EAST LANSING, Mich. - For the first time in four years, Michigan State (7-5) is headed to a postseason bowl game. The Spartans have accepted an invitation to play No. 14/14 Boston College (10-3) in the 18th annual Champs Sports Bowl on Friday, Dec. 28 in Orlando, Fla. The Champs Sports Bowl will be televised nationally by ESPN with kickoff set for 5 p.m. EST.
Michigan State is making its 18th postseason bowl appearance - its first since a 17-3 loss to Nebraska in the 2003 Alamo Bowl in San Antonio, Texas.
"I am so excited about the Champs Sports Bowl and how far it has come in such a short time," Florida Citrus Sports Executive Director Steve Hogan said. "To think that a ranked, 10-win Boston College team, led by Heisman-candidate Matt Ryan, will face a very good Michigan State team that finished within seven points of the No. 1 team in the country and beat Penn State on the final weekend, is too good to be true. This is why Orlando built Bowl-a-Palooza, to see four top-rated, talented teams face-off in the same city just four days apart. If I were a fan, I wouldn't wait too long to get tickets or they'll be watching from home."
"When I met with the football team at the beginning of the season, we talked about the opportunity for this coaching staff and this team to lay the foundation of a new program," Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon said. "This season did lay that foundation we talk about, with this upcoming trip to the Champ Sports Bowl in Orlando. We now have a program that will be successful in the years ahead.
"We also look forward to extending the University Research Corridor (URC) southward. We are proud to join with our U-M colleagues in having a presence and an impact in Orlando as we are accustomed to doing in Michigan."
"We're all so proud of what Mark Dantonio and this football team were able to accomplish this season," Michigan State Athletics Director Ron Mason said. "We believe that we have the finest 7-5 football team in the country. This team lost a lot of tough games, but the players kept competing. They finished the season with two impressive wins, so they really worked for this bowl bid. It's a great start for Coach Dantonio's legacy here at Michigan State."
"I am so proud of our student-athletes, coaching staff and administration for its commitment to the 2007 football season," MSU Athletics Director-Designate Mark Hollis said. "Equally, I am grateful to the many Spartan alumni and fans that support Spartan Athletics throughout their lives. Collectively, we all strive together toward excellence in everything we do. I look forward to joining with the nearly 15,000 alumni living in Florida and the many Spartans that will travel into Orlando for the 2007 Champs Sports Bowl, as we support our football team and our University."
"We're excited about being invited to play in the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando," Spartan head coach Mark Dantonio said. "This is a great reward for a team that refused to quit and competed each and every week. We're extremely fortunate to be playing in Orlando, truly one of the nation's finest bowl destinations.
"We're also looking forward to playing an extremely talented Boston College football team. BC has been a Top 25 team all season long and spent six weeks ranked in the Top 10. We're well aware of the talents of BC All-American quarterback Matt Ryan, and we know that he's surrounded by explosive skill players. However, we also know that BC finished the regular-season as the NCAA's top-ranked rushing defense, so we have our work cut out for us on both sides of the football."
For information about the MSU Alumni Association Official Bowl Tour, Spartan fans should call 877-MSU-TRIP or visit the MSUAA web site at http://www.msualum.com/bowls/.
Michigan State receives an allotment of 12,000 tickets for the Champs Sports Bowl. Tickets are priced at $60 each. Fans may order Champs Sports Bowl tickets online at msuspartans.com (click "tickets" and proceed to the Spartan Online Ticket Office) or by calling the MSU Athletics Department Ticket Office (open weekdays from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.), locally at 355-1610 or outside the Lansing area at 1-800-GO-STATE.