For Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio, the College Football Playoff is coming one year too late.
According to the head coach of the Spartans, Michigan State would have won last year’s national championship if there was a playoff system in place, according to the Detroit News. While the Spartans did not get the chance to play for the national title, the team did win the 2013 Big Ten Championship and the Rose Bowl.
“I thought we would have been national champions, to be perfectly honest with you,” he said Tuesday. “I think we would have had a shot to do that because I think we were playing, coming out of the end of the season — that stretch coming out of the season — we were playing great football and we were believing in ourselves. Were we there at the beginning of the season? No. But coming out we were playing our best football in November and then into the championship game and then the Rose Bowl.”
Michigan State did close out the year on fire, as it won its final 10 games — nine by double-digits — and was the No. 3 team in America at the end of the season. The team’s only loss came early in the season, when the Spartans were upended by Notre Dame in South Bend, 17-14.
Few teams were playing better football than Michigan State at the end of the season, and its defense taking on Florida State and/or Auburn’s offenses in a four-team playoff would have been awesome. Unfortunately for Dantonio, this is going to have to remain one of college football’s “what ifs?”