Instead, the Spartans appear to be the odds-on favorite to take a trip to play the Kansas State Jayhawks in the MasterCard Alamo Bowl on December 29 in San Antonio, TX.
The Spartans competition are the 9-3 Gophers a team the Spartans have proven they can beat on the football field and now appear ready to whip them in the board room. Alamo Bowl executive director Derrick Fox said it's down to those two teams.
"That's a pretty safe assumption," Fox told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. "We'll have a follow-up meeting with our committee [today] to go over everything. But those teams would be the front-runners based on their records."
Privately though, sources tell Spartans Insider that the Spartans have taken a "fourth quarter lead" over the Gophers for the bid and only need to head off a massive late lobbying campaign by the University of Minnesota's athletic director Joel Maturi who is trying to dispel the proven fact that Minnesota does not travel well.
Alamo Bowl officials have clearly in front of them the track record of the fair weather Gopher fans that deserted their team last season as the Gophers went on a free fall late in the season.
The result was fewer than 2,000 Gopher fans showing up for the 2002 Music City Bowl. As a result, that game wants no part of Minnesota this season and has already extended a bid to Wisconsin to avoid getting stuck with the spend thrift Gopher fans.
Contrast that to Michigan State's great alumni club who sent nearly 6,000 fans to the low-budget Silicon Valley Bowl some 3,000 miles away from its East Lansing campus despite putting together just a 6-5 record.
No amount of lobbying is going to erase the bottom line in those respective bowl games. Michigan State filled the coffers in 'So-Cal' while Minnesota didn't even put a dent in the cash registers on Beale Street.
In fact, the only thing that appears to be standing in the way of a MSU bid is the outcome of the Big 12 championship game December 6th at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, MO.
According to sources, if Oklahoma wins as expected, Ohio State and Texas will be given at large bids to the BCS games, Ohio State to the Orange in a rematch with Miami of last year's Fiesta Bowl shocker, and Texas to the Rose Bowl to play Michigan.
That of course would mean Kansas State would wind up as the fourth pick from the Big 12 making a tasty match up of two high profile senior quarterbacks Ell Roberson and the Wildcats vs. Jeff Smoker and the high flying Spartans.
Some scenarios have the Nebraska Cornhuskers who would normally be the third choice falling to San Antonio after concerns over the firing of Frank Solich and how that will affect the Cornhusker fans willingness to follow their team to the Holiday Bowl.
The doomsday scenario for the Spartans would be if Ohio State is not selected as a BCS at-large team. That would drop the Buckeyes to the Capital One, Purdue to the Outback, and Iowa to the Alamo.
Michigan State would be requested by conference and bowl officials to be the "wingman", taking one for the conference by going to the Motor City Bowl in place of Gophers to boost attendance at Ford Field. The Gophers would happily head to the Sun Bowl their most likely destination in every scenario.