Michigan State upset preserves record of unbeaten titles
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Michigan State upset preserves record of unbeaten titles

Spartans of 1965 and 1966 remain last Big Ten team with with back-to-back unbeaten and untied titles

Photo: Michigan State's 1965 defensive unit (L-R, bottom row): Bob Viney, Don Bierwicz, Harold Lucas, Buddy Owens and Bubba Smith. (L-R, top row): Don Japinga, Charlie Thornhill, Jess Phillips, Ron Goovert, George Webster and Jim Summers.

Michigan State’s upset of Ohio State last week preserved more than a shot at this year’s Big Ten title and College Football Playoff.

The 1965-66 Spartans still alone hold the conference record of back-to-back unbeaten and untied Big Ten titles that they established a half-century ago. Ohio State was in position to match the 1965-66 Spartans prior to Saturday’s game. Ohio State was two Big Ten wins from adding an 8-0 record in 2015 to the 8-0 mark the Buckeyes posted in 2014 en route to their conference and national titles. But the Spartans stopped the streak with a 17-14 win in the rain at Ohio Stadium. ... 

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Tom Shanahan

Tom Shanahan

Tom Shanahan is an award-winning sportswriter and the author of "Raye of Light". Tom spent the bulk of his career in San DIego writing for the San Diego Union-Tribune. He has covered NCAA Tournaments, Super Bowls, Rose Bowls, the NBA Finals and the World Series in a career that included writing for Voice of San Diego, the San Diego Hall of Champions and Chargers.com. He contributes to the Detroit Free Press, Raleigh News & Observer, MLB.com, Rivals.com and the National Football Foundation's Football Matters. He won multiple first-place awards from the San Diego Press Club and first place from the Copley News Service Ring of Truth Awards. The National Football Foundation/San Diego Chapter presented him its Distinguished American Award in 2003. USA Track and Field’s San Diego Chapter presented its President’s Award in 2000.

Raye of Light: Jimmy Raye, Duffy Daugherty, the integration of college football and the 1965-66 Michigan State Spartans. It explains Duffy Daugherty's pioneering role and debunks myths that steered recognition away from him to Bear Bryant.

By Tom Shanahan; Foreword by Tony Dungy; August Publications

David Maraniss, Pulitzer Prize winner and biographer: "History writes people out of the story. It's our job to write them back in."