By Ashley Dunkak
DETROIT (CBS DETROIT) – With the annual coaching carousel beginning to spin as the college football season winds down, Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio is likely to be a hot commodity.
Dantonio has led the Spartans to three 11-win seasons in the last four years. This season Michigan State looked more dominant than ever. The Spartans crushed in-state rival and longtime power Michigan. The Spartans upset the Ohio State Buckeyes, ending their 24-game win streak. They won the Big Ten and earned a berth in the Rose Bowl.
With reports floating of longtime Texas coach Mack Brown leaving and rumors the Longhorns want Alabama coach Nick Saban to fill the void, the possibility exists of a dream job type of opening.
The way Dantonio has built the Michigan State program likely makes him a candidate for any program, and he could have his choice of some of the best – Texas? Alabama? With bowl games still to be played, much is still up in the air in terms of where coaches will end up, but the Spartans might have reason to worry.
Michigan State president Lou Anna Simon understands Dantonio – and the man responsible for the Spartans’ superb defense, coordinator Pat Narduzzi – will probably be pursued and have other options.
“I think if you’re wise in a corporate setting or wise in a university setting, you try to know that your best people will always be in demand,” Simon said, “and we consider Coach Dantonio, Coach Narduzzi, to be among the best, and so you do a lot of things to make sure they feel good and connected to the Michigan State University, the coach, their family, and also that they trust in you that you will work with them on compensation issues.”
The Spartans have been fantastic, but would Dantonio really stay if Alabama, with its three national championships in the past four seasons, came calling for him to lead that program?
“You have to worry, always, about your best people,” Simon said, “but you hope you have a reason to stay, not just a reason to go.”