Road games tend to be the bane of the untested sports team's existence. Michigan State and Missouri are just the latest examples of why that's the case.
The Spartans and Tigers are on the road today against Iowa and Nebraska, and down a combined 54-7 at halftime. Sparty's taking the brunt of that gut-punch, down 30-0 at Kinnick Stadium, but Missouri's (lack of) effort in falling behind 24-0 after one quarter against Nebraska cannot be overlooked.
It's likely that both teams will lose, and probably lose their chances to make the BCS Championship Game.
Missouri's in far worse shape, because Nebraska's win would make the Cornhuskers all but a shoo-in to win the Big 12 North and head to a final Big 12 Championship Game, while a Mizzou loss probably slots the Tigers in after Nebraska and Oklahoma in the Big 12's BCS contenders.
Michigan State, which would lose to Iowa in any Big Ten tiebreakers after a loss, would fall behind Iowa and be tied with Ohio State in the Big Ten conference championship race. And the Hawkeyes and Buckeyes are perennially popular BCS bowl picks because of highly mobile fan bases. Michigan State's situation is a little less dire than the Tigers' — the Spartans could still find themselves in Pasadena after winning out, with a little help — but a loss today takes their fate partly out of their hands, and a loss in such lackluster fashion diminishes their chances of being selected as a BCS at-large team.
Both teams appear likely to lose today, and both teams would likely be on the outside looking in at the BCS after a loss. Say what you will about the current college football system, but it does make for microscopic margins of error.