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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Quick Bowl Projections

Well, after yesterday, I think all of us Spartan fans should feel even half-lucky to be able to claim a third-straight bowl appearance. That finish was really indicative of a team that doesn't deserve to play in the post-season, but the extra practice, and money coming into the school, are probably worth the trip. CBS Sports was pretty quick to release their bowl projections after yesterday's action, and have MSU going to the Alamo Bowl.

I'm a little confused as to who picks when, as I always figured it went 1) Rose, 2) Capital One, 3) Outback, 4) Alamo, 5) Champs Sports, 6) Insight. However, the CBS bowl projections note that there can be a switch between the 4/5, the Alamo and Champs Sports, and they think that will land the Spartans in San Antonio, while the Wildcats would go to Orlando. That would make sense, since Northwestern played in the Valero Alamo Bowl last year, and MSU was in the Champs Sports bowl only two years ago. The flexible selection between the two bowls is also the only way to explain how a two game difference in the overall standings could be made up.

MSU would also likely finish ahead of Minnesota, who CBS has going to the Insight Bowl. Michigan State is probably a bigger draw for the higher bowl (no offense Gopher fans), and finished 4-4 in conference, while Minnesota ended 3-5. Therefore, despite the head-to-head loss, the Spartans would have the upper hand here.

The real wildcard is whether the Big Ten gets two teams into the BCS. Iowa and Penn State will be competing with the likes of Boise State, Pitt/Cincinnati, and Oklahoma State for an at-large spot. There seems to be a fairly universal split as to who is more likely to go between the Hawkeyes and Nittany Lions, but there also seems to be universal agreement that their ability to draw a big crowd for the big money game will put one of those two schools in. You may not like that idea, and it might be unfair, but the Big Ten's ability to put butts in the seats trumps their recent failures when it comes to bowl selection. Finally, if Ohio State is the only team to go to the BCS, then MSU would likely play in the Insight Bowl, and Minnesota in the Little Caesar's Pizza! Pizza! bowl, which would likely love to have a Big Ten team in its first year of sponsorship.

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