Mark Dantonio has gone 103-47 at Michigan State, which is the second-most wins by a single coach in program history. He has three Big Ten championships this decade and in 2015 had the Spartans in college football’s final four.
But this year Michigan State is 3-2 with losses to Arizona State and Northwestern, and the Detroit Free press is starting to wonder what Dantonio’s major malfunction is.
Michigan State couldn’t get a measly yard Saturday afternoon in East Lansing with the game and the season at stake.
That failure revealed several uncomfortable truths about the state of Mark Dantonio’s football program.
That the offensive line is a mess. That there’s not much depth on the roster. That the offensive coaching staff is slow to adapt.
That last year’s 10-win season was a mirage. Spun together through good fortune, the right kind of bad weather, scheduling and a couple of sublime performances.
That change won’t be easy.
Dantonio could do what Oklahoma just did and replace its struggling coordinator. But this isn’t just about Dave Warner.
This is about talent, and MSU’s lack of it up front. It’s also about this coaching staff’s inability to adjust to the talent it has.
This column, by Shawn Windsor, stops short of saying the seat is getting warm for Dantonio. But it does accuse the Spartans staff of “malpractice” and warns that “sooner or later, change is gonna come regardless.”
A pass through Windsor’s Twitter mentions reveals that while not every Spartan was a fan of his ideas, his sentiments are not unique. Besides, once the local newspaper starts publishing these kinds of columns, it usually doesn’t stop until the deed is done .
Michigan State’s next two games are against Penn State and Michigan, and if those don’t go well you can bet the takes will get hotter.