Before the media found out Sirmon was who Mullen hired as the next defensive coordinator, I had no idea who Mullen would hire. Despite that, I probably had more of an idea than FootballScoop. Sirmon could be a good or bad coordinator, and it wouldn't be surprising. After thinking about Sirmon's hire, I asked myself where his hiring ranked among the rest of Mullen's defensive coordinator hires.
Mullen has hired Carl Torbush (2009), Manny Diaz (2010), Chris Wilson (2011-2012), Geoff Collins (2013-2014), Manny Diaz again (2015), and as previously mentioned, Sirmon for 2016. That is a lot of people coordinating the defense over an eight year period, but coordinators are usually good enough to get better jobs or bad enough to get fired. There typically isn't much of a middle ground where coordinators keep their jobs and aren't in demand, with a few exceptions such as Bud Foster. Anyway, my ranking of the five hires before Sirmon are below.
1. Geoff Collins- Collins is the closest thing to continuity that Mullen has had at this position, since he was the co-defensive coordinator under Chris Wilson. S&P rankings ranked the "Psycho Defense" as 27th in 2014 and 14th in 2013. When he left for Florida before the bowl game, the 2014 team played by far their worst defensive game of the season against Georgia Tech. His defense has continued to be good at Florida. Putting him at number one seems easy.
2. Manny Diaz (2010 version)- After experiencing success at Middle Tennessee State, this looked like a good hire. He was a big part of the 2010 team going 9-4. There weren't any games this season where I was disappointed with how the team played defensively. The S&P rankings ranked this defense as 22nd in the nation. It wasn't surprising when Texas offered him their defensive coordinator position. However, he inherited tons of talent on that defense. Jonathan Banks, Fletcher Cox, Pernell McPhee, and K.J. Wright have all gotten plenty of playing time in the NFL, and were on that defense. There were admittedly a couple of weak spots. However, having a good defense with four players who are significant contributors in the NFL and a few others who at least made a roster at some point wasn't much to ask.
3. Chris Wilson- Wilson came to MSU in 2010 as an outstanding position coach hire, and also was the co-defensive coordinator behind Manny Diaz. S&P ranked his defenses 33rd in 2011 and 43rd in 2012. 2011 was an impressive first season with the exception of the defense getting destroyed on the road against Arkansas, and he probably felt like he had lots of job security when MSU got off to a 7-0 start in 2012. However, things went downhill extremely quickly. Despite getting vengeance against Arkansas, MSU gave up 38 points against Alabama, 37 against LSU, and 41 against Mississippi. The defense was not to blame for all of the issues in those losses, but the season ended with him going to Georgia to coach the defensive line. He left Georgia for the same position at USC, and will be at Missouri next season after getting fired at USC.
4. Manny Diaz (2015)- It felt like Chris Wilson's 2012 season, where the defense was better in the first half of the season than the second half. This defense mostly beat up on bad offenses such as Kentucky and Missouri. MSU was one of the few games this season where Texas A&M's offense actually played to its potential. I could see putting him above Chris Wilson because he is still actually a defensive coordinator, but Wilson's 2011 was good enough to rank him above Diaz.
5. Carl Torbush- Torbush did have the misfortune of facing one of the toughest schedules in nation. Out of the 11 FBS schools MSU played, all of them except Vanderbilt went to a bowl game. S&P ranked his defense 37th. He left to coach the defense at Kansas, which seems safe to describe as an encouraged departure. He is now the head coach at East Tennessee State, where he went 2-9.
So where does Sirmon rank? Worst case scenario, he should at least be better than Torbush. Since he was a position coach, we don't really know how well prepares for opposing defenses. Hopefully he displaces Collins as Mullen's best defensive coordinator. Let us know who you think the best coordinator was in the poll and/or comment section.