Through two weeks, one can already see the improvement by teams with new head coaches, and it’s easy to see the impact the new staffs are having. The new head coaches are a combined 7-1.
Related: What happened to you on Saturday?
Bret Bielema, Arkansas
Bielema’s impact on the Hogs already is undeniable. Arkansas is 2-0 with victories against Louisiana-Lafayette and Samford, and it’s not so much who they are beating but how they are doing it. The Hogs are the only SEC team that has averaged over 300 yards rushing per game in two weeks. Led by Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams, who are perfect for Bielema’s offense, Arkansas is already looking a lot like Wisconsin. And the tough-nosed, smash-mouth offense Bielema won championships with at Wisconsin is alive in Fayetteville. We’re still not sure who they are or how good they can be, but the running game is nasty.
Gus Malzahn, Auburn
Malzahn and Auburn escaped the first week against Washington State – who just beat USC – with a 31-24 win, but the offense is averaging over 34 points per game in two weeks, something we knew would happen based on Malzahn’s coaching history. When you think of Malzahn’s offense, you tend to think more about attacking the edge of the defense with a dynamic quarterback, but the Tigers have the second best running game in the SEC, averaging 298 yards per game, and are running right into the teeth of the defense. I thought Malzahn was set up for success immediately based on Auburn’s past recruiting classes, but things get real this week against Mississippi State, the Tigers most important game of the season.
Mark Stoops, Kentucky
It took Kentucky having a disappointing loss to WKU to bring out their best against putrid Miami (OH). It’s not so much Stoops as it is OC Neal Brown. Brown’s offense torched Miami’s defense, mounting 675 yards of total offense and 41 points. That’s how Brown’s offense is supposed to look, but Louisville comes calling Saturday. Kentucky’s 675 yards were the third most in school history.
Butch Jones, Tennessee
We still don’t know much about 2013 Tennessee, but we do know they are well coached. The Vols sit No. 1 in TO margin at +7 and No. 1 in penalties with only two after not committing a penalty the first week. The offensive execution might not be as crisp as one would like, but Tennessee is running behind the mammoth O-line to the tune of 277.5 yards per game and have rushed for seven TDs.
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