The Path to a New Year’s Six Bowl for the Michigan State Spartans
After a great season for Mel Tucker and the Spartans, the only thing left is waiting for their bowl bid. Thanks to a 10-2 season, the Spartans sit a number 11 in the latest rankings, which puts them in line for a major bowl game despite being picked to finish last within the Big Ten East division.
The path to the Fiesta or Peach bowl is a simple enough one, but it may not be in a way that sits well with Spartan fans. Plain and simple, you have to root for Michigan in the Big Ten title game. A win for the Wolverines would send them to the college football playoff and would clear the way for State to play in one of the New Year's Six.
The Rose Bowl Game is more than likely out of the question for the Spartans. A Wolverine win would more than likely send the Ohio State Buckeyes, who currently rank 7th and have the head-to-head versus MSU, to the Rose Bowl.
Many of the bowl games have an affiliation with a conference. For example, the Rose Bowl is always affiliated with the Big-10 & the Pac-12. The bids would be given out to the conference winner in the days before the College Football Playoffs. That is still the case now unless you are in line for a spot in the final four. So, if Michigan defeats Iowa, as said before they go to the final four. If that happens, the selection committee takes the next highest ranking team to play in the Rose Bowl, which would be Ohio State.
On the other side of that, if Michigan loses, Iowa would get the Rose Bowl bid, as they would be the conference champion and representative. This is not the scenario the Spartans want, as even with a loss the Wolverines would not fall behind the Spartans in the rankings. Also, since neither are playing, they would have no chance to jump Ohio State either.
As much pain as it may cause, rooting for the Wolverines is in all Spartans' best interests. To look on the positive side, even if it isn't a New Year's Six bowl game, Michigan State will still be playing in a big January bowl game.
Mel Tucker has built a solid foundation in his second year. This won't be the last time the Spartans are in line for a major bowl game, and the next step might even be a playoff spot.