MSU, the third place team in the Big Ten after their 49-18 loss to Penn State yesterday, has no reason to hang its head. In just the second year of Mark Dantonio's program, the Spartans are going to their second consecutive bowl game and have made the leap to the second tier, the New Year's Day bowls.
The very fact that MSU had a shot at winning a share of the conference title shows the progress that the Spartans have made in such a short time under Dantonio.
While they were disappointed that they didn't fare better against the top two teams in the conference, finishing third in no reason to hang their heads.
Instead, MSU's senior will go out, treated like Kings in one of the outstanding Florida bowl games, a fitting tribute for players who endured so much under the John L. Smith regime like seniors Otis Wiley, Javon Ringer, Brian Hoyer and Justin Kershaw.
MSU would grab a bid to the Capital One Bowl if Ohio State is selected to play in one of the BCS Bowl games. Penn State received the automatic berth to play in the Rose Bowl as the conference champion with its defeat of MSU on Saturday, but Ohio State could be selected to play in the Fiesta bowl ahead of unbeaten Ball State who the Fiesta bowl scouts have watched the last two weeks.
MSU and Florida Citrus Sports have established a great working relationship and representatives have already gone on the record stating they would be happy to have MSU back in Orlando again.
The Orlando Sentinel has also opinied that a MSU v. Georgia matchup is in the offing. If that happens, MSU would move up and likely be the selection of Florida Citrus Sports to play in the Capital One Bowl, leaving the Outback Bowl to the Northwestern Wildcats.
Who would the Spartans opponent be? Most likely it would be the Georgia Bulldogs, currently sitting at second place in the SEC East division.
The loser of that game seems destined for a trip to New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl.
The would leave the Capital One bowl, who get the first pick ahead of the Cotton Bowl, to grab a 9-2 Georgia squad that has a date, this Saturday against arch-rival Georgia Tech (8-3).
Even with a loss, the Bulldogs are in no danger of being passed in the standings by either Mississippi or LSU.
So Spartans fans can spend this weekend scouting out the likely opposition for the New Year's Day tilt when MSU likely faces Georgia in the Capital One bowl.
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