Championing the cause...
As much as I'd love to leave the ACC - Big Ten Challenge picks at the top today; I just can't help but do a deeper dive into the "Izzo for football coach" talk that has taken hold in here in Michigan and among MSU fans, followers, supporters, alumni and media alike.
The question I want to get to is, why not? Seriously. I keep reading on message boards and in some media circles about what a bad idea it is. Take a second. Look beyond the surface. Tell me what MSU wants in a head football coach? Let me guess, you answered things such as: The person must be able to recruit; be a great teacher, a master motivator, an innovative mind; someone who can instill a climate of personal, team and institutional accountability and discipline; someone with whom you would entrust your son to help him be a successful person and with whom your son would want to stay in contact throughout his life; and be an effective communicator and committed to community outreach. I
promise you each one of you answered at least some of those things. So again, I pose the question, why not Tom Izzo? Is he not all of those things and more? Should we be any more sold on a defensive coordinator who has never been a head coach than on Izzo - who we know would consult his friends Nick Saban, Jon Gruden and Steve Mariucci - among others - in a quest to field a team of the best assistants in the business?
Who's to say that Grantham, Pelini, Shurmur, Kelly or anyone else bandied about would even hold a candle to what Izzo brings to the table? Think about it. Think deeper than "it would be stupid", or, "it would be embarrassing." Those are your initial feelings. Think about what you want in a coach and tell me that Izzo isn't all of that and then some. Isn't that what Michigan State football needs?
Worried about losing him in basketball - the guy has five former assistants as head coaches in the game. You don't think he'd find an able replacement to keep this program humming? All of your reasons for not wanting it to happen are really just plain stupid. It takes a look beyond the surface to get the real answers. Tom Izzo is the answer.
For more eloquent takes on this, I urge you to read Steve Grinzel's four latest web logs:
Izzo has all the criteria for MSU's next coach
Izzo addresses interest in football job
Saban speaks out for Izzo
Bottom line, if Saban thinks it would work and if Joel Ferguson thinks it is the dumbest idea ever, I've never read two better endorsements. One because Saban is the last coach we're truly had that embodies exactly what we need and two, because Ferguson is a meddling (you fill in the blank :) )