Bob McClellan Rivals.com College Football Columnist
If you recognize every name on this list, give yourself a sticker for your helmet.
Coordinators don't often get much of the spotlight. Many simply are content with their jobs. They may not want all the pressure and scrutiny that comes with a head coaching position.
Then again, some do. And their time will come. There is some fine potential for the next wave of head coaches contained in this list.
If you're a fan of one of the schools where one of these guys works, should do two things: (1) Be thankful he's on your side, and (2) enjoy it while you can.
Rivals.com 2006 Preseason Top Offensive Coordinators
1. Al Borges, Auburn
The Tigers were first in the Southeastern Conference in scoring offense (32.2 points per game) and total offense (409.8 yards per game) last season. Not bad for the year after you lost your entire
backfield to the first round of the NFL Draft. But Tommy Tuberville keeps getting good players, and Borges has proven that he knows what to do with them. Quarterback Brandon Cox (2,324 passing
yards, 15 TD passes, eight interceptions) was fifth in the SEC in passing efficiency as a sophomore and figures to improve on those already solid numbers. Kenny Irons led the SEC in rushing with
1,293 yards and 13 touchdowns and he's back, too. With those kinds of weapons, the SEC will run in fear of Borges' attack.
2. Mike Dunbar, California
The former Northwestern coordinator moves west to try his hand at running an offense in the explosive Pac-10. Dunbar spent five seasons at the Big Ten school, and his offenses churned out stunning
numbers. NU ranked fourth in the country in total offense in 2005, averaging 500.3 yards per game to become just the second team in the history of the Big Ten to reach the 500 mark. Thanks to the
tutelage of Dunbar, Wildcats quarterback Brett Basanez finished second in Big Ten history to Drew Brees in career passing yards (10,580), total offense (11,576) and completions (936). Pac-10
defensive coordinators will need to work overtime to figure out how to stop Dunbar now that he inherits talent such as Marshawn Lynch, Justin Forsett and DeSean Jackson.
3. Lane Kiffin, USC
Kiffin made a smoother-than-expected transition from previous coordinator Norm Chow. Kiffin's offense was devastating in his first year as coordinator, rewriting the Pac-10 record book and finishing in
the top six nationally in scoring (second at 49.1 points per game), rushing (sixth at 260 yards per game), passing (fifth at 319.8 yards per game) and total offense (nation-leading 579.8 yards per
game). The Trojans, who scored 50 or more points a school-record seven times, became the first team to have a 3,000-yard passer, a pair of 1,000-yard runners and a 1,000-yard receiver in a season.
Kiffin inherited a lot of weapons, though, and most of them are gone. What he does with a talented but inexperienced group this season will go a long way toward telling Pete Carroll exactly what he
has in his offensive coordinator.
4. Gary Crowton, Oregon
Crowton is rebuilding his reputation after a rough stint as a head coach. He did nothing but help himself in year one in Eugene, where he transformed the Ducks back into an offensive juggernaut.
Crowton helped propel Oregon into the top 20 in the country in passing (eighth), scoring (12th) and total offense (18th). The team's 304.5 passing yards and 34.5 points per game are the second-best
marks in school history.
5. Jimbo Fisher, LSU
Fisher gets a feather in his cap for his offense's performance in last year's Chick-fil-A Bowl against Miami. The Tigers were forced to use Matt Flynn at quarterback because of an injury to JaMarcus
Russell. Flynn, a first-time starter, won the bowl's offensive MVP honors by going 13-of-22 passing for 196 yards and a pair of touchdowns with no interceptions. LSU rolled 40-3. Fisher is heading into
his seventh season, tying the school's longevity record for an offensive coordinator. He turned Russell from a strong-armed, raw athlete into the SEC's third-most efficient passer last season as a
Rivals.com 2006 Preseason Top Defensive Coordinators
1. Gene Chizik, Texas
Chizik fashioned a unit that finished 10th in total defense, eighth in scoring defense and eighth in pass defense in the country as the Longhorns won the national title. Not bad for his first season in Austin. He came over after three seasons at Auburn, where his defenses consistently ranked among the nation's best. Texas lost some significant contributors on defense, but a bevy of talent remains. Chizik's success has earned him a place on Rivals.com's preseason list of coaches on the rise.
2. Bud Foster, Virginia Tech
Foster's defenses continue to achieve at a high level. The unit led the nation in total defense last season, yielding only 247.6 yards per game. It was third against the pass, eighth against the rush and
second in scoring. The Hokies also had two defensive All-Americans, end Darryl Tapp and cornerback Jimmy Williams. Foster is entering his 12th season as coordinator at Virginia Tech, and his
defenses continue to be standard-bearers in the college game.
3. Mickey Andrews, FSU
The longtime Seminoles coordinator has had such a talent pool to choose from in Tallahassee he needs fins and a snorkel. Forced to scramble in the secondary last season after a late preseason
injury to All-American corner Antonio Cromartie, Andrews' unit amped things up along the line. FSU finished seventh in the nation in sacks and third in tackles for loss. It also managed to finish 14th
in total defense despite ranking 33rd against the pass.
4. Bo Pelini, LSU
Joining the Tigers after one season at Oklahoma, Pelini made sure there wasn't any drop-off in Baton Rouge. Utilizing an attacking style, Pelini's 2005 LSU unit ranked in the top six in the nation in
four categories: total defense (third at 266.8 yards per game), scoring defense (third at 14.2 points per game), pass defense efficiency (third with a 96.3 rating) and rushing defense (sixth at 91.5 yards
per game). That's a superb all-around performance that LSU fans can expect the Tigers to build on in 2006.
5. Randy Shannon, Miami
The undressing by LSU in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl is even more shocking when you consider that Shannon had put together another top-notch unit: The Hurricanes were tops in the nation against
the pass and fourth in scoring defense and total defense. The talent runs deep in Florida, but Shannon has been making the most of it for years in Coral Gables.