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Mark Dantonio plans on being back next season

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Should Dantonio’s time at MSU come to an end? He doesn't think so.

Michigan State v Michigan Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

EAST LANSING — Mark Dantonio knows what he’s done for Michigan State’s football program.

He knows who he is and what he represents, and on occasion, he isn't shy about it.

“I went home, you put on something, I don’t go to sleep, contrary to what people believe, I don’t, okay? I took something off the shelf, put it on, looked at it. I said, There’s a Rose Bowl insignia on this thing, okay? Sort of sent the message home to me there’s been a lot of success here, a tremendous amount of success here,” said Dantonio. “That can happen again, and that can happen under my watch.”

When Dantonio was asked if he planned on being the coach next year, he replied, “Yes, yes.”

Michigan State v Michigan Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

He truly believes as Michigan State sits here today with a 4-6 (2-5 B1G) record, they can somehow gain back what they’ve lost. That somehow, they will compete for championships again and be competitive with teams like Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, and Wisconsin.

I understand he isn’t going to go up to the podium and bash his team. Nor is he going to say MSU football can never be successful with him as the head coach again. So do I know for a fact those thoughts are honestly going through his mind? No, but I can only go off of what he gives us.

What I do know is Michigan State lost to all four of those teams this season and got outscored 144-27.

So I decided to do some digging on the subject.

I went back and looked at every season, beginning with 2007. I looked at scores and results of every time they played one of those universities (occasionally they didn’t play all four, but MSU almost always played three out of the four barring 2013 when they only faced Michigan and OSU in the B1G Championship game).

Here’s how some of those early years look:

2007

  • Wisconsin: 34-37 L
  • Ohio State: 17-24 L
  • Michigan: 24-28 L
  • Penn State: 35-31 W

2008

  • Ohio State: 7-45 L
  • Michigan: 35-21 W
  • Wisconsin: 25-24 W
  • Penn State: 18-49 L

2009

  • Wisconsin: 30-38 L
  • Michigan: 26-20 W
  • Penn State: 14-42 L
  • Didn’t play Ohio State

2010

  • Wisconsin: 34-24 W
  • Michigan: 34-17 W
  • Penn State: 28-22 W
  • Didn't play Ohio State
Michigan State v Michigan Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

Now here’s how some of the recent years look (in order to not sound so cynical I was nice and decided to start with 2015).

2015

  • Michigan: 27-23 W
  • Ohio State: 17-14 W
  • Penn State: 55-16 W
  • Didn't play Wisconsin

2016

  • Wisconsin: 6-30 L
  • Michigan: 23-32 L
  • Ohio State: 16-17 L
  • Penn State: 12-45 L

2017

  • Michigan: 14-10 W
  • Penn State: 27-24 W
  • Ohio State: 3-48 L
  • Didn't play Wisconsin

2018

  • Penn State: 21-17 W
  • Michigan: 7-21 L
  • Ohio State: 6-26 L

My point is, barring the 2016 season, Mark Dantonio always played these games close. In 2007 the point differential with those four schools was 120-110. Yet only one of them resulted in a victory.

It’s like Dantonio always says, “We’re just trying to find those inches.”

Only now things are spiraling.

Things are not going well.

The direction of the program isn't exactly trending up, and frankly, they’ve lost those inches.

It’s time to find them again, and if Dantonio plans on sticking around, it’s time for him to pick up the pieces and show Spartan nation this can still work.

“It’s privilege to be head coach at Michigan State, but there’s a lot of pressure that comes with it,” said Dantonio.”