Big Ten Speed: Adapt and Survive

Urban Meyer - The Lantern

Urban Meyer probably didn’t make a lot of friends last week when speaking about the Big Ten conference in comparison to the SEC. Speaking candidly, Meyer had no problem giving his diagnosis for why the Big Ten has not fared very well in bowl games and big out-of-conference games in recent years. When asked about the major difference between the Big Ten and SEC Meyer responded:

“Overall team speed. I notice it on special teams. In spring practice I noticed that,” Meyer said. “So I just think overall athleticism right now we’re a little bit behind.”

Ouch. After ruffling the Bret Bielema’s feathers this past spring, Meyer will have certainly removed himself from the annual coaches Christmas card list. In addition to chiding the Big Ten for its lack of speed, Meyer went to say that while the Big Ten conference was once the #1 conference in the country, it has lost that spot to the SEC. So much for conference pride and loyalty huh?

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Top Selling Institutions & Manufacturers (2011-2012)

The Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC) recently announced its rankings of top selling institutions & manufacturers for the 2011-2012 year. After coming in 4th last year, Michigan came in 5th, still far and away the leaders of the Big Ten teams. Kentucky jumped up four spots from 7th after winning the national title. O$U is not a member of the CLC.

Rank University Conference
1 Texas Big XII
2 Alabama SEC
3 Kentucky SEC
4 Florida SEC
5 Michigan B1G
6 LSU SEC
7 North Carolina ACC
8 Georgia SEC
9 Notre Dame IND
10 Oklahoma BIG XII
12 Penn State B1G
13 Nebraska B1G
15 Wisconsin B1G
25 Illinois B1G
29 Purdue B1G
39 Minnesota B1G

Coach Biography: Defensive Coordinator Greg Mattison

Greg Mattisonmichigan logo

Birthdate: November 15, 1949

Coaching Experience: Nearly 40 years with stints at every level.

After graduating from The University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse in 1971, Mattison coached two high school programs in Wisconsin; at Riverdale (Muscoda, WI) from ‘71-73 and at Logan (La Crosse, WI) from ‘74-75.

In 1976, Mattison started his college coaching career as a graduate assistant at the University of Illinois. After that, he had short stays at Cornell (‘77), Northwestern (‘78-80), Western Michigan (with Jack Harbaugh – ‘82-86) and with Navy (‘87-88). Then Mattison got his first "big" gig at Texas A&M as their defensive line coach from ‘89-91. While at A&M, Mattison fielded one of the country’s best defenses for three years in a row. In 1989 the Aggies were #13 in total defense, in 1990 they were #19 and in 1991 they were the top rated defense in the country allowing only 222 yards per game. Ann Arbor was Mattison’s next stop where he would coach the defensive line and serve as defensive coordinator during his final two seasons with the Wolverines from ‘92-96. While at coordinator in 1995, UM ranked 11th in total defense (allowed 286 ypg.) and ranked third in rushing defense (90 ypg.) In 96, the Wolverines gave up only 15.2 points per game, which ranked 8th in the country. From 1997 to 2004 Mattison was at Notre Dame where he was the d-line coach and recruiting coordinator. Finally from 2005-07, he was named co-defensive coordinator with Charlie Strong at Florida. In ‘06 his defense led the Gators to the SEC and National Titles. During that National Title game UF’s defense held Ohio State to an amazing 82 total yards, resulting in a dominant 41-14 victory.

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Coach Biography: Defensive Coordinator Greg Mattison

Greg Mattisonmichigan logo

Birthdate: November 15, 1949

Coaching Experience: Nearly 40 years with stints at every level.

After graduating from The University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse in 1971, Mattison coached two high school programs in Wisconsin; at Riverdale (Muscoda, WI) from ‘71-73 and at Logan (La Crosse, WI) from ‘74-75.

In 1976, Mattison started his college coaching career as a graduate assistant at the University of Illinois. After that, he had short stays at Cornell (‘77), Northwestern (‘78-80), Western Michigan (with Jack Harbaugh – ‘82-86) and with Navy (‘87-88). Then Mattison got his first "big" gig at Texas A&M as their defensive line coach from ‘89-91. While at A&M, Mattison fielded one of the country’s best defenses for three years in a row. In 1989 the Aggies were #13 in total defense, in 1990 they were #19 and in 1991 they were the top rated defense in the country allowing only 222 yards per game. Ann Arbor was Mattison’s next stop where he would coach the defensive line and serve as defensive coordinator during his final two seasons with the Wolverines from ‘92-96. While at coordinator in 1995, UM ranked 11th in total defense (allowed 286 ypg.) and ranked third in rushing defense (90 ypg.) In 96, the Wolverines gave up only 15.2 points per game, which ranked 8th in the country. From 1997 to 2004 Mattison was at Notre Dame where he was the d-line coach and recruiting coordinator. Finally from 2005-07, he was named co-defensive coordinator with Charlie Strong at Florida. In ‘06 his defense led the Gators to the SEC and National Titles. During that National Title game UF’s defense held Ohio State to an amazing 82 total yards, resulting in a dominant 41-14 victory.

The Baltimore Ravens hired Mattison as their linebackers coach in 2008. The next season he was named d-coordinator. During his stay in Baltimore, Mattison always fielded a great defense. While coaching the Ravens his defenses ranked #2, #3 and #10 in total defense for the NFL.

[tube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTll9kbyePs[/tube]

Brady Hoke made a home run hire in Mattison. Not only is he a great coach, he is an outstanding recruiter, motivator and he understands what it is like to be a coach at The University of Michigan. There is a lot of work to do in Ann Arbor on the defensive side of the ball, but I have no doubt that Greg Mattison will meet that challenge head on and return the Michigan defense to where it belongs.

GO BLUE!!!

A Chat with Keith Marshall

Keith Marshall is undoubtedly one of the top high school football players in the country regardless of position. He received a Michigan offer a few weeks ago and recently answered a few questions for UMGoBlog.

Sean O’Connell: I know you have a bunch of offers, would you mind naming a few of them?

Keith Marshall: “I have offers from most of the ACC and SEC schools.  I also have offers from schools like USC, Cal, Penn State, and Notre Dame.”

Sean O’Connell: What were your stats last season?

Keith Marshall: “1600 yards and 18 TD’s in 10 games.”

Sean O’Connell: Did you grow up pulling for a certain college team? If so, will this factor in on your decision?

Keith Marshall: “Yes. I liked a few different teams growing up but that won’t play a major role in my decision.”

Sean O’Connell: What are the main qualities that you will look for in a school?

Keith Marshall: “I look at the overall direction the football program is headed in, as well as the academic program.”

Sean O’Connell: Will location be a major factor for you?

Keith Marshall: “No.”

Sean O’Connell: Do you have a top list of schools yet? If not, when do you expect to narrow your list?

Keith Marshall: “No, I plan on narrowing down my list this summer.”

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