December 8, 2013

DotComp: Where were you when it happened?

INDIANAPOLIS - It was a night full of things I never thought I would see again. But I left Lucas Oil Stadium with a feeling we could be back doing this again, some time soon.

For the first time in 26 years, Michigan State earned the right to play in college football's oldest, grandest event, the Rose Bowl, by pulling away from No. 2 Ohio State, 34-24 in the Big Ten Championship Game.

They did it with a rigid, opportunistic defense, a wily quarterback, excellent underclass wide receivers, a trustworthy kicker, a crescendo of a running attack, the best defensive coordinator in the country, flexible, resourceful play design and play calling on offense, and a presidential head coach. This wasn't supposed to be their year, although Mark Dantonio told them 12 months ago, after a 6-6 regular season, that they would be the ones.

The Ones.

There was no need to finish that sentence during the team banquet of 2012. When he said they would be The Ones, they knew what he meant. The audience knew what he meant. He meant they would be the ones to take Michigan State football back to Pasadena.

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