Brad Nessler had an interesting answer when asked about the biggest surprise he saw in the SEC this season.
The SEC on CBS play-by-play announcer spoke with SEC Country about his experience calling games in the conference in advance of working the SEC Championship Game between Auburn and Georgia on Saturday. When asked about the SEC’s largest surprise, he said the recent coaching turnover has been notable.
Certainly, coaching headlines have been in ample supply. Ole Miss parted ways with Hugh Freeze in the summer, before interim coach Matt Luke was named the full-time coach after the Egg Bowl. In addition, Florida parted ways with Jim McElwain before hiring Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen. Mississippi State, in turn, hired Penn State offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead.
Meanwhile, Texas A&M fired Kevin Sumlin, and officials at the school reportedly are eyeing Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher as a replacement. Tennessee fired Butch Jones, and Vols athletic director John Currie still is searching for a coach after a reported deal between Tennessee and Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano feel through because of massive fan backlash. Arkansas remains in limbo after firing Bret Bielema.
“You expect it to be one or two [coaches], but you don’t expect to be so widespread and happen so early,” Nessler said.
“The effect Nick [Saban] has had, everybody wants to beat Alabama, [is a factor]. But what Kirby [Smart] has done, 8-5 last year and everybody is going, ‘Ah, OK. Georgia might be OK. But Florida and Tennessee can be right there with them.’ Then all of the sudden Georgia is this good in Kirby’s second year, so now everybody wants to find a Kirby Smart. Not everybody is going to find a Nick Saban, because there’s only one of those out there. But now everybody wants to find a Kirby.
“The fact that everybody is willing to throw whatever money they need at whoever they think will be the guy that can get them to the level of Alabama and Georgia and Auburn, it’s amazing to watch. It’s a high-reward, high-risk business. You know what you’re getting into when you start.”
The action has been something to witness, for sure.
The post CBS Sports’ Brad Nessler names biggest surprise in SEC appeared first on SEC Country.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism.