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September 1, 2009

Talent not the only thing Florida has going for it

MORE: QB/RB | WR | OL | DL | LB | DB | ST

Today, we finish unveiling our national unit rankings with coaching staffs. We've unveiled one per day since Aug. 25.

The No. 1 coaching staff should not be a surprise, given how well this program has played under its head coach.

Here are the coaching staff rankings.

COACHING STAFF UNIT RANKINGS

1. Florida
Coach: Urban Meyer
Offensive coordinator: Steve Addazio
Defensive coordinator: Charlie Strong
Buzz: Meyer and his Gators are going for their third national title in four seasons, and now no one questions whether his spread offense can work in the SEC. Addazio, who had been offensive line coach, is in his first season as coordinator, and that bears watching. Strong is one of the best coordinators in the nation, and Florida might have the best defensive staff in the country.

2. Oklahoma
Coach: Bob Stoops
Offensive coordinator: Kevin Wilson
Defensive coordinator: Brent Venables
Buzz: Stoops' team frequently has fallen short in the national title game, but, hey, at least the Sooners got that far. Wilson guided a group that set an NCAA record for points last season. Venables is criticized for his unit's performance in some big games, but his defenses generally come through in the clutch.

3. USC
Coach: Pete Carroll
Offensive coordinator: John Morton
Defensive coordinator: Rocky Seto
Buzz: Both coordinators are new, but the Trojans shouldn't miss a beat because of Carroll's presence. Carroll always is going to run the defense, but Seto - who had been secondary coach - is a player's favorite and Carroll thinks highly of him. While Morton was promoted from wide receiver coach and has the coordinator title, Jeremy Bates - formerly with the Denver Broncos - will call the plays this season.

4. Texas
Coach: Mack Brown
Offensive coordinator: Greg Davis
Defensive coordinator: Will Muschamp
Buzz: Brown used to be derided as "Coach February" for his ability to recruit and to always fall short on the field. That nickname has gone by the wayside. He still recruits well, but his teams rarely seem to fall short anymore. Muschamp already has been anointed as the Longhorns' coach-in-waiting, and his arrival created a big change in how the defense played last season. He has an in-your-face coaching style and prefers an aggressive attack. Davis still is a frequent target of criticism, but it has died down because of his work with Vince Young and then Colt McCoy.

5. Alabama
Coach: Nick Saban
Offensive coordinator: Jim McElwain
Defensive coordinator: Kirby Smart
Buzz: Alabama is winning the way Saban wants to win - with tough, physical defense and a bruising rushing attack. McElwain did a nice job with a limited offense last season, his first with the Tide. While it's Saban's defense, Smart deserves some of the credit for the unit's success.

6. Virginia Tech
Coach: Frank Beamer
Offensive coordinator: Bryan Stinespring
Defensive coordinator: Bud Foster
Buzz: Beamer has been at his task since 1987 and has made the Hokies a relevant program nationally. Foster's defenses annually are among the nation's leaders. Stinespring's offenses have been criticized as being too conservative and one-dimensional.

7. Penn State
Coach: Joe Paterno
Offensive coordinator: Galen Hall
Defensive coordinator: Tom Bradley
Buzz: JoePa has been around since, what, the War of 1812? Bradley looks to be the heir apparent, and his defenses always are well-coached units. Hall - who was a quarterback for Penn State in the early 1960s, when Paterno was an assistant - deserves credit for upgrading the offense in recent seasons.

8. Ohio State
Coach: Jim Tressel
Offensive coordinator: Jim Bollman
Defensive coordinator: Jim Heacock
Buzz: All Ohio State does is win. But the offense has come under some criticism of late for being too conservative. Heacock's defense puts a high premium on sterling play from the linebackers.

9. Oregon State
Coach: Mike Riley
Offensive coordinator: Danny Langsdorf
Defensive coordinator: Mark Banker
Buzz: The Beavers rarely get top-flight talent, but it never seems to matter. Langsdorf always seems to find a way to put together a top-notch rushing attack. Banker generally oversees aggressive, ball-hawking units.

10. Iowa
Coach: Kirk Ferentz
Offensive coordinator: Ken O'Keefe
Defensive coordinator: Norm Parker
Buzz: The Hawkeyes win games the old-fashioned way - power running and tough, hard-nosed defense. Parker is one of the best in the business.

(Rankings by Rivals.com staffers Olin Buchanan, Tom Dienhart, David Fox, Mike Huguenin and Steve Megargee.)



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