Football Study Hall: Surveying the wreckage at Michigan State

Football Study Hall: Surveying the wreckage at Michigan State

March 13, 2017

Ian Boyd writes about the seeming demise of the Michigan State Spartans under Mark Dantonio (LINK).

Hit the jump for some good looking blondes.


  1. Comments: 1077
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    Mar 14, 2017 at 9:00 AM

    interesting analysis, particularly immediately after that of the Wisconsin approach to secondary play.

    I never really looked hard into their system because that’s just a little too much like work for me, but i always thought that Sparty was going to have some trouble on defense sooner rather than later because NFL level Corners and Safeties in bulk just don’t come around East Lansing all that often.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 2400
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Mar 14, 2017 at 10:15 AM

      I agree. I think they’ve done a good job of identifying and developing talent. There’s really no disputing that. But at some point, if you whiff on talent and/or character (which seems to be the case recently), there’s not a whole lot of room for error. And because they can’t recruit elite athletes consistently, that amount of wiggle room gets less and less.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 3664
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Mar 14, 2017 at 12:25 PM

      The impressive talent identification and development is certainly praise-worthy, but they also had a good bit of luck along the way. Michigan’s collapse helped, some good luck with turnovers, and – let’s be honest – they’ve dodged a lot of bullets in terms of not doing things “the right way” on multiple fronts. When you take risks like they have eventually you will get burned.

      The only real surprise to me is that Dantonio didn’t head for (I was going to say greener pastures but… ) another opportunity. Maybe he had doubts about replicating his success in a less “friendly” environment. Or maybe he was just waiting for the right opportunity to follow the Saban path. Anyway, it’s a surprise that he is still there. Maybe he looks at Izzo as the model. Izzo had some of the same good fortune with Michigan collapsing and just keeps riding it.*

      *I think you can make a pretty strong case that Beilein has been better than Izzo over the last decade given where they started, but you have to be willing to give Beilein a pass for the previous 2 years due to the injuries to Levert, Walton, and Irvin combined with heavy attrition.

      • Comments: 144
        Joined: 9/15/2015
        Mar 14, 2017 at 11:33 PM

        thunders comment above is 100% accurate. and as you mention theyve certainly benefited from other factors like down years in aa, etc. also i think 2 of the more key factors in their recent successful run (aside from solid player development) are: (1) consistent QB play with cousins, cook, etc, (2) they know who they are and how they want to play and that staff has a decent feel for how to execute their vision / culture (pounding the run game, aggressive D, winning ugly, etc).

        itll be interesting to see how they move forward, if they can bounce back to 9-10 wins on the regular (though i think 11 win years and consistently in conference title hunt will be tough now that michigans back and if they dont find and develop more pro QBs)

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