Why Mel Tucker belongs to East Lansing
On Saturday, October 30, college football fans in East Lansing and across the country were treated to a true elite showdown to start their afternoons and kick off the Halloween shenanigans, as the Spartans of the Michigan State, ranked eighth to Mel Tucker, erased 16 points from a deficit in the third quarter to defeat their visitors, sixth rival in the State of Michigan, 37-33.
Kenneth Walker III solidified his status as Heisman favorite and MSU legend with his historic performance of 197 yards and five touchdowns against a second-ranked Wolverine defense. He scored his last touchdown of the day with about five minutes left in the fourth quarter to put the Spartans in the lead, then, after a Wolverine turnaround on the downs and a three-and-away MSU, Charles Brantley of the State knocked out Michigan’s quarterback. Cade McNamara with one minute left.
The formation of victory ensued.
East Lansing was electric. Three game day shows were in town ahead of the game. The stadium rocked almost all the time. Michigan tried to get the crowds out of the game, but The Woodshed was just as relentless as Ken Walker. The whole experience was unlike anything I had ever seen, and I’ve been attending games since before I could understand what football was.
Now everyone is talking about the state of Michigan. The Spartans are in the AP’s top five this week, and many believe they will be among the top four teams in the season 1 college football playoff committee standings. Specifically, however, everyone is talking about the coach who kept the Paul Bunyan Trophy at East Lansing.
Tucker already did something that Dantonio, Saban couldn’t do
Tucker is now 2-0 against Michigan. He’s the only Spartan coach to do that, let alone do so on his way to an 8-0 record this year. And so, with a high-caliber post open in the south and speculation already present ahead of the weekend, everyone knew he would be a major talking point this week.
Across the country, people are talking about Coach Tuck who could follow in Saban’s footsteps: leave East Lansing and head to Baton Rouge to take the post of head coach at LSU. If you look at the situation, it makes sense. LSU will absolutely reach out. Saban is Mel’s idol, LSU has a lot of money, and Tucker seems a perfect fit for their schedule.
What fewer people are talking about is why it might not end up in Louisiana.
Tucker once said that Saban is the guy he wants to be, the guy he’s chasing – and that’s great. Saban is a great role model to follow if you want to be a successful head coach, and college football fans don’t need to be told why. The Crimson Tide constantly reminds them.
Looking at this scenario, however, one thing fans should remember is that there is great value and importance in forging your own path. With a decision to stay put, Tucker would do just that.
He has what he needs at East Lansing to be a successful head coach
Tuck doesn’t have to go to LSU to see success. He’s 8-0 so far in his first full season at State. He’s recruiting like crazy and has clearly won the transfer portal this past offseason by landing Walker and other top talent. He has proven that he doesn’t need LSU’s resources to improve his recruiting (although that certainly wouldn’t hurt, admittedly) and that he can earn a huge amount – not just big, but huge – football matches in the position he currently occupies.
Plus, it’s possible that Tucker would have greater success earlier in East Lansing than in Baton Rouge, and it could possibly hurt him in the end.
That’s not to say that he wouldn’t eventually be successful at LSU, because he probably would be; it’s a great SEC program with history and a lot of resources, and he’s a great trainer. However, with the game’s two best coaches – Saban and Georgia head coach Kirby Smart – in this conference already, he could live in their shadow for a few years at least, as he tries to pull himself up to the level. of their status and expect them to retire.
How can Mel believe LSU has the patience for this? Yes, Ed Orgeron very apparently acted like a jerk, but he won a championship less than two years ago, and that’s the goal as a program. Why not be gracious and try one more time to make it work?
Plus, his antics don’t change what happened to the Miles. And yes, Coach O stepped up and won a trophy after Miles left, but it also came from his staff. The Tigers gave them two national championship coaches in a row and they were both kicked out the door.
Surely Tucker now knows that MSU wants to keep him, but with LSU there would be some uncertainty. How many decent years without a title would they give him before giving him the boot? Do they have the patience for a rebuild, if necessary? Yes, he quickly transformed MSU and his cap is high, but it is evident that he is not yet at the level of Saban and Smart, and it is not strange to think that LSU might end up leaving the pride of win again get in its way.
Speaking of Michigan – and getting back to Saban and Smart – it’s hard to make the same point for coaches like Jim Harbaugh of Michigan and James Franklin of Penn State. As for OSU head coach Ryan Day, it’s too early to tell. One thing is certain, however: the MSU-OSU game on November 20 is important, and it’s going to be interesting.
Remember Michigan State Football Has Money Too
The last point to discuss here is money. LSU has a lot of them. But so does MSU, and people who shoot the money argument don’t know or understand how much MSU has changed since the sports department let Saban slip through their fingers.
The football program was not championship caliber when Saban was around. This had not been the case for years. Right now, even after a few tough seasons, it’s a more established program with more resources, and people in and around the program are surely aware that if you forget the past, you are. sure to repeat it. MSU has learned the lesson.
This isn’t supposed to make you think without a doubt that Tucker won’t at least consider taking this job, because it would be foolish not to. This is all just a friendly reminder that he wouldn’t be crazy to decide to stay. Spartan Nation should know that they shouldn’t be as scared of his departure as other fans – especially Michigan fans – say they should be.
So do what Mel and his players are doing. Forget the noise, enjoy the victory and remind Taylor Lewan and Braylon Edwards that they are dumb. And then, looking forward to the Purdue game.
It’s a great week to be a Spartan fan. Go green.