Michigan–Ohio State has lost its luster for this season because of the poor play of the Wolverines, leaving the door open for the biggest game of the season to be played by the other team from the Great Lakes State, the Michigan State Spartans. Tomorrow’s game in Lincoln against the Nebraska Cornhuskers couldn’t have more riding on it.
For the home team, a win tomorrow would put them in the driver’s seat to defend their Legends division title. Only a road game at Penn State and a home game against Iowa would stand between the Cornhuskers and a second consecutive trip to Indianapolis. There, Nebraska would be seeking its first ever Big Ten championship and a trip to the 2014 Rose Bowl.
Winning this game would also likely get the Cornhuskers back into the BCS standings and renew hopes for an at-large bid if Nebraska were to lose the Big Ten championship game.
A loss would eliminate the Cornhuskers from Legends division contention and take their record down to 7-3 overall, ending Nebraska’s hopes for a 10-win season and any hopes of getting a BCS at-large spot. Just as much is on the line for the visiting team in this game.
A win in this game would put Michigan State a win or Minnesota loss away from clinching the Legends division title and everything that would entail.
This victory could propel the Spartans into the BCS top-15 and be a step towards a BCS at-large should Michigan State fail to grab the Big Ten’s automatic bid. A loss in this game would completely change the outlook for the Spartans. Losing this game would mean Michigan State would need help to win the Legends division and to take them from a BCS contender to a New Year’s Day bowl game scenario.
Winning this game for Nebraska would mean the Cornhuskers replicating their defensive performance from last week. Nebraska held Michigan to 13 points thanks in large part to the Huskers limiting the Wolverines to -21 rushing yards. If the Cornhuskers can hold the Spartans to under 20 points, they have a good chance to win this game.
For Michigan State, the key will be offensive execution. With the nation’s best defense, the Spartans won’t need a ton of points. Michigan State eclipsing the 20-point threshold will probably be enough to win this game. The Spartans come into the game averaging just under 30 points per game, so if they get what is an average performance for them, they should win this game.