1. Michigan State’s sigh of relief
It’s a bit hard to get too excited about a second straight 7-6 season when your program has seen the College Football Playoff, the Rose Bowl, and isn’t all that far removed from winning a Big Ten championship.
It’s also hard to get too excited about a 7-6 season after the team was supposed to be far, far better this year considering the talent returning on both sides of the ball.
However, this bowl win mattered, if for nothing else other than optics. A loss would’ve meant a losing campaign and soured everything about a year with so many disappointments.
The win, though, meant a 7-6 final record and an 11th winning season in 13 campaigns under Dantonio.
A loss would’ve made it two bowl losses in a row, and it wouldn’t have looked good losing to an ACC team – at least this year.
With the win, the Spartans were able to push back all the problems, and hope springs eternal with what’s coming back in spring ball.
Michigan State ended the year with a three-game winning streak. Mark Dantonio got the win he needed to have, just to show that he and the program could go get it.