Greg Mattison: What the Newest Michigan Wolverine Means for The Ohio State U.

Buckeye CommentarySenior Analyst IJanuary 18, 2011

Brady Hoke is completing his staff.

The new Michigan football coach just picked up Greg Mattison as defense coordinator. Mattison previously coached in Ann Arbor from 1992-1996, the latter two years as defensive coordinator, and was also the defensive coordinator for Florida in 2006.

He has spent the last two seasons as the Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator—I don’t need to remind you, the Ravens are not known for their offense.

So basically the guy shut down three of the best offenses Ohio State has ever fielded: 1995, 1996, and 2006. Hmm… I don’t think I like this.

But you may take a slight amount of solace in the recent example set by Monte Kiffin. After all, Kiffin was a celebrated NFL defensive coordinator who returned to college football (a much longer layoff) and has yet to have the success that seemed so preordained.  

And, as most average fans will tell you, Mattison is going to need at least decent defensive players first. Rich Rod is a lot of things—a good recruiter of defensive players is not one of them.

Still, there is reason to be concerned (or happy depending on your perspective).

Mattison’s commitment to Michigan appears to be deep, considering he just left a high-profile, high-paying, successful job in the NFL to return to a world-class rebuilding job. That dedication to Michigan was decidedly lacking during the last three years.  

So, while many or most Ohio State fans may be concerned that Michigan just took a big step towards getting their act together, there is a sizable contingent of us that is looking forward to the Wolverines again fielding a real football team on defense soon.
After all, The Game and the new Big Ten probably depends on it.