It's been three years since Michigan and Minnesota played each other for the Little Brown Jug, but one of college football's least-known rivalries will reignite Saturday. The No. 19 Wolverines are 4-0, the Golden Gophers are 1-3, and the rivalry seems to be in name only this season.
Michigan had a perfect September, beating three teams they were supposed to (Western Michigan, Eastern Michigan and San Diego State) and winning the best game of the young season against Notre Dame. QB Denard Robinson is a dark horse Heisman candidate, and life is good in Ann Arbor.
Wait, hold on. Does this sound familiar for some reason?
That sense of déja vu isn't just a glitch in the Matrix. In fact, the same thing has happened the past two seasons under former head coach Rich Rodriguez. What's more, the Wolverines have also won their first conference game since 2006 (sorry, Minnesota fans). What happens next is what will determine if Brady Hoke has really changed things for Michigan or he's just following the same old script.
The Golden Gophers have a much different dilemma. Notably, they just aren't very good this year. They beat Miami (Ohio), but managed to squeeze that in while they were losing to New Mexico State and North Dakota State. There's very little chance they go home with the Little Brown Jug on Saturday, but, as they say, that's why they play the games.
Game date, time: 12 pm ET, Saturday, Oct. 2
Location: Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, Mich.
TV channel: Big 10 Network
Spread: Michigan favored by 20
Series history: Michigan leads, 70-24-3
For further reading, news, discussion and more, visit Michigan blog Maize N Brew and Minnesota blog The Daily Gopher. Here’s this week’s college football TV schedule, and stay tuned to SB Nation’s college football news hub for more.