12th Man Report: Bowls announced; Games set
There wasn’t any real surprises when this year’s batch of bowl matchups were announced this past Sunday.
The Michigan State Spartans will be playing in the Rose Bowl on Jan.1 — as we all knew following their impressive victory over Ohio State in the Big Ten title game. And the Michigan Wolverines were selected for the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl on Dec. 28 in Tempe, Ariz. against Kansas State.
While both teams will be taking a long westerly journey for their respective games, and both games are Bowl games, that’s about the only thing the two have in common.
A major story line here is that this will be Michigan State’s first Rose Bowl appearance since 1988 — enough said. They’ll be under a spotlight in Pasadena that is normally reserved for their basketball team. And their game against Stanford is bound to be a good one, as both teams rep very solid defenses.
Further down the west coast, Michigan is playing with a little bit less at stake. While the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl is definitely above, say…the Little Ceasars Pizza Bowl at Ford Field, it’s definitely a few tiers below the BCS Bowls. Even so, Michigan will definitely want to end its season with a ‘W’ and partially salvage this disastrous year.
If Devin Gardner plays like he did against Ohio State, the Wolverines will likely come out with a victory. If not…well, you know what can happen then. Now for Michigan State, it seems likely that Connor Cook will play well. He’s far exceeded expectations this season, and actually (dare I say it) looks like a big-time quarterback. Needless to say, he’s coming in very hot to Pasadena.
Overall, both teams have winnable games — tough, but winnable. If Michigan State and Michigan show up to play, they can both leave their respective bowls champions: just Michigan State as Rose Bowl Champions and Michigan as…well, you know.