If you recall, ESPN Insider put out a piece a couple of weeks ago that listed 10 college football teams that are trending down. The article was written by ESPN Insider Travis Haney, and believe it or not, Michigan State was one of the programs that made the list.
On Tuesday night, head coach Mark Dantonio dismissed the piece and claims that he does not put much thought into stuff like that.
“I don’t put much stock in a lot of that, usually. I think that was one guy, one abstract thing that somebody had to say on one day, because I don’t really see that very often,” said Dantonio.
Dantonio and the Spartans have gone a combined 24-3 over the past 2 seasons, and 2 of those losses were to Oregon and Ohio State, the teams that played for the National Championship this past season; not too shabby, regardless of what program you are talking about. Some may argue that 2 great seasons does not automatically mean that a team is all of a sudden a national powerhouse. Fine, how about the fact that MSU has won 53 games over the past 5 years? How does that sound? When talking about the power 5 conferences, only Oregon, Alabama, Florida State, Stanford, and Ohio State have a better winning percentage than Michigan State over that time.
Dantonio may say that he does not pay attention to the negative things that are written about his team, but I find that hard to believe. Narratives like the one written by Haney are exactly the type of thing that Dantonio will post up for his players and coaching staff to see. He will use them as motivating factors going into next season, a season that MSU will be ranked in the top 10 to start the year. Personally, I do not think that would be considered “trending down,” do you Mr. Haney?