There’s almost nothing normal about playing a postseason college football game in late December. The neutral venue is typically far away from each team’s campus, practices are held in unfamiliar locations and at odd times and the game is weeks removed from the regular-season finale.

However, with Michigan State playing TCU on Saturday in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, the Spartans’ routine is as close to normal as a bowl week can be, aside from a few distractions head coach Mark Dantonio pointed out shortly after the team touched down at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix Monday afternoon.

After the team was treated to a red-carpet welcome on the tarmac by a throng of Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl representatives wearing yellow sport jackets, a mariachi band and other bowl supporters, Dantonio said the team is excited about being in Arizona, many for the first time.

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