Next up, the Spartans of Michigan State. We asked our SB Nation colleague Pete Rossman from The Only Colors to answer a few questions about being a visiting team fan in East Lansing.
What's the best thing about East Lansing as a college town?
The best thing? If I had to hone in on a single aspect of East Lansing (EL for short), it'd be its size. Sure, it's not as big as Columbus, Ann Arbor, Madison, or a lot of the other well-known Big Ten college towns, but what some folks can see as a negative I see as a positive -- everything is in walking distance (especially when you get used to how big the MSU campus is), it's fairly easy to get anywhere, and you know where everyone will be celebrating after the game.
What makes the fanbase in EL so good?
Probably our sense of perspective. It wasn't too long ago that MSU was suffering losing season after losing season at the hands of Bobby Williams and John L. Smith. Mark Dantonio changed all that, and the last couple of years football-wise have felt like a dream. We know where we were, and we treasure our successes on the field.
What should Rutgers fans expect when they arrive in town and at the stadium?
Expect a good crowd, but not one that's too charged up - the Rutgers game comes after games to Michigan and Ohio State, so the fans will be out, but maybe not in the massive droves that come with a huge game. Also, make sure to dress warm -- there's a very good chance the game could be played in below freezing temperatures on November 22nd.
There's been a lot on the blogs about RU and UMd joining the B1G. What's the true feeling among Spartan fans about Rutgers?
Honestly? Most of us know you were added to expand the Big Ten's footprint so the conference could get more revenue, and those controversies in your athletic department haven't put Rutgers in the best light either. However, I don't blame the fans for it -- this is mostly Jim Delany's fault, and if my school had the chance to jump to a more prestigious conference, I would hope it would snap it up in a heartbeat.
Food and drink: Any great craft breweries worth checking out? Sports bars to watch and share CFB or get some good local brews?
In and around Lansing? Not so much. However, if you don't mind driving an hour or so, two of the best craft breweries in the nation (Bell's and Founders) are right there. I'd also recommend staying in Grand Rapids then driving the hour or so up to the game if you're a real beer fan; GR has several breweries and brewpubs worth attending.
As for East Lansing, if you like beer, Crunchy's and Hopcat are two great places to get your beer fix, Hopcat has 100 (100!) craft beers on tap, and Crunchy's is a longtime EL classic to get a great beer.
Rutgers has the grease trucks; where in East Lansing can you go to get a heart attack-inducing meal?
Menna's. They sell "dubs", which are essentially burritos with different types of fillings (example - chicken tenders with buffalo sauce is a Blazin' dub).
What other great attractions are there in and around the University?
We make our own ice cream in the MSU Dairy Store, so that's definitely worth stopping by, as well as the botanical gardens on the south of campus. If you want to go a little west into Lansing proper, you can stop by the Capitol building, and if you like walking through a cute downtown area, Lansing's Old Town section has what you desire.
What should Rutgers fans watch out for or be aware of in East Lansing? And they're fans and are excited about football. But how should they act/behave around MSU fans?
Act and behave like you would with any other set of fans. We know we have a good football team now, and the good news with you guys coming into the conference is that you may not be as aware of the baggage that used to come with Michigan State football. Even though we may not have wanted the Big Ten to expand, you're here, with beer (hopefully), we'll get used to it.
On the Banks thanks Pete for his insights. Enjoy the game!