Welcome back from the ridiculous hiatus that is college football bowl season. It has been almost exactly one month since Michigan State lost to Wisconsin in what will be a tough Big Ten Championship game to beat excitement-wise. I hope everyone had a good holiday, and made some lofty New Year resolutions. Mark Dantonio's and MSU's remain the same from the previous four seasons: win a bowl game.
The good thing about today's Outback Bowl is that it does not matter one bit. MSU got reamed by Alabama last year 49-7 after winning a share of the Big Ten Championship. The team wasn't forced to sit out a year. They weren't relegated to the MAC. Recruits didn't jump ship for a different school (That happens when a coach with a bigger bank roll comes in to Ohio State- see Se'Von Pittman). The only thing a bowl game is good for is the extra practices the team gets.
Mark Dantonio has completed many of his goals that he has set for himself. He won a Big Ten Championship. He won the Legends Division. He should be in a BCS Bowl Game. He should have gone to the Rose Bowl last year...the list goes on. But there is still one thing he hasn't done: Win a bowl game.
MSU has easily gotten the toughest matchups of anyone as far as bowls go the last 4 years.
2007- Champs Sports Bowl: A pissed off Boston College team that just lost in the ACC Championship Game (notice how they didn't get a BCS Bowl, VaTech) led by Matt Ryan. Brian Hoyer didn't help the cause any himself for that one.
MSU 5 point underdog going in. Final score: 24-21 Boston College.
2008- Capital One Bowl: Preseason #1 Georgia took the month off after the season to finally get healthy for once in the year. Matthew Stafford and Knowshown Moreno show what they can do when they have a full line. Fun fact, the NFL Draft usually falls on the same day as the MSU Green and White Game. 2008 the Lions had the first pick. After the post game interviews, I was going down in the elevator alone with Eric Gordon. He was asking how the draft was going since he hadn't seen anything yet. I told him the Lions did take Stafford. Knowing that he played against Stafford and Matt Ryan, who had a great rookie season, in back to back bowls I asked who was better. Without hesitation he answered "Matt Ryan." I'm glad to have Stafford for the Lions.
MSU 8 point underdog coming in. Final score: 24-12 Georgia.
2009- Alamo Bowl: When I was at my parents over Christmas I was forced to watch Detroit news channels. I was shocked when Rob Parker came on Channel 4. I assume you all see the connection here. Good ole Wob (not a typo) was the man who said that Kirk "Jesus is legitimately my home boy" Cousins started the infamous brawl. Kirk was probably in church with his dad. From what I understand Parker's source said that it was somebody and his cousin who started the fight. Parker heard it as Cousins and ran with it. But hey, that's just what I heard and I don't want to be spreading any rumors...
Mike Leach did all that he could to distract his team locking up the son of the worst football analyst not named Matt Millen in a shed. Congrats on the new job by the way. And you thought it was tough to be relevant at Texas Tech.
When the matchup was announced I didn't like it. This was a time when MSU didn't have a top 5 defense. In fact the preferred pass defense was interference. Oh yeah. Leach was famous at Texas Tech for throwing the ball. The game was actually a lot closer than it should have been. If only Kirk Cousins didn't ever go to Brody with a ski mask to beat the crap out of that guy who was grindin in his gurl (if you don't get that sarcasm, give yourself the Adam James punishment).
MSU was a 7 point underdog. Final score: 41-31 Texas Tech.
2010- Capital One Bowl: This game hurt. It proved how far away from competing with the big boys MSU was. This was the game for MSU to get revenge on Nick Saban. People figured that Bama would take the game lightly and not care since they figured they should be in the National Championship game with Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram. Nope. They came to play. Cousins never had time to do anything against that defense. MSU was lucky to score 7 points in a shameful game.
MSU 8 point underdog. Final score: 49-7.
2011- Outback Bowl: MSU faces another SEC team that had a chance to win the league. The good thing is that Georgia came from the joke division of the league and they aren't nearly at the level of Alabama from last year. The bad thing is that it's still an SEC team and since it isn't LSU, Alabama, Arkansas, or Auburn MSU will get mocked for being the 2nd best team in the Big Ten and losing to the (technically 2nd) 4th or 5th best team in the SEC.
MSU is a 3 point underdog coming into the game today. This game is about more than winning though. It's about watching Kirk Cousins, BJ Cunningham, KeShawn Martin, and all the other seniors play one last time. Most importantly it's time to see if Jerel Worthy deserves his All-America status and can improve his draft stock going up against an SEC line. I don't want to guarantee that he is going pro, but I feel confident saying this is his last game in MSU green and white.
Win or lose, I just want to see a shootout Baylor-Washington style. In fact, I want every game to be like that. Defense be damned, that game was entertaining as hell.
As always, follow me on twitter @ChatSportsEck. And look for the ChatSpartans Podcast to be coming soon.Back to the Michigan State Spartans Newsfeed