With the current Star Wars craze, everything about collectibles is hot. The SEC West may be into a different kind of collector’s item: former UGA coordinators.
Alabama recently hired former UGA defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt. Now it’s time for a rival to possibly benefit from a former Bulldog.
According to Phillip Marshall at Auburn Undercover, coach Gus Malzahn may have a number of candidates in mind for his open defensive coordinator’s position, of which Louisville defensive coordinator Todd Grantham might be an option.
Prior to joining Louisville in 2014, Grantham spent four seasons between the hedges at UGA. He worked as a linebackers coach, a defensive coordinator and an assistant head coach and helped the Bulldogs to a 2-2 showing against Auburn. While a .500 record in the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry doesn’t scream impressive, the way UGA beat Auburn in its wins certainly was.
Grantham’s UGA defense held Auburn to just seven points in a 38-point shellacking in 2011 and followed that up with a 38-0 beatdown a year later that few Auburn fans have or will ever forget. The Bulldogs pasted 497 total yards of offense on the Tigers while Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall both eclipsed the century mark in ground yardage.
Auburn struggled to reach 238 total yards and was kept off the scoreboard.
After watching offenses average 421.8 yards per game this season (ranked 13th in the SEC), Auburn fans might not care for Grantham … unless he came in and quickly helped the Tigers dish out the same type of punishment he slapped on their team in 2011 and 2012.
Grantham’s defense at Louisville finished second (308.5 yards per game) in the ACC in 2014 and third this season (323.4). With Louisville a top-15 defense and Auburn ranked 91st, maybe hostility isn’t the way to react to a possible Grantham-to-Auburn rumor.
Penn State’s Bob Shoop and South Florida’s Tom Allen are candidates as well, according to Auburn Undercover. Both have SEC ties.
Shoop was the defensive coordinator at Vanderbilt from 2011-2013. The Commodores were a top-6 defense in the SEC under Shoop. The year after his departure to Penn State, Vanderbilt dropped to 10 in the conference before making a comeback in 2015.
Prior to Allen landing the defensive coordinator’s job at South Florida he was the linebackers coach and special teams coordinator for three years at Ole Miss.
Marshall believes that Allen is the front-runner for the gig. But there’s no certainty in anything at this point. Malzahn may already know what he’s going to do and could be waiting until after a particular bowl game has been played.
At this point, we’re in wait-and-see mode.