Largely lost in Monday's coverage of the BCS National Championship Game between Alabama and LSU was the fact that another SEC West team made some big news. Auburn hired the Atlanta Falcons' Brian VanGorder as defensive coordinator.
The DC job on the Plains became vacant a little over a month ago when Roof left to take the same job at UCF, probably to avoid being fired after his defense helped allow the most points in school history. Roof ended up getting another new job on Monday too, when Penn State nabbed him after a whole 33 days in Orlando.
VanGorder is best known in this neck of the woods for his job as Georgia's defensive coordinator for the first four years of Mark Richt's tenure at Georgia. The Bulldogs won at least 10 games in three of those four seasons, including one conference and two division championships. The defense gradually deteriorated after VanGorder left, with UGA only making the SEC Championship Game the very year after he left under his successor Willie Martinez.
VanGorder is a big upgrade over Roof, and that's important for a program that has successively set records for most points allowed in a single season in 2009 and 2011. The offensive coordinator position at AU still remains open for the time being.
Meanwhile, Florida has today announced the hiring of Boise State's Brent Pease as its new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. That position, of course, came open after Charlie Weis took the head coaching job at Kansas. Alabama was also reportedly in the mix for Pease's services.
Pease comes to UF after six years in Boise, the last of which he served as offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach. He has previously worked in the SEC as offensive coordinator at Kentucky under Guy Morriss, after which he followed Morriss to Baylor for three seasons. Though he was wide receivers coach at Boise State for five years, he has largely been a quarterbacks coach in addition to coordinator throughout his career.
Pease will have a tough task ahead of him, resurrecting an offense that declined in two years under Steve Addazio and cratered under Weis last year. He will have to choose between a pair of true sophomore quarterbacks in Jacoby Brissett and Jeff Driskel who each completed less than half of their 39 and 34 attempts, respectively. He also has a big project at the receiver position, where the only wideout who caught more than 20 passes in 2011 (Deonte Thompson, with 21) has graduated.
It says a lot about how Boise State has risen in stature over the past few years. Texas hired its offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin from there last year, and Florida and Alabama reportedly competed for the services of Pease this year.