It'll take time, but Dantonio has shown he's far from all talk. He's all walk.
Granted, the circumstances vary to a degree, but a similar outcome is more than possible.
Izzo had inherited full control of a program that he had been a part of, assisting under legendary Spartans coach Jud Heathcote since 1983 before taking over in 1995. Michigan State basketball was in good shape for most of Heathcote's reign. The Spartans won a national title in 1979 and remained relatively competitive in Big Ten play throughout the 1980s and early 1990s.
Sure, there were losing seasons here and there. However, there was a solid base in place for Izzo. He's been the head man for 17 hears and greatly expanded on Heathcote's teachings.
Since the late 1990s, Spartans basketball has been on the forefront of NCAA hoops. Six Final Fours and a national title later, Izzo is recognized as one of the game's elite coaches.
Dantonio, though, faced a tougher challenge. Prior to Dantonio, the Spartans hadn't experienced much success, reeling and regrouping after the departure of Nick Saban in 2000. Saban, who now coaches Alabama, had the program going in the right direction. He won 35 games in five years, symbolizing what most thought would be a continuation of the type of achievement the Spartans had under George Perles.
Perles, like Dantonio, took over after a string of coaching changes. Perles guided the Spartans to the 1988 Rose Bowl -- but they haven't been back since.
Despite the national titles in the 1950s and 1960s under iconic coaches Biggie Munn and Duffy Daugherty, Michigan State never posted back-to-back 10-win regular seasons. Dantonio has done that, with his most recent landing his team in the 2012 Outback Bowl. He's also won nine more games, 44, in his first five years than Saban did in the same time span.
Michigan State, after a 20-year hiatus, climbed back to the top of the Big Ten with a share of 2010's title. Dantonio had kept his word by delivering at least a portion of a league banner. The Spartans reached the inaugural conference title game in 2011. They'll be back.
The next step, obviously, is the Rose Bowl. Michigan State will get there, as sure as its basketball program would reach previously-unseen heights under Izzo. The two coaches are cut from the same mold. Both strive for perfection. Both welcome high expectations. And both are proven winners.
Dantonio may not reach the equivalent of six Final Fours. But give him five years -- he's already done wonders in his first half-decade -- and the Spartans won't only be big kids on a small block, they'll be big kids on the national stage.
Adam Biggers has followed NCAA football for over 20 years, specifically the Michigan State Spartans. He can be found on Twitter @AdamBiggers81.
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