Michigan State is set up well to receive a BCS bid regardless of the outcome of Saturday's Big Ten Championship Game, but with a win and if things fall the right way, the Spartans could factor into the national title picture.
"If we're 12-1 at the end of the week, why not us?" coach Mark Dantonio said. "That's all I'll say because we'll probably be at No. 4 or 5, so why not us?"
Senior linebacker Max Bullough said the Spartans certainly should be in the conversation with a win in Indianapolis – just like a group of teams.
"There's a lot of other teams have done their part, too," Bullough said. "I'm not saying we should be in the national championship if something doesn't happen, I'm saying we should be talked about among those groups.
"If we come out and win this Saturday, then why not? Why not talk about us? What have we not done that takes us out of the argument?"
The Spartans sit at No. 10 in the BCS standings heading into the title game with No. 2 Ohio State, so it would take a lot of help in other games for MSU to get national title consideration.
"If certain scenarios take place, which obviously last week you saw a lot of scenarios take place," he said. "There are no givens in college football. I don't believe in that."
Where it sits Tuesday, the Spartans can only focus on what is in their control right now, which is beating Ohio State.
"We certainly have come a long way, but right now we're focusing on beating Ohio State and letting the cards fall," punter Mike Sadler said. "There's only so much we can control and we just want to beat Ohio State and let the rest take care of itself."
Within that sense of reality, Dantonio still has a message for his team.
"Don't limit yourself," he said. "Dream big."