I didn't think at halftime last Saturday that Michigan State would lose to Wisconsin. The score was 29-21 and the Spartans were getting the ball to begin the second half. It's incredible how MSU has barely missed the Rose Bowl the past two seasons. And it's taking a toll on the departing MSU seniors. They seem somewhat dazed by what has happened to them, but regardless they face Georgia January 2nd in the Outback Bowl in Tampa.
Both have 10-3 records. Both lost league title games Saturday. Georgia beat MSU 24-12 in 2009 in the Capital One Bowl. Both of those head coaches are still intact today. But Matt Stafford quarterbacked Georgia then and a sophomore runs the show now. Edge to MSU in the quarterback position. But how much does MSU want to play this game?
The players will talk the talk about how they're over their disappointment-- but will that be the actual case? MSU sold itself out to get to the Rose Bowl all season long. It didn't happen and who knows when again it will. Georgia is a three point favorite. MSU has a winnable game but the Spartans will have to show they really want to win it and end coach Mark Dantonio's string of four straight bowl losses. Georgia is much better defensively than Wisconsin but not nearly as high powered on offense. Georgia will have the fan advantage-- MSU's fans don't look to me like they're excited about going back to Florida.