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Friday, December 2, 2011
Wisconsin-Michigan State retro diary: Vol. I

By Brian Bennett

Wisconsin and Michigan State will play for the Big Ten championship this Saturday in Indianapolis. Of course, it is a rematch of their Oct. 22 meeting, won by [spoiler alert!] the Spartans 37-31 in one of the best games of the college football season.

In order to understand all the storylines and key matchups of this week's game, it's crucial to know exactly what happened the first time. So I decided to go back and watch that initial encounter and, with apologies to Bill Simmons, provide my thoughts and observations in a retro diary. You can follow along through the magic of ESPN3.com here. Or you can just read.

This first installment will cover the first half of the game. I'll be back later on today with the second-half diary. Wonder if anything cool will happen late in the game?

Pregame
Wisconsin's Montee Ball
Wisconsin will be dangerous on the ground again in 2012 with Montee Ball and James White returning.
First quarter
Michigan State's Keshawn Martin
Michigan State's Keshawn Martin scores a 34-yard touchdown in the second quarter against Wisconsin.
Second quarter