Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Notes and video from Dantonio presser 11/29

When Mark Dantonio talks longer than Tom Izzo, you know it's a big week.

The first Big Ten Football Championship Game had Dantonio a little fired up at his press conference. So much so that when he was asked about Urban Meyer, he he put his hand up and said MSU is focused on its goals ahead.

--Dantonio reiterated that MSU and Wisconsin were the two best teams in the conference, and I'm sure everyone can agree.

--Asked about being as much as a 10-point underdog, Dantonio said it could persuade neutral fans to root for MSU. "That's not all bad. We're the little guy. Everyone wants the little guy to win."

--Along those lines, Dantonio reminded everyone that in-between Wisconsin's quick start and late comeback, MSU went on a 31-3 run in the previous meeting, dominating the middle stages of that game.

--As for any changes in preparation, the only thing Dantonio said was that they would turn up the heat in the Duffy indoor practice field to prepare for Lucas Oil Stadium. I'm sure the players will enjoy that.

--Dantonio said a conference championship is the best way to determine a champion, even though MSU would have won the Rose Bowl berth this year in the old system.

--Asked again if he's ever played a team twice in one year, Dantonio said the last time he recalled doing that was in eighth grade, when they played every team twice.

--Since the day Dantonio was introduced as head coach, he and athletics director Mark Hollis have not hidden their desire to go to a Rose Bowl. They're not afraid to talk about their goals because, "If you want to dream big, you have to talk about it."

--Izzo spoke after and had some football-related things. Among them, he said the Izzone needs to ratch it up a notch and said he the football team deserves a completely full student section. "The tickets are sold, they just gotta go."

--Izzo said some magical things have happened in Lucas Oil Stadium, including two wins in the 2009 NCAA Tournament and an appearance in the 2010 Final Four (even though it was a loss), and hopes the football team can get the same thing. Indianapolis also is where Izzo won the 2000 National Championship (at the RCA Dome).

--Izzo wishes he could go to Saturday's game (hoops plays on Sunday), but is glad he can still watch it. He's always been a football guy. He talked with Tubby Smith recently and when Smith said MSU had things going in football and basketball, Izzo loved hearing that.

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