Best-laid plans can backfire

No matter how thoroughly a coach can make plans for success, the recipe can sometimes go sour.

Take Michigan State football coach Mark Dantonio as an example.

Before the season began, most national pollsters had the Spartans tagged as at least a top 20 – maybe even a top 10 pick if things went right.

The opposite has happened in East Lansing this fall as the Spartans have stumbled badly, largely because of injuries and other factors.

Losses to Northwestern, Indiana and Brigham Young have put MSU’s chances of making even a minor bowl (and I’m talking Motor City Bowl) remote at best.

And with Michigan and Ohio State still coming up, it would take an upset of either two to even put them in the bowl picture.

Now, Dantonio is a very good coach who has a track record of success. There’s no doubt he’ll have State back on track before very long.

A similar kind of thing has happened at Michigan Tech this season.

Coach Tom Kearly’s Huskies are a disappointing 2-4 so far and there aren’t many observers who could have foreseen that.

Sure, the GLIAC is a tough league, one of the very best in the nation in Division II. But the Huskies have lost games this season they probably shouldn’t have.

Last week’s defeat to Tiffin was a good example. MTU had a 17-0 lead after three quarters and that’s almost a given win for a Kearly-coached squad.

But the ensuing 24-17 defeat put the Tech season in peril and they’ll have to scramble to finish at .500. But knowing the kind of program MTU has, it wouldn’t surprise me if they ran the table.

At a lower level, the same has happened down in L’Anse, where the Hornets had high pre-season hopes with a good-sized line and some experienced skill players.

But coach Mark Leaf’s team sustained some injuries and dropped a couple of close games to begin the season. They hit rock-bottom with a 39-0 defeat to Hancock.

After that, the Purple and White has bounced back.

After giving a tough Hurley team (they led at halftime) all it wanted, L’Anse has won two of its last three games.

And they competed hard against West-PAC champion Calumet in a 20-0 loss.

The Hornets final game will come against a real good West Iron County team. The Wykons are fighting for a spot in the playoffs but if LHS can come up with a solid effort, it could propel them to success next season.

It all goes to prove that the best of plans can fail, but that something can still be salvaged in the end.