After news was handed down Monday morning that Cincinnati's Luke Fickell said thanks-but-no-thanks to Michigan State despite being considered far and away the most favored candidate to succeed Mark Dantonio as head coach in East Lansing, the Spartans now have a fine mess on their hands. It seems to be quite fashionable to say no to this gig, and the school is quite frankly running out of time to find a solution before spring practice and the critical offseason period rolls around.
And that's why MSU needs to get on the horn with the New York Giants and get permission to speak with senior assistant coach Bret Bielema. And they need to do it today.
Bielema is best known for his seven-year run as head coach of the Wisconsin Badgers, which he ended with three straight Big Ten titles from 2010 to 2012. His subsequent tenure at Arkansas was far from a success, and he hasn't served as a head coach since his final, disastrous season in Fayetteville in 2017 -- but given the dire state of things at Michigan State, Bielema represents the kind of familiarity they should be seeking desperately.
The opportunity to lock down a guy with a record of both recruiting and winning in the Big Ten ought to be worth its weight in gold.
The Spartans are in a tail spin, plain and simple. If Bielma wants to sit in a head coach's chair once again, there's no better opportunity on the board.