Herbstreit: On why MSU needs a Rose Bowl win

The Rose Bowl remains one of college football's iconic games.
The Rose Bowl remains one of college football’s iconic games.

ESPN/ABC lead college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit will be in Pasadena with his broadcast partners Brent  Musburger and Holy Rowe as they call today’s Rose Bowl game between Michigan State and Stanford. The game showcases two of the top coaches in the country in Michigan State’s  Mark Dantonio and Stanford’s David Shaw are both getting looks as possible pro coaches.

Talking to Herbstreit on Monday we talked about this marquee match – up and why winning is so important for Michigan State to make a statement for both the Spartans the Big Ten. At this point thanks to Jim Harbaugh and Andrew Luck Stanford has become a brand name in college football. But this could be a coming out party for the Spartans.

How important is it to Michigan State to win today’s Rose Bowl game?

Herbstreit: “This game is huge for them, because I still don’t think the nation respects Michigan State. Maybe you and me and people that have followed them, we understand what they’ve accomplished, but I guarantee if you ask a Pac-12 or SEC fan, ‘Hey, what do you think of Michigan State?’ there’s not going to be a lot of, ‘Oh, wow, Michigan State, what a great team.’

So winning today’s game could be a game changer for the Spartans?

Herbstreit: “So when you get on a big stage like this, this is a huge opportunity to take the program to that next level, to be able to get people to say, ‘Oh, yeah, Michigan State, they’re definitely a team to be taken seriously.’ Stanford’s a great example of that. I don’t think Stanford was taken very seriously until they started to win some of these more high-profile games.”

For those interested in the odds for today’s Rose Bowl game here are a few fast facts.

Stanford opened up as a 4.5-point favorite over the Spartans, but the line has climbed in recent weeks. If the last few years are any indication, the Cardinal should be a solid bet in Pasadena as the Pac-12 team has won against the Big Ten straight up and against the spread in five of the last six games.