Football Study Hall: Surveying the Wreckage at Michigan State

Submitted by lhglrkwg on March 13th, 2017 at 7:02 PM

As we're in a small lull between the BTT and the start of the tournament, here are some good readin's from Football Study Hall on the demise of MSU football which may be relevant to your interests. Nothing that is earth shattering but interesting to see that the smart guys over there are also seeing a tough climb for MSU to be nationally relevant again

Beyond the off the field issues that are plaguing Michigan State, the question remains of whether they’ll be able to rebuild their pass defense to allow their aggressive scheme to work against the increasingly potent opponents on the schedule. The prognosis is grim and it appears that the window has indeed closed on more championships coming to Lansing, MI.



March 13th, 2017 at 7:27 PM ^

It's interesting that they mention MSU's defense. Barnett is running a poor mans version of Narduzzi's defense. I think Narduzzi was a key factor in their success, but I see him turning into RichRod 2.0 at Pitt.

He had a unique scheme that worked for awhile, but now other coaches have caught on to it. Now he is being too stubborn to run anything but quarters with man-press with DBs that are too unathletic to execute it. They gave up 61 points to Syracuse for fucks sake. Luckily they have a good OC.


March 13th, 2017 at 7:43 PM ^

They also hit on Trae Waynes and Darqueze Dennard. Two recruits rated in the +1000 for their recruiting class that ended up being 1st round draft picks. 



March 13th, 2017 at 7:48 PM ^

This might be a homer thing to say, but I'm not sure if they fell as far as it seems. I think they got incredibly lucky a few times, signed a few guys who were terribly underrated, and probably had one of the more promising young coordinators in college football, not to mention the Big Ten (and especially Michigan) was coincidentally at its lowest in decades during their run. A lot of factors added up that caused them to overachieve.


March 13th, 2017 at 8:19 PM ^

The Spartans didn’t have a single pass-rusher in 2016 that managed more than 2.5 sacks, which is bloody horrendous, but the bigger issue is poor coverage that prevented any pressures from having a chance of getting home.

To be fair, they did eventually get home, just long after the lights popped on and the street had cleared for the evening and everyone else had gone home, that's all. 

Actually, I hadn't taken a serious look at pass-rushing stats for MSU, but inspired by this, I just did and YIKES....


March 13th, 2017 at 8:23 PM ^

"There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. With all dead, well, with all dead there's usually only one thing you can do." - Miracle Max

Or to put another way -- they're not quite Purdue-dead. 

But I doubt they'll see 11-wins and a B1G title for the remainder of Dantonio's reign.

a) Recruiting

b) Harbaugh

c) Meyer

d) The completely mystifying resurgence of Penn State.


March 13th, 2017 at 9:35 PM ^

or that they continue on the upswing? I see that that many of the pundits have them ranked high for next year, but I wonder. . . I believe that geographically, long-term, with their history and fan base, they are likely to remain a factor. But they might surprise by sucking for a little while to come.  


March 13th, 2017 at 10:02 PM ^

They can recruit well and Franklin can only single-handedly lose so many games in a given year.  So they are on the upswing and waving to MSU on their way down.  

Put it this way, all that complaining that we have done about having to play our two toughest Big Ten East opponents on the road every other year . . . that no longer applies.

Unless we mean Ohio State and Maryland.



March 13th, 2017 at 10:15 PM ^

So I think they'll follow a similar trajectory. Program becomes really good, a lot of people credit the HC, then the top coordinator leaves (Narduzzi / Moorhead) and the wheels start to come off and the reported brilliance of the head coach begins to fade quickly. I don't think anyone believes James Franklin is a top 10 coach. He made a brilliant OC hire which may have saved his job this year


March 13th, 2017 at 9:41 PM ^

I always felt like they fell ass backward into Dantonio, and once he's gone, the job doesn't have enough cache to draw another upper echelon coach. If they don't see 11 wins and a B1G title for the remainder of Dantonio (and i doubt they will), they're going to be wandering in the wilderness for a while.