WIth a win over Minnesota, the Spartans earned a bowl berth to cap off a topsy-turvy 2012 season. MSU accepted a bowl invitation to the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl (Big Ten/Big12). They will be awaiting the announcement of their opponent. The stage is set for December 29th in Phoenix, Arizona.
History of Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl
The original name of the bowl was the Copper Bowl. It retained this title from 1989 until 1996, when it became the Insight Bowl. In 2012 Insight gave up their name rights... Buffalo Wild Wings opted to sponsor the game. The record for appearances currently sits at three by Minnesota. A record was set in 2006 for the biggest post-season comeback in history. During the then Insight Bowl, Texas Tech came back from a 38-7 deficit in the third quarter to beat Minnesota 44-41 in overtime. ESPN currently owns the television rights to the game. As far as conference wins go, the Big 12 holds the record with 9 total wins.
So far the possible opponents are Oklahoma State (7-5), TCU (7-5), and Baylor (7-5). All three are storied programs and formidable foes for the Spartans. Baylor leads all FBS-I teams in total offense (6945 yards). Oklahoma State ranks seventh in passing yards nationally (4001). TCU has a fairly strong offense that averages nearly 29 points a game. The Spartans' defense will prove to be harder than a majority of Big 12 defenses each team has faced. Michigan State finished the season with the top ranked D in the Big Ten. All three teams have weak defensive units... TCU gives up about 23 points per game, while Baylor gives up 38.2 and OK State sacrifices 29.4. MSU should have a slight edge against each opponent. After competing against bruising Big Ten offenses, they should be able to dismantle a run and gun Big 12 team.
This will be a record sixth straight bowl appearance for the Spartans. It will also be MSU's first ever post-season game in Arizona. This will be coach Dantonio's sixth post-season appearance... he currently sits with 1-4 Bowl Record after last year's thrilling win over Georgia. Coach Dantonio made the following statement at a press conference, "We will represent, not only the Big Ten Conference, but Michigan State. We will play outstanding.'' Spartan fans are hoping for a bowl win to cap off a long "up and down season". The Spartans have finally "gelled" together, and should be able to topple a Big 12 opponent. The payout for the game is a huge incentive for both competing schools. This could be a huge win that could help cement coach Dantonio's career and effect his recruiting for the 2013 season.
The Spartans will now have more than adequate down time to fine tune their miscues. For some teams the down time is a hinderance to their rhythm and flow... hopefully this is not the case for the Spartans.
December 29th 10:15 P.M. Eastern Time ESPN