For the better part of Wednesday, Michigan football fans were worried that defensive coordinator Don Brown would become the next head coach at Temple.
Brown interviewed for the job on Tuesday.
But by the time the afternoon rolled around, the crisis was averted, as multiple reports surfaced that Miami Hurricanes defensive coordinator Manny Diaz will be Temple’s next head coach.
The 63 year old Brown has had success everywhere he has been, but Michigan’s the biggest job.he’s had Football purists knew who Don Brown was before he arrived in Ann Arbor, but now college football fans and pundits know who he is from coast to coast.
Brown’s Michigan defenses have never ranked lower than third at the end of a year since he was hired in 2016, and despite the defensive struggles against Ohio State, Michigan’s D is still the top dog heading into the Peach Bowl vs Florida.
While Brown did interview with Temple, that short blip in time came and went in the blink of an eye, and now Brown will be getting back to work on the recruiting trail and preparing for Florida.
There’s plenty of unfinished business for Brown at Michigan. While having the top ranked defense is nice, I can assure you Brown doesn’t give a damn about his being ranked No. 1 right now. Dr. Blitz is workin’ on improving it.
The unfinished business starts now.
After Michigan lost to Penn State 42-13 in 2017, Brown had a hard time forgetting about that loss. “I wake up every morning and think about that,” Brown said two weeks before Michigan played PSU this season. “Honest.”
Brown didn’t let a blowout loss happen again, Michigan dominated Penn State 42-7 and could do absolutely nothing through the air or on the ground. Yes, PSU did try to do the same things they did in ‘16, but Brown adjusted and his defense made a statement.
But then Michigan was on the wrong side of a statement game when they went into Columbus, it was OSU quarterback Dwayne Haskins and the Buckeyes offense who sent a message.
Haskins made all the right decisions, he diagnosed what Michigan was doing pre-snap and made all the proper checks and protections at the line of scrimmage. And the gameplan by offensive coordinator Ryan Day was A+. Tons of speed and mesh plays were dialed up that were highly successful, and on deeper patterns ,Haskins either threaded the needle or the OSU receivers made spectacular receptions.
It was the type of offensive performance that will be remembered for years to come, and the type of day on defense that will shake a player and coach to their very soul. It’s a safe bet that the OSU loss has been thought about every morning just like the PSU loss in 2016.
I’d like to imagine in the days after the loss, Brown wasn’t just sitting on a couch upset about what happened, I’d like to think he was throwing chairs into walls, beating the hell out of a punching bag, and doing a bit of loud and healthy yelling on a mountaintop. Joking aside, I hope he was pissed off, fired up, and ready to make sure that type of day never happens to him and his players again.
Basically as Brown once said, “Solve your problems with aggression.”
The Peach Bowl is important for the Michigan defense, for Brown, to prove they are the cream of the crop of defenses and one bad game cannot define who they are. The goal for Michigan isn’t just to beat Florida, the goal is to take it to them and remind the masses of all the praise that was once heaped on Michigan not that long ago was in fact valid.
Part of the unfinished business that starts at the Peach Bowl and extends far beyond it features a simple, yet important question... did Ohio State expose flaws in Brown’s scheme that other teams can use?
Either you believe Brown won’t adjust or do anything differently in the future when faced with the same type of offensive attack, or you believe he can adjust and Michigan just had a bad day in Columbus.
Don Brown is universally loved by the Michigan fan base, the coaching staff, his players, and recruits. He still needs to win him a Broyles Award (best assistant coach), still needs to beat Ohio State, still needs to help Michigan get into the College Football Playoff and win a Big Ten Championship. There are goals this Michigan team and Brown have set out to achieve they have yet to attain, and because of that fact you’d have to think Brown is as motivated as anyone on the Michigan staff.
Michigan is fortunate that Dr. Blitz will be sticking around and it’ll be interesting to see how the rest of his career at Michigan unfolds.