Sports

Michigan State heads into offseason after _ what else? _ another close finish in bowl game

  • Michigan State players celebrate on the field after winning the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl NCAA college football game against TCU, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, in Tempe, Ariz. Michigan State won 17-16. (AP Photo/Matt York)

    Michigan State players celebrate on the field after winning the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl NCAA college football game against TCU, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, in Tempe, Ariz. Michigan State won 17-16. (AP Photo/Matt York)  (The Associated Press)

  • Michigan State tackle Skyler Burkland celebrates with teammates after defeating TCU in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, in Tempe, Ariz. Michigan State won 17-16. (AP Photo/Paul Connors)

    Michigan State tackle Skyler Burkland celebrates with teammates after defeating TCU in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, in Tempe, Ariz. Michigan State won 17-16. (AP Photo/Paul Connors)  (The Associated Press)

  • Michigan State kicker Dan Conroy, center, celebrates with teammates Donavon Clark, left, and Skyler Burkland, right, after kicking the game-winning field goal against TCU during the second half of the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, in Tempe, Ariz. Michigan State won 17-16. (AP Photo/Paul Connors)

    Michigan State kicker Dan Conroy, center, celebrates with teammates Donavon Clark, left, and Skyler Burkland, right, after kicking the game-winning field goal against TCU during the second half of the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, in Tempe, Ariz. Michigan State won 17-16. (AP Photo/Paul Connors)  (The Associated Press)

Michigan State finished one game over .500 after winning its final game by one point.

It was an appropriate ending to a season full of close victories and excruciating defeats.

The Spartans played nine games decided by four points or fewer, including their first seven in Big Ten play. They ended on a high note Saturday night with a 17-16 win over TCU in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, but the offseason will bring plenty of questions for a team that just a few months ago was hoping to make a run at a conference title.

Michigan State needed to replace quarterback Kirk Cousins in 2012. Andrew Maxwell became the starter, but in the bowl he split time with Connor Cook.