On Friday, the NCAA passed legislation that will allow teams to hire a 10th on-field assistant coach effective for the 2018 season. And that got us thinking who would be the “best” possible fit in that role for every SEC team.
A quick disclaimer: Best has a subjective meaning. Some of these suggestions could be seen as practical, but others could just for fun. Please do not get mad online at a suggestion. You can comment on who you would like to see your favorite team hire at the bottom of this page. And with that in mind, let’s begin.
Alabama: Les Miles
If there’s been a consistent Achilles heel for Alabama in the Nick Saban era, it’s been the play of its special teams. So who better to bring in to help clean up the unit than the former LSU coach, who always seemed to get the most out of his special teams units and was never afraid to bust out a trick play or two? And just imagine Saban’s reaction to one of those, good or bad.
Auburn: Bo Jackson
Bo knows football. Bo knows Auburn. Bo knows winning at Auburn. Bo certainly can learn the finer points of coaching.
Arkansas: Houston Nutt
This might not be super popular with Arkansas fans, but Nutt has coached at Arkansas in some capacity in the 1980s, the 90s and the 2000s. So why not make it four different decades in Fayetteville? Who could say no to this face:
Florida: Steve Spurrier
When Shawn Elliott first took the job at Georgia State in December, he called Spurrier to see if he was interested in joining the staff. Spurrier responded by asking if he could just coach on Saturdays. That’s what he would do at Florida in this case. Just call a bunch of pass plays, score a lot of points and roast some SEC rivals.
Georgia: Hines Ward
This idea seems to come up every offseason, and given his connection to current Georgia coach Kirby Smart, this seems like a perfect fit.
Kentucky: Willie Cauley-Stein
You knew this one would be basketball related. While it might be tough for Cauley-Stein to be with the team once the NBA season starts, he knows a good bit about football. Check out his high school highlights.
LSU: Shaquille O’Neal
Shaq would somehow make the LSU team even more interesting and entertaining. Plus, imagine how upset Charles Barkley would be that his TNT co-host got a job at LSU but he didn’t get one at Auburn.
Missouri: James Franklin
No, not the James Franklin of Penn State. The real James Franklin, the former Missouri quarterback who led the Tigers to an SEC East title in 2013. The Tigers are already led by one former player in Barry Odom.
Mississippi State: Reserved for Dak Prescott
Prescott isn’t eligible since he is currently the starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys. But whenever he retires, Dan Mullen will hold the position open for this beloved Bulldogs star.
Ole Miss: Bo Wallace
Wallace is already in the coaching profession, as he recently took a job with East Mississippi Community College (he led the team to the 2011 NJCAA national title) after coaching his brother’s high school football team in Tennessee.
South Carolina: Marcus Lattimore
Like Wallace, Lattimore is currently in the coaching ranks, and the Gamecocks have already tried to bring him on staff once before and failed because of NCAA intervention. If that could ever be rectified, there probably isn’t a more perfect fit between player and school.
Tennessee: Peyton Manning
This likely will never happen given how huge of a profile Manning has. And even if Butch Jones did bring him on staff, a number of fans probably would prefer Manning running the team instead of Jones. But it would be fun to see Manning try and coach quarterbacks, knowing that he probably could do a better job than those he was coaching.
Texas A&M: Johnny Manziel
Kevin Sumlin achieved his greatest success with Manziel at Texas A&M. This would give Manziel the opportunity to be around football and give him a place to train while attempting to make an NFL comeback.
Vanderbilt: Jay Cutler
Cutler hasn’t been signed since he was released by the Chicago Bears and seems to have a lot of free time on his hands. He could be a great asset to Derek Mason’s staff, but fans likely would constantly make comments about his body language on the sidelines during games.