Future Central Michigan vs. Michigan State football games could be in jeopardy

Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh watches from the sideline beside off-field analyst
Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh watches from the sideline beside off-field analyst / Adam Cairns / USA TODAY NETWORK

One of the biggest storylines from the 2023 season was the alleged sign-stealing scandal within the Michigan football program over the past few years. When, where, and how the sign stealing took place has been the center of this conversation as the NCAA continues its investigation, and part of it has to do with the first game from the 2023 season at Spartan Stadium.

The first game of Michigan State football's 2023 season was a 31-7 home win over Central Michigan. At the time, it was a normal game between two programs that played each other regularly. However, the normalcy of that game changed drastically when a Michigan staff member was alleged to be on the Central sidelines in Chippewa gear for the game.

Central and the NCAA are shockingly still investigating whether or not that was in fact Connor Stalions on the sideline, but I'm sure you have all seen the side-by-side pictures now which makes it abundantly clear that it was probably him.

This investigation, which has been open for many months at this point, has yet to be resolved. In fact, there have been zero updates about if it was Stalions or not from Central or the NCAA.

Now Michigan State has a decision to make regarding the future of their rivalry with Central. Graham Couch with the Lansing State Journal shared early Monday morning that this investigation (and the lack of any progress being made) "could impact relationship with CMU."

Should Michigan State remove Central from their future schedules?

Stalions being on the Central sideline is a huge deal. If that is him, it's clear what his purpose for being there was. To steal Michigan State's signs. There is no other logical explanation that could be given to explain why he was in disguise on their sideline.

Whether Central knew about Stalions being on their sidelines or not is also irrelevant because either they knowingly were helping him steal Michigan State's signs or are so clueless as to what's going on in their program that they had no idea he was there. Both are equally bad and both are reasons why I don't think Michigan State should play Central until they admit what actually happened.

Michigan State is scheduled to play Central again in 2027 and 2030. And if this investigation continues to go nowhere, MSU should 100 percent cancel these games. If they can't trust how CMU operates and who they bring into Spartan Stadium, then they by no means should be allowed to play MSU.

This would have a massive impact on Central if these games were canceled. This game is a "buy game" meaning that Michigan State pays Central to come to Spartan Stadium to play this game. So Michigan State canceling the game hurts their entire athletic department if they are unable to get another "buy game" scheduled for a similar price.

Hopefully this threat of canceling these upcoming games will make Central finally share if that was Stalions on the sideline or not. Michigan State has the right to know if it was, and regardless of if it was, MSU needs to seriously consider canceling future games with the Chips.