Michigan State Football: What if Mark Dantonio won a national championship?

Mark Dantonio, Michigan State football (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Mark Dantonio, Michigan State football (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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Michigan State football
Mark Dantonio, Michigan State football (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images) /

Recruiting and image

Mark Dantonio was one of the best coaches in college football for over a decade at Michigan State. He was responsible for one of the most stout defenses in the country that lead this team to multiple Big Ten championships, a Rose Bowl win, more than a handful of victories over Michigan and Ohio State and countless other accolades.

But one thing Mark Dantonio didn’t do well at any point was recruit. His highest class was ranked 17th in the country and for the most part, his classes held residence in the mid-30s at any given moment. He had a couple of five-star recruits, but he was more likely to find diamond in the rough three-star guy who would become a campus legend.

Obviously, the three-year stretch that this program had boosted recruiting a little bit, but there wasn’t a noticeably huge spike. If one of these teams had won a national championship, that may have sent them into the next echelon and made recruiting that much easier.

Any high profile Midwest recruit would definitely have a Big Ten team that won a national championship on their radar.

Not only that, but the coaching search post-Dantonio may have gone a bit smoother. At the point of his departure, the legendary head coach left a path of destruction in his wake. The timing was bad and rumors surfaced that he was being forced out of his position. If he had won a national championship, he may have been treated with more respect and would have been in a position to retire at a more convenient time.