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Michigan State Spartans finish third overall in final polls; Dantonio gets raise

Soon after Michigan State's thrilling victory in the 100th edition of the Rose Bowl game in Pasadena, California last week, there was a lot of talk about speculation concerning whether or not the Spartans would possibly end up as the No. 2 team in the country once the BCS title game had come to an end.

Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio talks to reporters after his team's 24-20 win over Stanford in the 100th Rose Bowl.
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

On Tuesday, it was announced that it would not be so for the Green and White fan base.

Monday night's BCS title game saw Florida State rally to win the national title, but Auburn's tenacity and efforts were enough to keep the Tigers in favor with the voters and on Tuesday morning, the top three teams in the final national rankings were announced with Florida State and Auburn taking the top two spots, respectively, and the Michigan State Spartans filling out the No. 3 spot within the U.S.

Regardless, the news should come as an incredible boost to MSU players and fans alike as the finish marks the best post-season ranking for the Spartans since the 1966 season, when the Michigan State was No. 2 in both the AP and UPI polls. Last season, it was Ohio State that finished No. 3 in the final AP Poll.

Spartans head coach Mark Dantonio also got a bit of a personal boost and agreed to a new deal with the university after his team's Rose Bowl victory. Though the exact figure isn't noted, it was known that Dantonio made about $1.95 million before the start of the past season, making him one of the lowest-paid coaches within the Big Ten.

Ohio State's Urban Meyer ($4.6 million per year), Michigan's Brady Hoke ($4.15 million) and Iowa's Kirk Ferentz ($3.985 million) are all considered to be the top-paid coaches. MSU athletic director Mark Hollis confirmed last Wednesday night that Dantonio's new agreed upon salary would make him "one of the three highest-paid coaches in the Big Ten".

You can follow MSU writer, Michael Ferro, at twitter.com/MichaelFerro.