There were only eight teams in action last week, but that was enough to see offensive coordinators impress and other assistants tank.
Here are the coaches that enjoyed Week 6 and the others that would rather forget it ever happened:
1. Lane Kiffin, Alabama offensive coordinator
If Kiffin has shaken his bad rep, look for several programs to be after him this offseason. The Tide got over the Arkansas hurdle Saturday with 517 yards of offense in a 49-30 win. Jalen Hurts was efficient and effective, completing 13 of 17 passes for 253 yards and a score, and Damien Harris had 122 yards on just 13 carries. Alabama’s offense dictated this game for the opening kickoff.
2. Noel Mazzone, Texas A&M offensive coordinator
Mazzone again orchestrated a great offensive effort for the Aggies in a 45-30 double-overtime win over No. 9 Tennessee. Quarterback Trevor Knight had another fantastic afternoon with 349 total yards and five touchdowns, and freshman running back Trayveon Williams broke out for 217 yards and a score on 28 carries. Mazzone located the Tennessee weakness with two linebackers out with injury and exploited it to the fullest.
3. Rhett Lashlee, Auburn offensive coordinator
Lashlee is making Hugh Freeze look like a wise man after taking over play-calling duties three weeks ago. Auburn’s offense hummed in a 38-14 win over Mississippi State with 432 yards of offense, winning time of possession by nearly seven minutes. By playing to the strength of the run game with Kamryn Pettway (39 carries, 169 yards, three touchdowns) Lashlee is helping QB Sean White succeed in the pass game (14 of 18, 204 yards, one touchdown, one interception).
4. John Schlarman, Kentucky offensive line coach
Beating Vanderbilt doesn’t impress me much, Mark Stoops, but your offensive line sure did it’s job. The Wildcats ran the ball 52 times for 258 yards and didn’t allow Vanderbilt a single sack in a 20-13 win. Now stopping the Commodores isn’t much to hang one’s hat on, but the solid outing bumped Kentucky up to 55th in the nation in rushing yards per game.
1. Derek Mason, Vanderbilt head coach
Mason might have spent some time this week at the campus writing workshop polishing his resume. Mason is 9-21 with Vandy and 2-17 in conference games. He might be better suited as an assistant, or maybe, a head coach at a program with a less brutal path to prominence than in the SEC.
2. Kurt Anderson, Arkansas offensive line coach
While the Alabama offense was lighting up the scoreboard, the Tide defensive line was blowing past the Razorbacks offensive front. Anderson’s group allowed seven sacks and finished with only 73 rushing yards on 36 attempts. The abysmal performance dropped Arkansas to 64th in the nation in rushing yards per game at 176.3. Prior to the 49-30 loss, the Razorbacks averaged 197 rushing yards per game, which would put them 47th in the country.
3. Greg Knox, Mississippi State running backs coach
In a 38-14 loss to Auburn, Bulldogs QB Nick Fitzgerald led the team in carries (17) and rushing yards (61) by a large margin. And no, this is not an option attack where the QB throws five passes per game. The four running backs that saw action carried the ball a combined 12 times for 53 yards. Knox needs to develop somebody to take some burden off Fitzgerald and the rest of the offense.
4. Steve Stripling, Tennessee defensive line coach
The Volunteers were without linebackers Jalen Reeves-Maybin and Darrin Kirkland Jr. in their loss to Texas A&M, so it’s hard to place any blame on the linebackers for the field day the Aggies had on the ground. The defensive line, however, failed in keeping ball carriers from reaching that second level. Stripling has a standout in defensive end Derek Barnett, but he needs to get the rest of the front line up to snuff.
SEC Coach of the Year favorite: Nick Saban, Alabama
Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin had a nice win over Tennessee, but unless he beats Alabama in a couple of weeks, Saban’s name will be etched into this award for a fourth time. He has another opportunity to build his case this Saturday against No. 9 Tennessee.