As NRO’s resident Ohio State fan, let me say congratulations to the Michigan State Spartans and their victory last night in the Big 10 championship game (I’m a purist a refuse to use B1G).
But Michigan State’s victory shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody. Just four days ago, Mark Dantonio was named the Big 10 coach of the year. I even predicted a Ohio State loss earlier this week (I’m an honest fan.)
Michigan State’s only loss of the year was a heartbreaker to Notre Dame. A game in which the Spartan defense committed five drive-sustaining penalties that let Notre Dame stay in the game. If not for that sloppy play in September, it would be the Spartans in the title game vs. FSU and not the Auburn Tigers.
As for Michigan State’s coach, Mark Dantonio, he was a fan favorite when he was with Ohio State during the Tressel era as the defensive coordinator and he left a huge hole to fill when he became head coach at Cincinnati in 2003:
Dantonio admits leaving Tressel’s staff wasn’t easy. He left behind a defense that was the nation’s second stingiest against the run last season, allowing 62.3 yards per game. The year before, Dantoni’s defense lifted OSU to a 14-0 record and its first national championship in 34 years.
“Losing him was a big loss,” OSU senior cornerback Dustin Fox said. “Any time you lose a great leader like him, it’s going to be a loss. It will be fun to play against him, but it will be weird. We still talk on the phone a lot. And I tell him, ‘I’ll be on the sidelines harassing you.’ He said, ‘Yeah, I’ll have my eyes on you if the play comes my way.”
Again, congratulations to Michigan State and I look forward to the rematch on November 8, 2014.