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10 Things Mark Dantonio Would Miss/Gain If He Left Michigan State

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With Steve Spurrier resigning as head coach of South Carolina, we look at the 10 things Mark Dantonio would miss and gain if he left Michigan State for the Gamecocks

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

It's a topic of discussion that even Mark Dantonio himself couldn't avoid.

Steve Spurrier has resigned as head coach of the South Carolina Gamecocks. Spurrier, 70, after starting this season 2-4, finishes his tenure in Columbia with five bowl wins, including a No. 6 ranking in the final Associated Press poll in 2013.

South Carolina needs a head coach, ideally someone who has an identical resume in comparison to Spurrier and Lou Holtz. That home run hire would be Dantonio for a number of reasons.

Dantonio is an alum at South Carolina, having played under Jim Carlen from 1976-78 as a defensive back, before earning his bachelor's degree in education in 1979.

The latest odds of South Carolina hiring Dantonio is listed at 20:1, according to Bovada. Eight others have better odds than Dantonio, including Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart at 2:1 and Memphis head coach Justin Fuente at 4:1.

When Dantonio took the podium for his weekly press conference on Tuesday, the first question asked was concerning the South Carolina coaching vacancy, upon which Dantonio quickly dismissed, stating that "we're here to talk about Michigan."

To the dismay of Michigan State fans, what if Dantonio decided to write a new chapter in his head coaching career and moved to South Carolina?

Certainly there would be positives of coaching an SEC program, but there's also a handful of commodities residing at MSU that the 59-year-old would ache for while living in the first state to vote to secede from the Union.

10 Things Dantonio Would Gain If He Left Michigan State

1. Money: Spurrier was earning $4 million this season, tied with Les Miles for third highest in the SEC, behind Nick Saban and Kevin Sumlin. Dantonio's contract has him earning $3.64 million per year. It'd be ridiculous if South Carolina didn't attempt to make Dantonio the highest paid coach in the conference, so earning a raise of over $6 million sounds rather intriguing.

2. Vanderbilt: The Gamecocks regularly do battle with the Commodores in the early half of the season, meaning that's a guaranteed victory, as USC carries a six game winning streak over Vandy into Columbia this Saturday. South Carolina also has UMass and West Carolina on the schedule next season, so that's three wins right off the bat in Dantonio's first season with USC. Dantonio will need all the wins he can get though, considering that both Georgia, Tennessee and Florida compete in the East Division.

3. Boiled Peanuts: It's South Carolina's official snack, and it's both good for you taste wise and health wise. Dantonio better drive to the local farmers market to pick up a bag before each home game.

4. Warm Weather: No need to bundle up in the middle of winter for Dantonio anymore, as the average high for South Carolina in January is 55 degrees and 67.4 in March. And when it reaches over 75 in the fall climate, unless Dantonio pulls an Al Golden and wears a shirt and tie, feeling comfortable on the sidelines is definitely a pleasantry.

5. Aziz Ansari: One of the funniest comedians was born in Columbia. Maybe Dantonio would get to meet the Parks and Recreation star?

6. Myrtle Beach: Whenever South Carolina suffers a weekend defeat, Dantonio could spend the following Sunday on sandy white beaches. Not a bad consolation prize.

7. Golf: Not sure if Dantonio is an avid golfer, but with over four professional courses opened year round near the area of Columbia, it's a sport that he could enjoy in the offseason or after he clinches his first SEC championship. On that note, the last conference title South Carolina won was back in 1969 when they competed in the ACC.

8. New Rival: USC's hatred for Clemson can compare to MSU's hatred for Michigan. The Battle of the Palmetto State, dating back to 1880, is intense to say the least. Spurrier and Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney enjoyed jabbing at one another on a yearly basis, and with that put to rest, it's time for Swinney to find a new enemy.

9. Recruiting Surge: Football is king in the southern part of the United States. Recruiting in South Carolina has been recently dominated by Georgia, Clemson and Virginia Tech, but with a name like Dantonio running your program, interest from high schoolers would immediately sky rocket. I mean, wouldn't it be nice for the Gamecocks faithful to cheer on the next Jadeveon Clowney in a couple years? Plus, stealing commits from other powerhouse football states like Alabama and Florida consistently wouldn't be bad either.

10. Following Saban's footsteps: We all know where Saban got his start in collegiate head coaching. Sporting an MSU windbreaker with the aviator glasses at Spartan Stadium in the late 1990's before shipping off to LSU in 2000 was the beginning of Saban's dominance in the SEC. Dantonio now has that opportunity to replicate Saban's luxurious career at Alabama with the Gamecocks.

10 Things Dantonio Would Miss If He Left Michigan State

1. Mid-American Conference teams: The Spartans have annihilated MAC schools, improving to 40-6 after their September 26 victory over Central Michigan at home, and of the last 34 games, MSU has won 31. Against the three instate teams, Eastern, Central and Western Michigan, MSU holds a convincing record of 29-5.

2. Conrad's Grill: Nothing beats walking across campus from the stadium after a game to Conrads, where you can enjoy a wrap that's filled with fried chicken, tater tots, mac and cheese bites, melted cheese and bacon bits. Now doesn't that sound delicious?

3. CATA Bus Transportation: There's only one way that Dantonio can travel from the Meijer east of campus to a Lansing Lugnuts game: The No. 1 bus. I understand that he can drive his car, but why pass up the chance on spending $35 on a monthly pass?

4. Rioting at Cedar Village: Dantonio likely hasn't made the trek to the infamous apartment complex and participated in some good old fashion couch burning or bagel throwing. Say goodbye to that opportunity though if he leaves.

5. Driving on I-69: Between the I-75 exit near the Flint airport and the I-127 entrance, lies some of the most beautiful scenery in the state of Michigan. Farms, acres of forests and fields with the occasional local store make up the pleasant journey on the 40-mile stretch of road.

6. MSU Dairy Store: It's fattening, it's loaded with calories and the amount of sugar in each scoop would most likely kill an adult elephant. But it's tastes good, especially the lemon custard. Dantonio also has a flavor named after him, chocolate fudge with a caramel swirl, milk chocolate caramel-filled footballs and chewy brownies. $3.75 for three scoops!

7. Wondering why the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum was ever built: You walk along Grand River and can't help but stare at the unorthodox designed building sitting on the northernmost area on campus. The museum doesn't correlate well with the landscape, however, if it was built on Trowbridge or Shaw, completely different story.

8. Trains...an abundance of trains: It's three in the morning, everything is peaceful until you hear the most deafening sound in the world, a freight train horn rolling through campus. Who wouldn't miss that?

9. Jim Harbaugh and Urban Meyer: The Dantonio-Meyer or Dantonio-Harbaugh rivalry sounds a lot more intriguing than the John L. Smith-Lloyd Carr rivalry or Bobby Williams-Jim Tressel rivalry. It would be a shame to watch these pristine conflicts dissolve if Dantonio left, because it's become not just a battle within the white lines, it's also a battle for sideline supremacy.

10. Coaching an elite program: With all jokes aside, since 2007 when Dantonio took over as head coach, he has built a bonafide dynasty in college football. Recruiting has reached new levels thanks to his on-field success and the window of contending for Big Ten championships doesn't appear to be closing anytime soon. Lou Anna Simon may be the president of MSU, but Dantonio has the university in the palm of his hands.