From the quirkiness of Les Miles to the no-nonsense attitude of Nick Saban, there’s no denying the personalities presented with the SEC’s 14 head coaches.
Despite all the headlines the leaders of the nation’s best football programs garner off the field, their coaching staffs are the backbone of their programs.
Here are five offensive assistant coaches who will have the biggest impact this fall.
5. Dan Werner, Ole Miss
As one of the most underrated offensive minds in the SEC, Werner has done a nice job running Hugh Freeze’s offense.
Werner turned Bo Wallace into an all-league-caliber player and helped Chad Kelly adapt to life in the SEC, Werner’s true worth came last season when Freeze turned over play-calling duties to the veteran offensive coordinator. From that point, the Rebels were tough to stop. Will the trend continue in 2016?
4. Doug Nussmeier, Florida
Jim McElwain got much of the credit for Florida’s big 2015 season, which included an SEC East title. Nussmeier’s ability to get the most out of a playmaker-deficient offense was a huge reason for the team’s success.
If young quarterback Luke Del Rio can manage expectations and the offensive line improves, it will be fun to see what Nussmeier can do, especially if dynamic wide receiver Antonio Callaway plays this fall.
3. Noel Mazzone, Texas A&M
As one of the most experienced offensive coordinators in the SEC, Mazzone hopes that helps him in his debut season at Texas A&M.
Mazzone has been an offensive coordinator for 17 years at the Power 5 level. He has coached talented quarterbacks including Philip Rivers of the San Diego Chargers and Josh Rosen of UCLA. With Mazzone and transfer quarterback Trevor Knight leading the Aggies, there’s a lot of buzz in College Station.
2. Dan Enos, Arkansas
It’s rare to see a head coach become an offensive coordinator on his own, but that move has paid off for Enos.
Enos, who previously led Central Michigan, made a big splash in his first season with the Razorbacks. Former quarterback Brandon Allen flourished and turned a classic run-based offense into a legitimate threat in the intermediate passing game. New QB Austin Allen will look to continue that success.
1. Lane Kiffin, Alabama
Kiffin, who struggled as a head coach in college and in the NFL, has turned Alabama’s traditional run-heavy offense into a blend of classic and modern schemes as its offensive coordinator.
He’ll be tested this season after losing a ton offensively, but Kiffin got Blake Sims and Jake Coker to quarterback teams to the College Football Playoff. With plenty of drama at quarterback, let’s see if Kiffin can do the unthinkable again.