Skull Session: Greg Mattison Helped Recruit Tim Tebow, Former Players Praise Jeff Hafley, and No College Football Playoff Expansion Soon

By Kevin Harrish on January 8, 2019 at 4:59 am
Ryan Day is hiring some folks in today's Skull Session.

Remember when Alabama was so good that people were actually advocating giving Georgia the No. 2 spot in the playoff after losing by a touchdown, because they proved they were the only team that could hang with Bama?

Georgia got handled by Texas and Bama got absolutely lambasted by Clemson. But yeah, tell me more about how the national championship was decided in the SEC title game.

Maybe – just maybe – we should stop crowning teams based on subjective and biased beliefs and actually let the games play out.

Anyway, before all that happened, things got a bit wild in Buckeyeland.

And things ain't over yet! There's still *at least* one more hire coming on the defensive 


Word of the Day: Scintillate.

 GREG MATTISON, 'KROOTER. There were mixed reviews to Ohio State's hiring of Greg Mattison, but his recruiting chops are legit. I mean, the guy was pretty much responsible for landing Tim Tebow at Florida.

From Michael Rothstein of

Mattison's greatest recruiting success might have been ensuring an instate quarterback would remain in Florida. Meyer and his staff had just been hired in Gainesville and there was concern that Tebow might go somewhere else.

Meyer gave Mattison, whose coverage area was Jacksonville, Fla., an assignment: Get him.

"We had all kinds of obstacles in the way and Greg kept that thing together," said Meyer, now an ESPN analyst. "Still, Tim will be the first one to tell you a big reason why he chose Florida was the relentless pursuit Greg Mattison put on him and his family. Absolutely relentless in recruiting Tim, and he did that on many, many occasions."

Mattison became one of Florida's best recruiters -- much like he had been at Notre Dame, Michigan and Texas A&M before that. The reason is his approach.

Mattison is the guy who just ... won't ... go ... away.

"It's a little bit like when you see a Rottweiler grab a hold of something and it won't let go," Meyer said. "Once he gets his mitts on ya, you can shake as hard as you can but he's not going to let go."

And it's not like the dude has proven to be a bad coordinator, either. When he was Michigan's defensive coordinator, the Wolverines were never worse than 31st in total defense and peaked at No. 6 in 2014.

And he was a co-coordinator on the Meyer's 2006 Florida defense that did unthinkable things to what I thought was one of the best Ohio State offenses ever.

Also, his departure from Michigan doesn't seem to be going over well with the Blue people.

Tarik Black also Tweeted "Kevin Durant" but it's since been deleted.

So to me, it looks like this makes Ohio State better and Michigan worse. And I'm more than fine with that.

 BUT WHAT ABOUT JEFF HAFLEY? If you're anything like me, your reaction to yesterday's news was probably something along the lines of "Who the hell is Jeff Hafley?"

Only difference is, y'all didn't have to turn around and crank out a news piece in about five minutes on the fellow I'd literally never heard of 30 seconds before, but that's why they pay me the big bucks.

Thankfully, others do know him. In fact, noted-Wolverine slayer and Sugar Bowl Defensive MVP Tyvis Powell played for him in San Francisco!

And while Hafley didn't coach him particularly, Brian Hartline played for the Browns when Hafley was on staff and had pleasant things to say

Former Rutgers All-American corner Logan Ryan also thinks the world of him.

As does a Pitt writer: 

I'm not going to pretend to know anything about him or give you any kind of feigned analysis, but I can say I haven't read a single negative review thus far. So mark me down as satisfied.

 NEXT UP... As I said, the Buckeyes are going to make at least one more defensive hire this offseason. And this could be one.

Crazy, it looks like there was a little more to it than a few "liked" Tweets.

But note, I said "at least" one more hire.

Looks like I'm not going anywhere without my laptop in hand for the next few days.

 “WAY TOO SOON” FOR EXPANSION TALK. It's looking like waiting for playoff expansion is going to be more exhausting than waiting for the damn playoff in the first place.

College Football Playoff President Mark Keenum released a statement on Monday pumping the brakes on any potential playoff expansion talk.

As far as expanding the number of teams in the Playoff, it’s way too soon – much too soon – to know if that is even a possibility. It’s fair to say the speculation about expansion has outdistanced the reality of what the commissioners and the presidents have discussed. If a decision were to be made down the road, the Presidents would be the ones to make it and we are not there.

At some point down the road, as part of our regular review of all matters pertaining to the Playoff, the management committee will meet, and it will consider all aspects of the Playoff, as it routinely does. When that discussion happens, I advise observers not to read too much into it. We have a twelve-year contract we are very happy with. It is always appropriate to ask the right questions and to examine every issue to be sure we have things right. We are very satisfied with the Playoff and look forward to its continued success.

"To know if that is even a possibility..."

Uh, we're talking about adding four more college football games to the season, not colonizing Mars. There are arguments to be made against an eight-team playoff, but "It's impossible!" ain't one of them.

This also ain't one of them:

Ah hell yeah, let's go back all the way to 2012 to find one year where when the playoff might be only slightly awesome instead of super awesome and pray that people don't remember that unranked Wisconsin only "won" the Big Ten because two better teams were ineligible for the postseason.

Also, I'm not sure who decided that the group of five should absolutely get an auto bid.

EVEN STILL – I would watch the hell out of that playoff that he listed above. Like, that's one hell of a worst case scenario.

Sallee goes on to explain that allowing geography to determine who makes the playoff is bad, but I don't see how it could possibly worse than a few people just choosing a fewer number of teams because they subjectively think they're good.

At least geography provides a simple, intuitive way to narrow the field and make sure results matter. But what do I know?

 LAND GRANT + HOMAGE + CLUB TRILLION. I'm pleased to tell you that three of our favorite things are joining forces: Land Grant, Homage and Mark Titus.

Our friends at Land Grant Brewing have a little announcement:

We’ve dusted off our Fundamentals training videos, and are excited to announce we’re teaming up with Walk-on Legend Mark Titus and HOMAGE to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Titus’ wildly popular Club Trillion blog. Planned to mark the occasion is a collaborative beer, Taproom Launch Party, limited edition t-shirt, and a blowout bash at the 2019 Final Four in Minneapolis.

“Is Club Trillion the first college basketball fraternity in history to get its own fashion line and its own beer? I have no idea,” says Titus. “Figuring something like that out would require effort, and effort goes against everything Club Trillion stands for. What I do know, though, is that I couldn’t be more excited to partner with HOMAGE and Land-Grant for the 10th Anniversary celebration of Club Trillion, especially since both have already shown me more respect in the short time we’ve been working together than all of my teammates combined did during my four years at Ohio State.”

“Mark’s talent for story telling, and, um, lack of talent on the court really endeared himself to hoop fanatics as well as casual followers,” Says Land-Grant President, Adam Benner. “And in his post-collegiate career, he has developed into an incredible ambassador for Columbus. For that reason, it really made sense to take a look back and celebrate the Club Trillion Legacy with a special beer release.”

To celebrate the beer and shirt launch, Land-Grant is hosting a watch party centered around the Ohio State and Michigan basketball game on January 29th at 9 p.m.

More details will follow, but I'll tell you this much – this local blogger will try his very best to make an appearance.

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