MSU Coach Mark Dantonio To Be Part of ESPN’s National Championship Coverage Team
Ohio State and Oregon are set to clash for the first-ever College Football Playoff national championship on Monday night.
Who better to break down the matchup than the guy who coached against both of those teams this season?
Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio has been tapped by ESPN to participate in the network's coverage. He'll appear on three ESPN TV programs and a nationally syndicated ESPN radio program over the course of about 6 1/2 hours.
Dantonio will also appear on the Big Ten Network's "BTN Live" Monday evening. Here's his full media itinerary for the day:
- 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.: ESPN's "SportsCenter"
- 2 p.m.: Scott Van Pelt and Ryen Russillo on ESPN Radio
- 3 p.m.: ESPN's "College Football Live"
- 6 p.m.: Big Ten Network's "BTN Live"
- 7 p.m.: ESPN's "College GameDay: Championship Drive"
Michigan State led Oregon 27-18 in the third quarter back in September before the Ducks, led by Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Marcus Mariota, exploded to close the game on a 28-3 scoring run.
Dantonio's Spartans also led Ohio State for much of the first half when the two squads squared off at Spartan Stadium in November. Michigan State appeared to take a 28-14 lead until a penalty called the score back. After that, the Spartans missed a field goal, then J.T. Barrett led the Buckeyes down the field in one play with a 79-yard touchdown pass to even the game at 14 all. Ohio State went on to win 49-37.
Oregon and Ohio State were the only two teams to beat Michigan State, which finished 11-2, capped off by a dramatic 42-41 comeback win in the Cotton Bowl over Baylor.
Here's more on Dantonio's national championship coverage appearances from an MSU press release:
EAST LANSING, Mich. – Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio, who led the Spartans to an 11-2 record including a dramatic comeback win over No. 5 Baylor in the Cotton Bowl Classic, will join ESPN in Arlington, Texas, for coverage of Monday’s College Football Playoff National Championship, appearing across multiple network programs and platforms during a 6 1/2-hour period. Both of Michigan State’s regular-season losses came against CFP National Championship participants Oregon and Ohio State.
Michigan State, which has posted a 24-3 record since 2013, is the only school in the nation to win a Bowl Championship Series game during the 2013 season (24-20 over Stanford in 2014 Rose Bowl Game) and a New Year’s Six bowl game this season. The Spartans will finish ranked among the nation’s Top 10 for the second year in a row – a program first since 1965-66.
Dantonio is scheduled to appear on “SportsCenter” from 12:30-2:30 p.m. ET at AT&T Stadium, followed by interviews on “College Football Live” at 3 p.m. ET and “College GameDay: Championship Drive” at 7 p.m. ET. In between TV appearances, he will join Scott Van Pelt and Ryen Russillo for an interview on ESPN Radio (time to be determined).
In addition, Dantonio will join Dave Revsine, Gerry DiNardo, Howard Griffith and Glen Mason on “BTN Live” from AT&T Stadium at 6 p.m. ET.
MSU’s 20-point comeback win over Baylor (trailed 41-21 entering the fourth quarter) in the 2015 Cotton Bowl Classic was the biggest in Spartan postseason history (previous: down 16-0 at halftime to Georgia in the 2012 Outback Bowl). Connor Cook, who completed 9-of-15 passes for 179 yards and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, hit Keith Mumphery with the game-winner from 10 yards out with 17 seconds remaining. In addition, it marked the second-largest comeback win in Cotton Bowl Classic history (22 points by Notre Dame in 1979; the Irish trailed 34-12 with 7:37 left in the fourth quarter and rallied to defeat Houston, 35-34).
With its one-point Cotton Bowl Classic victory over Baylor, MSU extended its school-record bowl winning streak to four games, tied for the longest in Big Ten history. Dantonio has led the Spartans to a school-record eight consecutive postseason bowl appearances.
Michigan State has recorded 53 wins since 2010 – the most in the Big Ten over the last five seasons and seventh most in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision. The Spartans are 53-14 (.791) since 2010 while posting double-digit victories in four of the last five years.