Everything on the line for Michigan State in B1G Championship

When the Michigan State Spartans and Iowa Hawkeyes take the field tonight in Indianapolis, they will be playing for far more than just the Big Ten Championship, they will be playing for a berth in the College Football Playoff. Furthermore, with the loser of the game not being guaranteed anything, everything will be on the line.

Many feel that regardless of what happens in Saturday night’s Big Ten Championship game, the winner is a virtual lock to play in the College Football playoff and the loser will head to Pasadena to play in the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day. But that is not necessarily the case.

You see, there is another Big Ten team still lurking in the weeds and they too are confident they will be playing in the Rose Bowl. That team just so happens to be the defending National Champion Ohio State Buckeyes. OSU, who is 11-1 overall, is coming off a dominant performance against the University of Michigan at the Big House, and they more than deserving of a high-profile bowl game.

Michigan State supporters are confident their team will rise up and beat the Hawkeyes on Saturday night, as they should be. But if the Spartans come up short, everybody had better be prepared for the worst. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if MSU does lose to Iowa, the Spartans will not be playing in the Rose Bowl and Ohio State will get the nod.

Before you come after the messenger, hear me out.

Did Michigan State march into the Horseshoe and take down the Buckeyes in one of most dominant defensive performances of the season? Absolutely, there is no denying that. But there are a couple of things the Spartans have going against them if they lose on Saturday night.

Michigan State HC Tom Izzo loses assistant coach

First, with a loss against the Hawkeyes, MSU will have two losses compared to Ohio State’s one. The Rose Bowl is much more likely to take a one loss Buckeye team over a two-loss Spartan team, even if that one loss happened to be against Spartans.

Second, let’s be honest here, Ohio State always has been and always will be a bigger draw nationally in comparison to Michigan State. It has nothing to do with which team has the better fans because we all know the nod would go to the Spartans in that category, but more to do with outside perception. MSU has been disrespected game after game and year after year since Mark Dantonio took over as head coach, and that will continue if his team does not take care of business against Iowa.

Now that we have covered the doom and gloom scenario if the Spartans were to lose, let’s look at what is really going to happen tonight in Indianapolis.

Dantonio coached teams have come to embrace their role as the underdog in high-profile matchups, but that will not be the case this time around. Even though Iowa is undefeated and ranked higher, Michigan State will enter as the favorite to win the Big Ten Championship.

That being said, there is no doubt in my mind that Dantonio will somehow convince his players that they are the hunters and not the hunted. He will have them prepared just like he always does in a big game situation and the Spartans will rise up and dominate!

Michigan State 27  Iowa 13



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