Dantonio looks to "control own destiny" with College Football Playoff rankings recently released
The College Football Playoff rankings were released on Tuesday, and the talk hasn’t stopped yet, including for head coach Mark Dantonio.
MSU was pinned as the No. 8 team in the first batch of the playoff rankings by the selection committee, coming in as the highest ranked Big Ten team. Mississippi State came in at No. 1 with Florida State, Auburn and Ole Miss rounding out the top four.
On Thursday, Dantonio gave his thoughts on the where his Spartans stand. He said he’s looking at this poll as any other in the past and understands that all he can control is winning the games on MSU’s schedule.
“It’s like all the other polls (that) have been out there really, they decided what bowl games were being played by polls the last number of years and I think the same thing happens,” Dantonio said. “What you can do is control your own destiny and that’s what we need to do so the focus has to be on winning football games and not looking at newspapers.”
Entering the season, expectations were high for MSU with many expecting the Spartans to be right about where they are in the playoff conversation. The rankings will continue to come out every Tuesday and if MSU continues to win, the green-and-white will likely move up each week with expectations continuously growing.
Dantonio was asked on handling the higher expectations and he responded stating that for MSU to continue to have success they’ll have to remain focused on the next challenge week-after-week.
“That’s why we practice out here, to ground ourselves,” Dantonio said. “... We have to continually bring it up and not just for their sense of where there at as players but coaches, myself, everybody. We’re not going to get anywhere just thinking about things we have to do.”
The next challenge at hand will be No. 13 Ohio State in a couple of weeks, serving as a make or break game for MSU this season. The Spartans are on a bye this weekend before the Buckeyes come to Spartan Stadium on Nov. 8, and Dantonio looks at this week as a great opportunity to rest up after last week’s big win against rival Michigan.
“I like the time,” Dantonio said when asked on the timing of the bye week. “I think it gives us time to regenerate ourselves and get past the last emotional game and move forward.”
Kickoff between MSU-Ohio State is set for 8 p.m. on Nov. 8 and will air live on ABC.