Spartans fans resort to billboard material

December, 15, 2010
12/15/10
1:53
PM ET
Michigan State players have put the BCS selection snub in the rear-view mirror.

But Michigan motorists are still being reminded of it when they look through the windshield.

Several billboards have appeared in recent days on Detroit-area roadways displaying the final score of Michigan State's game against Wisconsin -- 34-24 -- with a large rose between the numbers. Wisconsin is heading to the Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO instead of Michigan State after winning the Big Ten's final BCS tiebreaker (highest final BCS ranking).

The billboard idea came from a Michigan State alum who works for CBS Outdoor advertising. Here's how one looks.

From FOX Sports Detroit:
About 10-12 of the boards are expected to be put up around the state, most with sponsor names on them. Two are already in place -- on northbound I-75, north of I-94, and another in Grand Rapids. There's also one coming to the Lansing area, and the rest will be located in metro-Detroit.
"I have several State alumni and State fans that work for me," said Tom Carroll, vice president of the Michigan Region for CBS Outdoor. "The billboard is our response to Michigan State getting snubbed."
The following e-mail was sent to potential sponsors: "MSU fans are wondering how their football team can 'convincingly' trounce Wisconsin 34-24 during the regular season, tie with Wisconsin for the Big Ten Championship, and still not receive the prestigious invitation to the annual Rose Bowl. CBS Outdoor has designed the attached billboard that lays out all the pertinent facts. We are offering a very special chance for you to ask the world 'what's going on?' ... Go Spartans!!!"

I understand the frustration of Spartans' fans, who have a strong case for why their team should be in a BCS bowl. But I've never liked the billboard as a way for college football fans to express themselves. It comes off as small time.

I felt the same way about the billboards Spartans fans put up in 2008 to taunt archrival Michigan after the football team beat the Wolverines for the first time since 2001.

It's OK to feel upset, but to broadcast it around the state? Spartans fans are better than that. Mark Dantonio and his players sure are.

There's also an argument that Michigan State's real beef should be with Ohio State. Although the Spartans have the head-to-head win against Wisconsin, pretty much every neutral observer agreed that the Badgers finished the season as the Big Ten's best team. Ohio State, meanwhile, lacks a true signature win like Michigan State does, and the Buckeyes lost convincingly to Wisconsin.

Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema hasn't been immune to the backlash from Spartan Nation.
"I flew through Detroit the day after [the BCS selections were] announced," Bielema said. "Ran into a few Michigan State fans and they weren't exactly complimentary."

That's to be expected, I guess.

But it's time for Spartans fans to follow their team's lead and move on.
About 10-12 of the boards are expected to be put up around the state, most with sponsor names on them.

Two are already in place -- on northbound I-75, north of I-94, and another in Grand Rapids. There's also one coming to the Lansing area, and the rest will be located in metro-Detroit.

"I have several State alumni and State fans that work for me," said Tom Carroll, vice president of the Michigan Region for CBS Outdoor. "The billboard is our response to Michigan State getting snubbed."

The following e-mail was sent to potential sponsors: "MSU fans are wondering how their football team can 'convincingly' trounce Wisconsin 34-24 during the regular season, tie with Wisconsin for the Big Ten Championship, and still not receive the prestigious invitation to the annual Rose Bowl.

"CBS Outdoor has designed the attached billboard that lays out all the pertinent facts. We are offering a very special chance for you to ask the world 'what's going on?' ... Go Spartans!!!"

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