Ask coaches around the country where Todd Grantham stands among college footballs defensive coordinators and you'll get a consistent message. He's one of the best in the business.
With the Bulldog defense going up against Alabama and Grantham's former colleague Nick Saban (from their time together at Michigan State days) in the SEC title game tomorrow night, there's no question that Grantham will have his work cut out for him.
During a press conference yesterday, Saban noted that Grantham would rank righ up there among the best assistants that he has ever had on staff. Considering the Saban coaching tree, that's some elite company.
Grantham admits that much of his philosophy and preparation stem from what he learned during his time under Saban, including their vision of "big people beat up little people" when football boils down to its essence, and the best thing about working under Saban is that he allows his assistant to focus on coaching.
In the New York Times, Grantham offered up a few overall details on his overall defensive philosophy.
"My whole thing is matchups. How can we get the mismatch in the rush. You are trying to get your best player on their weakest link on offense." Grantham explained.
"Little people can't block big people,. When you have big people, you don't have to commit all your defensive backs to the run game. You can play what I call a seven-and-a-half-man box. You got the extra half guy in the secondary because your guys up front can seal off gaps and hold the point."
"Big people beat up little people. It's why there are weight classifications in boxing."
Good point coach.
Like most of the country, we're really looking forward to tomorrow's game between the two close friends and former colleagues. March Richt and the Bulldogs have won numerous close games, and had just one slip this season (a 35-7 loss to South Carolina) so you can expect the Bulldogs to be as prepared for the big stage as they've ever been. It should be a good one.