Luke Fickell examined all the exact same boxes for Michigan State that Mark Dantonio provided for 13 seasons in East Lansing.
Former Ohio State protective planner. Cincinnaticoach Understands the in-state competition withMichigan Unafraid to trade spoken jabs with Jim Harbaugh. Fickell was the ideal match for MichiganState The Spartans weren’t the ideal match for Fickell. That states more about the state of the Spartans’ program than it does Fickell, who declined the task deal and decided to remain at Cincinnati.
He’s not the only one. Iowa State’s Matt Campbell, Pitt’s Pat Narduzzi and Colorado’s Mel Tucker likewise made it clear they were sitting tight rather of heading to East Lansing. There have actually been no indicators San Francisco 49 ers protective planner Robert Saleh is interested, possibly since he’s not far off from a NFL head coaching task.
MORE: Cincinnati would be smart to make Luke Fickell’s stay more comfy
Now the real coaching search starts, and it won’ t be simple. Think of the bar Dantonio set for the next coach: He won a share of a Big 10 title and 2 straight-out champions. The Spartans made the College Football Playoff in 2015, the only team from the Big 10 besides Ohio State to do it. Dantonio had an 8-5 record vs. Michigan, 6-4 record vs. Penn State and 3-8 record vs. Ohio State (more than any other school because 2011).
The next coach deals with those obstacles. Ohio State is almost untouchable in the Big 10 East. Penn State and Michigan are up and running. Michigan State slipped the last 2 seasons, and their recruiting is not on the exact same level as the Buckeyes, Wolverines or Nittany Lions. Dantonio mastered getting three-star potential customers– such as Kirk Cousins, Le’Veon Bell and Darqueze Dennard– to play above their heads.
Can the next coach do that? Who is a practical prospect to be that next coach now?
When you reset the coaching search, it looks like this:
Bret Bielema, New York City Giants
The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman discussed Bielema as a possibility to take control of Dantonio.
Would Not be shocked. He’s a tested winner at the Big 10 level (won 40 games in his last 4 years at Wisconsin). Has a big existence and would re-energize that fan base in a rush.
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) February 10,2020
Bielema, a former Iowa protective lineman who was an assistant under Hayden Fry and Kirk Ferentz, would be a far better fit at Michigan State than he was at Arkansas. He was 37-19 in Big 10 play in 7 seasons as head coach at Wisconsin. His teams play with a physical design that fits the brand name. Bielema was 6-10 versus Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan throughout those 7 seasons, nevertheless, and simply took an assistant coaching task with the Giants. He has actually remained in the NFL for the last 2 seasons. Often it’s hard to pull those people back.
Butch Jones, Alabama
Jones has actually invested the last 2 seasons as an offensive analyst on Alabama’s coaching personnel, however the Saugatuck, Mich., native likewise fits the profile. Tennessee fans can make all the jokes about Jones they desire. He’s the only Vols coach to beat Florida in the last 15 seasons. Jones has an 84-54 record as a head coach in 3 stops, and possibilities are he has actually found out a couple of things from Nick Saban that would make him a much better coach the 4th time around.
This would produce a great deal of memes, however it would be a strong hire, offered the scenario.
MORE: Why did Mark Dantonio retire at Michigan State?
Chris Creighton, Eastern Michigan
Creighton’s name turns up a fair bit on social media, and it would be a much better hire than what signs up nationally. Creighton took an Eastern Michigan team that practically ended its football program to 3 bowl games the last 4 seasons, assembling a 25-26 record because period.
He has actually remained in the Mitten State for the last 6 seasons. Buffalo’s Lance Leipold and Toledo’s Jason Candle light likewise are possibilities from the MAC, however Creighton is the very best fit of the 3.
That’s the very best of what the board looks like now for Michigan State, and none of those coaches checks all packages like Fickell did. And this task is a difficult one. Ask John L. Smith or Bobby Williams, who integrated to go 38-43 Ask Saban, who was 34-24 -1. It is difficult to win and even harder to restore, and this program requires somebody who isn’t scared to handle the big 3 programs in the Big 10 East.
Dantonio might do that, however he was likewise 1-5 versus those teams the last 2 seasons. Michigan State is at finest 4th in the Big 10 East chain of command. That’s the state of the program now, and the first action towards the future will be accepting that the next prospect may not be the nextDantonio At this moment, they need to discover someone who desires this task.
And they’ll need to leave a couple of boxes untreated.