BY SCOTT MORGANROTH
In The Wonderful World Of Normalcy, the Michigan State Spartans should still be playing in a BCS Bowl Game despite losing to the Wisconsin Badgers 42-39 on Saturday, December 3 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
But this is NCAA Football where a computer ranking decides which two teams play for a National Championship.
In my home state, the sides are divided as to which team deserved a BCS Bowl Game.
Even though the Michigan State Spartans (10-3) defeated the Michigan Wolverines (10-2) during the regular season, MSU is going to face the Georgia Bulldogs (10-3) in the Outback Bowl in Tampa, Florida on January 2.
My friends Gus Pantelides and Mike Pantel of Clearwater, Florida have to be elated they'll see MSU in their backyard.
But Spartans Head Coach Mark Dantonio, who has compiled a 43-22 record in five seasons, wishes his team was playing in New Orleans, Louisiana.
That's where Michigan is set to face Virginia Tech (10-2) in the Sugar Bowl.
According to the BCS Standings, Michigan was ranked 13 while Michigan State dropped to 17.
But lets face the reality. When Michigan is winning, they're a hot property.
A win by Virginia Tech over Michigan will do wonders for the Hokies football program.
Sorry Michigan State. That's the way it works out.
Here is the Tale Of The Tape between these two in-state rivals.
1) All-Time Record--633-427-44.
2) National Championships--Six, the last one in 1966.
3) Post-Season Bowl Record--7-14.
4) Conference Titles--Seven
5) Heisman Trophy Winners--Zero.
1) All-Time Record--894-310-36 which is No.1 All-Time in NCAA Division I, FBS.
2) National Championships--11, the last one in 1997.
3) Post-Season Bowl Record--19-21.
4) Conference Titles--42
5) Heisman Trophy Winners--three.
6) Highest All-Time Winning Percentage in College Football--.735%.
7) Most Winning Seasons--113.
8) Most Undefeated Seasons in Division I/FBS (23).
9) One of only three schools with a winning record against every Division I A/ FBS Conference.
10) Longest Current Streak Not Shutout Division I/FBS (348), last time was October 20, 1984 by the Iowa Hawkeyes.
11) Largest Crowd to ever attend an NCAA Football Game was 114,804 on Sept 10, 2011 at Michigan Stadium VS Notre Dame.
12) Longest streak in Home Attendance of over 100,000 (239 games) dating back to November 8, 1975 VS the Purdue Boilermakers.
13) The Most Televised School in College Football History--431 televised games.
14) On December 21, 1984, BYU (12-0) defeated U-M (6-6) by a 24-17 margin to win the Holiday Bowl in front of 61,248 a record at that time at Jack Murphy Stadium, to win the National Championship. It's hard to believe the National Championship was decided before New Years Day.
15) Before missing a bowl game in 2008, Michigan had made a bowl game 33-years in a row and had a winning season for 40 straight years.
Sorry Spartan Nation, it's hard to compete against these numbers.
But heck, who can complain about a trip to the Tampa Bay Area where you'll have plenty of transplanted alumni wearing green & white singing your fight songs. This consolation prize isn't all that bad.
But do the Big Ten and your fans a favor. Don't get blown out by another SEC team and duplicate a 49-7 loss to former Coach Nick Saban's Alabama team on January 1, 2011 in the Capital One Bowl two hours away across I-4 in Orlando.
MSU is 0-2 against Georgia in Bowl Games. The Spartans dropped a 34-27 decision in the 1989 Gator Bowl in Jacksonville. Twenty years later at the Capital One Bowl, the Bulldogs bit MSU 24-12 in 2009.
Will MSU's third meeting against Georgia at a different venue be the charm? We'll find out in the coming days.
As for Michigan, I'm looking forward to see how the Wolverines fare against ACC powerhouse Virginia Tech and legendary Coach Frank Beamer in their 432 televised game.
The Sugar Bowl ratings figure to get a boost with U-M electrifying QB Denard Robinson, a Deerfield Beach, Florida, native. Robinson has thrown for 2056 yards and 18 touchdowns. He has rushed for 1163 yards and 16 touchdowns.
This will be fun to watch and hopefully MSU and Michigan will put on good shows in 2012. A win over Virginia Tech would be a great ending by the Maize and Blue for first year Head Coach Brady Hoke.
Scott Morganroth can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and his blog can be seen at www.scottsports33.com.
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