Mark Dantonio: Why not Big Ten?


EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio believes that no matter which team wins the Big Ten title Saturday, the winner should be considered for a berth in the Vizio BCS National Championship.

No. 2 Ohio State is favored over the No. 10 Spartans, and if the Buckeyes (12-0) were to finish a second straight regular season undefeated, Urban Meyer's squad would be an understandable pick to play for the national title.

Dantonio agrees with that sentiment.

"I do believe, should Ohio State win, that they should represent in the national championship game," Dantonio said. "I think that when you have an undefeated football team, that's the right thing to do. ... That's my tip of the hat to Ohio State."

Dantonio also said he doesn't understand why the Spartans wouldn't be in contention for a spot in the title game if they were to beat the Buckeyes, assuming other chips fell in their favor as well.

"Why not us, if certain scenarios take place, which obviously last weekend you saw a lot of scenarios take place," Dantonio said. "There are no givens in college football. Anybody can rise up to beat someone else. That ball bounces a lot of different ways.

"The fact of the matter is we're 11-1 right now, we're playing in a championship environment. And we'll move from there. Don't limit yourself. Dream big. That's what I tell my football team."

For his part, Meyer has refused to enter into public debate about whether the Buckeyes deserve to play for the national title. On Monday, he said he might have something to add to the conversation after Saturday's game.

"I'll have a comment on Sunday," Meyer said. "We have to play a game. For someone to ask about something after this game, I mean, that's cheating our football team."

Any title game scenario for the Spartans would include them jumping eight spots in the BCS standings -- requiring not only a win over the Buckeyes but also several other highly ranked teams losing in their conference championship games.

Outside of Michigan State's loss to then-No. 22 Notre Dame, the Spartans have played only one other Top 25 team heading into the Big Ten title game. On Nov. 2, the Spartans beat then-No. 21 Michigan 29-6.

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