By The Associated Press

It’ll be No. 7 Michigan State (10-2) vs. No. 4 Baylor (11-1), at Arlington, Texas, 12:30 p.m.

Series Record: Michigan State leads 1-0.


Baylor, the first team left out of the four-team playoff, is going for its school-record 12th win and trying to prove it was worthy of a being considered for the College Football Playoff. Michigan State, the Rose Bowl champion last season, is going for its fourth consecutive bowl victory after its only two losses during the regular season were to teams in the first playoff.


Baylor offense vs. Michigan State defense. The Bears again have the nation’s most productive offense (581 total yards and 49 points a game). Michigan State is seventh nationally allowing 294 total yards per game, and is trying to join Florida as the only teams to finish in the top 10 in that category the past four years. This is also the last game at Michigan State for defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi, who will be Pittsburgh’s new coach.


Michigan State: All-Big Ten receiver Tony Lippett (60 catches, 1,124 yards) leads the league with 11 touchdown catches. He is only the fourth Spartans receiver with at least 50 catches, 1,000 yards and 10 TDs in a season.

Baylor: All-Big 12 DE Shawn Oakman, the 6-foot-9 junior who said this week he plans to return to Baylor for his senior season, has 10 quarterback sacks and 18{ tackles for loss.


Baylor has won 21 consecutive games in Texas. … Michigan State is only the second Big Ten team to play in the Cotton Bowl. The other was Ohio State in 1987. … The Spartans have already set single-season school records with 517 points and 5,958 total yards. … Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty has thrown TDs in 24 consecutive games. … Former Houston Astros owner Drayton McLane got his undergraduate degree from Baylor and a master’s degree from Michigan State. His name is on Baylor’s new football stadium and Michigan State’s baseball stadium after his family made generous financial contributions to those projects.


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