Maybe, just maybe, John L. Smith might turn out to be a good hire.
Let me take it a step further. John L. Smith is exactly what MSU needs at this time. The man has a proven track record of turning around bad teams and doing it quickly. In 1997, when Smith took the University of Louisville job, it was an absolute mess. Former Eastern Michigan coach Ron Cooper had just run a decent program in the ground. Sound familiar?
Cooper was shown the door at Louisville after a 1-10 season. The program had little talent and recruiting was dead. Enter Smith. The very next season, Smith led that same team to a 7-5 finish and a berth in the Motor City bowl. How does seven wins sound to you right about now?
He has never had a losing season in his five years at Louisville and last season the Cardinals went 11-2. Sure they were a little disappointing with a 7-6 overall finish, but that does little to taint Smith's overall record of 110-61-0
Smith can recruit. At Louisville, 23 of his recruits are from the fertile ground of Florida. He has a pipeline to South Florida a place Michigan State used to recruit quite successfully. If he can re-establish MSU as a destination in the minds of all those talented Floridians footballers, he deserves a shot.
The man knows quarterbacks. At Louisville, not exactly a cradle of quarterbacks, Smith has tutored two of the finest young QBs to come out of college football the past five years, Baltimore Ravens starter Chris Redman and soon to be top 15 draft pick Dave Ragone.
In thirteen seasons as a head coach, Smith has had only ONE losing season, ONE.
If he's hired the first thing Smith ought to do is pick up a cellphone and make two calls. The first to linebacker Lamarr Woodley of Saginaw. Woodley has Michigan as the leader for his services, but friends and family have said he really wants to go the MSU, he just wouldn't commit without knowing who the coach is.
The second ought to be to Ionia tight end Garret Bushong. Sure Bushong has committed to Purdue, but he earlier committed to MSU before changing his mind. In Smith's throw, throw and throw some more offense, Bushong is sure to get his chance to shine.
Once that's done, MSU assistants Pat Perles and Jeff Stoutland ought to be rewarded for keeping the recruiting fires burning while the school was out searching for a coach. They deserve a job on the new coaches staff somewhere.
John L., you've got about an hour to wrap up those tasks, then you've get two weeks to put together a banner recruiting class.
I'll be expecting at least those seven wins and my post season bowl next December.