User ID
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Betting Tools

Stanford, MSU set for 100th Rose Bowl

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) - Michigan State and Stanford have been selected to ring in the Rose Bowl's centennial.

The No. 4 Spartans will face the fifth-ranked Cardinal on Jan. 1 in the 100th edition of the Rose Bowl game, pitting two venerable programs in Pasadena's traditional Midwest-West Coast intersectional matchup.

''It will be a great one,'' Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio said Sunday night.

Michigan State (12-1) upset Ohio State in the Big Ten championship game on Saturday to earn its first trip to Pasadena since Jan. 1, 1988, when the Spartans beat USC 20-17. Michigan State has won nine straight games heading into its fifth Rose Bowl berth.

Stanford (11-2) is back in Pasadena for the second straight season after trouncing Arizona State in the Pac-12 title game on Saturday. The powerful Cardinal held off Wisconsin 20-14 last season for the school's first Rose Bowl victory in 40 years.

''Our guys have fond memories of it, but they've already started to say it: Last year was last year, and we have to prepare this year completely different,'' Stanford coach David Shaw said. ''Michigan State has been on a phenomenal run, nine straight games, tough competition, and has come to play every week, and we know it's going to be a great game.''

The Rose Bowl got a compelling matchup for the centennial game in the newly renovated jewel of a stadium nestled in Arroyo Seco. Two top-five teams with enthused fan bases will meet in a bowl that's been decided by fewer than 10 points in each of the last four seasons.

Both schools have been playing football since the late 19th century, and Stanford even played in what's considered the first Rose Bowl game - a 49-0 loss to Michigan in what was called the ''Tournament East-West football game'' on Jan. 1, 1902, in Pasadena's Tournament Park.

''There's been a lot of talk about bookending the 100 years,'' Shaw said. ''Being in the first Rose Bowl game as Stanford University, and then coming back in the 100th, has been really exciting for our fans and for our alumni.''

While most of Stanford's roster was at the Rose Bowl last season for a gritty win over the Badgers, the Spartans are a generation removed from their school's last trip.

Michigan State will close the first 12-win season in school history in sunny Southern California, and the Spartans are long overdue for the chance to bask in that sun and spotlight. After laboring in the shadow of Michigan and the Big Ten's elite programs for decades, Michigan State has broken through under Dantonio, who went to the Rose Bowl in 1984 as a graduate assistant at Ohio State.

Michigan State missed an opportunity to end its Rose Bowl drought two years ago when Russell Wilson and Wisconsin flattened the Spartans in the inaugural Big Ten title game. Many players still around East Lansing mentioned that game this week as motivation against Ohio State, and Michigan State erased that memory with a gritty performance against the Buckeyes, who hadn't lost in Urban Meyer's tenure.

Dantonio acknowledged the Spartans might have sneaked into the Rose Bowl through the BCS even with a loss to Ohio State.

''But it feels much better going in the front door than the back,'' he said. ''That's just the way we've always tried to approach things here, and I think our players understand that and respect that, too. We did it our way, the way we wanted to do it, and we did it ourselves.''

Stanford and Michigan State will match strength against strength when the Cardinal have the ball. Michigan State had the nation's best run defense heading into the Big Ten title game, while the Cardinal are one of the nation's most punishing rushing teams in front of tailback Tyler Gaffney, who scored three touchdowns in the first half of the Pac-12 title game.

The Spartans are used to playing tough-nosed teams in the Big Ten, but they might not have seen anything like the improbable Palo Alto powerhouse built by coach Jim Harbaugh and raised to even greater heights by Shaw.

Stanford survived the tumultuous Pac-12 season to make its first back-to-back appearances in the Rose Bowl since earning consecutive victories on New Year's Day in 1971 and 1972.

The Cardinal could have been knocked out of the BCS hunt twice this season with upset losses to Utah and USC, but repeatedly bounced back with steady play from quarterback Kevin Hogan and a massive offensive line. Stanford's defense has been outstanding yet again, highlighted by three scoreless quarters during a stellar effort in a 26-20 win over Oregon last month.

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2016
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

Edwards: California vs. Hawaii
Edwards: Pac-12 Predictions
Sportsbook: Ranked games heat up Week 1
Rogers: Week 1 Records - Power 5
Edwards: Big Ten East Predictions
ASA: Big 12 Best Bets SEC vs. the Field
ASA: Big Ten East - Best Bets
Lawrence: 2016 Sun Belt Preview
Why Buy Picks From
NCAAFB College Football Handicapper Sports Picks Records
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 2379
Scott Pritchard + 1370
Marc Lawrence + 1207
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Scott Pritchard 64 %
Paul Bovi 58 %
Marc Lawrence 58 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Greg Smith + 1775
Kevin Rogers + 1190
Brian Edwards + 856
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Joe Williams + 1596
James Manos + 1448
Kyle Hunter + 1332
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 2072
Bruce Marshall + 1842
Paul Bovi + 1307
NCAA FB College Football Expert Picks- California Golden Bears vs Hawaii Rainbow Warriors
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Scott Pritchard + 100
Kevin Rogers + 100
Pat Hawkins + 100
Last Week's Leaders
Handicapper Money
No Games Last Week  
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Brian Edwards 100 %
Pat Hawkins 100 %
Kevin Rogers 100 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Scott Pritchard + 100
Kevin Rogers + 100
Pat Hawkins + 100
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Brian Edwards + 100
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership