Kevin Gemmell, ESPN Staff Writer 619d

Keeping up with the coordinators: How last year's departures are faring

Following last season the league lost three coordinators to head coaching jobs (not including Clay Helton's promotion at USC) and a couple more for the same gig at different schools. Let's see how they are faring (the ones who left voluntarily), and how the schools they left are doing since the breakup.

Mike Norvell

  • Was: Offensive coordinator at Arizona State

  • Is: Head coach at Memphis

  • How’s he doing? The Tigers are off to a 5-3 start overall and are 2-2 in the AAC. Two of their three losses have been to teams that were ranked at the time Memphis played them -- Ole Miss and Navy. The offense is in rebuilding mode following the departure of Paxton Lynch, but the defense has made strides with Chris Ball, who Norvell brought with him from Arizona State. Ball was ASU's co-defensive coordinator.

  • How are the Sun Devils doing? Not too bad, all things considered. The Sun Devils had to replace almost the entire offensive line and pick a new quarterback. Norvell’s replacement, Chip Lindsey, has Arizona State No. 5 in the league in scoring offense at 35.7 points per game. Injuries have been a huge issue for the Sun Devils this season -- particularly at quarterback, where they've had to dip into their third and fourth options.

Scott Frost

  • Was: Offensive coordinator at Oregon

  • Is: Head coach at UCF

  • How’s he doing? At 4-4 (2-2 AAC) he's helped the Knights bounce back from an 0-12 season in 2015. Better known for his mind as an offensive coach, it's actually been Frost's defense -- which ranks among the upper half of the AAC in most categories -- that has kept the Knights in games. UCF leads the league with 28 sacks and the Knights are fourth in the conference with nine interceptions. Offensively they are seventh out of 12 teams with an average of 31.1 points per game.

  • How are the Ducks doing? Offense is rarely the problem. Despite its 3-5 record, Oregon ranks third in the Pac-12 with an average of 40.5 points per game, and the Ducks are second in the conference in total offense. They averaged 43 points per game last season, so there hasn't been much of a drop-off. And it's probably fair to chalk up the less-than-three-point differential to quarterback changes.

Kalani Sitake

  • Was: Defensive coordinator at Oregon State

  • Is: Head coach at BYU

  • How’s he doing? The only time BYU was playing .500 ball last season was when it opened 2-2, going on to a 9-4 finish. Through the first nine weeks the Cougars are 4-4. The Michigan State, Arizona and Mississippi State wins would have been outstanding in 2014, but all three are having down years. And there have been a couple of questionable calls along the way. Going for two in the loss to Utah, I'm OK with. The fake punt on 4th-and-19 from inside your end zone against Boise State, not so much. On average, the Cougars defense yields about four more points per game than last season.

  • How are the Beavers doing? Better, actually. That's not necessarily a reflection on Sitake, who came up under the Kyle Whittingham tree at Utah. It could be just as much about the second year under Gary Andersen. After finishing second to last in the Pac-12 last year, allowing an average of 37 points per game, the Beavers have shaved almost five points off that average through the first nine weeks of the season, allowing 32.6. They are also at plus-two in turnovers, having pilfered the ball 14 times. Last season they had 12 in the entire season.

Noel Mazzone

  • Was: Offensive coordinator at UCLA

  • Is: Offensive coordinator at Texas A&M

  • How’s he doing? Have you seen the first playoff projections? The Aggies are averaging almost 11 points more per game with Mazzone running the offense. Last season they were tied for 71st nationally at 27.8 points per game. This year they rank 22nd with 38.4.

  • How are the Bruins doing? It’s been a tough season for UCLA. The ground game never really got going, as UCLA averages just 85.5 yards per game -- dead last in the nation. And after averaging 32.2 points per game last season that number has slipped to 28.4. An injury to quarterback Josh Rosen can't be overlooked, but there were signs of offensive issues before he got hurt late in the Arizona State game on Oct. 8.

Tony Franklin

  • Was: Offensive coordinator at California

  • Is: Offensive coordinator at Middle Tennessee

  • How's he doing? Conference USA seems to suit Franklin. The Blue Raiders -- who were pretty good last season at 34 points per game -- are almost seven points better under Franklin, as they average 40.5 points per game this season.

  • How are the Golden Bears doing? Despite losing Franklin and No. 1 draft pick Jared Goff at quarterback, the Bears haven’t missed a beat. In fact, they are putting up more points under new OC Jake Spavital and transfer QB Davis Webb. Last season Cal averaged 37.9 points per game. This year it is at 41.3.

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