BILL DWYRE

Two upstanding coaches will be standing on sidelines at Rose Bowl

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David Shaw, Mark Dantonio

Stanford Coach David Shaw, left, and Michigan State Coach Mark Dantonio pose and shake hands during a visit to Disneyland on Thursday. The New Year's Day matchup between Michigan State and Stanford should make for a compelling Rose Bowl. (Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press / December 26, 2013)

Shaw had a similar situation in 2012, when he suspended star linebacker Shayne Skov. Skov was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in February of that year and Shaw's "heartbeat of our defense" was banned from team activities until the second game of the season that fall. He is now a fifth-year senior and will be key for Stanford on Wednesday.

"I applaud Coach Dantonio," Shaw says. "It's a sign of who he is, and that there's still some really, really good disciplinary coaches that believe in setting discipline for college athletes, which is vital to the success as a team, but even more their success after football."

Shaw says Skov has told him the suspension helped him mature.

Both coaches have built formidable programs.

Shaw got on an already moving treadmill when he replaced Harbaugh and now is 11-2, 12-2 and 11-2 in his three seasons.

Dantonio had a tougher construction obstacle. It is called Michigan, the dominating archrival.

In Dantonio's first season of 2007, the Spartans led the Wolverines in their annual bloodletting for most of the game, then lost at the end, 28-24. A Michigan player, Michael Hart, likened the game afterward to how you treat your "little brother," that you let him lead for a while and think he can win, but then you take it away at the end.

A few days later, Dantonio was asked about Hart's "Little Brother" comment. He tried not to react, then did. "It's not over," he said. "It's just starting. I'm gonna be here a long time."

Actions have backed those words.

Little Brother beat Big Blue the next four years and has now won five of the last six.

bill.dwyre@latimes.com

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