With Big Ten Media Days coming up, SpartanDigest is taking a look at the five storylines around Michigan State to pay attention to.
Next up: Complacency and handling success
Michigan State had its best season in almost 40 years last year. It won its first Rose Bowl since 1988 and won 13 games for the first time in school history.
The Spartans now are facing expectations that have rarely been seen in East Lansing. Heading into the Big Ten Championship Game last season, the talk was “why not us?” regarding the Spartans in the national title picture. That talk has remained as the Spartans look to build on a season that few saw coming or expected.
But with huge goals and expectations come equally massive amounts of pressure. Throughout last season, the talk from coach Mark Dantonio was focused on his players handling success. With each win, the success grew and grew and the players handled it. Can they handle it again?
On a different note, can they avoid complacency? One of the pitfalls of success – especially success found for the first time, as it was for many of the Spartans last year – is losing the drive and expecting to reach the same goals.
As the Spartans look to repeat as Big Ten champions and then some, it will be big to keep the chip on their shoulder that has driven them previously. That chip was evident last year at Big Ten Media Days as Dantonio, Max Bullough, Darqueze Dennard and Blake Treadwell talked about the 2012 season and how players worked in the offseason leading up to 2013. It needs to be there for the 2014 team now.