The time to prepare for the 100th Rose Bowl Game is almost over, because the time to perform is nearly here. Stanford and Michigan State are ready to square off for the first time since the 1996 Sun Bowl, when Spartan alumnus Tyrone Willingham coached the Cardinal to a 38-0 victory over Nick Saban's MSU team.
The programs will resume hostilities on a prototypical Pasadena New Year's Day. Temperatures are expected to hit 76 degrees by kick-off. The game, of course, will be played as darkness overtakes Southern California, so the temperature by the end of the fourth quarter is expected to be about 64 degrees.
Our extensive week of coverage features a look at this monumental match-up from all angles. First, we offer Stanford's blueprint to beat Michigan State. Then, there are looks back at the Cardinal's early days in Southern California (Disneyland), including a full report from practice and more. Of course, there's a thorough look at the match-up between the Michigan State offense and the Stanford defense, as well as insight into what fans expect on the opposite end.
Later in the week, media day provided an excellent opportunity to delve into state of the Stanford program with several exclusive one-on-one radio interviews. Rose Bowl Radio Central puts all podcast show material produced here in Los Angeles onto one page.
Prediction: Given its personnel, Stanford's formula should always rely upon successfully running the ball and stopping the opposition's ground attack. The Cardinal has the physically superior roster, so The Bootleg sees them being able to accomplish both critical keys in this game, especially on the heels of a long preparation period. Stanford 24, Michigan State 13.
David Lombardi is the Stanford Insider for The Bootleg. Check him out at www.davidlombardisports.com and follow him on Twitter @DavidMLombardi.
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