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Saturday, October 17, 2015


Both coaches spoke after the game in the normal press conference setting. Their comments offer some insights into their programs, and highlight the differences between the team cultures of Michigan State and Michigan.

Jim Harbaugh was understandably sober, perhaps somber, as he stared blankly at the media audience. He spoke highly of his team, commended their efforts, but also made it clear it was their mistakes along with bad officiating that took the game out of their hands. He repeatedly emphasized that they were going to move on to the next game, take them one at a time, etc. And he said more than once that he would tell his players to get a "steely spine" of resolve from the experience.

Dantonio was calm, as always, commending his players and their effort, as well as thrice complimenting their opponent. He talked about how his team has a "belief system", and while it doesn't always result in wins, it holds them together. He said he was ready to praise his players for their work before the final play transpired. He was generally satisfied with how they had handled their end of things even in the face of defeat. He said the most important thing was to get the win and move to 7-0.

The "Harbaugh Syndrome" is all about an individual drive to win everything and anything that comes into target range as a goal. It's based on individuals pushing themselves to beat other individuals. This approach fits in well at Michigan.

The "Dantonio System" is based on all players bonding together in the belief that they can be successful by playing their roles well, regardless of star-player status. It's based on people working together to function as an integrated whole that is greater than the sum of it's parts.  This approach fits in well at Michigan State.

Players being recruited for college look into both programs to see if they can find what they are looking for. Those who select Michigan State will do so because they like what they see, especially in contrast with what they see in other places. While some great players will likely choose the program that Harbaugh offers, we can remember that they probably wouldn't have fit into the grooves of Spartanism anyway.

The game as a whole, including the post-game comments
from Michigan State Coach Mark Dantonio, will probably
serve to hold steady or advance current recruiting efforts
for players in the 2016 Class and beyond.


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1 comment:

  1. I am particularly fond of the "steely spines" comment.

    Harbaugh called his team a bunch of spineless wusses...


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