Michigan State (5-5, 1-5) might not be struggling to gain bowl eligibility if it could bring to the field some of the postgame feistiness it's exhibiting in the wake of a 27-24 loss to Michigan.
Both head coach Mark Dantonio and quarterback Brian Hoyer are steamed at Mike Hart, who tweaked the Spartans after they blew a 10-point lead in the final seven minutes of a sixth straight loss to the Wolverines. "Sometimes you get your little brother excited when you're playing basketball, and you let him get the lead, and then you come back and take it back." Hart said. That set off Dantonio. "If they want to mock us, I'm telling them, it's not over," the first-year MSU coach said. "They can print all that crap they want all over their locker room. It's not over. It'll never be over here. It's just starting. I find a lot of things they do amusing. They need to check themselves sometimes. Let's just remember pride comes before the fall." Hoyer said the Spartans "don't feel [Michigan] really deserved to win that game," and promised, "I'll look forward to the next 364 days for that game because it just shows the arrogance that they have. I can guarantee you come next year, that [Hart's quote] will be sitting up on our bulletin board." As if Hoyer's won't be on Michigan's.
• MSU's bowl eligibility hunt now heads to Purdue, with the Spartans on the cusp of once again wasting a fast start with a fizzling finish. Once 4-0, the Spartans must win in West Lafayette, Ind., or home next week against Penn State to get to six victories. That might leave them trailing several other Big Ten mid- and lower-tier bowl teams in the win column, since both Indiana and Iowa have good chances to get to seven victories. MSU's ace in the hole is the Motor City Bowl, which has the last pick of the seven Big Ten bowl tie-ins. Officials at that game would no doubt benefit in ticket sales from having Michigan State matched against a Mid-American Conference opponent. The Motor City Bowl need not pick according to the final Big Ten standings.