Head coach Mark Dantonio yells as he looks at the scoreboard Saturday at Spartan Stadium. Matt Radick/The State News

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Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio needs to learn the first rule of survival: you must learn to adapt or die. These words have never been more true for the escalating climate of the Big Ten East Division. Ohio State has become something of a northern SEC under Uncle Urban Meyer. Michigan has seen a renaissance under prodigal son Jim Harbaugh. Even the Penn State Nittany Lions look like they are finally rising from the tainted ashes of the Jerry Sandusky Scandal. The Big Ten East in two seasons has become one of, if not the best, divisions in all of college football.

At the beginning of the 2016 season, it seemed that the Big Ten East would ride the three-headed beast of Michigan State, Michigan, and Ohio State all the way to the final weekend of the season. What has transpired however, is a flurry of disappointment and infinite what-if questions for the Spartans.

Image taken from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MTxIoXzoyA

The original statement of survival translates to the 2017 Spartans team and it isn’t starting off on the right foot.

Reported earlier by DSN College Editor Alex Muller, Mark Dantonio is not planning on any coaching changes going into 2017 next year. That is some very alarming news considering the year the Spartans had in 2016.

The story of the 2016 Spartans was a disappointment. The losses to Indiana, Illinois, Maryland, and Northwestern all proved the Spartans clearly lacked focus and that focus must come from the top. The coaching staff coasted through most of 2016 before having standout performances against Michigan and Ohio State. Both of the aforementioned games were proof positive the Spartans were not a nine-loss team. They stuck with two of the best teams in college football and had the opportunity to knock off one of them.


All of this boils to the concerning point of how this occurred. The issues that Michigan State had can come down to the coaching staff and their inability to have this team prepared and focused in 2016. The question remains, “Why would Mark Dantonio continue to retain these individuals in their current positions?”

Many Spartans have sounded off on DSN comment sections and elsewhere on the issues of the coordinators, and explicitly the offensive tandem of Jim Bollman and Dave Warner. It seems that Mark Dantonio is coming dangerously close to being a hypocrite to one of his famous phrases: the pride comes before the fall.

Retaining the very staff that caused the lowest win total since 1982 is a move that either a genius or an egotist makes. Dantonio needs to consider the shortcomings of the 2016 team and cut all reasons for its demise in moving to the future. I fear that this choice not to change up his staff is one of pure pride and not one truly considered for the betterment of the program. Mark Dantonio has done much for Michigan State but he should consider his choice words he has had for the team to the south. If Dantonio is going to revert back to selling hope instead of results, MSU’s fall will come due to his pride.

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