I know this site is primarily dedicated to Football and Basketball discussions; however, I wanted to share with those who've not been following that MSU clinched at least a share of the Big Ten title in Baseball for the first time since 1979 today. The story leads on www.msuspartans.com.
(A personal take after the jump)My view on recent coaching changes and events at MSU is that Hollis is really setting a vision for what the entire athletics department needs to be and the level each team needs to perform at. I know some of you aren't fans of him, but reading the post game interviews during the last couple of football seasons, seeing Izzo stay, listening to the Anastos press conference, and now Jake Boss and the Baseball team... I think there has been a real cultural shift at the university (definitely compared to when I was there - the Saban years) - a One School, One Program sort of mentality. You've all seen Draymond and Travis suit up for the spring football games, a natural match between football and basketball players. However, even with crossovers like Lorenzo Guess around you never would have seen this sort of camraderie on the field in previous regimes. This year also saw Izzo and Suzie Merchant in the dugout of baseball games, the coaches roadshow, and almost all of the head coaches from Wresting to Football to Women's Rowing serving up lunches at Brody. Can anyone here picture the former King Saban stopping his day to put on a hairnet and stand next to a swim coach to serve up ice cream to fans, hosting a women's camp, or even caring if the volleyball team uniform was at all similar to what his guys wear. I'm not saying these events by themselves guarantee wins and close OT victories, but I do believe that these things contribute to the strengths of programs, and help players buy into something which helps them translate mediocre Rivals rankings to performance results (Great article on the Ratings, btw).
I know very few of us (save maybe Johnny Spirit) have had the pleasure or opportunity to be a part of both the old world Spartans and the new order, but I'd be curious to hear from others their own thoughts on the School's direction if not individual programs. Personally, I think there's a conscious effort and real leadership at higher levels to help us all rid ourselves of the SOS. Of course, I'm ever the optimist.