We're pretty much still where we were, yesterday. I've seen the South Florida defensive coordinator mentioned, but that's about it. His name is Tom Allen, and he followed Hugh Freeze around until he landed at South Florida as a defensive coordinator for the first time at the major college level this past season.
At South Florida, his defense ranked 37th in the nation in total defense and 23rd in scoring defense. The defense did a much better job in the second half of the season than the first, which is good.
I know plenty of people are going to think of this as a horrible idea. Message board warriors were against it when the first hints of the name came up. I'm not a big fan of it, but I do think this is the right direction to go. A young, relatively new coordinator who is trying to make a name for himself. It's a similar situation to when Auburn hired Gene Chizik the first. Allen does have the benefit of having worked in the SEC under Freeze at Ole Miss. His primarily been a linebackers coach, though, and I don't want to risk losing Lance Thompson.
Allen is the only new name I've heard. No one really knows what's going on with the defensive coordinator search. It's sounding more and more likely that Auburn will not have a new DC in place before the dead period begins tonight at midnight. In a way that can be a good thing. Gus can take his time and make sure he gets the right hire.
What are some other names similar to his? I've already mentioned Jack Curtis, who has better stats, but that was primarily against lesser competition. He also still doesn't have a full roster of FBS players to work with, either. That's really the type of guy I think
Right now I don't see Rhett Lashlee going anywhere. I know that upsets a lot of you. I'm not 100% sure how I feel. Keith Niebuhr at AuburnUndercover did a good job a week or so ago of showing how QBs have actually improved from year-to-year under Lashlee. Play calling is still an issue, but I think that's on both Gus and Rhett. Lashlee has been the most popular scapegoat for fans this season, and I really don't think it's as much his fault as folks want it to be. Sure, QB play falls back on the QB coach, but I don't think all of Jeremy Johnson's issues this season were on Lashlee.
Could he still be hired somewhere else? Sure. The Georgia Southern job is open. I think he'd be perfect there, and the Georgia Southern part of me really wants him to take that job. That's the only head coaching job I can see him leaving for right now, but there are a number of things that could still happen as the coaching carousel continues to spin.
I know this update wasn't exactly informative, but I wanted to get something up. I doubt a hire will be made today, but if it is, you can bet we'll have information on it as soon as we can.