The Michigan State Spartans are headed to the Rose Bowl to face the USC Trojans on Jan. 1, 2013 - or at least, that's what SBNation.com's Jason Kirk thinks as part of his bowl projections for the 2012 college football season.
The Spartans are coming off of a 2011 season in which they finished 11-3, including winning the Outback Bowl in thrilling fashion over the Georgia Bulldogs. In 2012, Kirk expects them to perhaps have an even better season, despite having to replace quarterback Kirk Cousins, who threw for 3,316 yards and 25 touchdowns a year ago.
The Spartans have a pretty tough non-conference schedule, although their two biggest games are at home, as they face No. 24 Boise State and Notre Dame in East Lansing. They also have games against two of the three "Directional Michigan" schools sandwiched in before jumping into the Big Ten schedule with a home game vs. 18th-ranked Ohio State on Sep. 29.