Jim Heacock, Ohio State
Maybe it’s just a coincidence of excellence, but consider the life and times and Jim Heacock at Ohio State …
Dynasty? The Buckeyes’ defensive coordinator has been part of one of the best runs in school history. Since 2002, the Bucks have played for three national championships and won one while winning at least a share of four Big Ten titles. Win one or both of those BCS title games and we’re talking about Ohio State in the same terms as USC this decade.
Michigan dominance Wolverines everywhere have this burned into their brain stems but here it is again: Ohio State has won six of the last seven in the series. In last season’s 14-3 victory, Heacock’s defense held That Team Up North to their fewest points in the game since 1962.
Defensive tradition There have been many great defenses at Ohio State. Statistically, the 2007 unit was among the best finishing first nationally in scoring defense, total defense and pass defense. Prior to the BCS title game — yes, there’s that little matter — Heacock’s defense had allowed only 11 touchdowns in 12 games.
Linebacker U. You want to start a cyber-fistfight? Start posting about which school has earned the Linebacker U. nickname — Penn State or Ohio State. Opinions are like buttonholes — everyone has them — but there would less of an argument had Heacock not helped produce the likes of A.J. Hawk, Bobby Carpenter, Anthony Schlegel and Jim Laurinaitis in recent years.