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On Sunday, Dantonio was asked if he felt slighted that his 9-3 Spartans ended up in the San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl while the rival Wolverines head to the Outback Bowl with an 8-4 record. MI (8-4) landed in the Outback Bowl, which is considered higher in the picking order for Big Ten bowl assignments. The Cougars' opened the season with six-straight victories, including wins over No. 5 and No. 15 Stanford. "It is a first-class event and the staff treated us exceptionally well last season".

She also said the game provides "an incredible fan experience", having attracted some of the brightest playing and coaching stars of past years, such as Oklahoma State running back Barry Sanders; quarterbacks Steve Young and Jim McMahon of Brigham Young; Cal quarterback Aaron Rodgers and running back Marshawn Lynch; and head coaches LaVell Edwards of BYU, Mack Brown of Texas and Bob Stoops of Oklahoma. This year's game - between Washington State and Michigan State - is scheduled for December 28. Washington State has scored at least 30 points eight times.

Washington State began the season 6-0, including a 30-27 victory over eventual Pac-12 Conference champion USC, then lost two of its next three games. Previously WSU has played in the Rose Bowl (1916, 1931, 1998, 2003), the Holiday Bowl (1981, 2003), the Aloha Bowl (1988), the Copper Bowl (1992), the Alamo Bowl (1994), the Sun Bowl (2001, 2015) and the 2013 New Mexico Bowl.

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"I just look at it as an opportunity to play in the Holiday Bowl right now", Dantonio said. WSU hadn't publicly addressed the rumors before Sunday, when Johnson spoke with reporters on the phone to discuss the Holiday Bowl. The game will be televised by FS1.

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