EAST LANSING -- "Little Giants" -- the start of an historic season for Michigan State University football that has since propelled them to their second Capital One Bowl in three years.
For Spartan fans, it is another step toward the program's heyday, and they are now just days from the January 1 showdown.
"I think our fan base is geared up, obviously, with one of the most winning seasons in team history," says Steve Montanye, owner of the Spartan Hall of Fame Cafe in East Lansing.
The restaurant is kicking up its offerings on New Year's Day, opening an hour early and bringing in 25 staffers to help serve what's expected to be a full house.
"We see a lot of enthusiasm," Montanye says. "And we're getting a lot of calls about our activities here on Saturday."
And just about a mile away, the Student Bookstore in downtown East Lansing has been moving Capital One Bowl merchandise for weeks.
"It's tricky getting it in quickly," says SBS manager Brad Ballein. "But we got it in fast, and people have been very receptive. The website -- 800 phone calls; it's been really great."
And SBS says the Spartans' success has driven sales of all its merchandise -- though most fans here will say there's only one way to make this New Year's special: an MSU win.