Tonight is the BCS Bowl selection show and Michigan is expected to get a berth in a BCS bowl, perhaps the Sugar Bowl. And Michigan State won’t.
If that happens it would be a terrible mistake because Michigan State (10-3) is more deserving of a BCS game than Michigan (10-2). Both teams played terrific football but if this is about honoring the better team then the Spartans are the obvious choice.
Here is why.
** Michigan State beat Michigan head to head 28-14 for its fourth straight victory over blue. It was the first time Michigan belonged on the same field with the Spartans in a while, but it was evident who the better team was. Michigan hung with the Spartans until the end mostly because the Spartans decided to play thug ball and nearly penalized itself out of victory.
** Michigan State earned the right to play in the Big Ten title game. Michigan did not. Before the Spartans lost a nailbiter Saturday night you’d find few people who’d say Michigan was more deserving than the Spartans. So you punish MSU for accomplishing something every team in the conference began the season fighting for?
** At the end of the season Michigan fought tooth and nail and won a terrific home game against 6-6 Ohio State. Michigan State lost a tooth and nail neutral site game against 11-2 Wisconsin, which is headed to the Rose Bowl.
** Michigan State beat Wisconsin on a Hail Mary and you can make an arguement Wisconsin did the same in the Big Ten title game.
** Michigan fans will say that their team beat Notre Dame and Nebraska, two teams that beat the Spartans. That is true. However that is trumped by the Spartans who beat Michigan and Iowa, a team that beat Michigan. And Michigan did not play Wisconsin, the best team in the Big Ten.
The one thing that Michigan State cannot overcome is that Michigan is a more attractive team for bowl committees. The program has not been relevant the past four years and now Michigan appears to be back. Any bowl worth its salt wants this team and its fans and its huge television ratings. I do not blame them. I’d want Michigan over Michigan State too. Brady Hoke will drive the media frenzy and Denard Robinson will charm with his smile.
But if it is just about football then MSU deserves a bid over blue.