Michigan State was left scrambling for a new head coach just hours before National Signing Day when Mark Dantonio resigned Tuesday.
The 13-year head coach announced his resignation in a Twitter post. He leads Michigan State in all-time wins and led the program to the 2015 College Football Playoff. For more on Dantonio’s resignation, check out Brian Edwards’s story here.
BetOnline wasted no time in creating a prop for Dantonio’s replacement. The offshore book opened Luke Fickell as a +200 ‘chalk,’ while Pat Narduzzi followed at +300.
Those odds have quickly been adjusted after bettors started firing on the prop. Michigan State defensive coordinator and interim head coach Mike Tressel opened with +1200 odds to land the head coaching gig.
He has been bet all the way down to a +110 ‘chalk’ as of Thursday afternoon. Tresell has been on Dantonio’s staff for the last 16 seasons, including the last 13 at Michigan State.
According to updated odds, Fickell is Tresell’s only real competition for the job. Fickell has led Cincinnati to back-to-back 11-win seasons and is down to +150 to become the Spartans’ next head coach.
He is 26-13 as a head coach, but also has experience as Ohio State’s interim head coach during the entire 2011 season. Fickell was named the AAC Coach of the Year in 2018 and won the East Division in 2019.
Some bettors have noted the timing of this coaching search could lend itself to Michigan State hiring in house. Dantonio has also been known as a loyal coach with his staff, potentially directing the Spartans to Tressel.
After all, Dantonio put the school in a spot where if it hires a coach at another school, that coach will have to leave the same week he talked players into committing to him for the next four years at that school. Fickell brought in a helluva class at UC, too, the best in the program’s history.
Narduzzi, who told the media Wednesday he’s not leaving Pitt has fallen to +1000, where he joins the likes of Wake Forest’s Dave Clawson (+1200) and Arkansas State’s Blake Anderson (+1600).
According to the Detroit Free Press, Michigan State likely won’t announce a new head coach until early next week. The Spartans reportedly plan to have the new coach in place before Valentine’s Day.