Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

College Football Notebook: Michigan State Favored over Unbeaten Iowa

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

College Football Notebook: Michigan State Favored over Unbeaten Iowa

Article excerpt

Michigan State favored over unbeaten Iowa

Mark Dantonio and Kirk Ferentz kept the discussion on point Friday. The Michigan State and Iowa coaches are in Indianapolis to win a Big Ten championship. Nothing more.

They'll let everyone else debate the hot-button issues the national championship picture, whether two teams from the same conference deserve to make the playoffs and which league is the nation's best.

"We've been here before," Dantonio said. "This is still goal No. 1 for us."

The conventional wisdom is that the title game Saturday night is essentially a play-in for one of the four precious spots in the second College Football Playoff.

Unbeaten Iowa, championship game favorite Michigan State and defending national champion Ohio State were ranked Nos. 4, 5 and 6 this week by The Associated Press and the College Football Playoff committee.

The Spartans and Buckeyes both finished 11-1 overall and 7-1 in conference play, but East Division champion Michigan State earned its third ticket to Indy in five years by upsetting Ohio State in Columbus two weeks ago.

West Division champ Iowa (12-0, 8-0) is one of two remaining unbeaten teams (with Clemson) in the Football Bowl Subdivision and, along with Michigan State, was one of five FBS teams with multiple road wins over ranked foes.

ACC title game * Nothing is ever really easy with the ACC's bowl setup, but the postseason implications for Clemson and North Carolina would be, if Clemson wins Saturday in the ACC championship game.

If UNC wins, chaos would ensue in the national title race and in the ACC bowl order.

The easiest outlook would be if Clemson wins. No. 1 in the College Football Playoff selection committee's rankings, Clemson would stay in the top spot with a win and play the No. 4 seed, probably the winner of the Big Ten championship game, in the Orange Bowl in Miami on Dec. …

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