Mark Dantonio: 'It doesn't translate into success or failure'

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Friday December 28, 2012

Posted by: Chris Vannini on December 28, 2012

A popular saying leading up to a bowl game is that it sets the tone for the following season.

But don't get that confused with determining success or failure. Mark Dantonio might know that better than anyone.

Following the 2010 regular season, Michigan State was annihilated by Alabama 49-7 in the Capital One Bowl. But the Spartans posted a 10-win regular season the following year.

MSU defeated Georgia in the Outback Bowl last season, but posted a 6-6 regular season in 2012. So while the tone is set for the offseason, it doesn't mean much for the actual season.

"We lost one bowl, we lived with it for eight months," Dantonio said. "We won the other, we lived with it eight months. So I think it propels you into the next season and it sort of sets the tone. I don't think it translates into success or failure the next season as evidence of this. At the same time, it makes those eight months a lot easier to deal with and live with.

"You feel yourself moving forward when you win a bowl game. I would say that whether you're coming into the game 6-6 or 10-3 like we were last year."

The 2012 season has certainly been a disappointment for the Spartans, but they can take some solace in that fact five losses came by four points or less. That gave Dantonio something to be proud of.

"I think the fact we lost five games by a total of 13 points, we've really never caved in, that we kept playing every single game," he said. "We came to play every single game, we were prepared mentally, we were fresh, enthusiastic. We had that kind of response after every tough loss, gives you an indication that our football team is resilient. We expect to win.

"I feel like we can play against anybody in the country and win. The opposite is true, as well. Every program that we play against has that ability to win, as well. You take it for what it's worth, but you make sure you're lined up, got your ducks in a row, and are prepared mentally and physically to do the best you can do."

The Spartans face TCU in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl on Saturday night.



Chris Vannini is the lead writer for and has covered Michigan State sports for The State News, The Oakland Press and He writes a weekly column for the Detroit Free Press on behalf of SB Nation. Vannini lives in Big Ten country, so his foot speed is far from SEC caliber, but his pulse on coaches is hard to match. Be sure to follow @CoachingBuzz on twitter and send your feedback to

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to

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