Tampa – The nice thing about covering the Outback Bowl is the sponsor. It’s the only bowl that serves steak and a bloomin’ onion as a pregame meal. I mention this so you’ll know not to expect much in the way of back-and-forth from this correspondent over the next half-hour.
As for the game … well, here’s what you need to know about Michigan State. The Spartans are 7-14 in bowls. They haven’t won won since Dec. 31, 2001. They’re 0-4 under Mark Dantonio. Even Nick Saban was 0-3 in bowls as MSU’s coach.
The Spartans are 0-3 in bowls against teams from Georgia. (Lost to the Bulldogs in Vince Dooley’s final game and in the Capital One in 2008, lost to Georgia Tech in the old Hall of Fame Bowl in Birmingham in 1985. Georgia fans will remember that as the game in which John Dewberry, who transferred from UGA and became Tech’s quarterback, did not partake — he’d been suspended for missing curfew in Birmingham, which isn’t easy to do.)
It’s possible Michigan State could win today, but recent history shows it’s not smart to bet against the SEC in a bowl against the Big Ten. (Example: The Spartans lost to Alabama 49-7 in the Capital One last January. Though Michigan State did beat Florida in the Citrus on the first day of this century.)
Enough. Georgia should win. I make it 27-17, but I’m often wrong. Sometimes even bloomin’ wrong, which reminds me …
Discuss among yourselves. I’ll be back in a few. And happy bloomin’ New Year.
By Mark Bradley