The head coach of a 5-6 college football team -- one that entered the year with much higher expectations -- normally wouldn't garner our attention with a sorta kinda guarantee of victory, but since Mark Dantonio coaches Michigan State and the Spartans play the Gophers on Saturday, it suddenly becomes our business. And as ESPN.com's Brian Bennett notes, Dantonio is portraying an air of confidence going into that matchup:
Head coach Mark Dantonio doesn't want any negative thoughts creeping in. So he made a pretty bold statement during his news conference on Tuesday.
"When we win Saturday -- and I'll say when -- we'll be a 6-6 football team, not climbing out of the cellar as a 2-10 football team," Dantonio said.
It sure sounded like a guarantee. So I asked Dantonio later on the Big Ten coaches' call whether he was, in fact, guaranteeing a victory.
"I don't guarantee anything," he said. "I'm saying that's the mindset we bring when we come."
Victory "guarantees" are often overblown; as Dantonio seems to be saying, what else should a coach expect but a victory?
That said, in a week of distractions for the Gophers, maybe it will provide a rallying point.