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Michigan State appears to be a lock to ring in the new year in Florida. And Jim Harbaugh could be headed for a reunion with one of his former schools.

That’s according to the latest round of bowl projections, which have MSU in either the Outback Bowl or Citrus Bowl on Jan. 1. Meanwhile, a Michigan-Stanford clash in the Holiday Bowl is emerging as a popular prediction, pitting Harbaugh against the program in which he spent four seasons, capped by a 12-1 2010 campaign.

ESPN’s Kyle Bonagura and David M. Hale both have the Spartans in the Outback Bowl in Tampa, Fla., playing Mississippi State and South Carolina, respectively. That’s where Jerry Palm of CBS Sports and Jason Kirk of SB Nation are sending MSU, too, to face LSU.

The MSU-LSU showdown is a popular matchup, as Bill Bender of the Sporting News and Bryan Fischer of NBC Sports have the Spartans and Tigers meeting in the Citrus Bowl in Orlando. Eric Single also has MSU in the Citrus, facing Mississippi State.

MSU is coming off a 40-7 rout of Rutgers, to improve to 9-3 regular season and completing a reversal of a disastrous 2016 season in which the Spartans finished 3-9.

“Michigan State’s rebound from last year’s 3-9 mess by going 9-3 with wins over Penn State and Michigan is a sensational story that isn’t being told often enough,” wrote Kerry Miller of Bleacher Report, who has MSU facing South Carolina in the Outback Bowl.

And, while bowl experts appear for the most part united in the bowl destination for MSU, opinions vary more over where to send Michigan (8-4), which is coming off a 31-20 loss to rival Ohio State — its sixth straight loss in the series.

Many, though, favor a Michigan-Stanford showdown in the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 28 in San Diego. The matchup would pit Harbaugh against the program he helped turn around, starting at 4-8 in his first season in 2007 to 12-1 and an Orange Bowl champion in 2010.

ESPN’s Bonagura and Hale have the Wolverines and Cardinal squaring off, as do Palm of CBS Sports and Bender of the Sporting News. After that, though, the Wolverines’ potential destination gets a little tougher to pin down.

2017 MICHIGAN STATE FOOTBALL SCHEDULE

2017 MICHIGAN FOOTBALL SCHEDULE

Single of Sports Illusrated and Fischer of NBC Sports still like Michigan in the Outback Bowl on New Year’s Day, facing South Carolina, but Kirk of SB Nation and Miller of Bleacher Report have Michigan taking on Kentucky — Kirk, in the Music City Bowl in Nashville, and Miller, in the TaxSlayer Bowl on Dec. 30 in Jacksonville, Fla.

“Who would have guessed before the season that Michigan vs. Kentucky would be a potential bowl-game matchup,” Miller writes. “Better question: Would Kentucky actually be the favorite in this game? Michigan went 0-4 against teams that finished the season with a winning record, and its only win over a bowl-eligible team was a September game against Purdue in which the Boilermakers led deep into the third quarter.”

The Quick Lane Bowl on Dec. 26 at Ford Field stands a good chance of playing host to a state team, with Bonagura (vs. Boston College), Palm (vs. Virginia), and Fischer (vs. West Virginia) placing Western Michigan in the Motor City. Single (vs. Virginia), and Kirk and Miller (vs. Duke) have Central Michigan (8-4) heading there.

Two bowl projections — Sports Illusrated and SB Nation — have left Western Michigan (6-6) out of their bowl projections.

BOWL PROJECTIONS FOR LOCAL TEAMS

Kyle Bonagura, ESPN

Camellia Bowl (Dec. 16, Montgomery, Ala.): Central Michigan vs. Arkansas State

Quick Lane Bowl (Dec. 26, Detroit): Western Michigan vs. Boston College

Holiday Bowl (Dec. 28, San Diego): Michigan vs. Stanford

Outback Bowl (Jan. 1, Tampa, Fla.): Michigan State vs. Mississippi State

David M. Hale, ESPN

Bahamas Bowl (Dec. 22): Central Michigan vs. UAB

Holiday Bowl: Michigan vs. Stanford

Belk Bowl (Dec. 29, Charlotte, N.C.): Western Michigan vs. Wake Forest

Outback Bowl: Michigan State vs. South Carolina

Jerry Palm, CBS Sports

Camellia Bowl: Central Michigan vs. Georgia State

Quick Lane Bowl: Western Michigan vs. Virginia

Holiday Bowl: Michigan vs. Stanford

Outback Bowl: Michigan State vs. LSU

Eric Single, Sports Illustrated

Quick Lane Bowl: Central Michigan vs. Virginia

Outback: Michigan vs. South Carolina

Citrus Bowl (Jan. 1, Orlando, Fla.): Michigan State vs. Mississippi State

Jason Kirk, SB Nation

Quick Lane Bowl: Central Michigan vs. Duke

Music City Bowl (Dec. 30, Nashville): Michigan vs. Kentucky

Outback Bowl: Michigan State vs. LSU

Bill Bender, Sporting News

Cure Bowl (Dec. 17, Orlando, Fla.): Central Michigan vs. SMU

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Dec. 22, Boise, Idaho): Western Michigan vs. Utah State

Holiday Bowl: Michigan vs. Stanford

Citrus Bowl: Michigan State vs. LSU

Bryan Fischer, NBC Sports

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Central Michigan vs. Wyoming

Quick Lane Bowl: Western Michigan vs. West Virginia

Outback Bowl: Michigan vs. South Carolina

Citrus Bowl: Michigan State vs. LSU

Kerry Miller, Bleacher Report

New Orleans Bowl (Dec. 17): Western Michigan vs. Louisiana Tech

Quick Lane Bowl: Central Michigan vs. Duke

TaxSlayer Bowl (Dec. 30, Jacksonville, Fla.): Michigan vs. Kentucky

Outback Bowl: Michigan State vs. South Carolina

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