Retired B1G official: Michigan-MSU rivalry most intense

Which Big Ten rivalry is the most intense? Michigan vs. Ohio State, right? That would be the popular answer, but, according to Joe Rexrode, retired Big Ten official Bill LeMonnier takes Michigan vs. Michigan State. Read the full story here.

[ MORE: @ESPNCFB tweet delights Michigan State fans ]

“The rivalry of an Ohio State-Michigan game was great, but the Michigan-Michigan State game, that was 60 full minutes of intensity,” LeMonnier told Rexrode on Saturday at the league’s annual officiating clinic. “I don’t mean that in any way negative. Just real intense – you got it from the players, the coaches, the fans, the whole package was there for that three and a half hours. Great place to hang out. This one to me, it’s, like maybe down south, Auburn-Alabama. That in-state rivalry is really something.”

LeMonnier, who is retiring after officiating Big Ten games since 1993, attended the officiating clinic because he is receiving the National Association of Sports Officials’ Gold Whistle Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions of sports officials, referees and umpires beyond their officiating.



Your Opinion?
Show Comments (12 Comments)
Kim on 7/14/2014 @ 2:43pm EDT Said:

This is a joke!! Ohio State and That Team up North is the biggest. What do you expect, these dudes are both from #ichigan?!!!

Gary on 7/14/2014 @ 3:05pm EDT Said:

please….I’d take nebraska / northwestern or michigan state / wisconsin in the last 3 years over any other contests

Ray O'Donnell on 7/14/2014 @ 3:56pm EDT Said:

It isn’t bold. It is fact. How can you dispute what a distinguished official says after overseeing games for 20+ years. The guy is PAID to be unbiased. I understand it doesn’t fit the historical overtones sold to the rest of the Big10 from the two largest fan bases. However that doesn’t make it any less true.

dmozz on 7/14/2014 @ 4:16pm EDT Said:

My takeaway from the vid: At MSU if you can multiply 12 by 3 and get 36 you are a Braniac

Big Ten Fan on 7/14/2014 @ 4:51pm EDT Said:

Lemonier retirement is 15 years past due. Of course, without him and his crew, we wouldn’t have instant replay.

Hoosier Greg on 7/14/2014 @ 6:13pm EDT Said:

Even though we haven’t played them in football in a few years the IU -Kentucky rivalry is the most heated!! Then on the basketball floor it’s even worse!! But we will never get any due because we don’t have year in, year out winning records!! But records don’t make for good rivalries it’s pure hatred that does!! Just saying!!

Doug on 7/14/2014 @ 6:49pm EDT Said:

hey dmozz, at michigan if you can add 1 + 1 you are a brainiac

maryam on 7/14/2014 @ 8:01pm EDT Said:

This is a joke!
Count all the Big 10 titles, national titles, Heisman winners, Rose Bowl berths that have come down to Michigan and Ohio State and it’s not even close
The 1973 Michigan/Ohio State game is the one that changed football in the conference and allowed other teams to get to bowl games.
The legendary coachng matchups, the swings in momentum in the series, the recruiting battles favor this rivalry
How can MSU and Michigan be the most intense when from 1968 to 2008 Michigan went 32-9 against MSU, never losing 2 straight to MSU while Michigan went to 15 Rose Bowls and MSU went to 2?
Michigan and Ohio State are 1-2 in national titles, Big 10 titles, Rose Bowl berths, Rose Bowl wins, Big 10 wins, Hall of Famers, Heisman winners, All Americans so please don’t say how intense MSU/Michigan is when historically, it’s no even close.
Once Michigan regroups from the horrible Rodriguez hire, Michigan will rule again because history has shown that MSU cannot handle success.

maryam on 7/14/2014 @ 8:16pm EDT Said:

Gary says schools within the last 3 years are the most intense.
Too funny!
Nebraska just got to the Big 10 and I doubt very seriously if they’ve built a tough rivalry with anyone.
Nothwestern other than about 5 or 6 years has not been that good in football period.
MSU and Wisconsin doesn’t even compare to Michigan and Iowa.
Since 1967, this is MSU football success.
1978, 1987, 1990, 1999, 2010, 2011 and 2013.
In 47 years, 7 years have stood out for MSU with TWO Rose Bowl teams (1987 and 2013).
NORTHWESTERN snce 1995 has made THREE Rose Bowls a remember they were the nation’s laughingstock for generations.
Of those 7 teams I mentioned, these were the stars.
1978-Kirk Gibson-didn’t even play pro football.
1987-Lorenzo White and Andre Rison, vey good NFL players and two NFL busts inPercy Snow and STEROID TONY.
1990-who stood out?
1999-Plaxico Burress-verygood NFL player.
2010 and 2011-NFL backups Worthy, Gholston and Cousins.
2013-13-1 team had ONE high pick.

Richard Barnes on 7/15/2014 @ 2:16am EDT Said:

Maryam: Quite right, we at UNL don’t have a B1G rival yet. I’m a realist though, it’s going to be a long time before we see anything approaching the Nebraska/Oklahoma rivalry we had once upon a time. It helps that this year I feel that our O-line has been rebuilt and that will help out on offense. Maybe we might win a few more this year and who knows, maybe we will lay the seeds for a future rivalry? Currently, I’m banking on Rutgers as they have similar colors and a funny sounding name but that might not be enough!

MAK on 7/16/2014 @ 12:44am EDT Said:

Once Brady Hoke gets fired, (which has been long overdue for both Dave Brandon and Brady Hoke), the Michigan-OSU rivalry will become great again. OSU has beaten Michigan 13-2 (I believe, all I know is that OSU has beaten Michigan consistently in this century)since Tressel was hired in 2000. Michigan-MSU has been a bit more even, but since the Dantonio hire, I think MSU has had the upper hand on Michigan quite a bit as well. Hoke needs to go. on 7/17/2014 @ 11:52am EDT Said:

In response to maryam what does having great pro players have to do with having a great college rivalry?