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No. 10 Michigan State Spartans: Rose Bowl bound with OSU win or loss?

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After this past whirlwind weekend of college football, it looks like everything might just be coming up for Michigan State.

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On Sunday, it was announced that Michigan State was No. 10 in the Associated Press poll, No. 9 in the USA Today coaches poll, and, most importantly, No. 10 in the BCS standings. Michigan State (11-1, 8-0 Big Ten) knows that they will play in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1 in Pasadena, Calif., if they get a win over Ohio State (12-0, 8-0) for the Big Ten championship on Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis (8:15 p.m., FOX).

The good fortune for the Green and White here is that OSU is now-ranked in the No. 2 spot just ahead of No. 3 Auburn, despite the Tigers' thrilling win over then-No. 1 Alabama on Saturday.

With this current setup, it looks more likely that the Buckeyes will be facing off in the BCS title game on January 6th if they beat MSU, which would still keep the the Rose Bowl spot open to the Spartans to play in its 100th edition as an at-large team. The Rose Bowl has always looked to maintain their Big Ten vs. Pac-12 setup for the bowl game whenever possible and Michigan State would still prove to be a big draw, regardless of a loss to OSU (should that happen).

But, if Ohio State does beat MSU and somehow doesn't end up within the top two when all is said and done, it would be selected for the Rose Bowl over MSU, so things are not set in stone for Spartans head coach Mark Dantonio. The focus has been and always will be until game day to beat the Buckeyes and earn the spot in the Rose Bowl outright.

ESPN analysts argued Sunday night over whether or not Ohio State should be a shoe-in for the BCS title game if they won their conference championships, and the consensus was clear: OSU would need to obliterate MSU to earn that nod.

"Blowout," analyst Jesse Palmer said.

"I think it's very important," analyst and former Buckeye Kirk Herbstreit said of a convincing win by his former team. "And I think Urban Meyer ... understands what it takes."

Still, the Spartans defense is no joke. None whatsoever. The top-rated defense in the country will prove the ultimate test for Ohio State this weekend in Indianapolis and then, hopefully for Spartan fans, in Pasadena, California in the Rose Bowl.

"They have a chance to make a statement this weekend against one of the best defenses in the country," Palmer said of the Buckeyes. "Let's wait and see."

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

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