Chavis among top coordinators

So, you think Steve Spurrier turned the SEC into an offense-minded conference? Think again. Four of the top 11 defensive coordinators in college football work for SEC schools. So says Richard Cirminiello of collegefootballnews.com.

The four are John Chavis (Tennessee), Joe Lee Dunn (Mississippi State), Carl Torbush (Alabama) and Charlie Strong (South Carolina). In addition, Auburn's Gene Chizik is among five defensive coordinators listed under the heading ''The Young and the Rising.''

Cirminiello had this to say about Chavis:

''This 13-year veteran of the UT coaching ranks has been Phillip Fulmer's DC since 1995. Chavis gets criticism for sitting back sometimes, but how can anyone argue with the end product? His defense is one of the stingiest in the country year in and year out. In his seven years at the helm, the Vols have never finished below #3 in the SEC for total defense.''

Other defensive coordinators cited by Cirminiello are Mickey Andrews (Florida State), Bud Foster (Va. Tech), Mike Hankwitz (Texas A&M), Jim Hermann (Michigan), Carl Reese (Texas), Randy Shannon (Miami) and Mike Stoops (Oklahoma).

Cirminiello also ranks the NCAA's top offensive coordinators, but this list is limited to nine honorees. Two of them are SEC aides — Jimbo Fisher (LSU) and Ed Zaunbrecher (Florida). The other seven are: Dana Bible (Boston College), Norm Chow (Southern Cal), Greg Davis (Texas), Bill Diedrick (Notre Dame), Keith Gilbertson (Washington), Ron Hudson (Kansas State) and Andy Ludwig (Oregon).

Cirminiello listed five ''Young and Rising'' offensive coordinators but omitted UT's Randy Sanders. Perhaps Cirminiello missed last January's Citrus Bowl, a game in which Sanders rang up 45 points on Michigan's Jim Hermann — one of Cirminiello's top-rated defensive coordinators.


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