Mel Tucker is facing an important year with Michigan State football.
After posting an 18-14 record over his first two-plus seasons (COVID year was not full), he’s entering a “prove it” year with the program. He won 11 games in 2021 but the Spartans fell to just 5-7 in 2022 which upset a lot of fans — and rightly so.
The Spartans fell short of all expectations following a Peach Bowl win and huge contract extension for Tucker the year before.
Prior to that 5-7 season, Tucker was one of the hottest coaching names in the country. He turned a struggling program around in just two seasons and he was recruiting at a higher level than Mark Dantonio did for most of his tenure.
Despite that 5-7 year, Tucker has earned some preseason national recognition.
Mel Tucker named one of 21 Coach of the Year candidates
On Thursday, the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award released a preseason watchlist and Michigan State’s head ball coach made the cut.
Tucker is one of the better recruiters in the Big Ten and he has proven he can win big games (Miami, Michigan twice, Northwestern in 2020, and Pitt). Now he has to show that he can turn things around again when faced with adversity.
Vegas has Michigan State’s win total set at 5.5.
If Tucker can lead Michigan State back to a bowl game, he should be seriously considered for this award. If he can win 8-9 games with this schedule, he should be a lock to get it.
After hearing all about how MSU is trending in the wrong direction and Tucker is on the hot seat, it’s nice to see that some people don’t buy into those narratives.