Former Michigan State football QB Katin Houser discusses rivalry with Michigan

Michigan State v Minnesota
Michigan State v Minnesota / Stephen Maturen/GettyImages

Rivalries are an interesting thing in college athletics. Fanbases obviously dislike their rivals no matter what, but new players join their favorite teams each year and some likely have never felt a negative way towards their new “rivals".

Some players adjust quickly to disliking their rival while others more or less just view them as another opponent. But one new aspect of rivalries has entered college athletics thanks to the transfer portal.

When a player enters the portal and finds a new home, should they still dislike their formal school’s rival?

It likely just depends on the player and their experiences. But it sounds like one former Michigan State Spartan falls into the category where they’ll always dislike Michigan.

Gavin Haas on Twitter discovered this interview with Katin Houser.

Houser is a former Michigan State quarterback who spent the last two years in East Lansing. He appeared in one game as a true freshman before playing in 11 of 12 games this past season.

After the season came to an end, Houser decided to enter the transfer portal and has moved on to East Carolina.

In the above interview posted on X, Houser discussed Michigan State’s rivalry with Michigan and what his feelings are towards the Wolverines now that he’s at a new program.

I think it’s safe to say he doesn’t like them… at all.

Houser shared, “I’ve had bad experiences with Michigan fans with just how bitter they are and stuff like that.” He continued, “I will not be rooting for Michigan.”

Now I won’t speculate on what these experiences Houser had are, and I’m not here to say all Michigan fans are bad, but something clearly happened that makes Houser not like their program. Whether something specifically happened or the importance of the rivalry was just drilled into his head, those negative feelings towards the Wolverines aren’t going anywhere.

I love that former players feel this way, and it makes me thankful that they take this rivalry game so seriously. In my opinion, it all goes back to Mark Dantonio, who really emphasized this rivalry, and we all know how well that turned out for Michigan State the following decade-plus.

So for as long as I’m a Michigan State fan (which will be forever), I hope our fans, coaches, and players keep this same attitude as Houser where they want to beat Michigan so bad that they begin to dislike them. I don’t think we need to hate them, but a strong dislike works for me.

That’s what college rivalries are all about, and I hope Jonathan Smith continues the same emphasis Dantonio started 15 years ago.