December 7th, 2012 at 9:27 AM ^

Yeah, it's funny that we disparage his accomplishments this year, but the guy won 10 games three years straight at MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY and kicked our ass on the football field. We won this year bc of a last second field goal. The guy can build a program, regardless of whether we were down or not... HELL, RR got hired a year after the debacle.


December 7th, 2012 at 9:37 AM ^

but that team still beat MSU and went to the capital one and beat Florida. Dantonio beat RR 3 times and Hoke in his first year. He has not built a program while we were up.. in fact its the exact opposite because as Hoke brings the team back up they go back to 6-6. Dantonio will get my respect when he gets 10 wins while at coach at Michigan doesnt ignore recruiting in state and in Ohio. That is basically next year or never imo.


December 7th, 2012 at 10:47 AM ^

Michigan did not "ignore recruiting in state;" they were ineffective because some ex-players and ex-coaches were telling HS coaches not to send their kids to Michigan.  

The bottom line:  instate players won't win national championships, but getting them will shrink MSU's talent pool and make Dantonio's job a lot harder..


December 7th, 2012 at 10:52 AM ^

To clarify, Sparty only succeeds when Michigan is down and they have a recruiting advantage.  Tom Izzo leveraged the Ed Martin scandal into 10 years of having the state pretty much to himself.  Dantonio leveraged Carr's last year, RR's three, and the infighting at Michigan into having the state to himself.  

If Michigan doesn't self-destruct, Sparty doesn't prosper.  Michigan doesn't look ready to self-destruct for awhile.

Son of Lloyd Brady

December 7th, 2012 at 11:18 AM ^

Actually, MSU's record this year had very little to do with Hoke's recruiting, being this is only his second year, a vast majority of their starters would still be recruits gathered while RR was here. Say what you want, but MSU does typically redshirt most of their freshman and play their upperclassmen. This year was more a result of losing all of their offensive playmakers from last year apart from Bell. We will see the effects of Hoke's dominance in in-state recruiting show up in the 2013 & 2014 seasons, and boy I can't wait for it.


December 7th, 2012 at 3:16 PM ^

MSU got good with under the radar kids (mostly in Ohio) like Greg Jones, Cousins, Worthy, Cunningham, etc. who were ignored by Tressel and Carr.

Looks at our 2009 class (RR's first) and look at MSU's.  Ours is a lot better.  Those are the guys who are seniors and RS juniors right now.  UM is back in front of MSU because Rich Rodriguez kicked Mark Dantonio's ass in recruiting, mainly because he got guys like Denard, Lewan, Roh, Schofield, Toussaint, Gallon, Washington, Gibbons, etc. all from outside the state of Michigan.

Son of Lloyd Brady

December 7th, 2012 at 5:15 PM ^

While I see your point, MSU did manage to get both Lawrence Thomas and Tom Gholston, who were both very high 4-stars or low 5-stars depending on which recruiting site you go by. Say what you want about how effective they have been to this point, but it does show you that we were not able to lock down the top talent in the state, which has most certainly changed with Hoke.


December 7th, 2012 at 12:16 PM ^

Nobody is disparaging his accomplishments.  They're disparaging his reputation as a good top tier coaching candidate.  Because while everything you said in your post is essentially true, that has translated into exactly ZERO offers to coach at a higher profile school.  The lack of buzz around Dantonio by Athletic Departments looked for coaching replacements the past 4 -5 years as he's taken MSU back to competitive respectability speaks volumes as to what ADs really think of his abilities.


December 7th, 2012 at 1:35 PM ^

Sure, he put two 11-win seasons together for a program that had won more tham 9 games in a season exactly once, and hadn't gotten any coaching offers. Towards the beginning of the first of those 11-win seasons, though, he had a heart attack. That and his age (56) may be bigger factors than his abilities. If he were ten years younger and healthier it'd be a different story.

I suspect he's also not interested in any jobs except at Ohio State, and I don't see that happening. If he's not interested in other jobs, he's not going to get much of a look.


December 8th, 2012 at 7:55 AM ^

Nick Saban was 56 when he took over at Alabama.  Granted there was no recent health issue accompanying that, but still he was pushing 60.  Urban Meyer is in his late 40's and his health issues caused Ohio to pause for exactly zero seconds before rolling the Brinks truck up to his front door to offer him the head coaching position.  Hell, even Bo got offered the most lucrative contract in college sports at the time by Texas A&M and he was 53, survived one heart attack and quadruple bypass surgery.

Bottom line, age and health take a back seat to coaching talent when the major college programs go looking for replacements.  Truth is, Dantonio is a good, not great coach and top tier programs know it.


December 7th, 2012 at 4:16 PM ^

but the guy won 10 games three years straight at MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY

It was two years. Here's Dantonio's yearly record:

2007 - 7-5
2008 - 9-4
2009 - 6-7
2010 - 11-2
2011 - 11-3
2012 - 6-6

He had a fantastic two-year run with Cousins and Co. Whether he can return them to that level is to be determined.

Space Coyote

December 7th, 2012 at 11:14 AM ^

I don't think he's spectacular, but he has turned MSU of all schools into a relatively tough team to beat year in and year out. He is a great defensive mind, and I'm not sure losing Narduzzi will kill their defense.

Now, I take his whole serious personality about a step below as serious as I take Sam the Eagle's from the Muppets. But for him to go 6-6 at MSU and it to be considered a bad season (where in the past it would have been meh, but they'll take it) is something very few other coaches have done in the last couple decades. The fact that they put out a competitive team nearly every week, regardless of their record, is something that very few MSU coaches can claim in that time span, and points to Dantonio not being laugh-out-loud bad and in fact probably pretty good.

User -not THAT user

December 7th, 2012 at 9:49 AM ^

Look what a dumpster fire Tennessee has been since they let Fulmer go.  Dantonio has had some good results with talent that's less than what he could expect to recruit for UT, he plays a run-oriented, smashmouth brand of ball that Fulmer used to coach (Peyton Manning years excepted, of course), and he has no problem recruiting the kind of borderline psycho that Tennessee has been signing for years.

Plus he even beat THE MIGHTY ESS EEE SEE in a bowl game last year...conference runner-up UGA, in fact.

Tennessee making a play for Dantonio isn't the worst move they could have no idea what a joke the Derek Dooley years have been and how much butthurt that fanbase is dealing with going back to Kiffin.


December 7th, 2012 at 7:48 AM ^

People aren't too excited about this hire down on rocky top. Some guy called in on Bill King's show and was near suicidal. I do think that it was about as good of a hire as one could reasonably expect given the pecking order of the SEC right now. Tough job Butch has ahead of him.


December 7th, 2012 at 8:25 AM ^

Wash rinse repeat for any SEC school.

They are pissed in Arky about BB.

THey should of never pushed Fulmer out the door.  They are reaping the result of that decision from a group of people who know business but don't know anything about football.

UT and Auburn deserve anything they get.

How much better would both schools be if they didn't fire those two coaches.



December 7th, 2012 at 7:54 AM ^

You had to settle for someone without ties. I see an early exit for Butch Jones. UT football is near dead. The will be Mississippi North St at 5-7 for a while.


December 7th, 2012 at 8:21 AM ^

that the ceiling is very high at Tennesee, however, and I think that the job does have some appeal.  You are not divisional with Alabama and LSU.  Granted Florida is no small bump in the road but I think all in all, the last four year debacle notwithstanding, that it is a better job than Arkansas.  Tennessee will rise again, Fulmer held on too long creating what I call the Robert Parish effect on the Vols, but that school has too much rich tradition and regional recruiting possibilities to stay down for long.  Butch's main problem is that the fan base wants a contender now, and they are a good two recruiting classes and quite a bit of house cleaning away from that.  He will struggle for three seasons and get canned only to watch the next coach come in and win the SEC east.


December 7th, 2012 at 8:29 AM ^

He still wants to coach and is more than able.  He recruited very well.  UT is at a disadvantage against FL, LSU, Bama, GA and Aub because of geography.  He neutralized that in his tenure.  If he wasn't pushed out he would have been able to steady the ship.  He didn't forget how to coach.  Too many boosters think the success of the team is from their dollars instead of the hard work of the kids and coaches.  

I guess Bill Snyder can't coach because he is old.


December 7th, 2012 at 8:34 AM ^

nothing against old people man.  My dad is old.  I don't even think Fulmer was that old, i think he was just Lloydish in the sense that the program needed new direction to avoid encroaching mediocraty.  Coaching changes when somebody is that entrenched take time.  I thought it was time for Fulmer to go and the next chapter was rough, as expected (and as we have seen first hand).


December 7th, 2012 at 8:59 AM ^

Lloyd wanted to retire.  Most of his comments in pressers were railing against what the football programs had to do to stay on top.  No need to hash the end of his career but he had one and a half feet out the door for a few years.

Fulmer still was in the game and still wants back.  UT fans and boosters thought he was too old.    

Fulmer's winning percentage was a full 10% higher that UT historically.  He finished first in his division 3 out of his last 6 years.  He recruited on par with most of the schools with significat disadvantages geographically.


December 7th, 2012 at 9:48 AM ^

I have no rooting interest in UT other than buying a long sleeve T from Steve and Barry's 15 years ago because I wanted an orange shirt.

I am rambling against expectations of fans and the general public at large that sacrifices long term decisions for a "now moment" that appears to be sexy.  

The ignorance of someone like the AUburn boosters that kick out Tommy Tubberville...............why?  He didn't kiss the ring of the mighty booster in the way they wanted. (Auburn finished 1st in their division 5 times out of the 10 years he as there). They use that to look at someonw like CHizik who had a terrible track record.  His teams got better when he left and he was finally exposed when his athlete left.

You see the same instability at some public companies that have shareholders that punish them for making long term decisions when it benefits them 5-10yrs down the road.  

I think Fulmer was a typical egomaniac SEC coach.  I miss the days when there were figure head coaches instead of mercenaries.  

I think these schools are foolish.  They are firing coaches without anyone ready to take the job.  Many times the devil you know is tolerable.  Does anyone think Dooley was better than what Fulmer could do.  Hell they should of hired Tubberville IMO


December 7th, 2012 at 10:08 AM ^

good points.

My random aunt got me a random Minnesota Vikings shirt when I was like 5 because I was a boy and boys like sports.  I watched like every Vikings game until I was ten years old with great interest.  Why, because of the random shirt.  So I can see the shirt thing.


December 7th, 2012 at 10:50 AM ^

..was that his coaching style/phylosophy didn't evolve and adapt to the changes going on within the SEC.  He still won the majority of the games, but relied on 1970-1990's style approach.

Fulmer struggled to beat his biggest rival, Florida,  going 5-17 from 1992 and losing four straight leading up to his retirement. (Two of those wins were against a Zook coached UF team) In between the 13-0 NC season and his last, there were quite a few 3 & 4 loss seasons, with a single 2-loss season along with a 5-loss, a 6-loss and a 7-loss season.

It's pretty obvious to me that his coaching ability was declining given the mediocrity that Tennessee was slipping into.  Had they kept him onboard woudl they have been this bad?  maybe not.  But would they have become more competitive?  I highly doubt it. 

The only way UT would have improved, IMO, under Fulmer was if he handed the majority of the coaching responsibilities over to his assistants a la Paterno (remember when PSU was sub .500?)  But Fulmer wasn't cut from that clothe and UT is where they are today as a result.  


December 7th, 2012 at 11:26 AM ^

offensive approach to football...............When he had Manning he threw it all the time.  YOu are giving stock answers to complicated questions.  He was finishing first in the division at close to a 50% clip when they canned him.  He had ups and downs through his whole tenure.  

They would have had an easier time righting the ship if the captain wasn't told to walk the plank by the boosters or had people publically call him out

Fulmer always recruited well which is the lifeblood of the program.  

For the silly argument that he is too old................He is only three years older than Les Miles.  This is not a Bowden / Paterno senile coach.  He is also 5 years younget than lloyd.  How many people were clammoring for Miles at Michigan.  Hell we could of hired Fulmer and the age wouldn't of changed by much.

Here are names from his coaching tree.........because you know he was old and didn't develop anybody and couldn't change because it wasn't in his DNA.

Damn you all for making me support an SEC coach.........

David Cutcliffe, Lovie Smith, Ron Rivera, Doug Marrone, Dave Clawson



December 7th, 2012 at 12:23 PM ^

I wasn't implying that his offensive approach/style was anitquated, but rather his coaching phylosophy.  How he handled/managed his players is more along the lines of what I am saying.  But I also think his game management and playcalling as a whole also suffered given UT's wining pct post the 1998 NC.

Regardign him being a good recruiter: He had a handful of top 5 classes in the years from 2002 to 2008, but in most years he still got out recruited by his SEC counterparts - LSU, Georgia, Florida (Meyer), Alabama.

 UT class rankings 2002-08 (Rivals only goes back to 2002):

  • 02 (#2), 05 (#4) and 07 (#3) - all other classes were 18th, 20th, 23rd and 35th (his final season)

So while I can get on board with the idea that he was a "good' recruiter, he wasn't blazing a trail of 5 stars down there.  Only years he out recruited Florida was the Zooker years.  

Even if he was a really good rectruiter, the frustration with the fanbase was the lack of dividends for those classes.  I'm not sure what attrition was involved, but the 02 Recruiting class had a won/loss record of 5-6 in 2005 and 9-4 in 2006 - their Jr/Sr seasons.  And that 2005 recruiting class, ranked #4, finished 5-7 in 2008 - their Junior season!  

This tells me that he was getting out-coached, by his peers and rivals when he had top 5 and top 20 classes.  92-98 were his glory years.  99-2008 were his downfall. 


December 7th, 2012 at 2:40 PM ^

I always liked the Vols until Fullmer cost us half of the 1997 National Championship by voting our undefeated team with over 30 ! future NFL players FOURTH in the final Coaches Poll.  He was whining about Charles Woodson topping his boy Peyton for the Heisman.

Mr. Yost

December 7th, 2012 at 8:49 AM ^

I think the GVSU/CMU/Cincy train is over. Narduzzi would actually be a good hire, I don't think he's going to get a better job as MSU falls back into that 7-5 +/- 1 game range that they belong.

It would certainly help us, because Narduzzi is the only thing holding that ship together IMO. With that said, I think once we get a QB that isn't run-first, we'll be able to combat Narduzzi's blitz happy scheme.

Shane Morris in 3 years picks that defense a part like a Thanksgiving turkey. Doubt we'll ever get to see it because he'll be in the MAC if he doesn't get this UC job.


December 7th, 2012 at 8:24 AM ^

When I first heard this on the way into work, I thought I might check to see what sort of threads appeared. You've basically got everything from "Welcome Coach Jones" to "NO SEC TIES" to "You Guys Need To Stop Day Trading Coaches" to "I Hate At Least 65% Of The People Here" to "No, Coach Jones, I Don't Think You're Welcome". There are cries for reason and introspection, but a lot of "woe is us" over there.

It will be a challenge for Jones, I think. He's not exactly walking into the same "up-and-coming" program that Brian Kelly left in Cincinnati. The Fulmer-Kiffin-Dooley period of seemingly constant transition has left problems that won't be easy to fix in Knoxville, at least based on what I have read (he will need a couple good classes to come in first, I think). If nothing else, Jones did beat Vanderbilt once, so there is that.

I have to believe that Volunteer fans have been humbled a little by the events of the past three weeks or so.


December 7th, 2012 at 8:12 AM ^

The fans at Tennessee seem to thnk that Tenn. is one of the top programs in the country. A high salary, an outsider coach the fans aren't sold on, unrealistic expectations by the fanbase, and a league with several other teams loaded with talent seems like a recipe for disaster. Rocky top may well take on a new meaning for the AD and new coach.