The 100th Rose Bowl Game on New Year's Day will feature the Stanford Cardinal and the Michigan State Spartans. The game is scheduled for a 5 p.m. start time and it will be televised nationally on ESPN. Currently the odds for the game have Stanford favored by almost a touchdown in this one.
This year's 100th Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO should be a good one. We're sure you've heard by now that two teams that love to play old school, smash-mouth football will be taking part in this game. That certainly seems like what is on the horizon for both Stanford and Michigan State.
The Spartans got some terrible news last week when Max Bullough was dismissed from the team just a fews days prior to the Rose Bowl. Head coach Mark Dantonio booted the Spartan leader off the team because of a violation of team rules. Not only is he the leader of the defense, he's also more or less the heart and soul of the Michigan State program. How will the Spartans respond?
In what has been tabbed the Grandaddy of the All, the Rose Bowl will feature one of the nation's best defenses in Michigan State. Stanford doesn't really care about their defense, as the Cardinal will be looking to pound the football between the tackles anyway. David Shaw's group is one of those squads that almost resembles an NFL style team.
Michigan State hasn't payed in this game in 25 years. Stanford played in this game last year, beating Wisconsin by a score of 20-14. The Cardinal will have to seemingly win the turnover battle in this game if they're going to have a shot in this one. Michigan State was one of the best teams in the country in turnover differential this past season, sitting at +14.
The Spartans won the Big Ten title this season and have risen to No. 4 in the BCS rankings. But that might not mean a whole lot. The Big Ten has been awful the past decade in this game, going just 1-9 in their last 10 Rose Bowl appearances. Wisconsin itself has lost the last three Rose Bowls they played in.
Michigan State's only loss this year came to Notre Dame by four points in a game where they had several penalties late in the game. Stanford was able to beat the Fighting Irish by a touchdown.
Stanford is the most complete team Michigan State will have faced all season, Ohio State included. The Cardinal defense is very good and very physical, much like what the Spartans have themselves.
Kevin Hogan will look for a big game, but it could be tough against the Spartan defense. Michigan State's Connor Cook will likewise have to make good decisions if the Spartans are going to be able to hang in this game and come away with the win.
Stanford led the country in sacks this year. They also allow opponents to rush for less than 3.0 yards per attempt. Both will be tough for the Spartans to overcome. The Cardinal will win the physical battle in the trenches and come away with a solid victory in this one. They're just too good for Michigan State.
Free Pick: Stanford 31, Michigan State 20
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