Call me chart happy, but I kind of like the chart I came up with to look at Tyrone Nix's tenure at South Carolina. So, with a few tweaks, here's a similar look at the five most often named (and realistic ... i.e., no Bud Foster) contenders for the Gamecock's DC job. The stats include their five most recent years as BCS head coaches or defensive coordinators since 1999, when the data becomes practically impossible to retrieve. Ranks are national.
Not surprisingly, perhaps, given my stated affinity for them, Brian VanGorder (currently a position coach with the coachless Atlanta Falcons) and Jon Tenuta (currently DC with Georgia Tech, at least until the new regime arrives) jump out.
VanGorder fielded a decidedly mediocre unit in his first year with the spelling-challenged Dawgs, then improved it until the Georgia defense was one of the best in the nation.
Tenuta's defenses over the past five years have, at times, struggled against the pass, but his teams have consistently stifled the run (happy sigh) and ranked no worse than 27th overall. I think this is a pretty good comparison, too; recruiting at Georgia Tech is arguably no easier than recruiting at South Carolina, and maybe harder. Tech's LBs have, in recent years, become a strong suit. Imagine what he could do with J-Brink.
Hoke's numbers aren't bad, but are slightly dated. The question is whether he's lost his fastball as DB coach for the Houston Texans; we really don't know.
Herring's numbers are also pretty good. Think about this: The year before Herring took over at N.C. State, the defense was 116th against the pass, with 284.08 ypg; 40th against the run, with 136.92 ypg; and an abysmal 89th overall, coughing up 421.00 ypg. At Arkansas, though, it's been so-so overall. Not very bad, not very good, but still somewhat better than Nix.
The Orgeron, though, fielded dismal units at Ole Miss. Each unit got worse each year, until the Rebels were giving up almost 425 yards each game in the season that just ended. How involved was he in the defense? A fair question.
Granted, the Orgeron oversaw a defensive line that checked the run very well when he was at Southern Cal. But by the time Orgeron's last few years at the other USC rolled around, a blindfolded monkey could be DL coach and there would be little drop off. And it's not like Pete Carroll's defenses have been lost since the Orgeron left. The other interesting question this raises about the Orgeron is whether he was a great recruiter or a great recruiter at Southern Cal. Again, blindfolded monkey.
GRANNED AH BE HAVIN' SOME FUN WID DE CAJUN ACCEN', but I don't think the Oregeron is South Carolina's best option if the goal is to win and not simply provide bloggers with good material. (I'm also hesitant after the whole petit-larceny-at-hotels thing.)
As far as getting who Spurrier wants, the signs from the board of trustees are good as far as the money goes.
Herbert Adams, chairman of USC's Board of Trustees, said he spoke with Gamecocks athletics director Eric Hyman recently about the escalating salaries for coordinators. Hyman wanted to prepare Adams for possible "sticker shock" in the event that Nix left.
"(Hyman) told me, 'Get ready, we're going to have to pay a lot more money than we paid coach Nix,'" Adams said Wednesday. "He definitely was not (opposed to) that. He felt like he knew what the market was and had confidence in coach Spurrier knowing the market." ...
Adams and longtime board member Eddie Floyd said they would support a richer salary for the next defensive coordinator. The trustees' executive committee must approve all university contracts worth $250,000 or more.
"We're going to try to provide Spurrier whatever it takes," Floyd said. "If we can't win with Steve Spurrier, I don't know if we can win with anybody. So we've got to give him what it takes to win."
Now, Spurrier just needs to find a coach that's worth all that money.