As a person, I love Don Brown. He's passionate, full of energy, very positive and he's fun to cover. He doesn't BS, rarely uses coach speak and is always good for a memorable quote, which is exactly what we journalists hope for.
Unfortunately, none of that matters when his defenses are getting shredded by every team Michigan faces.
Brown's once-feared defense is now easy to predict and exploit. Week after week players are setting career highs against Brown's aggressive, man-to-man scheme and it's essentially resulted in three bad losses for the Wolverines. For Michigan State, it was quarterback Rocky Lombardi and true freshman wide receiver Ricky White. For Indiana it was quarterback Michael Penix Jr. and wide receiver Ty Fryfogle. For Wisconsin, it was anyone who carried the ball. For Rutgers, it was quarterback Noah Vedral and a trio of mediocre receivers. Not to mention it took the Wolverines three overtimes to beat the Scarlet Knights.
Even though Michigan actually looked pretty good against Minnesota in the opener, it still allowed 326 yards of offense. Michigan State put up 449 total yards in a 27-24 win where the Spartans were three-touchdown underdogs. The Hoosiers really blew up and dropped 460 yards on Brown's defense en route to a 17-point win. Against Wisconsin, U-M gave up 468 yards, which included 341 on the ground. Then finally, last week against Rutgers in a triple overtime thriller, the Scarlet Knights piled up 486 yards of offense. All of that equals Michigan having the No. 92 defense in the country. That's behind eight teams in the Pac-12. That's behind Hawaii. That's behind Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, who seem to give up 40+ points to just about everyone. That's behind traditional offense-only programs like Tulsa and Houston. It's six spots behind RUTGERS.
So why does Don Brown still have a job?
That's the million dollar question at this point. Even without Aidan Hutchinson and Kwity Paye, who have both been injured, and Ambry Thomas, who opted out, Michigan is still more talented than Michigan State, Indiana, Wisconsin and Rutgers on paper. For them to be gashed week in and week out, is inexcusable. Other teams have Brown's number and he doesn't seem willing to change it. Because of that, every week seems like a toss up for Michigan regardless of the talent levels.