What would this season have looked like for Mike Elko if Riley Leonard never got hurt? It’s hard to say, but there’s a good chance the Blue Devils would have at least another win, but a 6-3 record in an encore performance from a nine-win first season isn’t too bad.
Elko has been atop the big board for Michigan State fans for weeks and he’s going to remain in that top three probably until he comes out and says he’s not interested. He’s that good of a coach that no matter what happens in the final three weeks of the regular season, he’s still going to be considered a top candidate for the Spartans.
And he would be a great fit.
Elko has a history of coaching elite defenses at Texas A&M and Notre Dame and that was good enough to earn him the Duke job. No one expected him to have the kind of success he’s had right away, but he’s now 15-7 through his first two seasons with back-to-back bowl berths. That just doesn’t happen at Duke.
There’s a good chance he’d have immediate success in East Lansing and he’d have a hard time turning down the upgraded football facilities and resources that Michigan State could provide.