Todd Orlando’s Struggles
Tom Herman once referred to Todd Orlando as the “best defensive coordinator in the country”. Earlier this week, Todd Orlando was fired as part of a major staff overhaul.
Orlando was with Herman at Houston, and Herman brought Orlando with him to Austin. Orlando’s defense was elite in his first season in Austin then declined despite top recruits landing in Texas.
This season, the defense simply couldn’t get off the field. In losses to LSU, Oklahoma, and TCU, the Longhorns kept giving up huge third and long conversions. The Longhorns gave up thirty or more points six times this year, including surrendering forty eight in a narrow win over Kansas.
Current Arkansas defensive coordinator, John Chavis, has SEC experience. Since Arkansas head coach Chad Morris was let go with a few weeks into the season, it might be a good time for Chavis to move to jump ship.
Utah defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley is leading the third ranked defense in the country. He’d be an excellent candidate if he wanted to get out of the Pac-12. However; he is presumed to be the head coach in waiting at Utah.
Jim Leohnard is the current defensive coordinator at Wisconsin. Like Scalley, he is considered one of the top assistant coaches in the country. The Badgers isn’t as strong as they were in the beginning of the season, but they’re still one of the best defenses in the country. With the recruits at Texas, Leohnard would likely produce another top defense.
Washington defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake is arguably the best defensive coordinator in the country. Two days after the season concluded, Huskies head coach Chris Peterson announced that he was stepping down. With rumors flying that Lake is the replacement it’ll be hard to pull him away.
At this point, just about anyone is going to be better than Todd Orlando. While some of these hires are a long shot, Herman has quite a bit of top candidates to choose from.