The latest war of words in the Michigan State-Michigan rivalry began after bowl matchups were released last Sunday.
Michigan, with an 8-4 record and loss to Michigan State, was picked for the Outback Bowl over the Spartans, who went 9-3 and are heading to the Holiday Bowl. When Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio was asked about the difference in bowl destinations between the teams, he said “the records are what they are. I’ll just continue to focus on beating Michigan and let things sort of sort out.”
This prompted a response from Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh, which first came on Twitter.
Saw Coach D comments on continuing to "focus" on how "he" can beat Michigan. Congrats on turning around a 3-9 team, plagued with off field issues. Good for BIG to have him back.
— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) December 4, 2017
Later in the week, Harbaugh explained the tweet.
“I didn’t understand how [Dantonio] dragged us into his frustration into what bowl game he went to,” Harbaugh said. “I just prefer he didn’t talk about us.”
Dantonio met with reporters on Sunday after Michigan State’s banquet, giving him a chance to respond to Harbaugh. Dantonio did not escalate the situation much farther, though, just saying he was not surprised by Harbaugh’s comments and tweet.
“In this day and age, not surprising,” Dantonio said, according to MLive’s Matt Wenzel.
Mark Dantonio on Harbaugh reaction to his comment last Sunday.: "In this day and age, not surprising."
— Matt Wenzel (@mwenzel2) December 10, 2017
Mark Dantonio isn't surprised with Jim Harbaugh's reaction and Twitter comments. It is what it is." Adds MSU isn't going away.
— Chris Solari (@chrissolari) December 10, 2017