Mariucci unlikely to end up at MSU

When university officials announced Wednesday that coach John L. Smith would not return for another season at Michigan State, the speculation over the potential candidacy of former San Francisco 49ers and Detroit Lions head coach Steve Mariucci was immediate.

After all, Mariucci is a native of Iron Mountain, Mich. He played quarterback at Northern Michigan, was a three-time All-American there, and began his coaching career at his alma mater. And his best friend is Spartans basketball coach Tom Izzo, whose counsel will be sought, school officials acknowledged, as they begin their search for a new football coach.

So there's plenty to connect Mooch to the MSU job, right?