Whether or not Michigan State ends up playing in the Rose Bowl or another BCS game is out of the Spartans' hands, but they do control their own destiny as far as the Big Ten title goes. Yes, it's possible that they could end up sharing the title with Wisconsin and/or Ohio State, but aside from the bowl implications it's not really a big deal. If Michigan State beats Penn State on Saturday in the final battle for the Land Grant Trophy until at least 2013, the record books will show the 2010 Spartans as being champions of the Big Ten.
Although Michigan State is 10-1 and has had a magical season so far, this game is not a lock for the Spartans by any means. Penn State has been playing much better since Matt McGloin took over as the starting quarterback, and ever since the Nittany Lions joined the Big Ten, MSU has struggled mightily in Happy Valley. Actually, struggled is an understatement, as Penn State is 8-0 at home against MSU since joining the conference back in 1993.
While history isn't exactly on MSU's side, this season has been all about rewriting the record books for the Spartans, so perhaps this will be the year that they win at Penn State for the first time since 1965. (That streak is so long mainly because MSU and PSU didn't play from 1967-1992. In fact, after Penn State's win at home against MSU in 1965, there wasn't a single game in this "rivalry" at the Nittany Lions again until 1994.) A road victory for MSU in this series has been a long time coming, and it certainly couldn't come at a more important time with at least a share of the Big Ten title on the line.
Here is a rundown of information for Saturday's game:
Matchup: Michigan State Spartans (10-1, 6-1) at Penn State Nittany Lions (7-4, 4-3)
Date: Nov. 27, 2010
Location: Beaver Stadium, University Park, PA
Time: 12:00 p.m. (Eastern)
TV: ESPN2 (national)
Odds: Michigan State -2