Taking a look at the SEC Blueprint at Syracuse


Teams are always trying to hire the next great head coach in college football. Ever since Georgia hired long-time Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart off of Nick Saban’s staff, the unrealistic benchmark has been set, and other teams continue to try to do the same.

Under Saban specifically, five offensive and two defensive coordinators have been hired off of Saban’s staff as head coaches at either the FBS level or the NFL. Three of the bigger names are current Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin, Georgia coach Kirby Smart and Texas coach Steve Sarkisian.

My article on how staying under Saban payed dividends for all three is full explained here.

Many other assistants have been poached away as well. And Kirby Smart is encountering the same thing at Georgia early on.

One of the latest examples isn’t a coordinator, but a defensive backs coach under Kirby Smart at 2022, Fran Brown. Brown is known as the nations top recruiter and was a member of the Bulldogs staff the past two seasons, including the 2022 national championship team. With these accolades, the Syracuse Orange of the ACC decided to take a chance on Brown as a first-time head coach, hiring him away from Smart in Athens.

Looking at the SEC blueprint at Syracuse

While the accolades are there, this is still a really big risk considering that Brown wasn’t even a defensive coordinator at Georgia and was lower on the totem pole as far as assistant coach rankings go. There is however that ever-elusive benchmark that has been set by the Georgia Bulldogs after hiring Smart as an assistant off of Nick Saban’s staff in 2015. And that is what Syracuse and many others are chasing.

Brown actually continued the trickle down effect, or should we call it hope by hiring former Texas A&M Aggies defensive line coach Elijah Robinson away from the Aggies where he’d been since 2018.

While Brown has hired assistants without an SEC background, this is without question the biggest hire of all assistant coaches being it’s the defensive coordinator. Furthermore, Brown having a defensive background himself, as well as Smart at Georgia is telling.

Time will tell, but it seems more and more programs are grasping at straws and crossing fingers hoping they’ll hire the right assistants off of Saban and now Smart’s staffs with Brown being the latest. If he does succeed, it could bring the ACC back to prominence as a whole with top coaches Dabo Swinney at Clemson and Mike Norvell at Florida State already in place.

Next. Kentucky, Alabama among SEC recruiting winners. Kentucky, Alabama among SEC recruiting winners. dark