Being a defensive coordinator in this era of college football was already somewhat of a thankless (albeit well-paid) job, but playing in the middle of a pandemic season has made it particularly stressful.
The lack of a real offseason conditioning program, the inability to spend as much time on fundamentals and the lack of practice tackling (in some cases due to social distancing guidelines) has undoubtedly left defenses even further behind offenses early in the season.
Those factors will make it difficult to judge which defensive coordinators are doing a bad job this season and which have been dealt an impossible hand. But that’s not going to stop criticism from being levied against several high-profile defensive coordinators whose teams have really struggled so far this year.
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At LSU, it’s already fair to ask if hiring Bo Pelini to replace Dave Aranda was a mistake. At Florida, Dan Mullen seems to have an offense that can score on anybody but a defense that simply isn’t up to par for a team that wants to contend for the College Football Playoff. And at Alabama, 36-year-old coordinator Pete Golding has not impressed this season despite a lot of returning talent.
We’ll examine all of those situations in our 10 takeaways from Week 6:
Alabama wins, but defense shows cracks
With a mask covering his face, it was hard to tell the level of seething