'The DC Shuffle'

It's entirely possible that more than half of the 12 SEC football programs will have new defensive coordinators in 2008.

If Kevin Steele leaves Alabama to become head coach of the fledgling South Alabama program – a distinct possibility – seven of the 12 SEC schools will have first-year aides overseeing their defenses next fall.

Here's how the "DC Shuffle" has shaken out thus far:

Auburn lost Will Muschamp to Texas, where he will be co-defensive coordinator. The Tigers filled the void by hiring Paul Rhoads away from Pittsburgh.

Ole Miss dumped John Thompson in conjunction with the firing of head coach Ed Orgeron. The Rebels filled the void by hiring Tyrone Nix away from South Carolina.

LSU lost Bo Pelini to Nebraska, where he will be the new head coach. The Tigers still have not hired a replacement, although Les Miles is expected to elevate a couple of 2007 aides into co-coordinator roles.

Mississippi State lost Ellis Johnson to Arkansas. The Bulldogs filled the void by promoting Charlie Harbison, who was their safeties coach in 2007.

Arkansas said goodbye to Reggie Herring, who was not retained by new head coach Bobby Petrino. The Razorbacks filled the void by hiring Ellis Johnson away from Mississippi State. His departure for South Carolina 19 days later, however, leaves the Hogs again looking for a DC.

South Carolina lost Tyrone Nix to Ole Miss, then filled the void by hiring Brian VanGorder away from the Atlanta Falcons. VanGorder returned to the Falcons a month later, however, so the Gamecocks hired Ellis Johnson away from Arkansas later the same day.

Alabama will become the seventh SEC team to lose its defensive coordinator since the 2007 season ended if Steele is hired by South Alabama.

That said, here's the SEC defensive coordinator scorecard for 2008:

ALABAMA: Kevin Steele may or may not be back for his second year as defensive coordinator.

AUBURN: Paul Rhoads will be in his first year as defensive coordinator.

ARKANSAS: Stay tuned.

FLORIDA: Charlie Strong and Greg Mattison return for their fourth year as co-coordinators. Strong previously served two years (2003-04) as sole defensive coordinator under Ron Zook.

GEORGIA: Willie Martinez returns for his fourth year as defensive coordinator.

KENTUCKY: Steve Brown returns for his second year as defensive coordinator.

LSU: Stay tuned.

OLE MISS: Tyrone Nix will be in his first year with the Rebels after previously serving as DC at South Carolina.

MISSISSIPPI STATE: Charlie Harbison will be in his first year as coordinator after serving as safeties coach in 2007.

SOUTH CAROLINA: Ellis Johnson will be in his first year with the Gamecocks after previously serving at Mississippi State.

TENNESSEE: John Chavis returns for his 14th year as defensive coordinator.

VANDERBILT: Bruce Fowler returns for his seventh year as defensive coordinator.

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