Capital One Bowl Preview:

Steve O Speak

By Guest Blogger Tyler Fenwick:

How else can we put it? The Spartans shared the Big Ten title with Ohio State and Wisconsin. Yet, they are being left out of the BCS picture.

Meanwhile, Alabama had a pretty dissapointing season. All of the hype had them playing in the national championship again, but those dreams were shattered with the upset loss to South Carolina. Last year’s Heisman winner, Mark Ingram, has also had a quiet year.

But either way, these two teams with very opposite season outcomes find themselves in the Capital One Bowl.

Michigan State has played exceptionally well this year, with their only loss being against Iowa. You can argue about where the spotlight should be for the Spartans: Mark Dantonio or Kirk Cousins. Both men have come on strong in tough times.

The Spartans knew they had a least a share of the Big Ten title after the escaped Penn State, but when Ohio State and Wisconsin both won their final games, it was fairly clear who would be left out a BCS berth.

Alabama coach Nick Saban has been under the radar for most of the season. Last year, he couldn’t take himself off of the headlines for anything. But this year, whether he’s escaped it or being neglected, I still think he has done a fine job at keeping his team together down the stretch of the season.

Quarterback Greg McElroy has had his share of problems this year, but I think the good outweighs the back for him.

Who needs to be on top of it? I’m taking a different approach to this one; Both coaches.

This game is going to be all about making the right, crucial decisions.

Mark Dantonio needs to recognize the pattern of schemes coming from McElroy and the Crimson Tide offense. This shouldn’t be very high scoring game, so every point will count.

Nick Saban just needs to keep his team under control and relaxed. They have to be disaoppointed with this season, but there is no time to whine and complain.

He has a veteran quarterback followed by a combination of experience.

What to expect: There are a lot of things we could see from either team. I think both teams come out with an opposite approach.

In my opinion, Michigan State has the more explosive offense at any given time. So expect to see some conservatine play from the Crimson Tide. They will use every last ounce of Ingram and Richardson available.

Meanwhile, you can expect to see the Spartans lay MOST of it out there. I say “most” because the Crimson Tide defense is very opportunistic.

No matter what either team does, I can see this one being one of the closer games this bowl season.

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