Reader poll: DC bang for the buck

Grantham got a raise.  In the rarefied atmosphere of what SEC defensive coordinators make, his $825,000 per year isn’t that outrageous.  Per Chris Low,

Grantham, entering his third season on the Bulldogs’ staff, becomes the fourth highest-paid defensive coordinator in the SEC. LSU’s John Chavis has agreed to a new three-year deal that will pay him an average of $1.1 million per year. He’ll make $900,000 in 2012, $1.1 million in 2013 and $1.3 million in 2014. Alabama’s Kirby Smart received a raise following the 2011 season that took him to $950,000 annually, while first-year Auburn defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder is making $850,000 per year.

Right behind that bunch, I believe, is Tennessee’s Sal Sunseri, at $800,000/year.  It’s his first stint as a defensive coordinator at the FBS level.

Okay, here’s the fun part.  Here’s how those schools finished in total defense last year:

  • Alabama, 1st
  • LSU, 2nd
  • Georgia, 5th
  • Tennessee, 27th
  • Auburn, 80th

By the way, Florida’s Dan Quinn is paid $500,000 annually.  Last year’s Gator defense finished eighth in total defense.

If you’re smelling a reader poll coming, you guessed right.  Which of these six schools gets the most for its money from its DC this season?



Filed under SEC Football

17 responses to “Reader poll: DC bang for the buck

  1. Matt

    Relatively speaking, I don’t think AL gets as much for it’s $ 950k from Smart as LSU & UGA get from their DC’s.

    It may just be perception, but it seems to me Saban runs that show, and the tide could get the same results from any number of other defensive coaches.


    • JasonC

      At first, I thought the same thing, but I think Kirby is very valuable in recruiting. When you read what the recruits say, most of them don’t connect with Saban, they connect with Kirby. They know Saban’s system will help them get there, but Kirby makes them feel good about putting up with it (so to speak).

      As the Senator noted this week with Grantham, it ain’t all Xs and Os.


  2. The other Doug

    $950,000 seems like a lot of money to pay Kirby Smart to fetch Saban coffee.


  3. NolaDawg

    Agree (mostly) with Matt, although I think Kirby Smart’s mention for multiple HC jobs contributes to his high salary. The same can be said with much more certainty for UF – Muschamp was hired for his defensive prowess.

    I put LSU and UGA at the top – as far as coaching, I think Chavis and Grantham are on a similar level, and Chavis is benefiting from longevity (in the SEC), a deeper defense (oversigning @ LSU vs undersigning at UGA), and to a small extent more talented players (a natural consequence of oversigning).


    • Dawgwalker07

      I don’t think you can say a natural consequence of oversigning is having better talent. If that were the case Ole Miss would be the class of the SEC.


      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        With the exception of Ole Miss, a natural consequence of oversigning is having better talent.


      • NolaDawg

        True, oversigning anyone with a pulse will not get you better recruits. However, if you consider that Alabama, LSU, and UGA all target the same type of talent, and essentially have the same average “star” ranking, the imperfections of attempting to project how a high school player will turn out means that more chances = more wins. If you flip a quarter more often, you’ll get both heads and tails more often. Saban, and to a lesser extent Miles, have a track record of keeping the heads and medically disqualifying the tails. Richt doesn’t.


  4. David

    I wouldn’t trade DC’s with any of them.


  5. joe

    Our new mascot should be a balance sheet.


  6. Ben

    What do they have to work with? Auburn’s had some pretty highly-ranked classes recently, and not much to show for it. Sure, CTG has been a force on the recruiting trail, but it’s not like he walked into a bare cupboard situation. Tennessee has still recruited well, though not at the same level as Bama or Florida, so I gave them my vote.


  7. charlottedawg

    Chavis, for what SEC football is, a million bucks is chump change for that kind of defense. Smart may be really good but I don’t know that for sure because of his boss. Also, honest question who was the D coordinator in 08 when Stafford, Moreno, and AJ helped hang half a hundred on them (with contributions from Jarret Lee and D Gamble of course)?


  8. Edawg

    We need to pay Grantham more. We need to make him think twice about taking an NFL coordinator position or a marginal college HC job. It’s probable that he’s going to get his first offer or 2 after the season is over.


  9. Hobnail_Boot

    Auburn by a mile, as their D will improve dramatically.


  10. Fastandfurious

    Guess it depend on what you measure?

    1- Grantham stats against teams with losing records?
    Top 3 in SEC

    2- Grantham stats against ranked teams in SEC?
    Near bottom/worst in conference in tackles for loss, sacks, scoring, fumble recoveries

    The guy is clearly overpaid.