Michigan State basketball is the best job in the Big Ten

Tom Izzo, Michigan State basketball (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Tom Izzo, Michigan State basketball (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

Rivals recently came out with a ranking of the best jobs in the Big Ten and Michigan State basketball was listed No. 4. That’s not right.

It’s the season of lists and it’s been extended with the delay of college football. This is the slow sports news time of the year and it’s even quieter with COVID-19 hitting the nation hard and plenty of unrest among the country’s population.

College football and basketball have been placed on the back-burner with everything going on so that means it’s time to make all-time lists or “best” lists.

That’s what led to Rivals‘ Dan McDonald to conjure up a list of the Big Ten’s best college basketball coaching jobs. And it was, well, a doozy.

Coming in at. No. 1 on the list is Indiana which is a bit shocking considered the Hoosiers haven’t been relevant on a national level in years. They are being ranked the best job in the conference based on history and being in the middle of a recruiting hotbed.

No. 2 is Ohio State which makes some sense seeing as the Buckeyes have plenty of resources and are currently trending in the right direction. A better job than Michigan State, though? No.

Sitting at No. 3 is Michigan. Time to fire up the torches and pitchforks, we’re about to march on Dan’s house to protest this one. The Wolverines have been nationally relevant for years thanks to John Beilein and they have history with the Fab Five and Steve Fisher. Are they a better coaching job than Michigan State? This past offseason’s coaching search says otherwise.

And Michigan State is listed at No. 4 by McDonald, a complete and utter disgraceful snub. How? Under what circumstances would Michigan State be behind Indiana, Ohio State and Michigan?

Here’s what McDonald said:

"Michigan State is a tough one to evaluate because the question is this: Is it a really good job or is Tom Izzo just that good of a coach? That’s an answer we probably won’t know for some time. I land on the side of believing Izzo probably elevates it beyond what it really is, although there is a passionate fan base, a strong recruiting base and a tradition of winning."

“Izzo probably elevates it beyond what it really is.”

That quote right there is just straight disrespectful to Jud Heathcote and Magic Johnson. They put the program on the map before Izzo and while Tom is one of the best to do it, he’s elevated the program to new heights and that in turn makes the job better. Every elite program has to start somewhere. Look at Villanova, for example. A good program before Jay Wright, sure, but he elevated it to new heights. Try arguing that Villanova isn’t the best job in the Big East.

Michigan State is the best job in the Big Ten right now and while it might have a lot to do with Izzo, the program itself is in a healthy place. Coaches have a major hand in dictating how good of a job a program has.

Beilein did it with Michigan, Wright did it at Villanova and Izzo did it at Michigan State.

Find one coach in college basketball coach in the country outside of the main powers (Duke, North Carolina, etc.) who wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to coach MSU. It’d be tough.

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