5 unlikely SEC coaching carousel moves we would love to see
Sometimes, it’s just fun to consider the possibilities.
If you’re looking for substantiated rumors or inside tips on what the next SEC coaching hires might be, you’ve come to the wrong article, my friend.
If, instead, you’re willing to open your mind to some awesome – yet unlikely – possibilities, then pull up a chair and let’s dream together.
With three head coaching jobs open in the league and many others across the country open right now, the possibilities of shuffling coaches in the SEC are almost endless.
Here are five unlikely moves that we would love to see come to fruition, if for nothing else than something entertaining to talk about:
Chip Kelly to Georgia
If we’re going to dream, let’s do it big right out of the gate. There is plenty of discontent in Philadelphia, where the former Oregon coach current heads the Eagles coaching staff. If he gets the itch to come back to the college game, just about any program in the country would welcome him with open arms. Georgia has to be one of the most appealing destinations of the current openings, and it offers Kelly a chance to compete in the SEC. This would be an instant shot in the arm to a struggling SEC East. Sign us up.
Mark Richt to South Carolina
How much fun would this be? Richt spent 15 years as the enemy to most Gamecocks fans, but a decision to let the former Georgia coach go following a 9-3 season has created a situation that has put the highly accomplished SEC head coach back on the market. While it isn’t exactly Steve Spurrier looking for second life in the SEC, it does have a similar “plug-and-play” type of feel for a South Carolina program that wasn’t too far away from an SEC championship under the Head Ball Coach. Given the proximity of the two schools and the fact that they’re in the same division of the same conference, it’d be really easy for Richt to pick things right back up on the recruiting trail and in the film room. Plus, it’d add some serious spice to an already fun rivalry between the Bulldogs and Gamecocks.
Lane Kiffin to Missouri
We just can’t get enough of Lane. His stay as head coach at Tennessee was entertaining, but much too brief, as he bailed for a chance to take the USC job after just one season. Now, he’s come back to give us two years of comedy (and really solid offense) as the “odd couple” companion to Alabama coach Nick Saban. But Kiffin has outgrown his current role as an offensive coordinator, and is likely to receive another chance to be a college head coach. Missouri has had the stable, calm presence of Gary Pinkel at the helm for over a decade, so what better way to say “things are changing” than to give the program a shot in the arm with the wild ride that is Lane Kiffin? The Tigers would go from one of the most “boring” programs to cover in the league to one of the most “interesting” overnight, that much we know for sure. How would it impact that Tigers’ win-loss record? That’d be a little harder to predict.
Kendal Briles to Alabama as offensive coordinator
Haven’t you always wondered how Baylor coach Art Briles would fair in the SEC? Or at least how his offense would produce against some of the nation’s top defensive athletes on a weekly basis? Well, we’re probably not talking Briles into taking a head coaching job outside of Texas and Kevin Sumlin isn’t leaving Texas A&M anytime soon, so we may never see it from the 59-year-old. But what if we were able to lure his son? Kendal Briles is completing his first season as the offensive coordinator at Baylor after years as an offensive assistant on his dad’s staff. If Lane Kiffin is leaving for a head coaching job, and fellow Alabama offensive assistant Mario Cristobal is also set to get another look as a head coach elsewhere, that’s going to leave some holes on Saban’s offensive staff. Would Saban be bold enough to embrace the kind of offensive scheme change that the younger Briles could bring? Would he be able to blend Briles’ ideas with his elite athletes to create one of the best offensive attacks in the country? Who knows, because the answer to the first question is almost certainly “No.”
Tee Martin to Tennessee as wide receivers coach
This one just feels right. Martin, who quarterbacked the Vols to a national championship season back in 1998, is one of the most beloved Tennessee quarterbacks not named Peyton Manning. He also happens to be one of the best recruiters in the nation, and has been hauling in big time recruits for USC, where he has been a WR coach since 2012. He spent a couple of years as a WR coach at Kentucky before that, and was rumored to have turned down a chance to join the Tennessee during the last coaching shuffle. With USC going through a coaching transition of its own, Martin would be a huge grab for the Vols, who are loaded at the position but have been short on production. Alas, it’s probably not happening.