East Lansing –- While the talk of stakes being driven into the ground at Spartan Stadium will likely linger, Michigan State is happy to have a bye this week and is setting its sights on a showdown with Ohio State on Nov. 8.
Quarterback Connor Cook was on "BTN Football and Beyond" on the Big Ten Network Monday and said the Spartans have moved past the 35-11 victory over Michigan and will use the week off to their advantage with the battle with the Buckeyes looming.
"We'll use the bye week to get healthy, rest up a little bit and watch extra film," Cook said. "But it's a big game, a lot of implications on the line, we know that. As cliché as it sounds, we look at it like every other game we have this year with the mentality of going 1-0 and focusing on the things we can control. That is our preparation for the game and all the film study we do and what the coaches do to prepare us for the game."
While Michigan State (7-1, 4-0 Big Ten) is off this week, Ohio State (6-1, 3-0) hosts Illinois on Saturday.
Not only will next week's game have plenty to say in who wins the East Division, it is big on the national scale.
The Spartans are ranked No. 8 in the Associated Press poll and No. 5 in the coaches' poll while the Buckeyes are No. 13 in both. The first set of rankings from the College Football Playoff selection committee will be released Tuesday night and both teams are still angling for a spot on the playoffs.
Until then, it's business as usual for Michigan State.
"We have X amount of recruiting opportunities left, so we'll use those, get around the country in different areas," coach Mark Dantonio said. "We want to make sure we don't get anybody hurt in practice, so we will practice a little bit but not overly practice them. I think the main focus will be on getting healed up a little bit and reaffirming who we are from a strength perspective, so working in the weight room and mental preparation. We have got four weeks to go. It starts with Ohio State next week, so four difficult games we need to be at our best."
Cook did get some razzing from BTN host Rick Pizzo as they played a clip of his dancing in the locker room after the win over Michigan.
"Come on," Cook said. "Oh my Lord. Why do you guys have that video?"
It was footage that will likely be used on "The Journey" and Cook did his best to explain his dance moves.
"There are new crazy dance moves each year," Cook said. "It was the 'Nay Nay' last year and now it's a dance called the "Whip" or "Whipping It." So last year Darian Hicks would get in the center and do the 'Nay Nay' and I held back all year long and finally we made the Rose Bowl and won and I figured I might as well get in the middle and do something.
"So we beat Michigan and kept Paul Bunyan and we're all celebrating in the locker room and one of my friends is like, 'Go in the middle.' And I was like, 'Nah, I'm not feeling it.' He said, 'No, go.' So I went in there and then whipped it."
Cook's interview and dance moves can be seen in the video here at about the 1:50 mark.