Which new SEC coordinator will have the most impact on his new team this season?
The league has 13 new coordinators, so there are plenty from which to choose:
- Jeremy Pruitt, Alabama defensive coordinator
- Kevin Steele, Auburn defensive coordinator
- Jim Chaney, Georgia offensive coordinator
- Mel Tucker, Georgia defensive coordinator
- Eddie Gran, Kentucky offensive coordinator
- Dave Aranda, LSU defensive coordinator
- Peter Sirmon, Mississippi State defensive coordinator
- Josh Heupel, Missouri offensive coordinator
- DeMontie Cross, Missouri defensive coordinator
- Kurt Roper, South Carolina offensive coordinator
- Travaris Robinson, South Carolina defensive coordinator
- Bob Shoop, Tennessee defensive coordinator
- Noel Mazzone, Texas A&M offensive coordinator
ESPN.com’s SEC football experts recently conducted a roundtable discussion to determine which was most likely to star in their first season in the new role.
And the results were decidedly centered around the defensive side of the ball. Not a single offensive coordinator was discussed.
The five-person group produced three names when casting their votes: LSU’s Dave Aranda (3), Alabama’s Jeremy Pruitt (1) and Tennessee’s Bob Shoop (1).
Aranda was the overwhelming favorite of the group, as even writers that chose another coordinator at least acknowledged he was a serious consideration.
“He’s young, aggressive and whip-smart,” wrote ESPN’s Alex Scarborough. “With so many talented players to work with, it will be interesting to see how he mixes and matches parts, whether it’s creating one-on-one rush opportunities for (Arden) Key or giving (Jamal) Adams free range to make plays in the secondary.”
Greg Ostendorf touted Pruitt as the right answer based on his performance at Florida State and Georgia, and the necessity for him to produce at the level that new Georgia coach Kirby Smart did for years in the Crimson Tide defensive coordinator role prior to his departure.
Edward Aschoff pushed Shoop as the answer, who did quality work under James Franklin at both Penn State and Vanderbilt.