Michigan Stadium scoreboard before the Notre Dame game on September 10, 2011. The 2013 game was the third most watched game, so far, in 2013.

I came across an interesting read today on MLive regarding TV ratings for College Football. If there ever was any doubt about how big of a cash cow this particular amateur sport has evolved into over the years, look no further than this.

If there ever was any doubt as to why the Michigan State fanbase continues to obsess about its status compared to the hated rival in Ann Arbor, despite their recent success against them on the football field, also look no further. University Of Michigan Football drew the second-highest number of nationwide TV viewers this season, with an average of over 5.3 million viewers per game. Only the mighty Alabama drew higher numbers with an average of over 6.4 million viewers per game. This story proves what I have known all along. The great tradition of Michigan Football that captured me as a young lad growing up mere miles from MooU's pasture, is a storied lore to a fanbase that stretches not only nationwide (judging by the presented evidence), but worldwide (to those not blind to reality). Despite another season's display of being far removed from their glory days, the Michigan Football brand is stronger than ever. Oh, how that must fuel the jealousy and ire of "Spartan Nation". (Spartan Tri-County Region may be more appropriate...) I mean, the evidence has always been there. Look no further than the oh-so-creatively coined term "Walmart Wolverine". A term likely thought up by an MSU undergrad who was turned down by U-of-M admissions. After all, nobody has a right to support or root for a college team unless you attended said institution, right? How delusional does one need to be to actually subscribe to such a theory? Delusional and envious...

The Michigan Wolverines are the second most watched team in America. They played in the third most viewed game of 2013, thus far. 238 consecutive sellouts, all crowds of over 100,000. Fourth highest profit in merchandising profits for 2012. That, Sparty, is why your favorite team continues to live in the shadows of the hated rival. It's simply a long-standing tradition, that has spawned a powerful brand. Don't worry, Coach Dantonio's program is on its way, too. The on-field success is a huge factor in that mission. So is the dedication of the MSU Athletic Department. Mark Hollis and company have done a great job making the entire athletics arena a more well-known commodity. And, most importantly, the alumni base and "Spartan Nation" have a passion that's rivaled by only few. The same passion that fuels the envy I mock today. Use that passion properly Saturday Night!!

Just a reminder for you, L.B!! Keep eatin' those Wheaties!! ;-)