Quick Bio: Mike Leach has had success just about everywhere he’s been. He took Texas Tech to two Cotton Bowls and is in the middle of a great season with Washington State right now.
Pros: Leach is passionate, speaks his mind, and knows how to coach. Especially on offense. Leach won at least eight games in eight of his 10 seasons with Texas Tech (including an 11-win season in 2008) and has brought new life to a Washington State football program that had been a bottom feeder in the Pac-12 for years before he got there.
Cons/Questions: Leach isn’t known for his defense, and that doesn’t bode well in the SEC. He also has a checkered past when it comes to the alleged treatment of a concussed player that led to his firing at Texas Tech.
Quick Bio: If Vol fans want someone with SEC experience as a head coach, look no further than Dan Mullen. He’s been at Mississippi State since 2009 and once took the Bulldogs to the No. 1 ranking in the country in 2014. He’s taken a typical SEC bottom feeder to newer heights.
Pros: Mullen has not only made Mississippi State relevant, but he’s known as a quarterback guru too. He’s coached as either a head coach, offensive coordinator, or quarterbacks coach all of the following quarterbacks: Nick Fitzgerald, Dak Prescott, Tim Tebow, Chris Leak, and Alex Smith.
Cons/Questions: Mullen has reportedly had the opportunity to move on from Mississippi State before to bigger jobs, so why hasn’t he? If he likes having lower expectations, then the Tennessee job may not be for him. His record against ranked opponents while at Mississippi State isn’t good either.