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Michigan State football: No, Mel Tucker should not be fired

Stop the nonsense.

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Michigan State football
© Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

There have been a lot of harsh reactions regarding Mel Tucker today from Michigan State football fans. Let’s pump the brakes.

Michigan State football starting quarterback Payton Thorne and best wide receiver Keon Coleman both have announced they are entering the transfer portal. This is by far the worst news that MSU has received in an offseason that has already been pretty bad for the program.

This most recent transfer portal news has led many Spartan fans to question Mel Tucker and call for him to be fired and I’m here to tell you why that shouldn’t be the case.

First of all, it’s no secret that the state of the program was in a very bad place when he was hired in February 2020. Couple that with the fact that we were in a full-blown pandemic with many restrictions placed on recruiting and practice time allowed and it is no shock that the team struggled in his first season. Knowing how impossible that situation was for Mel, MSU fans gave him a well-deserved grace period to sort things out, but it seems like a lot of fans are done being patient with this most recent portal news.

Let me remind you again that Mel has barely been here three years and no coach in the entire country would have been able to turn this program around in that timeframe. We all knew this was going to be a long rebuild when Mel was hired and three years is not enough time to give up on him now. The team down the road wanted to give up on Jim Harbaugh after six seasons and I bet they’re regretting those thoughts with all the success they are now having.

So what is the moral of the story? Three years is not enough time to turn a program around when you consider how bad of a spot it was in when Mel was hired and knowing we were in a global pandemic.

Tucker has also shown that he can win big games since he has been at MSU.

In year one, he knocked off a ranked Michigan team on the road as a 20-plus point underdog and against undefeated and top-10 Northwestern. Year two under Tucker was one for the record books as MSU went 11-2 with massive wins against a top-10 undefeated Michigan team and 13th-ranked Pittsburgh in the Peach Bowl. Let me remind you that this season was only one year ago. To me, it makes zero sense to fire someone one year removed from our best season since 2015.

Finally, even in our 5-7 season last year, Tucker was still able to lead Michigan State to an upset win against 16th-ranked Illinois on the road. Mel has been able to prove each year he has been in East Lansing that he can win big games and it would be silly for us to move on from him this soon because of that reason.

Even though recruiting has not been our staff’s strong point recently, we are only a few months removed from signing one of the best classes in program history. The 2023 class may have only been ranked 23rd in the country and fourth in the Big Ten, but that is very good considering we only signed 16 players. I always think quality is more important than quantity, and when looking at the quality of recruits in the 2023 class this is one of the best classes in our program’s history.

Finally, in order for our program to improve, we need to show recruits and players that we are stable at the head coaching position. No player is going to want to come to our program knowing that the coach they want to play for may be run out of town any day. Stability is what wins in college football, and firing Mel now would reset the program back a few years again. Say Tucker was fired, what coach in their right mind would even want this job? Seeing a coach get a massive contract only to be fired a year and a half later is not a job I or any good college coach would want. So if Mel were to be fired, I wouldn’t be so confident we would find a replacement better than him right now anyways.

It’s no secret that Michigan State football is struggling right now, but firing Tucker would only make things worse. Three years is not enough time for anyone to turn our program around, and with the success we have had so far under Tuck I believe he is still the right guy for the job and should be given a chance to make things right. Go Green.

Lead writer for Spartan Shadows since April 2023, writing over 450 articles. Michigan State basketball, football and recruiting expert. Class of 2019 graduate from Michigan State University specializing in Sports Management. Daily MSU runs a popular X page (@daily_msu) covering all things MSU Sports.

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