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Opinion: Michigan bringing in former Alabama coordinator, Buckeye fans should take notice

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Michigan coach Brady Hoke (right) and offensive coordinator, Doug Nussmeier shake hands after a news conference in Ann Arbor, Mich., Jan. 10. Credit: Courtesy of MCT

Michigan offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier (left) and coach Brady Hoke share a smile after a news conference in Ann Arbor, Mich., Jan. 10.
Credit: Courtesy of MCT

Under coach Urban Meyer, the Ohio State football team has yet to lose to Michigan, but a recent big-time move on the Wolverines’ coaching staff could inflict some uneasiness into Buckeye fans.

Offensive coordinator Al Borges, the same coach who helped the Michigan offense put up 41 points against Ohio State in November, was out of a job Wednesday morning. By nightfall, however, his replacement was already announced.

That replacement is former Alabama offensive coordinator, Doug Nussmeier, who will become one of the highest-paid coordinators in college football.

While the details of his hiring are still a bit cloudy, rumors are swirling that Alabama head coach Nick Saban was pushing out Nussmeier in order to bring in his new buddy, Lane Kiffin, to take the reigns of the Alabama offense.

In any case, this somewhat-shocking hire by the Wolverines should motivate OSU players and fans.

Even with the aforementioned Borges at the helm, the Wolverine offense torched the Buckeyes’ defense and was even a single play away from winning The Game. But under control of Nussmeier and a revamped pro-style offense more suitable to Michigan’s personnel coming along with him, the Michigan offense could certainly take leaps and bounds forward.

If OSU wants to continue its dominance against Michigan, the defense will have to at least match the improvement of the Michigan offense.

In hiring Nussmeier, Michigan might have started a domino effect that will definitely have an impact in Columbus. Should Borges have stayed, defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Luke Fickell’s job might have been safe. Now, however, Michigan has challenged OSU even further to resurrect the formerly fantastic “Silver Bullet” defense.

If the Buckeyes stand pat, meaning Fickell is retained and the entire defensive outfit continues its less-than-stellar production, OSU will certainly have taken a step backward while Michigan has taken a step forward. That’s something no one involved with OSU football would be content seeing.

Be it the firing of Fickell, a change in scheme, or just an overall closer examination of certain players, something needs to change defensively for OSU. Michigan made its move and is challenging the Buckeyes to answer with a counterattack.

If the Buckeyes don’t take measures to improve their defense, a loss to Michigan next season in Columbus will be no one’s fault but their own.

A word to athletic director Gene Smith and Meyer, in this century-long chess match between OSU and Michigan: it’s your move.

One comment

  1. This opinion article is right on! Luke must go-and a new defensive staff brought in to restore Ohio State to its former "silver bullet' days.The weak pass defense cost a otherwise great team a chance for both the Big Ten and BCS championships. I was at the Orange Bowl and it seemed up until the last few plays, Clemson was simply the more motivated to win team. OSU seemed to be down-perhaps from being relegated to an "also-ran" bowl game-and losing their sports page prestige to Michigan State-whose defense proved how necessary that component rally is to wiinning championships.

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