ten are counted.
With the addition of Nebraska to the Big Ten in 2011, Michigan State and Penn State were moved into different divisions and were no longer designated as rivals, meaning they would no longer play each other every year. Instead, Nebraska was designated as the permanent rival for Penn State, and Indiana was designated as the permanent rival for Michigan State. Under this setup, Penn State and Michigan State would compete on average four out of every ten years.
In April 2013, the Big Ten announced the conference would likely realign into two geographically-based divisions and scrap the "Legends" and "Leaders" designations when Maryland and Rutgers join in 2014. Michigan State and Penn State are both in the Eastern division under the tentative plan, and thus would resume a yearly series.
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 2nd and 3rd most recently joined members of the Big Ten, after Nebraska, who joined in 2011. Fellow Big Ten members Illinois, Minnesota, Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin are also land-grant schools.
- Other Michigan State traveling trophies:
- Other Penn State traveling trophies:
- "Series History: Penn State vs. Michigan State". College Football Data Warehouse. http://www.cfbdatawarehouse.com/data/div_ia/bigten/penn_state/opponents_records.php?teamid=1988. Retrieved 2007-02-26.