SEC football has raised the bar with coordinator salaries for good reason—many of the best assistant coaches make their livings in Southeastern college towns.
Such fierce competition breeds top-notch head coaching prospects.
Before they became head coaches, Gus Malzahn, Will Muschamp and Dan Mullen created names as elite coordinators in the SEC.
The new wave features Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart, who seems capable of landing nearly any gig he fancies.
Today we explore the current top-10 coordinators as we near the open of fall camps.
To do so, we consider recent success of each of the assistant coaches against that of their peers.
Of course, trying to evaluate numerous coaches who come from different backgrounds doesn’t always prove easy.
The toughest call on the list to make was Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin.
Yes, Kiffin served in the same role for some very good USC teams under Pete Carroll, but he also split duties with new Trojans coach Steve Sarkisian. Carroll entrusted Sarkisian with play-calling duties.
Kiffin’s head coaching experience would seemingly give him a leg up in the power rankings.
Then again, one needs only watch the goal-line failures USC endured against Notre Dame in 2012 to see Kiffin freeze up on the sideline as a play-caller in a critical moment.
Alabama fans don’t have to think back very far to recall similar circumstances inside Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Former Crimson Tide coach Mike Shula showed similar indecision—and borderline incompetence—during the closing stages of the 2006 Auburn game.
The Tigers came away with a 22-15 victory and the contest served as the last of the Shula era.
Needless to say, Alabama fans would scoff at the notion of Shula making this list.
Enough about who didn’t make the list.
Here are the preseason top 10 coordinators in the SEC.