Stanford wins Pac-12, will likely face Michigan State in Rose Bowl

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 7 Cardinal will reach a BCS bowl for the fourth year in a row. They'll likely play a fellow defense-first, power team in Pasadena, but the matchup is not official yet.

After their Pac-12 Championship win over Arizona State on Saturday, 11-2 Stanford has won the conference for the second year in a row and will play in the Rose Bowl. The Cardinal will likely draw No. 10 Michigan State, but the official pairing will be announced Sunday.

The game will be held in Pasadena on New Year's Day, and the Cardinal will face an opponent from the Big Ten. Michigan State is playing Ohio State in the Big Ten title game at the moment, but no matter the result, it appears the Spartans will end up in the Rose Bowl.

If Ohio State wins, the Buckeyes will likely go to the BCS National Championship Game, leaving the Big Ten runners-up to the Rose Bowl (as long as the Spartans are ranked No. 14 or better in the BCS). If the Spartans win, they'll get the automatic Rose bid.

The Spartans went 11-1 in the regular season, with a perfect 8-0 record in Big Ten play and just one loss -- a 17-13 defeat at Notre Dame. They boast one of the best defenses in the FBS, but did not play Ohio State or Wisconsin in the regular season and were unable to climb very high in the rankings.

Michigan State is 3-1 all-time in the Rose Bowl, last playing in the game in 1988, when they defeated USC, 20-17. The Spartans played UCLA in their three other appearances in the game, beating the Bruins twice and losing once.

This will be Stanford's 14th appearance in the Rose Bowl -- tying them for third-most all-time with Washington and Ohio State. The Cardinal are 6-6-1 in their previous 13 appearances, and won last year's game 20-14 over Wisconsin.

Both Stanford and Michigan State are known for physical, low-scoring football. Michigan State has the country's No. 1 defense in various metrics, while Stanford's not far behind.

USC has appeared in the game more than any other team, with a 23-9 record in 32 appearances. Michigan is in second place with 20 appearances.

More from SB Nation college football:

Championship weekend scores and TV schedule

Updated bowl projections: Oklahoma takes NIU’s BCS spot

Saturday news and more

College football news | Jimbo Fisher lands raise from FSU

Long CFB reads | The night Baylor died in Stillwater

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.