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Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel and Pete Thamel, and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde discuss Michigan State’s 10-year, $95 Million contract extension offer to Mel Tucker, and if the Spartans’ blowout loss to Ohio State should change fans’ feelings on the extension?
DAN WETZEL: Once you get a 95 million dollar contract offer, the expectations and-- needless to say, ramp up when they're saying, you're the second highest paid coach.
We talked about this before. I don't think it's-- Michigan State thinks Mel Tucker's the guy and they want to keep him. They need to overpay to compensate for the other deficiencies in the program.
PETE THAMEL: Yep.
DAN WETZEL: And in Matt Ishbia, their 41-year-old multi-billionaire former basketball player, they have a guy who, quite honestly, I believe, would like to buy the Detroit Lions, but can't because the Ford family won't sell it.
So what's the next best thing if you can't get into the NFL at this age, is effectively own a college football team.
I'll be very interested in what Matt Ishbia does with this program because he's got a lot of money. And I mean, what would you do when you're 41 with $5 billion? Like it's like, meh, I'll hire a football coach. Or I won't. What?
PETE THAMEL: Yeah.
DAN WETZEL: I mean, nothing matters. It's not a number. There's no number.
PAT FORDE: Michigan State is in position, theoretically, to have their Boone Pickens or their Phil Knight, you know?
DAN WETZEL: Yeah.
PAT FORDE: And then if part of that then.
DAN WETZEL: Except he's not like, 80. He's not like, 70 years old and, I got my dying wish. He's like, I'm going to be around for the next like, 40 years.
PAT FORDE: Yeah.
DAN WETZEL: Let's go. So.
PAT FORDE: Yeah. So, yeah. Look. That's the thing when you're Michigan State, you can't just drive a hard bargain of well, we'll pay you the market rate of somebody with your record.
No. If you think that he's the guy, you do overpay to get him and keep him. And then you know, that's the only way you keep away, whether it's LSU or anybody else, hey Florida now in the officially in the market.
And does it work out? We'll see. Not a great first game after succumbing to that kind of deal. But--
DAN WETZEL: He hasn't signed it, as far as we know.
PAT FORDE: Well, true. Right.
DAN WETZEL: He could still leave.
PAT FORDE: That's true.
DAN WETZEL: But, yeah. They have a chance to lose, like, they could lose four of their last five. We'll put it that way.
PAT FORDE: Sure.
DAN WETZEL: They lost to Purdue. They got crushed by Ohio State. We'll see what Penn State brings, and then there's going to be a Bowl game.
PAT FORDE: Yep. But here's the thing. It--
PETE THAMEL: It's indisputable Mel Tucker, he's done a great job this year, right? To get them to this point. He's done an excellent job. So, I don't think--
DAN WETZEL: Unbelievable.
PETE THAMEL: --any of the criticism of what happened to Ohio State. That's just like talent grabbing, right? Like--
PAT FORDE: Yeah.
PETE THAMEL: --Ohio State was actually-- now do you want to be a little more ready to play? Sure. Should he have some answers on defense? Probably. But Mel Tucker has holistically done an excellent job. Because remember, he was handed rotten eggs for a roster, right?
Like I mean that roster is bad. Mark Dantiono had stopped recruiting. He had a bad staff. They had a bad recruiting department. They were sort of relying on point of attack and three stars developing to whatever. And everything just-- they had the slightest margin for error. And once they veered off track, it was pretty bleak there.
So I think, even if they lose to Penn State this weekend, I think any Michigan State fan would have giddily signed up for a Michigan win. And then that would put them at, what, 9 and 3?
DAN WETZEL: 9 and 3. Yeah. Absolutely.
PETE THAMEL: Like that's you would--
DAN WETZEL: Again, the over under was 4 and 1/2 wins by Vegas.
PETE THAMEL: Yeah.
PAT FORDE: Right. Yeah. That's the thing. That was my-- yes. My point I was getting at there was that for them to even be 9 and 1 and ranked that high and in that game, tells you Mel Tucker did a phenomenal job.
There was no reason to believe going into the season, nobody was circling November 20th, Michigan State at Ohio State, as a big game because everybody assumed Michigan State would be 4 and 6 at that point, instead of 9 and 1.
So that's why they were paying the money to him, because they vastly overachieved, and this is a guy who has shown he can turn a roster quickly because of what he did in the transfer portal, and go get guys and make their team better.