DALLAS (FWAA) – With their 41-38 win over Northwestern,
the Michigan State Spartans (4-4) are the Tostitos Fiesta
Bowl National Team of the Week, as selected by the pollsters
of the FWAA's Grantland Rice Super 16 Poll for games of the weekend
of Oct. 21.
38-3 in the third quarter, Michigan State ripped off 38 unanswered
points to even their record on the season. Brett Swenson capped
the rally with a 28-yard field goal with 13 seconds left.
"The ones who really deserve the credit are those guys," Michigan
State coach John L. Smith said after the game. "They played the
game, they believed in each other. They continued to fight, they
pulled together and deserved everything they got today."
Until Michigan State's win, the biggest comeback in Division
I-A was 31 points – when Maryland beat Miami 42-40 on Nov. 10, 1984,
and when Ohio State defeated Minnesota 41-37 on Oct. 28, 1989.
Michigan State is the fourth Big Ten team to earn national
team of the week honors this season. The Spartans have now
earned the honor at least once in each of the last three
Other Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week nominees
for the weekend of Oct. 21 included:
• Clemson (7-1): James Davis ran for a career-high
216 yards and two touchdowns as the Tigers blew past Georgia
• Notre Dame (6-1): Jeff Samardzija caught a
45-yard touchdown pass with 27 seconds left leading the
Fighting Irish to a 20-17 come-from-behind win over UCLA.
• Rutgers (7-0): The Scarlet Knights improved to
7-0 for the first time in 30 years with a 20-10 win at
Pittsburgh. Ray Rice ran for 225 yards in the win.
The FWAA has named a national team of the week since the 2002
season. This is the second season that the award has been sponsored
by the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.
The 16 pollsters of the Grantland Rice Super 16 Poll decide the
weekly honor. Each Monday during the 2006 college football season,
the FWAA will name the Tostitos Bowl National Team of the Week through
The Grantland Rice Super 16 Poll, released each
Tuesday, has resumed this season. The top-ranked team in the final poll will be
awarded the Grantland Rice Trophy as the FWAA's national champion.
The FWAA has awarded the trophy each season since 1954. Texas is
the defending FWAA national champion and Ohio State is ranked No.
1 in the most current 2006 poll.
Since 1971, the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl has hosted five games
that have decided the college football national championship, including
two Bowl Championship Series title games. The 2007 game will be
played on Jan. 1. The Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, along with the new Tostitos
BCS Championship Game, moves to the new Cardinals Stadium in Glendale,
Ariz., and will be played on Jan. 8.
For more information on the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team
of the Week, go to