- So more than a few people seemed to be surprised Luke Fickell chose to stay at Cincinnati rather than go to Michigan State. I was not. As many have stated by now, Fickell is not your typical coach looking to get as high up the ladder as quickly as he can. There are a lot of reasons to think for Fickell the Cincinnati job is as good or better than the Michigan State job at this point in time. Aside from Ohio State or Notre Dame, I'm not sure many jobs would pull him from the Queen City in the foreseeable future. I could really see him being at UC for 10 years or more as long as there are not major changes such as the school officials deciding they no longer want to be committed to greatness. Everyone is different, but there is something to be said for doing things your way and being happy with what you have. UC is a place where a good coach can make a good living and win consistently even if the national championship is a long shot. But here's the thing: The national championship is a long shot everywhere, so if you are job-hopping with that as a major factor, you might want to rethink your motivation.
- Beyond that, I don't think the whole situation now has as many parallels to 2007 as people assumed. I'm not sure Michigan State is nearly as good a job as people seem to think, but there is no doubt Cincinnati is a much better job than it was in 2007. Mark Dantonio and Brian Kelly raised the bar for Bearcats football, and the administration has answered the call multiple times since then when it comes to investing in the stadium, facilities and staff.
- Dantonio improved the Spartans, obviously, but the peak likely is not sustainable — and the peak would be the main attraction from a competition standpoint. The 2013 team was legitimately very good on both sides of the ball by the end of the season, but the '14 and '15 teams were not nearly as good defensively. The '15 team making the College Football Playoff, in which the Spartans were totally outclassed by Alabama, required four one-score top 10 wins, including the wacky walkoff blocked punt touchdown return at Michigan, and the program has never shown it can recruit at the level of the Wolverines or Penn State, let alone Ohio State. Michigan being good (yeah, not great, I know, but good) is also a big problem for the Spartans as those two rivals have pretty much never been good at the same time.
- While there are fears an elite handful of teams are separating themselves from the rest of CFB, I see the middle class getting bigger. That is bad for Michigan State and good for Cincinnati.
- Bottom line: Fickell can build a similar roster, face a weaker schedule at Cincinnati and reap the rewards of winning 10 games every year. When the CFP inevitably expands, he might actually have a better chance of making it if he has to beat half as many ranked teams to win his league with fewer than two losses.
- Speaking of college football, Marvin Lewis has joined the Arizona State staff. Lewis as CFB recruiter could be pretty fascinating. Like Jim Tressel, I get the impression he's much different with the media than he is in any other setting. A lot of personality there he just chose not to reveal.
- And lastly: The Browns seem to have hired a defensive coordinator with a better resume than head coach, but I guess that's better than the Bengals, who hired a linebackers coach with a better resume than theirs.
“Marcus Musings” is a semi-regular feature here at the blog. While most of our other coverage is concentrated on news and analysis, this is a place to share opinions on various stories permeating the sports world and (hopefully) have some fun. Have your own thoughts? Send them along to email@example.com or find us on Twitter or Facebook.