On Saturday the Michigan State Spartans will try to play spoiler when they travel to Madison to take on the No. 25 Wisconsin Badgers.
Mark Dantonio's squad entered the season with a No. 13 ranking and high hopes, but four losses in six games and a 1-3 start in the Big Ten has his team needing to go .500 just to make a Bowl.
And by "Bowl" I'm talking about the Product-That-You-Can-Buy-For-99-Cents Bowl.
Wisconsin, meanwhile, sits at 6-2 with a legitimate shot at winning an up-and-down (but mostly down) Big Ten conference after cracking the BCS for the first time this week.
Let's take a look at everything you need to know about this battle.
Where: Camp Randall Stadium, Madison, WI
When: Saturday, October 27 at 3:30 p.m. ET
Live Stream: ESPN3
Spread: Wisconsin (-6), according to Covers
If I were you, I'd stay away from this one.
On the surface, the Badgers winning by at least a touchdown appears to be a lock. They've won three straight Big Ten battles by an average of 22 points while Michigan State is 2-4 in its last six.
But this is the Big Ten, where scoring is optional.
The Badgers have finally figured out where the endzone is in the last three weeks, but they, just like the Spartans, rely more on defense. In a game that figures to be low scoring, spotting points is almost always a mistake.
In fact, MSU's last three losses have come by one, three and two points respectively.
No thank you.
Over/Under: 40.5, according to Covers
Take the under and watch the punts pile up while you laugh maniacally to no one in particular. Or something like that.
Michigan State Injuries (via USA Today)
T Dan France, Concussion, Probable
TE Dion Sims, Ankle, Probable
FB Niko Palazeti, Ankle, Questionable
DE Lawrence Thomas, Concussion, Questionable
S Jairus Jones, Undisclosed, Questionable
DT Tyler Hoover, Calf, Questionable
C Travis Jackson, Leg, Out
T Fou Fonoti, Foot, Out
DL Brandon Clemons, Foot, Out
Wisconsin Injuries (via USA Today)
DB Penial Jean, Foot, Probable
RB Montee Ball, Leg, Questionable
OL Dallas Lewallen, Knee, Questionable
OL Rick Wagner, Knee, Doubtful
DL Jesse Hayes, Leg, Out
Cody Byers, Concussion, Out
Not a whole lot. Wisconsin is playing for the Rose Bowl, but it's highly unlikely it climbs the BCS standings quick enough to warrant any other major bowl.
With Ohio State and Penn State unable to play in the postseason, and Purdue, Illinois and Indiana battling it out for fourth place in the Leaders division at a thrilling 0-3, the Badgers have a spot in the Big Ten championship essentially locked up.
What they do against Michigan State on Saturday won't have much of an effect on that, although it's never good practice to lose at home.
You want my prediction? This game—unless you are truly invested in either of these teams (AKA you went to school there or you're addicted to gambling on Big Ten teams)—will be unwatchable. There, there's my prediction.
OK, that's a little unfair.
Both squads have intriguing players at the running back position who are always fun to watch. Michigan State's Le'Veon Bell is an absolute workhorse (226 carries, 984 yards) and is sure to leave a few defenders looking like this. Montee Ball, meanwhile, is the do-everything back who finished last season as a Heisman finalist.
But with both teams leaning on their all-star backs and Top-20 defenses, this one, which has no real impact on the standings, figures to be an unpredictable battle that won't appeal to the common fan.
That being said, I'll go with the home team that has actually showed the ability to score some points over the past three weeks..
Michigan State 13, Wisconsin 17
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