Answering Your Michigan State Football Questions and Emails…

Photo courtesy of MSU SID. Photo courtesy of MSU SID.

Hondo, I love your question and answer articles, but lately they depress me.  It seems the only ones you pick are negative.  I beg you to at least try to be balanced.  Cliff in Texas

Hi Cliff, I try to pick first those that represent the most emails that are similar in subject and I do try to keep a balance of positive and negative.  Lately I haven’t been getting many positive at all.  I do get nailed from both sides.  This next email is a great example.


It is about time you retarded fat moron that you start printing those of us who are not happy with Spartan football.  Your constant covering of Mark Dantonio has cost you any and all credibility.  Sorry you didn’t catch on until it was too late.  Matt Petersen

Matt, I have been very critical when it is necessary.  I just don’t see a need to follow the wave of public opinion if I don’t agree.  My job is not to regurgitate what you think; (unless it is displaying your email) it is to tell you what I think.  Also, it is unfair to those who are learning disabled to link me in with them.  I don’t think they would be happy to be included in a group with me.  They deserve better.


Hondo, I am a tutor in the Smith Center so please do not use my name.  I am not a full ride scholarship athlete.  I work two jobs to pay my way through college and will have a massive amount of debt to prove it when I graduate.  I just want to say that I really don’t appreciate the certain sports that have athletes that are worshiped by the fans who go on Twitter and rip or make fun of us.  Sorry that we may not be big and athletic.  Sorry we are nerds, but when you go on Twitter to rip us, don’t expect you will get a lot of sympathy from us or extra help.  I know that Coach Dantonio makes players reimburse us if they skip a tutor, but I have made arrangements to meet guys at a later date and not get paid so I could still help them.  Not anymore.  Sorry you think you are cool because so many people who don’t really know you follow you on Twitter.  Sorry that as a math nerd or science nerd we can get a Twitter and maybe get ten other nerds to follow us, unlike you who can act like a jerk and get so many.  It doesn’t mean that we are stupid of dysfunctional members of society.  It also means that you probably won’t go to the NFL and don’t ask me for a job. (Name Withheld)

I think it is unfair to judge all of the student athletes by the actions of a few.  So many of the athletes do respect what you do.  I am sure some of the tutors in the past have not always been great professionals; do you want to be judged by them?  You have a job.  You get paid.  You admitted Coach D makes them pay if they skip a session.  Do you know he also makes them do early AM workouts?   I agree that so many of you work hard and that should be respected, but I also think whining about general complaints is foolish.  Grow a thicker skin and save your anger for when they ask you for a job!


Hondo, I just don’t understand why Michigan State football can’t land the high level offensive line recruits.  I know we have a lot of guys on scholarship, but this really concerns me.  Gene in Wixom

I am going to go VERY deep into this in my end of the season “What went wrong” article, but I want to address very quickly two points.  I know in talking to recruits (the high profile) on the OL you hear a lot when talking off the record about other schools pointing out the Spartans lack of success getting offensive lineman to the league.  I will have some quotes in that article, but Dantonio and his regime are getting hammered for that.

As I have mentioned before, just as I get help from my NFL friends with my annual MOCK draft, I got five of them to help me by answering some questions about MSU football and their thoughts on the program.  Some of their thoughts are great and some are depressing.  I had more than one of them (they are from five different teams) mention to me that Dantonio has had a player drafted since he arrived at every position OTHER than offensive line; a true lineman not counting a TE.  They go into great detail on the MSU OL and I will share it then, but your concerns are warranted.

I highly doubt my end of the year article will excite you when it comes to your question, but it will enlighten you I believe.  I think the Spartans have to recruit better on the OL, but I also think there are some potentially very good players on the MSU OL.  Very good.


Hondo, are you shocked that they have only sold 2,000 of the required 11,000 tickets for the bowl game? Samantha



Hondo, in your end of year article do you plan on addressing the DeAnthony Arnett situation and the coaches’ stubbornness in not playing him?  Why take the kid and then punish him on the bench for not picking you originally?  Nathan

Nathan, I am, but let me just say this.  If you think DeAnthony’s inability to get on the field for much playing time was the staff punishing him for not picking MSU out of high school you are crazy.  DeAnthony’s inability to play much this season was one person’s fault:  DeAnthony Arnett.


Hondo, what are your early thoughts on TCU?  Stephen

The best defense MSU will face this year other than Notre Dame; very, very solid on that side of the ball.  Their offense is better than most think as they got better as the year went on.  Not the best by far, but certainly opportunistic and able to score.  Not a lot, but they will score.


Hondo, I know that we can all sleep better since Narduzzi didn’t get the Cincinnati job, but I have an idea to keep him here.  How about naming him coach in waiting for whenever Coach D retires?  Tom

NO!  First, let me tell you a story about Coach D.  There have been a lot of rumors this year about him leaving or already planning an exit strategy.  I got an email from a person I like who is connected to MSU.  He told me that he had heard Dantonio was already planning his way out and would be gone in two years.  I laughed and showed the email to Coach D one day just as a joke as I already knew that it wasn’t the case.  He told me, “You tell him that you showed this to me and I am NOT going anywhere for a long time.”  So there you go, that comes from Coach himself. 

Secondly, unless a coach is leaving at the end of next year I hate a coach in waiting concept.  It causes more issues than positives.  Mark Hollis will make his choice whenever the day comes, unless he is lured away, and I trust Hollis. 


Hondo, I read on another message board that Nick Tompkins is transferring.  Can you verify?  Keith

I got several emails about this Keith.  I can tell you with 100% certainty that he is not.  I called his dad Reggie to verify, even though I knew it was not the case.  He told me, “That is a complete lie and I don’t understand how people can just make that stuff up.”  In fact, the Tompkins have bought a home up here and he was in Mid-Michigan at his home owner’s association meeting when I called.  He was up here to watch some bowl practices.


Hondo, being from Ohio I know several people well connected to Cincinnati.  They are very upset Pat Narduzzi didn’t get the job.  I know that you and Butch Jones are close and you have great contacts at Cincy, other than Pat having been a DC there, what is the connection.  It sure seems strong.  Denny from Canton, OH

First Denny, he is a great coach.  Secondly, he impressed a lot of people while there.  Let me tell you a funny story; this comes from people at Cincy by the way.  When Dantonio left he recommended to the then AD (now at ILL) that Don Treadwell get the interim job.  The AD liked Pat very much and thought he would be a great hire as head coach.  Pat was his choice.  He asked Pat to be the interim despite Dantonio’s recommendation of Treadwell.  According to people at Cincy, Coach D was not pleased because he really wanted and needed Pat on the road recruiting for MSU.  In the end, the AD under pressure went with Butch Jones who already had a proven track record as a head coach because of some internal pressure.

I can tell you that had a coach with the resume of Tommy Tubberville not essentially called and let’s just say asked with earnest fervor for the job, Pat was the number one choice.  Again, according to folks at Cincy.


Hondo, had Narduzzi gone to Cincinnati or another job this year what would have happened here at MSU?  Chuck

Great question, Chuck.  I am sure that Narduzzi would have tried to take as many of the defensive staff as he could have.  That is my guess and Dantonio would have had to make an offer to Tressel or Barnett to be the DC.  I would expect that the one that didn’t take the DC job would have gone with Pat to be his.


Hondo, would you please comment on Coach Dantonio talking about making changes to the offense and getting with the times and then backtracking?  Paul in Cadillac

Yes, I can and I will in my end of the year article.  A lot.


Hondo, can you take a second and talk about the new kicker?  I think his name is Giger?  Chandler

Sure Chandler.  His name is Michael Geiger.  He is a great kicker.  He will be a great addition to the Spartan Nation.  Super leg and he can really boot the ball.  Had Hunter Niswander been willing to wait on MSU (he took an offer from Northwestern) while MSU dragged their feet it would have come down to him and Hunter.  Hunter went to NW and with Geiger already committed to another school the Spartans didn’t see other options that they felt were scholarship worthy at this point.  They would have waited and were planning on offering some guys to walk on and potentially earn a scholarship.  When Geiger’s school he was committed to lost their head coach, MSU swooped in and got the guy they wanted all along.


There you go everyone.  Another week of answering your MSU football questions and emails.  Thanks for participating.  Please make sure you send your questions to and put Football Q/A in the subject line.  Thanks.

About Hondo S. Carpenter Sr.

View all posts by Hondo S. Carpenter Sr.
Hondo S. Carpenter, Sr. is the founder and publisher of and all of the family of services. The idea was birthed when overseas he ran into a Spartan not native to the United States who was wearing his Green and White proudly. He is dedicated to bringing you the latest and greatest information about Michigan State and Detroit Sports News every day. He resides in the Mid Michigan area. Follow Hondo on twitter here: @hondocarpenter.

4 Responses to “Answering Your Michigan State Football Questions and Emails…” Subscribe

  1. Pete December 14, 2012 at 10:16 am #

    The obvious answer to MSU’s and Dantonio’s lack of credibility with offensive line prospects is to hire an offensive coach with a proven track record of coaching offensive linemen into better players or to hire one of the few MSU offensive linemen who’ve had a career in the pro game as an assistant. This is not rocket science to anyone but MD.

    The problem is that, apparently, you can extend your career indefinitely, as a college coach, if you manage to get a few position players into the draft on a regular basis and, at MSU, the positions are linebacker, defensive linemen, defensive backs, quarterbacks, and wide receivers. MSU may not get Alabama talent but, out of the 100 or so players in the football program at MSU, there’s always a few who have enough skills or athletic ability to play the pro game and this is a problem for us fans because MD and the MSU AD considers getting a few players in the NFL draft to be the “touchstone of success”. That’s why MD will forever be telling us that he is “building the program” and MSU fans will be forever watching meaningless bowl games as “proof”.

    MSU fans would rather see a good team that plays intelligently for the entire game and counters its lack of 4 and 5 star athletic talent with offensive and defensive schemes that pressure the opposition to think on the field, the one thing that can neutralize another team’s athletic advantage. The football programs at Boise State and TCU are where MSU’s football program needs to be. In contrast, MD wants to recruit the one or two athletic freaks per class that he believes can lift mediocre talent AND coaching to a winning season. He also wants recruits to think that the pro-style offense he runs gives them a better opportunity to actually play pro ball. His approach is not designed to build overall team excellence or to compete for championships. His approach is designed to co-exist with champions and to yield a generous retirement package. The question we’re left with is simple; How many of you MSU fans want to spend your time and money following a team based on MD’s philosophy? The results are in and the AD doesn’t seem to care.

  2. st8grad December 14, 2012 at 12:53 pm #

    Pete- Seriously? I get your frustration, but I’m not sure how those conclusions can be drawn. I guarantee you that MD and Hollis want to win. One thing about recruiting is that you are working against human free will. It isn’t as simple as just getting certain talent. It also isn’t that he is content without talent. Further, if the talent is determined only by rivals or scout, then it isn’t Gospel. Our coaching staff has done a great job overall of identifying talent that was missed and also developing talent. Alabama can get all top 4star and many 5 star players and if some are a bust, it won’t matter becuase they have others…and they are good coaches

    We don’t have that luxury. If you understand how backward the internal workings of our program used to be, you would understand the monumental climb that we have made in visible and non-visible areas. JLS pushed hard for new facilities and for academic accountability. MD furthered that. Hollis has been crucial to all of it.

    We had a decent team, that was a political system away from the Rose Bowl in 2010. We had what became a very good team in 2011, win the division and outplay Wisconsin in Indy, but fell short. They beat a Georgia team that was 1 win away from the national title game this year after that.

    22 wins in two years. That ties JLS win total for his whole career at MSU. Never once- NOT ONCE – have I seen a Dantonio team ever give up nor play a game to the bitter end. The 5 losses we had this season really mean we were no better or no worse than the teams we lost to. If we would have won those, same deal.

    I can’t wait to read Hondo’s end of year. Because I am dying to get detail. There’s plenty of blame to go around. But you are way off on your analysis of Coach D and Hollis. Moreover, your expectations.

    • Pete December 14, 2012 at 8:27 pm #

      The reality is that Meyer is here and there is no one in the B10 who will consistently compete with him if they aren’t constantly innovating. MSU had a window to do something special and break the “two + whatever” conference lineup that has ruled in my lifetime. This year was crucial and MDs failure and unwillingness to change his offense and his staff means that the window I was talking about is nearly shut now. Yes, it’s nice that the team plays hard, harder than they did for a bad coach like JLS, but the reality is that you not going to have OSU and UoM down like they were ever again.

      We Michiganders have a certain tolerance for losing that other areas and states don’t seem to have. Sorry to have to say this but get ready for more of the same.

      Where have you gone, Duffy Daugherty, the fan base turns its lonely eyes to you….Woo, Woo, Woo….

  3. st8grad December 15, 2012 at 8:23 pm #

    What’s that you say Biggie Munn-io? Ohio State has been cleaning up in recruiting since John Cooper. Nothing new with Urban in town. Michigan being up again, has nothing to do with our recruiting either. They had better recruiting classes than we did even with RR. We still have a major chance next season. Talent abounds on this team, plus depth, and quality players.

    Things need to change and I would bet bottom dollar they will. I think people in all of sports have become extremely intolerant and reactionary. He just took us to two of the best seasons you have ever witnessed.

    Lets go with it for a minute. He loses the bowl game, we fire him. Who do we hire and why? And finally some coaches have proven this in recent times to back up my 20 year argument that you don’t have to have a big name coach to win. Urban was at bowling green before bringing Utah to crazy heights and then Florida. Brian Kelly GVSU, central & cincy, before ND. Dantonio cincy, then MSU, big ten title – division tittle. Brady Hoke, San Diego State.

    I just know you are going to say it needs to be a big name coach. But go ahead, who and why.