Michigan State football: 4 riskiest head coaching candidates

Sep 16, 2023; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes offensive coordinator Brian Hartline monitors warm-ups prior to the NCAA football game against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers at Ohio Stadium.
Sep 16, 2023; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes offensive coordinator Brian Hartline monitors warm-ups prior to the NCAA football game against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers at Ohio Stadium. /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
1 of 4
Next

The 2023 season has been a nightmare for Michigan State football fans and that’s putting things lightly.

Mel Tucker was suspended after the second game of the season and then fired a couple of weeks later, leaving Harlon Barnett in charge of the team. Since Tucker’s suspension, the Spartans are just 2-3 on the year and they’re facing a second consecutive bowl-less season.

Why? Because a risky hire at head coach didn’t end up panning out.

Michigan State could go the risky route once again for the next hire, but I would be shocked if that’s the case. If the Spartans do go the “risky” route, here are the riskiest candidates.

Jake Dickert has been a popular name that’s been floated around recently. He has Washington State off to a surprising 4-1 start to the 2023 season and Cameron Ward had been a real Heisman candidate before some Week 6 struggles at UCLA.

The Cougars were actually unbeaten and ranked No. 13 before losing to UCLA in Week 6 and dropping down to No. 19.

But I’m a little hesitant to buy in just yet.

Dickert did take over a tough situation, replacing Nick Rolovich after he was fired mid-season and he went 3-3 the rest of the way, leading Washington State to a bowl game. The Cougars went 7-5 last season and lost the LA Bowl with Ward in his first season at quarterback and now they’re off to a 4-1 start to the year. Is this success because of Ward?

We saw what one player can do to a program (Kenneth Walker III) and its head coach. I think I’d need to see what Dickert can do without Ward before I go all in and that won’t happen before MSU hires its next head coach. Will the athletic department also be weary?