As the college football season (sadly) concludes in less than two weeks, many programs are doing their best to differentiate themselves from everybody else.
Some are leaving starters in longer to accumulate bigger scoring margins, while some are trying to gain some style points-just to get to play in the biggest bowl games in the land.
Some teams, like the Michigan State Spartans (5-5), are just trying to get to a bowl game in general.
That is what this season has come down to for the team with a .500 record. With two games remaining, the Spartans have to win at least one to become bowl eligible.
Pretty simple, right? Well, yeah. The task is right there in front of them, but it is definitely easier said than done.
Michigan State travels to Purdue this Saturday to get their first chance at accomplishing their goal. Purdue just defeated Michigan in Ann Arbor for the first time in over 40 years, and the Boilermakers also beat Ohio State earlier in the season.
The team has been up and down, but it should be a high-scoring affair which will all depend on the fourth quarter of play.
If Purdue defeats Michigan State, the Spartans will have one more chance to get to their third consecutive bowl game under head coach Mark Dantonio. However, it will be a home game against Penn State, a team ranked in the top 25 that absolutely manhandled the Spartans in Happy Valley last year.
Penn State is a very talented team, but they haven't played to their potential in a few games this season. The Nittany Lions lost last Saturday at home to Ohio State, and they also lost at home to Iowa, before that a team Michigan State literally took down to the last second.
Obviously, the Spartans have a better chance of defeating Purdue rather than Penn State. The teams match up better and Purdue is not as talented as Penn State is on both sides of the ball.
But at this time of year, sometimes talent does not determine outcomes. If the Spartans want it more they can have it.