Spartans beaten like a piñata in race to bottom of Big Ten

The Spartans were beaten like a Piñata at Ohio State and when the game clock ticked zero they posted their 6th Big Ten loss of the season by a humiliating score of 38-3.

And while Michigan and Ohio State race to the top of the Big Ten, on the other hand, Indiana and Michigan State are “head to head” in a race to the bottom.

After 7 Big Ten games, Indiana and Michigan State are tied for “dead ass last” in Big Ten with 1-6 W/L records, but a tie breaker awaits because this forthcoming Saturday, Indiana will host Michigan State and the Spartans are 5 point underdogs, so the Spartans are odds on favorites to finish “dead ass last” amongst 14 Big Ten teams.

It can’t be overstated but the decision to pay Mel Tucker $95 Mn after posting losing seasons at Colorado (2019), and Michigan State (2020), will go down as one of the biggest blunders and financial boondoggles in modern college football history. After all, where was the logic?

To say, Mel Tucker and his entire staff have been an unmitigated “BUST” is an understatement of enormous magnitude.

Mel Tucker caught lightning in a bottle when he found KWIII in the Transfer Portal and then finished 11-2 in 2021 including a meager #3 Big Ten finish, yet that was “fool’s gold” because the fundamentals across the board were flawed.

Nevertheless, without researching all the facts, Spartan boosters along with Spartan Athletics were intoxicated and desperate and anted up $95 Mn despite the fact Tucker only posted one winning season in 3 years as a head football coach. It’s a landmark case study of organizational ineptitude.

After all, at the end of this season, Tucker’s 4 year Big Ten record is likely to be 13-21 (38%), certainly no better than 14-20.

Of course, there have been a few clunkers in Michigan State Football history:

  • Duffy Daugherty’s winless 0-5-1 Big Ten campaign in 1958 qualifies. But Duffy gets a pass because he compiled 5-1 Big Ten records in 1955 and 1957 respectively thereby earning mythical National Championships in both seasons, so 1958 was essentially an aberration.
  • Meanwhile, Muddy Waters compiled a Big Ten record of 2-7 in 1982
  • And George Perles compiled a 2-6-1 record in 1983.
  • Bobby Williams compiled 2-6 Big Ten records in 2000 and 2002 respectively.
  • And John L. Smith compiled a dismal 1-7 Big Ten record in 2006, but at no time did any coach that preceded Mel Tucker enjoy a compensation package that even remotely compared to Mel Tucker’s $95Mn…and/or $1Mn paid to his coordinators.


Stats of Shame:

Once again, the Spartans were humiliated in prime time.

The Buckeyes leisurely rolled up 530 yards of total offense including 177 Yards Rushing complemented by 353 Yards Passing, completing 28 of 34 pass attempts (82%) and compiling 35 points in the 1st Half alone before putting the controls on auto pilot and cruising to a 38-3 victory with essentially #2 and #3 backups taking the reins in the 2nd half.

Meanwhile, the Spartans eked out just 182 Yards of Total Offense, a differential of (-348 Yards) and needed the heroics of 53 Yard FG to post just 3 Points for the day. Yet the glaring stat that underscores ineptitude of Spartan football was eking out just 94 Rushing Yards, or just 30 Rushing Yards in the 2nd Half.

In Big Ten competition, the Spartans are averaging a feeble 97 Yards Rushing.

Let me remind you, Chris Kapilovic is O-Line Coach, Run Game Coordinator and Assistant Head Football Coach, so he carries a lot of fancy titles which means he controls all facets of the Rush Offense and of course, he is making more than $1Mn per year. Meanwhile, Kapilovic Rush Offense has ranked #110 or worse in 3 of the last 4 years when measured against 133 FBS Schools and that computes to the bottom 20th percentile in the land.

Let’s break it out:

  • 2020…#122 (91 YPG)
  • 2022…#110 (113 YPG)
  • 2023…#116 (102 YPG)

If you are a Spartan, how does that make you feel?

Michigan State invested $95 Mn in Mel Tucker to ensure he would bring in the best assistant coaches and coordinators in the land, which in turn would render championships, yet Mel Tucker thought it wise to bring Chris Kapilovic to Michigan State and pay him more than $1Mn.

Yet I defy you to find a single place where Chris Kapilovic distinguished himself. In fact, he never won anything, anywhere, any time. Yet, he oversees Michigan State Rush Offense?

And let’s be mindful, Tucker’s coordinators including Chris Kapilovc, Jay Johnson (O-Coordinator/QB Coach) and Scottie Hazelton (D-Coordinator/LB Coach) each fetch more than $1Mn per year yet their return on investment to Michigan State University is a woeful 13-19 Big Ten W/L record.

And I want to give due credit to Harlon Barnett’s ineptness as a position coach as well. As cited, the Pass Defense overseen by Barnett yielded an eye glazing 353 Yards to Ohio State facilitated by 82% completion percentage and in the past 3 seasons Barnett’s Pass Defense has ranked #14 (dead ass last); #13; and currently rank #11 amongst 14 Big Ten teams.

So, Spartan position coaches and coordinators all receive failing grades and I submit to you the position coaches and Coordinator’s hired by Mel Tucker are unemployable at championship caliber programs anywhere in the country, in fact they are probably unemployable at most FBS schools, yet they hold “key” jobs at Michigan State (go figure).

And while the Spartans commenced this season teetering on instability and non-competitiveness, now after losing to 3, Top 10 teams including Washington, Michigan, and Ohio State by a cumulative score of 128-10, Athlon Sports have ranked the Spartans a dreadful #91 in the land.


At the bottom line: 

Less than 10 years ago, Michigan State was at the pinnacle of the Football Mountain but then then they hired an inexperienced AD with Zero athletic experience who was incapable of searching for and hiring a championship caliber coach, and so his plan was to simply “spin the wheel of fortune” and it landed on Mel Tucker.

So, Michigan State gets what it deserves for not crafting a coherent plan, and/or executing a coherent search, and now Michigan State Football is an unstable job and very few Championship caliber coaches are enticed or willing to take the reins.

So, let’s ask this question: has Alan Haller appointed a championship caliber/Blue Ribbon Search Committee yet or is he relying upon the same tired, old, insular voices inside Michigan State who thought it was a great idea to hire Bobby Williams, John L. Smith and Mel Tucker?

The future of Michigan State Football relies upon Michigan State correcting course, yet, is anyone at Michigan State capable of executing a coherent search and capable of correcting course?

After all, no one within Michigan State has ever demonstrated the wherewithal to search for and hire a championship caliber football coach, so there isn’t a lot of optimism.

Unless Michigan State checks their hubris, admits their deficiencies and deploys an independent Blue Ribbon Search Committee as I proposed in my last missive we are likely to see Bobby Williams, John L. Smith and Mel Tucker 2.0 on steroids.

For all its resources, Michigan State should never be in this position, but here they are, racing for the bottom of the Big Ten!

Thank you for reading.