You’ve heard the rumors, I’ve heard the rumors, we’ve all heard the rumors. What we want to know now is, how much truth is to them?
According to Football Scoop (Possibly the largest college football rumor mill on the internet) there are two names looming large in Oklahoma’s search for a new defensive coordinator.
Alabama co-defensive coordinator Pete Golding and Ohio State co-defensive coordinator Alex Grinch seem to be Lincoln Riley’s two favorite targets.
Golding has been rumored to have already visited Norman and fits the mold for a young and dynamic personality. The drawback here though is his experience. Golding is just two years removed from being the defensive coordinator at UTSA and although he’s been with Nick Saban at Alabama he doesn’t actually have play-calling duties for the Tide.
The question here is, how much does young and energetic trump experience, especially when facing the spread offense, in Lincoln Riley’s mind.
Some might suggest that the Orange Bowl is a bit of an audition for Golding but that’ll actually be a matchup between Riley’s offense and Saban’s defense and may not show much of Golding’s X’s & O’s. I also don’t know if Riley wants to wait that long.
Grinch is a bit of a better choice, in my opinion. He’s both experienced and young (still under 40). Even more important is the type of experience that he has. Before landing at Ohio State he served as Mike Leach’s defensive coordinator, at Washington State, from 2015-17. He not only knows how to produce a strong defense, but he also has experience in doing so on a team that runs the spread offense. Grinch’s 2017 defense at Washington State finished 35th nationally in yards allowed per play. That’s the best mark, by a wide margin, for WSU during the Leach era.
Grinch is also available right now. There’s questions about what Golding would do with Bama in the hunt for back-to-back national titles but Ohio State isn’t anywhere near that sort of situation. That makes Grinch the guy who could come in by the end of the month and keep a strong defensive recruiting class together.
There’s always the possibility that there’s a name, or two, out there that’s flying way under the radar. Don’t be surprised if that’s the case either. That said, I wouldn’t rule out either of these two guys being Oklahoma’s next defensive coordinator.