It was one helluva shock to watch the mess that unravelled in front of our eyes, watching John L. Smith crying after his Louisville gridders were whipped in a second-tier bowl game. But, after letting the shock sink in the past six months, the ES is firmly entrenched in his belief that Ron Mason hired exactly the right man as new MSU football coach.
Whether or not he is the right man, he is OUR coach, and he at least deserves a chance to prove himself before being cast aside with the rest of the legendary Spartan coaches over the past 30 years.
That being said, here are 10 reasons why John L. is the perfect fit for MSU:
1. MSU COACHING SINCE 1973 IS AVERAGE. Just look at the past six Spartan coaches since Duffy Daugherty retired in 1972. Denny "Probation" Stoltz, Darryl "Mr. Lions" Rogers, Muddy "Roses Don't Grow In Muddy" Waters, George "Hubba" Perles, Nick "Pretty Boy" Saban, Bobby "Brain Dead" Williams -- each had little-to-no NCAA Division 1 head coaching experience before taking over at MSU (Rogers at San Jose State, Saban at Toledo).
Over the past 30 seasons of this Schlitz-style coaching, MSU is just 172-164-8 (.512), has just 14 winning seasons, 5 eight-win seasons,a 5-7 record in bowl games, and only 3 Big10 titles. John L. Smith comes to State with more experience than any of the previous six head coaches combined entering their first stints with MSU, owning a record of 110-60 (.647), 71-25 in conference (.740), and six conference titles.
2. NO MSU CONNECTION. Each of the previous six coaches, aside from Rogers, had connections to MSU. Look where it has gotten us. John L. has NONE. Perfect; it is time to start from scratch.
3. RON MASON HIRED HIM. A.D. Ron Mason, the winningest hockey coach of all time, relied on his experience to hire John L. It was his decision alone. Most, if not all, Spartan fans, supported the hiring of Ron Mason as AD. It's hypocritical not to support hiriing a guy (Mason), and then criticizing him for doing what we ask (hiring a FB coach) before the results come in. The ES supported hiring Big Ron as AD, and he supports hiring John L. But, the ES also know where the buck stops.
4. LACK OF MSU TRADITION. Let's get more pumped up about beating Ohio State. The ES is with John L. Where has our hatred for Michigan alone gotten us the past 30 years? This guy is like a fish out of water up here. Hopefully, with the new spread offense, John L.'s got wings and this fish will fly. John L. is concentrating on X's and O's, and not all the fluff; we can use some fresh air around here.
5. NO ONE WANTED JOHN L. We're all pundits. We wanted Mike Stoops, Randy Shannon, Walt Harris, or Tom O'Brien. We're shocked to see John L. wearing the green hat with the block white 'S.' Perfect. We can all use a shock; what do we know anyways? Did we interview these guys? Give Mason some credit here.
6. THE OLDER THE WISER. Spartan tans wanted a younger coach to stick around for 30 years. Get real. How many D1-A coaches out there have stuck around for more than 10 years? Ancient Chinese Secret Says Listen To Your Elders. Bring in the old man to show some new tricks.
7. ENTHUSIASM. The ES couldn't stand the shit-eating grin on BW's face, nor the monotone nature of Nick Saban's wrath. Get a guy in here who is pumped for the players and the media. We need some ENERGY!
8. NO MORE SMASH-MOUTH. The ES was sick and tired of seeing the three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust, smash- mouth offense go nowhere. It's time for something BRAND NEW. Start from a clean slate, and let's see the Big Green fling the ball all over the place. Spread and ready folks... that's the way the ES likes it.
9. ES IS THE ETERNAL OPTIMIST. Like it or not, the ES is always gonna support the Big Green. It's my team, I can't hack 'em until they stink the place up.
10. JUMP OUT OF PLANES. Hey, any guy with the guts to jump out of perfectly
good airplanes and run with the bulls wins my vote. Welcome to town, John L.!THE ES'
BIG TEN PICKS
1. Ohio State.. 10-2/7-1. They won't go undefeated, but they'll beat Michigan... AGAIN.
2. Michigan. 10-2/6-2. The ES will never pick these bastards to win anything. Minnesota, Purdue, Ohio State and MSU will play UM tough.
3. Minnesota. 9-3/5-3. The schedule, and their offense, are in the Gophers' favor.
3. Wisconsin. 8-4/5-3. Alvarez' swan song will disappoint the Beaver faithful.
5. Purdue. 8-4/4-4. Spoilermakers will be strong on defense... again. Who needs the spread.
5. JoePa. 7-5/4-4. It's time for the rockin' chair.
7. Michigan State. 6-6/3-5. If we end up here, it will be an up year for the Big Green. ES says YES.
7. Iowa. 7-5/3-5. Hawkeyes will be fine, but will struggle in a strong Big Ten.
7. Illinois. 6-6/3-5. This team really made it to BCS in 2001???
10. Indiana. 4-8/1-7. DiNardo still a year away from improvement.
10. Northwestern. 3-9/1-7. Bottom feeders will get drunk at the Gin Mill.