The list of fifteen semifinalists for the Broyles Award was released on Monday, three of those from the SEC. It’s not too surprising, they are all offensive coordinators (OCs) and should gain some recognition. Most offenses were off to a slow start, but picked up steam at the end.
Here are the three SEC OCs nominated for the Broyles Award:
Tommy Rees, Alabama:
Rees comes over from Notre Dame replacing Bill O’Brien now with the New England Patriots. At first, it was a struggle getting Jalen Milroe comfortable in his new offense. It was testy after the loss to Texas in Tuscaloosa, including being benched on the road against South Florida. Reluctantly, they put the ball back in Milroe’s hands once he learned to adjust to his offensive line and open up more options under pressure. Alabama is currently seventh in the SEC in total yards.
Mike Bobo, Georgia:
For the second time, former Georgia QB Mike Bobo is calling the plays in the press box, replacing Todd Monken who now calls the plays for the Baltimore Ravens. The two time defending national champions also were off to a slow start with new QB Carson Beck. Along with a new set of receivers which still includes Brock Bowers and Ladd McConkey. He and McConkey have suffered injuries: McConkey with back issues has been limited and Bowers having tightrope surgery with his ankle. While playing injured, they both have still shown production, especially moving Bowers around just to get him the ball. Mississippi State transfer, Rara Thomas has also proved useful. Bowers leads the team with 661 yards and six touchdowns and Beck is second in the SEC in passing.
Mike Denbrock, LSU:
Denbrock is in his second season in Baton Rouge under Brian Kelly, who he also worked for at Notre Dame. He is responsible for getting QB Jayden Daniels Heisman recognition, in spite of their 8-3 record. Daniels leads the SEC in passing, including second in rushing and proves to be near unstoppable once opportunity presents itself. His top two receivers, Malik Nabers and Brian Thomas Jr are in the top five in the SEC in receiving with Nabers by a landslide with 1,424 yards and 12 touchdowns. Thomas on the other hand is the SEC touchdown leader with 14. With Daniels in his final season, fans better hope Nabers and Thomas don’t leave early.
Looking at the stats, Denbrock appears to become a finalist for the Broyles Award. If Daniels does win the Heisman, it should increase his chances of winning. The last SEC assistant to win the award was Steve Sarkisian, now the head coach at Texas. Three different SEC coaches won the award consecutively from 2018-20, two of them from Alabama (Mike Locksley, 2018) and one from LSU (Joe Brady OC, 2019). Brady and Sarkisian clinched the national title while winning the Broyles Award