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As the regular season ends, MSU eyes a trip south for bowl game

December 4, 2014
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With the regular season over, MSU football now turns its attention to bowl game season. Here's a breakdown of the bowl games MSU could potentially play in on New Years or New Years Eve.

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl

Location: Georgia Dome in Atlanta

Date: Dec. 31 at 12:30 p.m.

Potential Opponents: Mississippi State, TCU and Baylor

Weekend Impact: There are a number of games that can impact MSU’s odds at landing in Atlanta, but none are more important than the Big Ten championship game between Ohio State and Wisconsin. If Wisconsin wins there could be a shake up here, but the Peach Bowl has been the most popular destination for MSU amongst the college football experts. Based on the location of the bowl, expect an SEC opponent to land in this game to create the fan favorite Big Ten vs. SEC holiday season matchup.

VIZIO Fiesta Bowl

Location: University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona

Date: Dec. 31 at 4 p.m.

Potential Opponents: Arizona, TCU and Boise State

Weekend Impact: The odds of landing in the Fiesta Bowl depend a lot on whether or not Boise State wins the Mountain West Championship Game this week. With Marshall losing last week, Boise State seems to be a lock for one of the selection committee’s new year’s six non-playoff bowl games and would likely land out west because of its location. If that’s the case and Boise State gets the bid, expect a west coast team like Arizona to be selected for the Fiesta Bowl instead of MSU.

Capital One Orange Bowl

Location: Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida

Date: Dec. 31 at 8 p.m.

Potential Opponents: Mississippi State, Georgia Tech and TCU

Weekend Impact: MSU might have a legitimate case for this bowl game. The committee wants teams that can travel in masses to bowl games like MSU did to the Rose Bowl last season. This is a bowl game MSU has only played in once back in 1938, and it has a lot of prestige. A lot of projections have at-large teams from the ACC and SEC heading to this game because it would be a lot closer than a team from the frigid Big Ten. Georgia Tech would need to beat Florida State in the ACC championship game to have a shot, and if they don’t MSU could squeeze into their position.

Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic

Location: AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas

Date: Jan. 1 at 12:30 p.m.

Potential Opponents: Arizona, Baylor and Ole Miss

Weekend Impact: One of the most prestigious bowl games in history could have a green flare to it. Besides the Peach Bowl the most projectors have MSU going to the Jerry Dome (not the original Cotton Bowl) to play on New Year’s Day. Who the selection committee picks for most of these games depends on resume and travel considerations. Baylor and Ole Miss have both proximity and the fact that they haven’t been to many bowl games like this in history is playing to their advantage. The Cotton Bowl doesn’t have any tie-ins, so if OSU wins and secures a spot in either the College Football Playoff or one of the other selection committee bowl games the Spartans could find themselves heading to Arlington.

Outback Bowl

Location: Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida

Date: Jan. 1 at noon

Potential Opponents: Ole Miss, Georgia and Auburn

Weekend Impact: This would be the worse case scenario for MSU but it’s unlikely for the Spartans to drop all the way down to the Outback Bowl. Wisconsin would need to win the Big Ten championship game, and probably win it convincingly. At the same time there would need to be enough shakeup in the other conference championship games where teams such as Florida State, Alabama and Oregon fall out of the playoff and steal at large spots from MSU. It would come down to Ohio State getting the Citrus Bowl as the second place Big Ten team and MSU slipping to the Outback Bowl it’s highly unlikely but could still happen if complete chaos unfolds this weekend.

Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl

Location: Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida

Date: Jan. 1 at 1 p.m.

Potential Opponents: Missouri, Georgia and Auburn

Weekend Impact: The Citrus Bowl has Big Ten and SEC tie-ins, and the only way MSU will find themselves as one of those Big Ten teams is if a scenario unfolds similar to what would need to happen for MSU to find itself in the Citrus Bowl. OSU would need to lose to Wisconsin, giving the Badgers a trip to one of the Selection Committee bowl games. The other at-large spot would go to OSU, leaving MSU probably out of the mix. Other conference favorites like Florida State or Oregon would probably have to lose as well in order to make sure that MSU would be knocked out of one of the more prestigious bowls despite probably still being a top 10 team.

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