Lane Kiffin says he’s returning to Alabama, but six SEC teams will have new offensive coordinators next season.
We know who’s filled five of those positions and Tennessee coach Butch Jones is looking for someone to run the Vols’ offense.
Here’s a look at the SEC’s new offensive coordinators.
Dan Enos, Arkansas — He brings more Big Ten pedigree — he played QB and was an assistant at Michigan State — to the Razorbacks’ run-first offense. He left a head coaching position at Central Michigan, but received a raise and the chance to work with RBs Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams, and QB Brandon Allen (a surprising 20 TDs and only five interceptions in 2014).
Doug Nussmeier, Florida — Two former Alabama offensive coordinators are on the same staff — Nussmeier and coach Jim McElwain — but they’ve said they work well together, so we’ll see what happens with a team that’s returning one offensive lineman and lost its best RB to the NFL. Nussmeier is the fourth OC in five seasons at Florida.
Brian Schottenheimer, Georgia — He brings plenty of NFL experience, but can he coach on the college level? And he’ll have to break in a new QB next fall, but Nick Chubb returns at RB. Schottenheimer has been known to build powerful running attacks in the NFL, but it will be tough to match the Bulldogs’ offensive production from this fall.
Shannon Dawson, Kentucky –– There was a time when Dawson’s offenses threw a lot more than they do now, as evidenced by the fast that West Virginia — which has a reputation as a pass-first offense — ran 52 percent of the time in 2014. The question remains: Can he transform Kentucky’s offense, which was inconsistent throughout last season.
Andy Ludwig, Vanderbilt — Coming from Wisconsin, you know Ludwig knows how to run the ball, but he builds offenses around his players. But Vanderbilt doesn’t have Melvin Gordon, so the challenge is there. The Commodores should be better offensively in 2015, because it would be tough to be worse (tied for 116th in scoring) than they were last fall.
Vacant, Tennessee — Whoever is hired for this position will coach an offense that could be one of the best in the SEC next year with QB Josh Dobbs, RB Jalen Hurd and a potentially deep and talented WR group. More is needed from an OL that gained a lot of experience last fall.
Which coordinator is coming into the best position? Which SEC team will have the best offense in 2015?