By: Aidan Champion
No. 11 Michigan State’s fate this season is no longer in its hands, as this weekend’s slate of college football games will ultimately determine where the Spartans will be traveling this bowl season.
As of now, CBS Sports has MSU facing No. 6 Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl. This would be an exciting matchup to see, as the two historic programs haven’t met since 2017 when the Fighting Irish trounced the Spartans 38-18. Notre Dame leads the all-time series 49-29-1 and is 6-4 in the last 10 meetings.
There’s a fair possibility that a trip to Pasadena is not out of the question just yet for the Spartans, though.
Currently, No. 7 Ohio State is projected to take on No. 10 Oregon in the Rose Bowl for a rematch of the Buckeyes’ loss back in Week 2. But considering the teams already met this season, the committee’s Big Ten pick could go to MSU. For any such scenario to happen, though, Oregon needs to beat Utah on Friday for the Pac-12 title.
A meeting between MSU and Oregon would be a rematch of the 2018 Redbox Bowl when the Ducks won 7-6.
The Spartans’ bowl game will also very much depend on Saturday’s Big Ten Championship matchup between No. 2 Michigan and No. 13 Iowa. Should the Hawkeyes win, they would jump MSU and claim a spot in the Rose Bowl. In such a case, the Fiesta Bowl would go to the next highest teams at large.
With this result, MSU could face a matchup against No. 25 Texas A&M in the Citrus Bowl on Jan. 1. The Aggies and Spartans haven’t faced off since 1959.
A No. 3 Alabama win in the SEC Championship game could mean a spot in the Sugar Bowl for No. 8 Mississippi, which would likely put the Spartans in the Peach Bowl on Dec. 30, considering it could be one of the next best teams at large. In that case, MSU would likely face the winner of the ACC Championship game between No. 15 Pittsburgh and No. 16 Wake Forest or the loser of the Big 12 title game between No. 9 Baylor and No. 14 Oklahoma.
MSU faced Wake Forest in its last bowl game appearance in the 2019 Pinstripe Bowl. It also faced Baylor in the 2015 Cotton Bowl.
Ultimately, it’s looking like the Rose Bowl is the best case scenario for Mel Tucker and the Spartans, while the Citrus Bowl is the worst case scenario.
Everything will depend on how Friday and Saturday’s games play out. Crazy things have happened all season long, and in any championship game, it’s any team’s game for the taking.
Should MSU be selected for a spot in a New Year’s Six bowl, it would be the team’s first appearance in such a bowl since the 2015 Cotton Bowl when the Spartans were walloped by Alabama by a score of 38-0.
MSU’s bowl game will be Tucker’s first bowl appearance as the Spartans’ head coach.
He and the Spartans will learn their fate during the CFP selection show, which is scheduled for noon on Sunday.
Written by: Aidan Champion
Aidan is an MSU Journalism Student and Spartan Football writer for: impact89fm.org
Photo Courtesy of MLive.com