Michigan State, the Big Ten's runner-up, is understandably vexed by the perception that it plays in a conference inferior to that of its 2012 Outback Bowl opponent, Georgia. Spartans quarterback Kirk Cousins says Michigan State is looking for respect and a win over Georgia:
"You want to be a program that is well respected around the country, you have to beat the teams that already are, and Georgia’s certainly one of those teams," quarterback Kirk Cousins said. "We feel like a win in this game will go a long ways."
Certainly, a win would help the Spartans' stature, at least on a national stage, but that's in part because the last time Michigan State met an SEC team, Alabama eviscerated it, 49-7, in the 2011 Capital One Bowl. And there was some optimism on the Spartans' side back then, too.