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Mark Dantonio’s Best Wins as Marvel Universe Movies: Part 2

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And we’re back with part 2 of our comparison of what MCU movie Coach Dantonio’s best wins would be.

Michigan State v Michigan Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Yesterday we started this list comparing the best of Mark Dantonio’s career wins to what MCU movie they would be (minus The Incredible Hulk since it sort of is and sort of isn’t really part of the MCU franchise for all intents and purposes). Today we bring you the rest of that comparison.

Again, these are in no particular order of ranking the movies or the games from good to best (because with either category, there is no bad obviously). Instead, it is the movies in order of release date and my attempt to match an important theme or relevance of a win with the seeming takeaway plot or theme of that movie.

So without further ado, let’s get into it!


“Captain America: Civil War”/2011 No. 11 Michigan

This movie was essentially friend turning on friend with a seemingly unnecessary and overly violent fight at the end. Naturally the “60 minutes of unnecessary roughness [ESPN link]” fits that description to absolute perfection. Is there really much else that needs to be said besides reminding everyone of the four-peat over Michigan and utter beat down of the first Brady Hoke team?


“Doctor Strange”/No. 4 Baylor in the 2015 Cotton Bowl

At the risk of being accused of a glass house by some, I think it is fair to say that the Art Briles led Baylor Bears most definitely amount to a real life version of Dormammu and the Dark Dimension. Coach Dantonio and the Spartans play with time and manage to escape by utterly exhausting the opposition and outlasting them right down at the last wire when it matters most.


“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”/2014 Michigan

The Guardians put a stake (well, really a stick of explosives) right in the heart of Ego. The Spartans did the same to the end of the Brady Hoke era on the field.


“Spider-Man: Homecoming”/2010 No. 11 Wisconsin

Peter Parker finishes this movie on his own without Tony Stark. The Spartans had to play this game without Head Coach Dantonio as he recovered from his heart attack. Spider-Man did such a great job he was offered a spot as the newest Avenger. The Spartans win against Wisconsin in this one arguably was the game that truly put the Dantonio led Spartans on the map for the magical run we experienced from 2010-2017


“Thor: Ragnarok”/2018 No. 12 Penn State

Frankly, Thor had no business beating Hela. In reality, one could easily argue he never did given he had to abandon Asgard to her while releasing Surtur to destroy her and Asgard in the process. Similarly, a banged up Spartans squad had no business winning this game. Yet, Thor and the Spartans emerged deeply wounded, Thor hammer-less and MSU without Lewerke and a few other players going into and coming out of the game, but victorious nonetheless!


“Black Panther”/No. 4 Iowa in the 2015 B1G Championship

In the end, the only way for T’Challa to defeat Killmonger is for him to give just about every last ounce of effort and wit he has. At the end of the day, MSU did the same against Iowa. T’Challa had to outlast Killmonger down on the trains and finally time it just right to defeat Killmonger before his vibranium suit could restore itself from interference. LJ Scott had to almost single handedly lead the Spartans down and get the extended reach just right to cross the goal line for the go ahead touchdown. Game. Set. Match.


“Avengers: Infinity War”/2009 OT Michigan

Fine, I phoned it in on this one. Unpopular opinion: this movie was overrated. Frankly, some of Thanos’s minions are simply too powerful compared to their Avenger counterparts for it to seem truly plausible for me. So here’s my spiel for this one: “Infinity War” sets up an overtime in the form of “Endgame” where the Avengers win. And 2009’s win against Michigan had to happen in extra time as well.


“Ant-Man & The Wasp”/No. 5 Stanford in the 2014 Rose Bowl

Similar to 2009 Michigan, this one is a bit of a reach, but I also struggled with how to pair my favorite win of the Dantonio era. So what I came up with is Kyler Ellsworth makes the game winning stop, just like Scott Lang comes through yet again despite being the “lesser” skilled but greater character.


“Captain Marvel”/No. 2 Ohio State in the 2013 B1G Championship

Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel, comes out swinging to start this movie. However, she quickly ends up on her heels figuring out how to proceed. After sorting all the revelations out that hit her she finally rises to her true potential and utterly dominates the Kree fighting her. The Spartans came out swinging against the Buckeyes in the first quarter but were quickly put on their heels in the second. In the fourth quarter they bring their A-game and punched their ticket to Pasadena as well.


“Avengers: Endgame”/2015 Ohio State

Okay, maybe this one may seem a reach, but hear me out. Iron Man sacrifices himself at the end and Connor Cook had to sacrifice playing due to injury. Ohio State and Urban Meyer are pretty much a clear cut Thanos led army if there ever was one in the Big Ten. Everyone rallies together and does what needs to happen until just finally it manages to be that rare set of circumstances that the seemingly unstoppable force that was 2015 Ohio State fell to our Spartans in the end. That seems a clear cut match to me if there ever was one.


“Spider-Man: Far From Home”/2017 Michigan

Spider-Man spends this movie fighting illusions created by Mysterio until the final battle when he knows what he is up against and it is his job to bring it down. Similarly, Dantonio versus Harbaugh always had the same feel of an illusion that Harbaugh and Michigan were automatically the “big brother” and a truly elite team. Well, guess what, Harbaugh is a terrible in game coach and he’s not particularly great at managing the talent he has to work with throughout his Michigan tenure. Both illusions burst in these examples.


There you have, all the MCU movies and the best of Mark Dantonio’s wins. Which movies were your favorite and which wins were as well? Which combinations would you have done differently? Let me know in the comments!