The SEC’s coaching carousel was more like a whirlwind following the 2014 season. Of the 28 offensive and defensive coordinator positions in the conference, half of them will be filled by new names in 2015.

Each new hire on the defensive side varies in importance, impact and expectations. Some, like John Chavis at Texas A&M, are tasked with turning bad units into excellent ones. Others, like Kevin Steele at LSU and Geoff Collins at Florida, are expected to continue on traditions of strong defenses in their new positions.

None are in a position as uniquely pressure-packed as Derek Mason.

Vanderbilt’s head coach fired both his offensive and defensive coordinators after a sorry first season in Nashville. He tabbed Andy Ludwig, formerly the OC at Wisconsin, to fill the role on offense. After looking around the college football landscape for someone to run his defense, Mason decided that he was the best option for the job. The former Stanford DC will call defensive plays himself in 2015.

If you want a prime example of personal accountability, look no further than Mason. The defensive-minded coach watched his unit give up more than 400 yards per game and finish dead last in the SEC in scoring defense, giving up more than 33 points per game, and said, “no more.”

Whether or not Mason is able to get the Commodores defense likely won’t matter in the grand scheme of the SEC in 2015. At the end of the James Franklin era, much of Vandy’s best talent — the players who led the team to consecutive nine-win campaigns in 2012 and 2013 — left along with the coach. That left Vanderbilt thin on impact players on both sides, leaving Mason to restock the roster. Mason isn’t expected to win the East in 2015, but 3-9 and winless in the SEC for a second straight year won’t cut it.

That’s why his new job responsibilities are so important on other levels, though. What those two seasons under Franklin proved is that the ‘Dores can be successful, even in the rough SEC. Mason is now tasked with restoring Vanderbilt to a competitive level in short order.

There’s work to be done on offense as well. The Commodores were a mess on that side of the ball, finishing last in the SEC in scoring and total offense. That should be helped by going into the year with a player entrenched at quarterback, likely Johnny McCrary. While he’s not directly overseeing that side of the ball, that falls on Mason too.

Luckily for the head coach, Vandy returns a much more experienced defense in 2015. That side graduates just two senior starters, and half of the starters on defense last year were either a freshman, redshirt freshman or sophomore. They also bring in a handful of talented defensive prospects, including top-10 JUCO defensive end Nehemiah Mitchell, who could make an early impact.

If Vanderbilt doesn’t see signs of significant improvement, the consequences could be dire for Mason. He’s already let go of two coordinators; if the ‘Dores flop again in 2015, two more could be gone, as well as a head coach.

Talk about pressure.