Michigan St talking BCS ahead of Gophers game

Published on NewsOK Modified: November 26, 2013 at 7:59 pm •  Published: November 26, 2013
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Mark Dantonio is ready to fight for Michigan State.

When asked about having to campaign for No. 11 Michigan State (10-1, 7-0 Big Ten) to earn a BCS berth if they don't reach the Rose Bowl by beating No. 3 Ohio State on Dec. 7, Dantonio talked about a 3-1 record in his team's last four games against Wisconsin and a one-point loss to OSU last year. That is the closest scare the Buckeyes have had in two unbeaten seasons.

"Oh, yeah, I'll campaign," Dantonio said when reminded that his Legends Division champs were jumped by Michigan for a Sugar Bowl berth in 2011 when they lost the Big Ten Championship Game, 42-39. "We've beaten Wisconsin three out of the last four years. You can start with that. But we'll worry about that later. We're not going to worry about that now. Our focus has to be on Minnesota."

The Spartans are No. 1 in the Big Ten in 15 team statistical categories, led by the winningest class in school history. With 39 victories and three more opportunities, Dantonio said the focus this week will be on an appropriate Senior Day sendoff against the surprising Golden Gophers (8-3, 4-3) at noon Saturday.

Eighteen Michigan State players will be making their final home appearance. The group, led by linebackers Max Bullough and Denicos Allen and cornerback Darqueze Dennard, are part of three double-digit win seasons, including 11-win seasons in 2010-11.

"I want to congratulate our football team in that regard and congratulate Darqueze Dennard in being one of the three finalists for the Jim Thorpe Award," Dantonio said of a trophy given to the nation's top defensive back. "There always has to be a reason to play. There always has to be a cause. And this is an opportunity to win 11 football games and go 8-0 in the conference."

The Spartans have never been better than 7-0 in the Big Ten, their record in the back-to-back glory years of 1965-66 when they were a combined 19-1-1 overall.



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