Nothing says respect in the Big Ten quite like winning the Rose Bowl, and after years of getting Michigan State close but not quite there, coach Mark Dantonio finally got the Spartans over the hump.
But Dantonio is well acquainted with his team’s history and has seen that after a year of glory, often a year of ugly can follow.
So if there was one point Dantonio wanted to make in his opening remarks at Big Ten media day, it was that the Spartans are striving for consistency.
“We have to gain even more ground because respectability can fly right out the window on us and I understand that,” Dantoino said.
And he understands the fickle nature of college football fans.
“It’s what you’ve done lately that you’re basically judged on,” Dantonio said.
Other points Dantoino touched on:
*The media are viewing the Spartans' matchup with Ohio State on Nov. 8 in East Lansing as a de facto East division championship game. The fact that it will be played in primetime in November, which the Big Ten traditionally has shied away from, doesn't bother Dantonio.
"Like so many things, things just come to you. I found out the same time everybody else did and we embrace the decisions that are made. … I think it’s good for the conference, good for the two teams playing in the football game and we play very well at night.”
*Dantoino was asked if the rivalry with Michigan needs a little more sprak after the Spartans have dominated the series recently.
"Well, I live in Michigan, that ought to do it," Dantoino said.