While no SEC programs changed head coaches in the offseason, there was a lot of movement in the assistant ranks. Alabama alone has had three offensive coordinators since the start of the College Football Playoff. It may be too early to definitively judge the impact these new staffs will have, but that hasn't stopped us before.
Here's a look at some teams that made the most impressive -- and intriguing -- hires of the offseason:
Edward Aschoff: I'm going with Florida, which made a handful of changes to it staff, a couple that I think will tremendously help immediately on the field and in recruiting. We'll see if Florida's defense gets even more historic under Randy Shannon, now that Geoff Collins is Temple's head coach, but really the upgrades came with hiring Ja'Juan Seider to coach running backs and Corey Bell to coach defensive backs. Now, Seider will be an immediate upgrade to the running back position and it allowed Tim Skipper to move from coaching running backs to coaching linebackers, where he actually played. Double win. He'll also help the Gators even more when it comes to recruiting the state of Florida. That's a major win for this staff. The jury is still out on if Bell can continue Florida's elite defensive back play, but most people have praised his recruiting skills, especially in south Florida.
David Ching: Maybe Butch Jones upgraded his coaching staff -- to be honest, I can’t say with any confidence that anyone did until we see the on-field results -- but Tennessee's batch of assistant hires is easily the SEC’s most intriguing set of changes this offseason. Jones has added three guys with head coaching experience to his staff. Former Michigan, Ball State and San Diego State coach Brady Hoke (defensive line) is the headliner, but new offensive coordinator Larry Scott (Miami) and quarterbacks coach Mike Canales (North Texas) have both served as interim coaches for at least half a season apiece. Jones also promoted Walt Wells (offensive line) from an off-field role and added Charlton Warren (defensive backs) and longtime NFL strength and conditioning coach Rock Gullickson from outside the program. I guess I’m not answering the original question here, but this seems like a boom-or-bust hiring cycle for Jones, who finds his seat considerably warmer after last season’s disappointment. Jones needs these newcomers -- particularly the ones on defense, where Tennessee most needs to improve -- to make an immediate impact or the calls for his head will only grow louder on Rocky Top.
Alex Scarborough: I'm not sure there is a clear winner in the conference. Florida, Tennessee and Alabama all made some fairly underwhelming hires, staying mostly in-house. The only program I thought tried to make a big jump was LSU with the addition of offensive coordinator Matt Canada. With a little luck, he'll get the Tigers passing game into the 21st century. But, again, I'm not 100 percent sold on Canada either seeing as he had what amounts to one good year at Pitt after being fired by NC State the year before. With that said, I think getting Mickey Joseph in to replace Dameyune Craig as receivers coach could end up being the right move, and adding Tommie Robinson as running backs coach/recruiting coordinator was a solid choice. What's more, the best thing Ed Orgeron did during the offseason was convince defensive coordinator Dave Aranda to stay. Had he lost Aranda to another job, my outlook on LSU would be drastically different.