MSU’s Mel Tucker is Ramping Up The Rivalry With Michigan and Harbaugh
Ultimately, if Michigan State wins a national title, then coach Mel Tucker is going to look like a genius. And if they are simply also-rans, then this all will seem foolish. Sports Illustrated has a story this week about Tucker ramping up the rivalry with Jim Harbaugh and Michigan.
This headline says it all: "'There's no reason to be friends' with U-M's Jim Harbaugh". I guess "little brother" has a bigger chip on his shoulders than in the past.
(The Volume via YouTube)
What it says to me is Tucker understands exactly the situation. A: The Michigan game is the game of the year for Sparty. Mark D'Antonio understood that and turn the balance of power during his tenure towards East Lansing. Sparty doesn't have another big opponent, as Michigan does with Ohio State. But B: If Tucker's goal is bigger than that, say a national title, then any kind of publicity is good, putting attention on a program that needs more attention.
And make no mistake about it, Tucker's goal is bigger than winning the Big Ten title or going to the Rose Bowl. A decade ago, that might have been enough, but with all the changes in college football (and with more to come in the next three years), why not think big and win the whole thing. Tucker seems to know how to take advantage of the transfer portal. If State can get a few top-tier talents in for a season, and finally get a game-changing quarterback, there's no reason MSU can't be like Alabama or Clemson, or even Ohio State.
Again, in and of itself, what Tucker said about Harbaugh is nothing. But if it gets MSU some additional attention, then maybe the people who vote every week pay more attention, and the goal, for now, is to be in the Top 4, and after that, with all the changes coming, who knows.