After blocking media access prior to big games against the Ohio State Buckeyes and Iowa Hawkeyes, Michigan St. Spartans head coach Mark D'Antonio wants his players to "embrace the pressure" of facing the Wisconsin Badgers in the inaugural Big Ten Championship Game. which will determine who represents the conference in the Rose Bowl, George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press reports.
"There is risk and reward in everything that we do, whether it's a particular play or blitz or whatever there is," D'Antonio said. "I would say the same thing when you're challenging your players and talking with them. There is risk involved in talking with them about dreams as big as a Rose Bowl or dreams as big as a national championship. But if you don't do that, who will? Certainly nobody sitting in this room did five years ago, but here we're all sitting here talking about it. So somebody had to step out and talk about it from within."
Michigan State has three wins in four appearances in the Rose Bowl, but haven not been back to Pasadena since 1988. Wisconsin has three wins in seven Rose Bowl appearances. The Badgers lost 21-7 to the TCU Horned Frogs in Pasadena last January.