ESPN’s Pete Thamel provided an update on Michigan State’s coaching search during Saturday’s College GameDay, as multiple reports have linked Oregon State’s Jonathan Smith to the position. Per Thamel, “talks have intensified” and the 2 sides could reach a deal “within the next 24 hours”.

That said, Thamel reported, “2 hurdles remain” in the process. The primary one concerns Smith’s connection to his alma mater, where he has been the head coach since 2018 and was the Fiesta Bowl MVP in 2001 as the Beavers’ quarterback.

“He’s rebuilt that program from the ground into a top 25 contender. And he would have to make a decision to leave them on the precipice of the uncertainty that comes with the Pac-2 coming next year,” Thamel said. “It will be a difficult decision for Jonathan Smith.”

The other, less pressing hurdle is Smith’s contract if he were to accept the MSU job. However, according to Thamel, “that’s in good shape”.

Smith is 34-35 in Corvallis, with a 23-29 Pac-12 mark. However, his record in the past 3 seasons is 25-13 (16-11 Pac-12) — with the Beavers’ 10 wins in 2022 the program’s most since 2006.