The Docket: Stanford Rings In The New Year In Pasadena

Dec 30, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; General view of the football helmets of the Stanford Cardinal (left) and Michigan State Spartans at press conference for the 100th Rose Bowl at LA Hotel Downtown. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It’s 2014 … so take that, Mayans!

The year starts as it should, with loads and scads of college football, which is best observed quietly in case there was much revelry the night before.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Stanford Cardinal vs. Michigan State Spartans, 2 p.m. (Rose Bowl)
The granddaddy of them all is how Stanford starts the year, in its second straight Rose Bowl. This year, the Cardinal finished fifth in the final BCS standings, one spot behind the fourth-ranked Spartans, who are in the Rose Bowl for the first time since following the 1987 season and their fifth overall. Michigan State is 3-1 in the Rose Bowl, with its only loss coming Jan. 1, 1966, when it lost to UCLA 14-12. The Spartans are 9-14 overall in bowls, but have won their last two, including a 17-16 win over TCU in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl on Dec. 29, 2012.

This is Stanford’s 14th Rose Bowl appearance; they are 6-6-1 overall in Pasadena, but won last year’s game 20-14 over Wisconsin. The Cardinal is 11-12-1 overall in bowl games and this marks their fourth straight BCS bowl appearance.

Michigan State is 3-2 against Stanford all-time, but lost the only other time the teams met in a bowl game. On New Year’s Eve 1996, the Cardinal crunched the Spartans 38-0 at the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Nevada Wolf Park at San Jose State Spartans, 7 p.m.
The Spartans open their Mountain West Conference slate with the Wolf Pack. San Jose State was just 9-20 a year ago and only 3-14 in the Western Athletic Conference, so a step up in competition may not be an easy one.

This will be the first meeting between the Spartans and Wolf Pack since the WAC tournament in 2012, when top-seeded Nevada beat San Jose State, 54-44. San Jose State is just 13-37 all-time against Nevada and has lost its last 11 meetings. The Spartans’ last win in the series came on Jan. 10, 2008, at the Event Center, a 62-60 victory.

THURSDAY LOOKAHEAD
NBA
Warriors at Miami, 4:30 p.m.
Philadelphia at Kings, 7 p.m.

NHL
Edmonton at Sharks, 7:30 p.m.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Cal at Stanford, 6 p.m.
Saint Mary’s at Gonzaga, 6 p.m.
Sacramento State at Montana State, 6:05 p.m.
Simpson at UC Davis, 7 p.m.
Pacific at Portland, 7 p.m.
Loyola Marymount at USF, 7 p.m.
Pepperdine at Santa Clara, 7 p.m.

Topics: San Jose State Spartans, Stanford Cardinal

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