Looking at MSU’s chances of getting to Indy

As I wrote the other day, MSU still has a chance at repeating as Big Ten Legends Division champions and getting to Indianapolis to play for a shot at reaching the Rose Bowl.

But it’s an uphill battle that will require them winning the remainder of their games and getting plenty of help.

That process starts Saturday with MSU taking care of its own business at home against No. 21-ranked Nebraska, which is currently in the driver’s seat for the Legends Division title.

“This game is very important to us. It feels good to be back on track,” MSU junior receiver Bennie Fowler said. “We just gotta continue to take one week at a time and prepare for Nebraska like we would any other team.”

Here’s a look at the chief contenders with their record in both Big Ten and Legends Division play.

NEBRASKA (3-1 Big Ten, 2-0 Legends)
Saturday – at MSU
Nov. 10 – Penn State
Nov. 17 – Minnesota
Nov. 24 – at Iowa
Owns head-to-head tiebreaker with Michigan, Northwestern

MICHIGAN (3-1 Big Ten, 1-1 Legends)
Saturday – at Minnesota
Nov. 10 – Northwestern
Nov. 17 – Iowa
Nov. 24 – at Ohio State
Owns head-to-head tiebreaker with MSU

NORTHWESTERN (3-2 Big Ten, 2-1 Legends)
Saturday – Bye
Nov. 10 – at Michigan
Nov. 17 – at MSU
Nov. 24 – Illinois
Owns head-to-head tiebreaker with Iowa

IOWA (2-2 Big Ten, 2-1 Legends)
Saturday – At Indiana
Nov. 10 – Purdue
Nov. 17 – at Michigan
Nov. 24 – Nebraska
Owns head-to-head tiebreaker with MSU

MSU (2-3 Big Ten, 0-2 Legends)
Saturday – Nebraska
Nov. 10 – Bye
Nov. 17 – Northwestern
Nov. 24 – at Minnesota

So it’s a pretty complicated process from here that requires a lot of different things to go right for the Spartans.

With the second tiebreaker being Legends Division record, the Spartans need Nebraska to lose to Minnesota or Iowa to have a chance. If the Cornhuskers lose to MSU and Minnesota./Iowa, that would put them both at 5-3 and 3-2 in the division. MSU would hold the tiebreaker with the head to head in that area.

MSU would also need Iowa to lose to Nebraska or Michigan and one of their other games to get them out of the 5-3 equation and eliminate them from the tiebreaker. The Spartans would also want Michigan to lose three of their final four games.

Here is a look at all the Big Ten tiebreakers

  1. If two teams are tied, the winner of the game between the two tied teams shall be the representative
  2. If three or more teams are tied, steps 1 through 7 will be followed until a determination is made. If only two teams remain tied after any step, the winner of the game between the two tied teams shall be the representative.
    1. The records of the three tied teams will be compared against each other
    2. The records of the three tied teams will be compared within their division
    3. The records of the three teams will be compared against the next highest placed teams in their division in order of finish (4, 5, and 6)
    4. The records of the three teams will be compared against all common conference opponents;
    5. The highest ranked team in the first Bowl Championship Series Poll following the completion of Big Ten regular season conference play shall be the representative in the Big Ten Championship Game, unless the two highest ranked tied teams are ranked within one spot of each other in the BCS poll. In this case, the head-to-head results of the top two ranked tied teams shall determine the representative in the Big Ten Championship
    6. The team with the best overall winning percentage [excluding exempted games] shall be the representative
    7. The representative will be chosen by random draw

In a few football stories, the late heroics against Wisconsin gave Andrew Maxwell a boost, while Aaron Burbridge looks to rebound from his 0 catch outing Saturday. In other links, the MSU’s men basketball team opened exhibition play with a victory over Northwood (Fla.) and Branden Dawson looked strong. For the Spartan hockey team, there is a battle for playing time between the goaltenders.

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19 Responses to Looking at MSU’s chances of getting to Indy

  1. avatar behind the green curtain says:

    If its and buts were candy and nuts, the marine would have the courage to accept my wager.

    • avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

      What wager is that Bunkie? I don’t go to finished thread and read what cowards put up when nobody else will ever read their posts. If your talking about the game against the now QB less Hurricanes, I’ll take the bet as long as we go double the bet for the LSU game. In wider circles than the cow farm you’re used to, that’s known as putting up or shutting up.

      • avatar behind the green curtain says:

        The wager I proposed is simple. If the Hogs win three of their last four games to finish at 6-6 than you admit publicly that MSU made the wrong decision in 2006. If the Hogs lose two more games, the day they pick up loss # 7 is the last day you ever hear from me. That is not going to happen because the Hogs are too well coached for that. What do you think I am the village idiot?

        • avatar LeeBee says:

          (quietly closing door that was left wide open)
          Any jerk who was a head coach budy on another blog instead of doing his job should be exposed and summarily fired.

  2. avatar Spartan 81 says:

    Brian ,
    MSU is fully capable of running the table. Having watched Minnesota and Iowa I don’t think either has the firepower to go in to Lincoln and play a game like MSU did in Madison, pretty certain Nebraska ends up 6-2 in the legends and 9-3 overall.

  3. avatar Lancelot_Spartan says:


    Why would MSU need Nebraska to lose to Iowa or Minnesota to have a chance? If we beat them (and win out) and Nebraska loses to PSU, we would both be 5-3 in Big Ten play, but we would be ahead of them with the head to head matchup right?

    • avatar '89 Chemistry says:

      That’s true if MSU & UNL are the only 5-3 teams. If Iowa or UM are also 5-3, then a rock/paper/scissors head-to-head situation [like 2010] forces a look at Division records. I’d rather wait until the bye weekend to look at such scenarios; it’s likely
      that the dream will end by then.

      • avatar Spartan 81 says:

        Maybe that dream but what about USMCrets dream of hosting a bunch of suspects in Jacksonville?

        To quote George Perles

        ” The Gator Bowl is a classy bowl, and if anyone says differant I will punch him in the nose”

        • avatar '89 Chemistry says:

          Should’ve capitalized The Dream; it’s the one that’s eluded MSU for too long.

          Aside from the Rose, it’s a matter of prestige (CapOne) versus chances of winning (Little Caesars)–with five shades of gray.

          [Or 5-7. There are no guarantees.]

  4. avatar The Tanner says:

    Legends could happen baby !!!

    Tommy Osborne come to town baby !!!

    Darnell Valentine throw down dunk baby !!!

    The Tanner got the inside scoop baby !!!

  5. avatar Stephen says:

    Here is the scenario I was trying to describe to you on twitter, but don’t think I did very well with the 140 character limit:

    MSU wins out and finishes 5-3.
    NEB has losses to MSU and PSU and finishes 5-3.
    UM has losses to NW and OSU and finishes 5-3.
    NW has a loss to MSU and finishes 5-3.
    IA loses to UM and NEB and finishes 4-4.

    Four way tie for first place.

    With first tiebreaker NEB and MSU are 2-1 among the 4 and UM and NW are 1-2.
    With it down to two teams (NEB and MSU) moves to head to head which under this scenario MSU would have over NEB.

    • avatar Brian Calloway says:

      Stephen – That makes sense. From that post on Twitter I thought you were saying that Northwestern would lose to Penn State, which is why I was saying that would only be a three-way tie

    • avatar '89 Chemistry says:

      BRAVO on finding a great scenario!! How well Northwestern plays in Ann Arbor after a bye is a nagging question, but Colter taking snaps is a problem for everybody–and their defense has usually done just enough. Hollywood has thrown countless millions of dollars at less plausible scripts than this one.

  6. avatar '89 Chemistry says:

    * Minnesota hasn’t been technically eliminated from Indianapolis, either.

    * According to the stats, Burbridge was targeted twice against UW. Both passes were broken up by Devin Smith–currently the best defender for the Badgers [7 tackles, 3 PBUs & a forced fumble vs. MSU]. Phil Steele now projects him as a 1st-team All-B1G cornerback; the WRs won’t face another like him until December.

  7. avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

    Let’s all meed back here on November 30 and see who has done what to whom, then we’ll know. Aren’t we the only team with a top 25 win outside the conference? I think so.

  8. avatar breadtruck86 says:

    I suggest we just think about getting by Nebraska right now.

    • avatar Ben Green says:

      Yep. Everything else is conjecture and wishful thinking. This O is still very suspect despite the two touchdown drives at the end of the game in Madison. Hopefully that productive O will continue.

  9. avatar GoSt8Go says:

    The key of Brian’s statement is winning our remaining games. The landscape is Nebraska.

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