Mark Dantonio has a penchant for voicing one-liners in public, and now he has prime material to deliver another one.
Michigan State has granted Alabama’s request to drop the two game series between the Spartans and the Crimson Tide. Bama asked MSU to cancel the home and home football series scheduled for 2016 and ’17
State and the Crimson Tide will no longer meet for the Nick Saban Bowl and then Nick Saban Bowl II. The Crimson Tide are backing out, and Michigan State complied because the SEC hasn’t ruled out a move to a nine-game league schedule since the expansion to 14 teams.
The Crimson Tide need that space open on the schedule. This is similar to what happened with the Notre Dame and Michigan rivalry. ND has to fill out their commitment as “Chicago’s ACC Team,” needing open weeks to fulfill their friends-with-benefits relationship with the ACC. Fighting Irish Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick handed a letter to Wolverines AD. David Brandon after the 2012 meeting on the field. The letter cancelled any possible extension of the ND-Michigan series.
Last spring Michigan Coach Brady Hoke told a group of Wolverines fundraisers and boosters that Notre Dame “was chickening out.”
I think it would be HILARIOUS AND AWESOME if Michigan St. Coach Mark Dantonio now said the same thing of Saban and the Crimson Tide.
Of course, it’s nowhere near true, and a ridiculous proposition to say the least, but it would be humorous, and Dantonio has the dry wit and clever sense of humor to pull it off.
After pantsing Pat Fitzgerald and Northwestern on a fake punt play in October 24th, Dantonio delivered: “It was a mouse trap. We had to get them to take the cheese.”
Dantonio added later in that same presser “I’ve always been a bit of a risk-taker” and “I’m sure Vegas liked it.”
The reason the chickening out line would be so funny, is just plain obvious: Bama has won three of the last four national titles and rules the toughest conference in college football. Michigan State, although a much better program under Dantonio, has not been to a Rose Bowl since 1987, and are a mediocre program in the Big Ten, a mediocre league.
Let hilarity ensue.
“We made the request due to the uncertainty of the conference football schedule in those years. We are very appreciative of Michigan State’s willingness to grant that request.” –statement from Bill Battle, Director of Athletics, University of Alabama.
Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. An analyst for 95.7 The Fan and 1620 The Zone, he also writes for Chicago Now. Follow him on Twitter (@paulmbanks) and FacebookPowered by Sidelines Follow paulmbanks