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Ranking Mark Dantonio’s 100 wins: Thrilling comeback vs. Baylor comes in at No. 11

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It was tough leaving this out of the top ten, but Dantonio just has THAT many great wins

Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic - Michigan State v Baylor Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Oh yeah — now these games are getting really fun.

For many programs, this win could easily crack the top ten for wins in the last decade. But for the program Mark Dantonio has built? This one just misses the cut.

Miss any wins No. 100-12? We got you covered at this link right here.

Win No. 11

Jan. 1, 2015: No. 7 MSU 42, No. 4 Baylor 41

After a season with just two losses — against the two teams who eventually met in the National Championship Game — MSU found itself in a big New Years Six matchup.

Baylor’s offense was explosive as it had been all season, but luckily that last for just three quarters.

Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic - Michigan State v Baylor Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

How They Won

Are you guys cool with skipping to the fourth quarter here? Because I totally am.

Remember when MSU was down 41-21 heading into the fourth quarter? In front of (basically) a Baylor home field advantage? GREAT TIMES!

Here was the anatomy of the comeback:

Step one: Watch Baylor miss a 46-yard field goal to start the fourth quarter, keeping it a 20-point game. Sure didn’t seem like that would mean much at the time, to be honest. 41-21, 14:18.

Step two: Drive down the field in just over two minutes to score with a Connor Cook-to-Josiah Price touchdown. 41-28, 12:09.

Step three: Force Baylor into a turnover on downs on their next offensive possession. 41-28, 11:18.

Step four: Pull off another touchdown drive, this one ending with a Jeremy Langford one yard score — his third touchdown of the game. 41-35, 4:55.

*Now it’s getting serious*

Step five: MSU blocks a 43-yard field goal attempt that would essentially ice the game for Baylor and, well, you know...

Step six: I’LL HAVE ANOTHER TOUCHDOWN DRIVE, GOOD SIR! This one included a 4th-and-10 conversion and ended with Cook connecting with Keith Mumphery on 3rd and goal to put MSU ahead. 42-41, 0:17.

Step seven: Intercept Baylor’s last ditch effort.

Step eight: “WTF, HOW DID THAT JUST HAPPEN?!?”

Step nine: Celebrate

Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic - Michigan State v Baylor Photo by Sarah Glenn/Getty Images
Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic - Michigan State v Baylor Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images
Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic - Michigan State v Baylor Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

What This Win Meant

This is weird to say since a 10-2 season was already pretty great, but this win validated the season. And it was a thrilling win. That was cool too.

It was the prettiest 11-2 record you could have without a conference title game, picking up a New Years Six win against a highly regarded offense and having the only losses of the season come against the national champ and the runner-up.

Ending the season was the perfect exclamation point for a season that was sandwiched between the Rose Bowl and the College Football Playoff berth.

Poll

Is this ranking this game at No. 11 too high, too low or just right?

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  • 2%
    Too high
    (11 votes)
  • 63%
    Too low
    (252 votes)
  • 33%
    Just right
    (131 votes)
394 votes total Vote Now