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MSU’s Mark Dantonio embraces preseason ranking

Mark Dantonio

It’s said every year by coaches and fans alike, “Preseason rankings don’t mean anything.”

Many coaches over the years have expressed a preference to do away with preseason polls.

Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio isn’t one of them. The Spartans were ranked eighth overall in the AP preseason Top 25, which was released Sunday. Dantonio wants his team to embrace the ranking and drive them to be better.

“Our focus remains on winning championships,” Dantonio told the Lansing State Journal‘s Graham Couch. “We have proven that we can compete consistently with the top teams in the country & will continue to dream big. We need embrace our preseason ranking and display the maturity it takes to manage that success.”

Dantonio is a proven believer in envisioning something will happen before it actually does.

Eight months before Michigan State captured its first Rose Bowl victory in 26 years, Dantonio sauntered onto the field in Pasadena, California and promised his team they would play on that field and in that game.

“This is where we make it happen. …You will be the ones,” Dantonio said. “It sort of gives you the chills walking out here, it’s a long way from home. But we’ve got a plan. We’ve got a plan to get here.”

The Spartans have reached unprecedented heights in the modern era under Dantonio’s supervision. His  winning percentage is the best the program has experienced in 60 years. Michigan State is now firmly in the national spotlight. And the team’s preseason ranking reflects the work Dantonio has done during his eight seasons with the program.

By following Dantonio’s advice, the program can continue its upward trend.

Michigan State will never have the resources as some teams in the Big Ten Conference, particularly Michigan and Ohio State, but it’s slowly closing the gap.

Perception is often reality in college football. Recruits will remember Michigan State was a preseason Top 10 team. The players currently on the roster know they have high expectations to fulfill. And their coach realizes the perception around Michigan State continues to improve and benefits the team.

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12 Responses to “MSU’s Mark Dantonio embraces preseason ranking”
  1. johnelwayishorsefaced says: Aug 17, 2014 6:42 PM

    Wow finally a post about the best team in the Big 10. Now prepare for ten about U of M even though they haven’t been relevant in years.

  2. coachgutz says: Aug 17, 2014 7:26 PM

    But you still love to post about them, never fails.

  3. cfballfan1 says: Aug 17, 2014 8:01 PM

    Coach Dantonio’s approach is all too rare in these “win – now – or – else” days in college & pro sports. If you raise expectations too quickly you will most likely fall short leaving the head coach to be the target of criticism and scrutiny by the fans and alumni, and then having that effect amplified 100x by the media. Dantonio has the full support of his AD & university President which is why he can take this route to building a championship program.

    It’s a plan and a process not unlike his coaching mentors – Tressel and even Saban – displayed while he coached under both.

    The success is no surprise to those of us who have filled the program and now the rest of the country is starting to look beyond the old “Big Two / Little Eight” label and mentality from the 70’s – mid 90’s.

    It’s a new day in the B1G.

    Go Green!

  4. coachbeck says: Aug 18, 2014 12:23 AM

    Coach Dantonio is a great man. Such a high quality man as is his staff.

    Proud to know them

  5. longborer69 says: Aug 18, 2014 4:46 AM

    Really looking forward to their visit to Autzen. I don’t think they’ll be as good early in the season as they were at the end of last year, but should still be a great test for Oregon, best early season opponent we’ve had for several years.

  6. tdub821 says: Aug 18, 2014 11:32 AM

    This is really hilarious…little brother actually thinks he’s relevant…can’t wait for their overrated – overhyped couch burning team to get a reality check.

  7. bama75 says: Aug 18, 2014 12:26 PM

    Coach D is easily one of the most underrated coaches in the country.

  8. longborer69 says: Aug 18, 2014 5:36 PM

    Hmm. Since tdub calls them “little brother” I guess he’s a UM fan.

    And he’s right. MSU isn’t relevant to UM. UM wasn’t making it to the Rose Bowl no matter what MSU did.

  9. motownwalt says: Aug 18, 2014 8:50 PM

    The Spartans have won 42 games in the past four seasons… that is among the best 10 D1 programs. In the last four seasons, they have two Big Ten Titles, two Legends Division titles and three consecutive bowl wins — over SEC East Champ Georgia, Big XII power TCU, and Pac-12 Champ Stanford. The Spartans are 6-1 against U. of Michigan in their past 7 matchups … and 2-1 against Ohio State in their past three contests.

    Feel free to pretend they aren’t the best team in the Conference, and among the very best in the country … many other teams had that same attitude about Michigan State.


  10. tgd112gostate says: Aug 20, 2014 1:18 AM

    Tdub, you mad bro? Not sure why um fan posting on an MSU article? Obsessed, or do you have a case of “FOLB” syndrome? (Fear of little brother) GO GREEN!!

  11. tgd112gostate says: Aug 20, 2014 1:25 AM

    Coach gutz, on an MSU article, berating Spartan fan for making a comment about media’s obsession w/ um, Classic irony.

    Gutz must also struggle with FOLB Syndrome. Yup, Fear of Little Brother is contagious in A A these days.

    GO GREEN!!

  12. tdub821 says: Aug 20, 2014 8:23 AM

    lol….we just love the life long inferiority complex you have with Michigan…remember, no matter what happens, at the end of the day you’re still little sparty.

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