It’s been a rough season for Michigan State football, but  in terms of on-field performance, but no matter what is happening on the field right now, this month will greatly impact the program’s future. According to a recent report by Spartan Tailgate, an affiliated with, Alan Haller, the athletic director of Michigan State, has put together a list of potential candidates for the next head football coach. Haller is now progressing to the next stage of the search. That involves personally reaching out to these candidates.

If these reports are accurate, then it’s obvious things are moving quickly. It’s only been a few months since MSU head coach Mel Tucker was let go from the team, following allegations of sexual harassment. Now, Michigan State’s shortlist of potential head coaches has been a topic of much speculation lately. While Spartan Tailgate’s report didn’t provide any confirmation, the public has been buzzing about four candidates who are believed to be in the running: Lance Leipold from Kansas, Jonathan Smith from Oregon State, Dave Clawson from Wake Forest, and Jake Dickert from Washington State. That’s via That’s a lot to take in. I have to say that the Washington State Cougars are doing pretty horribly this season. They’re currently 4-5 and have lost several games in a row. So, why would MSU be considering Dickert? I don’t know. I hope they go with one of the other picks, but no disrespect to Dickert.

However, according to a report from’s SpartanMag, there are several other names being considered. Those include Mike Elko from Duke, Chip Kelly from UCLA, Chris Klieman from Kansas State, and Matt Campbell from Iowa State. It’s possible that there are even more candidates being discussed behind closed doors. Time will tell.

Also, Spartan Tailgate’s Justin Thind says that MSU is “officially set to ramp up into the ‘direct contact phase.'” Again, things are moving quickly.

“I’m told the school has a candidates list that they will now put into action,” Thind wrote. “The source would not confirm the names on the list, as secrecy is the top priority to Alan Haller and his working group. Still, look for intel and info to start coming out after these conversations with HC candidates start to happen.”

Michigan State’s initial round of interviews will include a larger pool of candidates than usual, so the school is serious about a thorough selection process, as per Thind’s report. Thind also says that MSU aims to appoint their new head football coach shortly after the team’s final game against Penn State on Nov. 24. That’s the initial timeline they set, and they’re doing everything they can to stick to it.