DOWN TO THE WIRE FOR MSU'S BOWL SLOT

     George Perles sounds like he knows something.  He won't know until late Sunday who his Motor City Bowl match up will be for December 26th, but if it's down to MSU, Indiana and Purdue, he thinks he can get his beloved Spartans.  George doesn't outright say it but I read from him that the Insight Bowl will take Indiana over Michigan State.  The Motor City Bowl likely will have its Mid American Conference team Saturday night and I'm guessing it will be a return visit from Central Michigan especially if the Chips win the MAC title game Saturday morning at Ford Field against Miami of Ohio.

     But George also thinks MSU can make the Champps Bowl in Orlando on December 28th if Illinois is included in the BCS bowl field.  That won't be known until Sunday night's 8pm Fox bowl show.  If Oklahoma beats Missouri in the Big 12 championship game on Saturday, then Ohio State likely will face West Virginia for the national title game in New Orleans.  That would mean Illinois might get a Rose Bowl bid opposite Southern Cal.  And all of the other Big Ten teams would move up and free Michigan State to go to Orlando.

     The newest hot rumor on the Michigan job in the office Tuesday afternoon is either Iowa's Kirk Ferentz or Wisconsin's Brett Bielema.  That's what's coming in from other coaching circles.  I have no confirmation.

     Girls high school basketball opens Tuesday night.  Look for East Lansing, the area's best pre season team, to hang one on Lansing Catholic.  East Lansing could contend for a state title. 

     The MSU women's team is 5-1 facing Clemson at 8pm Thursday in the Breslin Center.  The MSU men are 4-1 facing North Carolina State in the Breslin Center at 7pm Thursday.  Both are Big Ten/ACC Challenge games.  Tom Izzo has a 4-3 record in the Challenge and of course this is Suzy Merchant's debut with the MSU women.  By the way did you see former MSU coach Joanne P. McCallie's Duke score the other night at the Paradise Jam finals against U Conn?  Duke lost 74-48.  Duke is ranked ninth and likely will drop in the national polls.

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