Thanks to a 31-27 come from behind road win against the Indiana Hoosiers last Saturday, the Michigan State football program is beginning to receive more love from prognosticators who project bowl game matchups. Although Michigan State is no longer a favorite to play in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, the Spartans are beginning to be considered as a potential suitor for a second-tier bowl game (e.g. Gator and Outback bowls).
For the second week this season, Michigan State (4-2, 1-1 Big Ten) is unranked, but the question marks swarming around the team’s offense are beginning to disappear. The Spartans have found its go-to receiver in freshman Aaron Burbridge and Le’Veon Bell is back on track to put up Heisman-like statistics. With Ohio State and Penn State ineligible to accept bowl bids this season, Michigan State only needs to beat out teams like Michigan, Nebraska, Purdue and Wisconsin for a second-tier bowl.
The following is a roundup of bowl game projections for the Michigan State Spartans from college football experts:
Jerry Palm, CBSSports.com: TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl
The TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl matches up a No. 4 or 5 Big Ten school against the No. 6 SEC football program, and the game is held on Jan 1. Palm projects Michigan State to play against Texas A&M. The Aggies are currently 4-1 and ranked No. 22 in the AP Top 25 Poll.
Phil Steele, PhilSteele.com: TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl
Steele has the Spartans playing against Texas A&M in the Gator Bowl. However, it is very possible for the Aggies to finish better than sixth in the SEC, which is a bet I would place my money on. I expect a different SEC opponent to make this bowl game.
Tom Dinehart, BTN.com: Capital One Bowl
Michigan State will take on Florida Tue., Jan. 1 in the Capital One Bowl, according to Dinehart. This is a similar projection to what Spartan Avenue has for the Spartans this week.
Adam Rittenberg and Brian Bennett, ESPN.com: TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl
The two bloggers do not suggest what team could play against the Spartans in the TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl; however, we know that it will be an SEC opponent like LSU, Mississippi State, Tennessee or Georgia.
Mark Schlabach, ESPN.com: Outback Bowl
Schlabach projects Michigan State to take on Georgia in the Outback Bowl, which the Bulldogs are a team that the Spartans are familiar with playing against in recent history.
Brad Edwards, ESPN.com: TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl
The BCS expect has Michigan State taking on Tennessee in the Gator Bowl. A lot of prognosticators like the Spartans to make an appearance in this bowl this year.
Brandon Folsom, SpartanAvenue.com: Outback Bowl
Spartan Avenue matches Michigan State against Florida in the Outback Bowl, a bowl that features the No. 3 Big Ten school against the No. 3 or 4 SEC football program. Florida is still undefeated, but will have to beat Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina to win the conference championship, which is a very hard slate of games to tackle.