Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio was quoted Tuesday saying: “When we win Saturday – and I’ll say when – we’ll be a 6-6 football team, not climbing out of the cellar as a 2-10 football team.” That sure sounds like a guarantee, but Dantonio later said: “I don’t guarantee anything, I’m saying that’s the mindset we bring when we come.” Guarantee or not, it came a bit too late in the season for it to inspire anything from the players or fans alike.
A win Saturday surely has it’s positives: It would make the Spartan’s eligible for their 6th straight bowl game, it would provide extra practices (15 to be exact) which is critical for the development of next years team. But what other positives come from such a statement? Michigan State came into the year expecting a shot at the B1G title and a Rose Bowl appearance, but those hopes died a long time ago and guaranteeing a 6-6 season seems silly looking back at it all.
I am not attacking Dantonio in any way, and I can understand the comment. As a coach he must be frustrated becoming only the second team in FBS history to play seven straight games decided by four points or less. Maybe the frustration inspired the comment, but it is not a good look for Michigan State. This program has proven itself over the last few years, and has two 11-win seasons to show for it. There is no need to put your team or players in such a vulnerable position.
Imagine the uproar if Michigan State loses Saturday in Minnesota. No doubt in my mind that there would have been uproar if the MSU coach had not made a statement, but because he did, the reaction will be much worse following a loss. Michigan State will most likely be the favorite heading into this weekends matchup but if we have learned anything this season it is: Do not expect to win, only hope to win.
Last year I would have said different, but this year has been unpredictable and the Spartans have lost in so many different ways. I still believe that the Spartans will leave Minnesota victorious, but the comment holds many more negative outcomes than positive ones, and honestly in my opinion it was a bit below program standards.
What do you think? Am I overreacting, do I sound arrogant or do you agree?
Spartan Side notes:
Michigan State men’s Basketball plays Boise State at home tonight (Nov 20th) at 8 pm and will be on BTN.
The Steelers have signed former MSU football players Plaxico Burress and Brian Hoyer; the Jaguars signed Greg Jones last week.
Dantonio has mentioned allowing QB’s to be hit in spring ball.