The Nebraska football team isn’t only going to be dealing with a new conference alignment but another very good coach in the B1G.
Considering the mess that Michigan State has been this season, count me as surprised that they seemingly made a good hire on Saturday. The Spartans announced in the middle of their biggest rival’s biggest game of the season, that they’d hired Oregon State head coach Jonathan Smith.
With the hire, it’s clear that the Spartans are sick of being the Wolverines’ little brother. The hire should also put Nebraska football and the rest of the Big Ten on notice.
After suffering through some bad football and some worse scandals under former coach Mel Tucker. Tucker of course, was fired when he admitted that he pleasured himself while on the phone with a rape survivor.
He claimed that the two were engaging in a consensual sexual relationship. Brenda Tracy very much did not agree.
Since Tucker was fired, Michigan State has mostly looked like a program that was reeling. Unforuntately they didn’t look that way against the Nebraska football team. The Spartans are one of the four close losses the Huskers suffered to close the season and miss a bowl once again.
Nebraska football is warned
With Jonathan Smith, Michigan State has itself a surprisingly good hire precisely because he’s been toiling in a bit of anonymity with Oregon State. Corvallis, Oregon is hardly a hotbed of college football headlines.
Despite being considered to be heading Oregon’s little brother program, Smith brought a level of respectability to the Beavers they haven’t seen for decades. And he did it relatively quickly.
Smith’s first three years with OSU were similar to any other year in Corvallis. But in 2021 he managed to get the team to 7-6 and a bowl game. Then in 2022 he won coach of the year as the Beavers went 10-3. This year they finished the regular season at 8-4 but placed inside the Top 25, despite the Pac-12 imploding.
Nebraska football won’t match up against Smith’s Spartans next season, but they will face off against the new coach’s squad in 2025 and 2026. So right when he might have his new program humming.