Michigan State football is preparing to play in its second Big Ten Championship game in three seasons. Last time Michigan State made it they lost a heartbreaking game to the Wisconsin Badgers, costing them a shot in the Bowl Championship Series (BCS). The stakes are higher this time as the Spartans are taking on the number two team in the country, Ohio State.
If the Spartans can upset the Buckeyes, they will clinch their first Bowl Championship Series appearance in program history. Even with a loss this dream is possible. For Michigan State to qualify for the BCS, two things can happen. The first way in is to defeat Ohio State for the Big Ten Championship. If they lose, option two comes into play. The Spartans must be ranked in the top 14 of the final BCS standings to be eligible for an at At-Large bid.
The Rose Bowl is a BCS game historically played by the champions of the Big 10 and Pac 12, unless one qualifies for the National Championship game. Currently, Michigan State is having a dream season. They are coming off their first undefeated conference schedule in school history, along with an overall record of eleven wins and one loss. All while sitting comfortably at 10th in the BCS standings.
With Ohio State already sitting in the number two position in the BCS standings, a win will most likely lock them into the BCS National Championship game. This would leave the Rose Bowl slot open. So as long as Michigan State loses in a close effort and drops no lower than 14th, they will still be eligible to be selected for the Rose Bowl. Obviously Michigan State doesn’t want to leave it up to fate though. Wisconsin is also ranked and has the next best record in the Big Ten. They would be the one conference team that can steal their spot.
Simply put, if the Spartans win Saturday they will automatically play in the Rose Bowl. It would be the second school record for an already historic Spartan football season. If Ohio State wins and is somehow jumped by lets say the number three team, Auburn, Ohio State would go to the Rose Bowl and Michigan State could still be selected for a different BCS Bowl. Anything is possible with the BCS standings.
Kick off Saturday is 8:17 PM on Fox in Indianapolis. It would be great to see a team from Michigan knock off Ohio State. Otherwise, we will all be tuned in to the BCS Selection Show, Sunday night at 8:30 PM on ESPN to find out what happens.