When the 2009 College Football season kicks off, there will be three SEC football teams with new head coaches. Tennessee will be lead by a young Lane Kiffin, who was recently hired by the Vols. Also, there will be a new face leading Auburn and Mississippi State.
Also, LSU is expected to make some changes on the defensive side of the ball. If this change does not happen, LSU will be looking possibly be looking for a new head coach after the 2009 season.
So how will these coaching changes affect the SEC? Starting with Auburn, I am expecting them to look for an offensive minded coach. If I had to put my money on someone it would be Mike Leach from Texas Tech. This will be a perfect hire and if Leach can produce in Auburn in the same style he has done at Texas Tech, it will give Nick Saban’s defense fits. Which will ultimately change the outlook of the recruiting battle in the state of Alabama. Also, it will could impact who LSU will hire as the next defensive coordinator.
Mississippi State will also need to make adjustments in order to compete with Ole Miss in recruiting. There are several names being mentioned, but I think Tommy Tuberville would be the perfect answer to Houston Nutt and the Ole Miss Rebels.
Rumors in the past indicated that Tuberville “stole” some of Houston Nutt's recruits. At some point, several players verbally committed to Arkansas under Nutt but then committed to Auburn. If this has any truth behind it and Tuberville has a one up on Nutt in recruiting, it would completely make all the sense in the world for Mississippi State to hire Tuberville.
These changes would eventually force Les Miles out of LSU if he does not change his style of coaching. Take a look back at 2007, Auburn was the only legit team to be competitive for the West. In 2008, Ole Miss started to emerge while Bama quickly rose to the top. LSU and Auburn were in the middle of the pack leaving Mississippi State and Arkansas at the bottom.
Arkansas will be better next year, and once Bobby Petrino gets offensive linemen in that can pass block, the razorbacks will be just as competitive. Then there is the SEC East.
Don’t be surprised if next year is Urban Meyer’s last season in Florida. It sounds crazy, but right now I am predicting Meyer to be the head coach of Notre Dame in 2010. By this time, Kiffin will have his program established in Tennessee. Georgia is always in contention and you can never count Steve Spurrier out in South Carolina.
Right now it is hard to break down the SEC since two teams are without head coaches. Once Auburn and Mississippi State hire a head coach and LSU makes changes to their staff, I can give a more accurate outlook, but right now it is nothing but one big cluster.
For those of you Auburn and Mississippi State fans, let me know what the word is around your areas. What do you think about the changes?
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