Hondo, you wrote several months ago about a new building MSU football was going to build on the north end of the endzone. Any updates when that will start? Seth G. Grand Rapids
Hi Seth. Yes Sir, we have one. It is still in design and it will go to the board for final approval in April or May and once approved construction will start immediately. The project will take 15 months so it will be underway during the season. That will make things tight on the north end, but worth it.
Hondo, I am from Nebraska and I love it when you come on the radio here. I was listening the other night and you had some big news about the Big Ten and scheduling. I only caught the last 30 seconds and they talked about it for the next hour on the show. Could you tell me what you said? I know I am a Husker, but love your work. Jackson in Omaha
Hi Jackson! Hey, we love Husker fans. Jim Delany wants the B1G to stop scheduling not only 1-AA teams, but also MAC level schools. He wants a 10 game Big Ten conference schedule. The issue is that football is the money machine at the schools and they need seven home games. They won’t get that if they have 10 conference games for the most part. They need that extra home game for one reason: MONEY. Delany is attempting to convince the athletic directors and schools that there will be such an upswing in TV dollars for those better games that they will make it up with a higher payout. I am not afraid to be critical of Delany. I am also smart enough to know that when it comes to making money, he is a genius. I know that from the Presidential level the idea is liked and from the AD/Coaches level not so much. Delany has the presidents following him like the Pied Piper with money falling out of his pockets. Presidents see dollars and ADs and Coaches see 10 games in a great conference AND a championship game.
Hello Hondo. A few weeks ago you listed what you thought were Tom Izzo’s biggest strength and weakness. Could you tell me what you think Dantonio’s biggest strength and weakness are? Amie
That is a great question Amie. I think Mark Dantonio is a superior thinker. He is smart. He thinks about every little detail and that is so very important. I think his biggest weakness can be that he is a superior thinker. Sometimes, in my opinion, singularity of focus can also be a hindrance. I have known Mark a long time and admire his mind and how he sees little things. It would behoove him sometimes to step back from looking at trees and see the forest more. I always have found that fascinating because most people see the forest and ignore the trees.
Hondo, you seem to have a good relationship with Coach D. Can you tell us what would most shock people about him? Carter
People know about the trick plays, but he loves the passing game. The idea that he is a 3 yards and cloud of dust guy is because he has been forced to run so much. He loves the passing game and taking risks. He is not as risk averse as many believe.
Hondo, with a new OC coming in, do you think MSU changes from a pro-style offense to something else or will they just “tweak” it a little? Have you heard any names coming out yet? Ed H in Holland
They were NEVER going to get away from the pro style and I don’t think they should. Spartan Nation broke the story AFTER the Nebraska game that they would tweak the offense, but I think the big picture has been missed. They love the pro style, BUT a QB can only do three things to change a game. They can do it with 1) Their Arm, 2) Their Feet, or 3) Their decision making. It is my opinion that Dantonio wants to see the QB become more of a threat inside the pro style with more of threat from the QB in all three phases. As far as a name coming out, Spartan Nation broke the story before Roushar left that Brad Salem, the RB coach, is the man to beat. Dantonio will interview all offensive staff coaches who want a chance, but Salem is the man to beat. We also told you then that he WILL interview outside the program, but again Salem is the man to beat and I think he will be VERY difficult to unseat for that job.
Hondo, Mark Hollis talks about national championships, rose bowls, etc. about MSU football. If MSU is serious about competing on a national level, do you think they need to fork out the money to get a highly regarded OC? Dan Ludington, MI
Great question Dan. Mark Hollis is not smart, he is brilliant. He knows and fully grasps that football drives the bus economically at any school. Because MSU has so many varsity sports, he needs a big budget. Prior to Spartan Nation breaking the story that Pat Narduzzi was in College Station, Texas, interviewing with Texas A & M to be their DC we had hammered for months on the pay of the coaches. We got so many emails and Tweets ripping on us for doing that, but we knew judgment day was coming for MSU football and what they pay. Hollis was held back by the administration from giving pay raises in football. Even though MSU athletics gets NO money from the University and laughingly does not keep the parking and concession money and they also have to kick back to the school millions, they couldn’t pay their coaches competitively. You can search Spartan Nation for all the facts. The MSU Board and administration MUST tell Hollis he can run his athletics department any way he wants with three caveats. 1) Win 2) Make Money 3) Don’t cheat. As long as he does those things he should get ZERO interference from anyone above his pay grade other than raises and thank yous. The question of if Hollis will open the check book is not fair. The question is when Hollis will be allowed to run his department void of interference. Let me also add interference both publicly, but much more importantly privately.
Hondo, what is your opinion about Drake Harris the #1 WR in the 2014 class. Do you believe he ends up Green? Aaron Allen
When you are committed, that means something. When you are looking, that says something. I have no issues whatsoever with Harris looking and talking to other schools. He is a young man that I hope does whatever is best for him and his family. The pressure on a 16/17 kids is foolish. I will say that based on some of his comments and that he is looking around the chances diminish every day. I know many good players who have committed to a school and said to others that they weren’t interested and wouldn’t even speak to them. Neither part is wrong, but the later tells me a young man has made up his mind.
Hondo, how much does being a good position coach translate into being a good OC? Is being really good at one critical to being really good at another or are the skill sets necessary to succeed different? Derek Byrne
Great question and I will give you a funny answer to it. In the business world some guys are superior salesmen and because of that success they are moved up to management and fall flat. Some are not so good salesmen, but superior at management. The secret to success in any endeavor is the hiring process. I give a lot of speeches on identifying people and their strengths and weaknesses. Because someone is a great position coach, doesn’t guarantee success at the coordinator level. It also doesn’t guarantee failure. Let me tell you a story. I know a football coach who is an awesome coordinator. He is in the SEC and a great friend of mine. He would be the worst head coach in the world. He has been offered numerous chances, but he realizes that the gifts it takes to be a great head coach aren’t his. So he makes a lot of money as a much sought out coordinator and is very happy. That identifying process is key in the hiring of staff no matter if it is athletics/business or other areas.
OK everyone, there you go. Our weekly Q/A article. If you would like your email to be considered for this article, please add to the subject line Football Q/A. Email me at SpartanNationMail@yahoo.com