College football: Michigan State has eyes on Irish, Rose Bowl

by Berry Tramel Published: September 14, 2012

Michigan State hasn't made the Rose Bowl in 25 years.

During that drought, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Penn State, Illinois, Michigan, Purdue, Northwestern and Iowa have made the Rose Bowl. But not Michigan State.

That could change this season. The Spartans look to be the class of the Big Ten, especially with Ohio State ineligible for the Big Ten title.

Michigan State already has a 17-13 victory over Boise State, and Saturday night the Spartans host Notre Dame.

“I think every year, there's something special possible,” said Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio. “It's not always going to be smooth, but I think it's more about how you react to disappointment. If there's anything we've done, it's that we've handled the down times.”

There haven't been many under Dantonio. After a combined 22-17 record his first three seasons, Dantonio has produced back-to-back 11-win seasons.

This year, tailback Le'Veon Bell has 280 yards on 62 carries, and new quarterback Andrew Maxwell has been decent, despite throwing three interceptions against Boise State.

Dantonio's finest hour with Michigan State came two years ago, when the Spartans beat visiting Notre Dame 34-31 in overtime, on a 46-yard touchdown pass off a fake field goal.

But a Rose Bowl would supplant that.

by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The...
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