Michigan State opened as a big underdog for this weekend’s game against Ohio State. Naturally, a reporter asked Mark Dantonio about this on Tuesday, likely hoping the coach would play the disrespect card.
Dantonio looked surprised. He didn’t take the bait with his answer, but the expression on his face says it all.
Michigan State is a *big* underdog this week at Ohio State.
— Michigan St. on BTN (@MichiganStOnBTN) November 7, 2017
Here’s the exchange:
Reporter: “Ohio State comes out of a blowout loss and you guys get a big win over a top-10 team, yet somehow you’re a 16-point underdog.
Dantonio: “It’s gone 16, huh?”
Reporter: “Can you believe that, or what’s your reaction to that? I know it doesn’t mean much, but are you getting the respect you deserve?”
Dantonio: “Oh, I don’t worry about that.”
The coach went on to explain that he concerns himself with thinks like watching film, not betting odds.
(A quick search on VegasInsider has Ohio State favored by 14.5, for what it’s worth. That doesn’t really take away from the point the reporter was getting at, though.)
Ohio State is coming off a 31-point loss to Iowa, while Michigan State beat Penn State by two more points than the Buckeyes did. Vegas’ reasoning for the spread likely centers on Ohio State playing home for this game and the Buckeyes’ dominance against the likes of Rutgers, Maryland and Nebraska. For the Spartans, Saturday will be more than a chance to yell about #disrespekt. A victory over Ohio State would give the Spartans the inside track to an appearance in the Big Ten championship.
Now, Dantonio says he doesn’t worry about things like the spread, but he also admitted at the press conference to seeing an article in the paper about Michigan State’s playoff chances. The former at least seems like something that might end up as bulletin board material in Michigan State’s football facilities.
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