The Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl is just around the corner and that means plenty of news is leaking out surrounding both TCU and Michigan State. With media pressers and multiple interviews, there has been plenty of buzz leading up to this bowl game. Here are the top stories involving the teams heading into this Dec. 29 showdown.
Horned Frogs Football Has High Graduation Rate
This news has been out for a bit now but TCU's football program has an astounding graduation rate for its players. This deserves a mention because more often than not, when you hear college football and graduation in the same sentence it's usually a bad thing.
The American Football Coaches Association recognized the Horned Frogs for the fifth straight season for its 90 percent graduation rate for their 2005 team.
According to TCU's official website, the football team expects to graduate 20 of its players with another 10 currently playing as graduate students this year.
NCAA football has been full of player payment scandals, cheating and so forth over the recent years but despite all that, TCU continues to be a bright spot amidst the issues.
Mark Dantonio Praised by MSU Athletic Director
A 6-6 season in Division I college football is not exactly a great record but Michigan State's athletic director has been supportive of the school's team and coach.
Athletic Director Mark Hollis told Mike Griffith of Michigan Live:
You could see the glass half-full, or you can see it half-empty...From a program perspective, the glass is very much full. I'm very confident in Coach (Mark) Dantonio and his entire staff. The wins and losses will take care of themselves over time.
It hasn't been a picture-perfect season for the Spartans with just a .500 record to their names but hearing verbal support for the coach has to be uplifting.
Whether this uplifting feeling will be in the air after the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl is uncertain but a 7-6 record is much more visually pleasing than 6-7.
Brandon Carter Creates Controversy With Slip of Tongue
What would seem as an innocent mistake by TCU wide receiver Brandon Carter has riled up Michigan State linebacker Denicos Allen.
In an interview with Griffith, Carter referred to his bowl game opponent as Michigan and not Michigan State to which Allen took offense.
The official word from TCU's head coach about this war of words is the best sound bite of all, however.
Gary Patterson commented on this controversy to Stefan Stevenson of The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, saying:
I was reading this morning that one of my guys ... called them Michigan, we know they're Michigan State. We got called Northwestern. If it takes me being called a name to get fired up and get my team to go play a bowl game then we probably shouldn't have came.
That's exactly how you want a head coach to respond to a rather silly situation that has been filling headlines as of late.
Michigan State OT Wins Wing Eating Competition
In perhaps the most bizarre news leading up to this contest; however, a new bowl tradition seems to be in the works.
In honor of the upcoming bowl's sponsor, players from both TCU and MSU took part in a wing-eating competition at a Buffalo Wild Wings.
According to LostLettermen.com, the two teams at a combined 7,330 wings during the competition that was ultimately won by Michigan State. The team's average wings eaten per-player was 33, with 65 of their total being eaten by offensive tackle Shawn Kamm.
If the wing eating competition is any omen for what will happen on the gridiron, MSU has to be feeling confident heading into the next contest.