Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 10/16/12
Before taking the job as the Michigan State head football coach, Mark Dantonio knew that the criteria for longevity in East Lansing would include contending for Big Ten Championships and beating the Michigan Wolverines.
Since becoming the Michigan State football coach in 2007, Dantonio has won a Big Ten Championship, contended for another, and has defeated the in-state rivals four times in five games.
Michigan hasn’t beaten the Spartans since 2007, when Dantonio first took over, and MSU’s four game winning streak is tied for the longest winning streak in series history.
A win Saturday for Dantonio would not only continue to add to the foundation that he has built at Michigan State, but it could quite possibly solidify him as one of the best coaches in Spartans history.
With a win Saturday, Hoke or Dantonio could potentially solidify their careers and programs.
People will tell you players win the game not the coaches. However, those same people fail to realize that players change all the time, coaches don’t.
With the legacy that Michigan football carries, it’s not everyday that a coach can say he has beaten the Wolverines five times in a row.
The Spartans obviously don’t receive the same national attention that the Wolverines do because of the lack of history, but winning five games in a row against the “Big Brother” could potentially boost the Michigan State program to new heights.
However, with the addition of Brady Hoke, Michigan is getting back to their winning ways.
Since Hoke has taken over as the head coach, Michigan has a record of 15-4 in two seasons.
Also, as soon as Denard Robinson is no longer the quarterback of this team, I’m sure that Hoke will have his team playing “traditional” Michigan football again. Until then, they have to take advantage of the rare skill set that Robinson contains.
Michigan is currently 25th overall in the most recent USA Today Coaches Poll with a record of  4-2 overall and 2-0 in the Big Ten. Their only losses coming from #1 Alabama and #5 Notre Dame.
Within the state of Michigan, you hear whispers that Michigan is back, and it’s tough to argue.
Unfortunately, it’s my job to be THAT guy, and Michigan football isn’t back yet.
They won’t be back until they beat Michigan State, and a win Saturday could be one huge step in the right direction for Hoke and this program.
The Wolverines need to win Michigan back before they can say that they have returned as a dominant force in college football.
If Hoke can get a win this Saturday against the “Little Brothers,” then he will have officially taken the right step toward bringing this Michigan program back to where it needs to be.
Both of these coaches have something huge to gain from Saturday’s game, however, a loss could crumble the losing teams season.
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