Mark Dantonio, perhaps the most interesting case for this list, has kept Michigan State an average team since taking over for John L. Smith.
Dantonio arrived on the scene with a goal to enact a hard-nosed football program both on and off the field.
Bobby Williams and John L. Smith both struggled to handle the off-the-field actions of their players, but with Dantonio it was expected to be different.
Unfortunately, his own set of troublemakers emerged, culminating in numerous suspensions for last season's Alamo Bowl.
In the offseason, several of the players involved left the team through transfer or other means. Those remaining were given a final chance. The coach also implemented a new player-run unity council to help keep teammates in check.
While all this is a step in regaining respect and discipline, his teams have been inconsistent on the field as well. After a strong 9-4 showing in 2008, the Spartans dropped down to 6-7 in 2009. A big part of the reason: Dantonio himself.
Dantonio started the season with a two-quarterback system, but once Kirk Cousins began to pull away from Keith Nichol, he continued to force Nichol into the lineup. With a struggling run game to complement the mix-and-match QB game, the offense would go through inconsistent spurts.
The defense, however, was more troublesome than the offense. Ranked dead last in passing defense in the Big Ten, the Spartans gave up 32 TDs and 267.6 yards per game through the air. While MSU sacked the opposing QB 35 times, the team only garnered six interceptions and need that to change for a successful year.
For 2010, Nichol has moved over to WR, and the running game should be much improved with Larry Capers and Edwin Baker having a year under their belts. The defense has added top recruit William Gholston and others who should help improve the defense's fate.
If Dantonio's team cannot stay disciplined on and off the field, rumblings may emerge for his tenure to wind down. An 8-4 season, with Dantonio's first bowl win to complement the record, would do enough to silence critics and perhaps earn him an extension.