By: Aidan Champion
Michigan State coach Mel Tucker has had a phenomenal start to his second season as the Spartans’ head coach. A 7-0 record was an accolade nobody who follows the college football world would have ever predicted after MSU finished 2-5 in its shortened 2020 season.
Even with what most would consider a disappointing first season, Tucker’s two wins were both against ranked teams in then No. 13 Michigan and No. 8 Northwestern, who went on to win the Big Ten West. With those victories amidst a gloomy season, Spartan Nation still had high hopes for its new head coach’s future with the organization.
Some might have called a .500 season a success for the coach’s second year. Not a lot was expected of this MSU team, but the standard for Tucker was any mark that would suggest improvement. With seven games into this season, improvement has been an understatement.
The Spartans have climbed in the rankings every single week in the 2021 season, and now they find themselves at No. 9 in the AP Top 25 over halfway through the regular season.
While a comfortable perfect start heading into a bye week should ideally be a period of content for the Spartan faithful, the football following in East Lansing is a little unsettled for reasons off the field.
LSU and its head coach Ed Orgeron will be parting ways at the end of this season, and talks of the organization looking to make an offer for Tucker have been headlining college football media.
Tucker coached defensive backs with LSU back in 2000 in what was his second year in a full-time coaching position. The season served as a reunion between him and head coach Nick Saban, whom Tucker had coached under as a graduate assistant at MSU.
There’s no question that the head coaching job at LSU outweighs most positions in college football. And odds are that if it wants Tucker to take the reins bad enough, it will present a very hefty offer.
MSU fans have reason to be relieved in wake of such rumors, though.
One of Tucker’s most significant strengths as a head coach is his recruiting ability. According to 247Sports, MSU has the 18th-ranked 2022 recruiting class in the nation, and that’s likely to continue to rise after the season the Spartans have had.
Of course, Tucker has also had success in the transfer portal, a resource he used to acquire Heisman Trophy candidate Kenneth Walker III and linebacker Quavaris Crouch.
It’s clear that the 49-year-old head coach is committed to building something in East Lansing. To leave behind these groups of promising prospects after just two seasons seems almost outlandish.
Tucker has already accomplished a great deal more at MSU than what was expected of him in his first two seasons at the wheel. Considering values like improvement, perseverance and dedication that Tucker appears to hold true to himself, it’s reasonable to believe he has a lot more he wants to prove in his time in East Lansing.
Leaving Colorado was a big move for Tucker. Doing so made it evident that he was willing to establish a new home with MSU for at least a considerable duration.
Coach Tucker has a lot going for himself as the leader of Spartan football. It’s safe to assume that the LSU conversation is just extra noise.
Written by: Aidan Champion
Aidan is an MSU Journalism Student and Spartan Football writer for: impact89fm.org
Photo Courtesy of WLIX.com