Back in December of 2017, Alex Grinch to OSU rumors started swirling. There was a lot of excitement about his potential hiring. A common sentiment was that if he could coach a terrible WSU defense to respectability in a short period of time, then imagine what he would do with all the four and five-star athletes at OSU.
And then Holiday Bowl happened on December 28, 2017: https://www.espn.com/college-football/matchup?gameId=400959397
Michigan State’s offense did not do anything fancy. They simply ran the ball at Grinch’s unit 48 times, and it worked almost every time. I was amazed at how “soft” WSU defense was. As a coping mechanism, I quickly blamed that poor outing on Grinch mentally checking out ahead of the game.
After spending a year at OSU as a co-DC, Grinch resurfaced at OU as a sole DC. Watching highlights from the OU-KSU game, I again got the feeling that OU’s defense is not physical. The lack of physicality of Grinch’s unit is being called out in media outlets: http://www.oudaily.com/sports/ou-football-alex-grinch-s-defense-struggles-due-to-lack/article_f144e42c-f83e-11e9-a5b7-871188f71bdd.html
Grinch only spent one year at OSU, and we had one of the worst defenses in OSU history. A coincidence? Now, there is not enough data to say with certainty that Grinch was responsible for all the defensive woes, but one has to wonder.
In early 2019, there were rumors that Ryan Day was interested in keeping Grinch as a co-DC. In this specific case, I am glad Day failed.
What’s your take on Grinch and how big of a role you think he played in creating a dysfunctional defense in 2018?