COLLEGE FOOTBALL: All eyes on new guys in leading the teams

Montgomery, Ala. —- One new Southeastern Conference football coach has won barely one-fifth of his games as a head man. Another managed a 25 percent clip.
Still, a third has never been a head coach, and two others are closer to age 30 than 40.
The powerhouse football league didn’t go for splashy names like other recent hires Bobby Petrino, Nick Saban and Urban Meyer in its latest sideline shopping spree.

This time it’s Gene Chizik, Lane Kiffin and Dan Mullen —- all with terrific track records and reputations as assistant coaches. But when it comes to head coaching, the experience they have is either nonexistent or negative.
It’s hard to imagine any of them drawing 92,000 fans to a spring game like Alabama’s Saban did in his first year.
They are surely intriguing nonetheless for a variety of reasons. Take Chizik at Auburn. He had a 5-19 record in two seasons at Iowa State, but was also defensive coordinator for back-to-back unbeaten teams at Auburn and Texas.

ajc.com
12/25/08