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November 17, 2007

MSU's bowl destination will be...

... the Insight Bowl on Dec. 31 in Tempe, Ariz. That's just a guess, but it does look like the most likely scenario.

Here's how it breaks down for the Big Ten bowls:
Rose: Ohio State
Capital One: Illinois
Outback: Wisconsin
Alamo: Michigan
Champs Sports: Penn State

    Then you have MSU, Indiana and Purdue all tied at 7-5 overall, 3-5 in the league. The Insight picks next, between those three. MSU bombed both of those teams. And while that does not compel the Insight to pick MSU, they are looking for the most competitive team available. More importantly, they're looking for the team that will bring the most fans and draw the best TV ratings.

    Hungry fan bases are always attractive. Considering that Purdue lost to MSU and IU, and has been to better bowls than this several times in recent years, I think you can rule out the Boilermakers. So I believe it comes down to MSU and Indiana.

    MSU's fans have not been able to travel to a bowl game since 2003. Indiana's haven't since the mid-90s. And there is obviously a human interest story in Bloomington, with the tragic passing over the summer of coach Terry Hoeppner.
    But Indiana football doesn't draw well at all, never really has, and MSU's rout of the Hoosiers might make the difference.

    Two things to keep in mind here: George Perles obviously desperately wants MSU to play in the Motor City Bowl in Detroit. No doubt, he'll be on the phone with the Insight guys. Side deals aren't technically allowed here ... but it's not like side deals have never been made between bowls before.
    Also, Illinois still has a chance to get a BCS at-large bid. If that happens, everyone moves up -- and MSU would be in play for the Champs Sports Bowl, Dec. 28 in Orlando. If Illinois moves up, I'd have to think MSU would be in either Florida or Arizona, with Purdue dropping to Detroit.

    We'll have plenty of time to speculate. This probably won't be decided until Dec. 2, the day the BCS bowls make their picks.



About the author

Joe Rexrode
MSU Sports Reporter

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