"Root for UM? You're Kidding, Right?"

While the road to the Rose Bowl may still go through Ann Arbor and Columbus, a team the MSU Spartans do not face, the Purdue Boilermakers are the conference's top rated team, tied atop the Big Ten with Michigan State. Purdue (3-0) must travel to Michigan (3-1) and a Boilermaker loss would put MSU alone atop the Big Ten. So do we really root for Michigan?

(EAST LANSING) - "You want me to root for U of M? You're kidding, right?"

That's the incredulous reaction you'd likely get from any true Spartan fan upon learning that you actually wanted them to root for U of M this Saturday in the Big Ten showdown game with #8 ranked Purdue.

After all Michigan is enemy #1 in East Lansing and rightfully so. That 49-3 pasting that the Maize and Blue slapped on the Spartans last year is still smarting and then Tommy Amaker's team had the audacity to upset Izzo's bunch, beating them for the first time in three years.

So what's up with that?

Well, if the Spartans want to realize their dreams of playing in the Rose Bowl for the first time since 1993, a helping hand from the Wolverines might not be so bad.

After all, with Purdue not facing the Spartans this year, as the higher ranked team over the #13 Spartans, the Boilermakers likely would be the Rose Bowl's pick as the Big Ten representative to the annual January 2 game, ahead of MSU in the event of a conference championship tie.

But if the Boilers were knocked off by a team like, let's say, Michigan, all of a sudden MSU could be sitting alone atop the Big Ten come "Selection Sunday."

Now, there's a long way to go, MSU still has four tough conference games including back-to-back road showdowns with Ohio State in C' bus and with a still contending group of Wisconsin Badgers in Madison.

Both those games come after the annual "Backyard Brawl" between the Spartans and the Wolverines in East Lansing. MSU wraps in East Lansing against JoePa and the Nittany Lions in the annual "Land Grand Trophy" game.

But a win by Michigan would put MSU alone atop the Big Ten standings and likely would make them the top rated Big Ten team.

So, what do ya think? Maybe?

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