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updated: 1/7/2014 11:07 PM

Dantonio says Spartans have closed gap with elite

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  • Michigan State football coach Mark Dantonio holds the 100th Rose Bowl championship trophy at a basketball game between Michigan State and Ohio State on Tuesday in East Lansing, Mich.

      Michigan State football coach Mark Dantonio holds the 100th Rose Bowl championship trophy at a basketball game between Michigan State and Ohio State on Tuesday in East Lansing, Mich.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio says the program has closed the gap with college football's elite.

The Spartans beat Stanford in the Rose Bowl last Wednesday for a school-record 13th win in their first trip to Pasadena, Calif., since 1988.

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Michigan State finished No. 3 in the final Associated Press poll for its highest ranking since being No. 2 in 1966.

Dantonio and members of his team were honored with a standing ovation and roaring crowd Tuesday night as the fifth-ranked Spartans basketball team hosted No. 3 Ohio State.

Dantonio told the fans: "We haven't been in this situation since '66. We will be back."

Spartans offensive lineman Travis Jackson led the fans in what was a postgame ritual, asking them all to squat and to scream "YES!" as they stood up.

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