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Five Names To Replace Larry Blakeney At Troy

After 24 years at the helm, Larry Blakeney will no longer be the Head Coach at Troy. Who can come in and revive this once-dominant program, which has fallen on hard times in the Sun Belt?

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Troy is at a crossroads and they have a big decision to make in regard to the future of its football program. Can it find the resources to bring in a top coordinator from the P5 ranks? We came up with a few names; some affordable and some not so affordable.

Mississippi State DC Geoff Collins

Geoff Collins, the 43-year-old DC at Mississippi State, has ties to Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and the Carolinas. His recruiting base is perfect for Troy and he would be able to bring in quality talent to upgrade the roster at Troy. Collins is set to make $625,000 next year while Blakeney currently makes $500,000.

He has helped turn Mississippi State into one of the top programs in the country. The defense ranks 52nd in Total Defense, 17th in forcing turnovers, 13th in sacks, 2nd in red zone defense, and the Bulldogs are one of only ten teams to hold opponents under 100 yards rushing per game.

Georgia DC Jeremy Pruitt

Georgia is 31st in Total Defense and allows 112 yards rushing per game. Georgia is 12th in the country on 3rd down, where opponents are being held to a 29.3% success rate. After switching from Florida State to Georgia, Pruitt's salary has increased to $850,000 annually.

Pruitt's background as a high school coach in Alabama makes him a great candidate for Troy. His national championship pedigree at Florida State and Alabama make him a great candidate to be a head coach in the very near future. Can Troy afford to pay someone like Pruitt or Collins? Are they willing to take less money to get head coaching experience?

Kentucky OC Neal Brown

Neal Brown was Offensive Coordinator at Troy for two years and spent a total of four years there. Brown's 2009 offense at Troy was third in the country and broke ten different school records. Troy went to three bowl games in four years with Brown on staff. He makes $550,000 at Kentucky, which is also his home state.

If Troy wants to get back to high-powered offense and to try and rediscover its winning ways, Brown has to be the guy. Whether Troy decides to bring in a defensive-minded head coach or an offensive guru like Brown, it will take an incredible investment in terms of money and resources to bring a coach with a profile like the above three guys.

North Carolina DC Vic Koenning

Vic Koenning is a 54-year-old Associate Head Coach and Co-Defensive Coordinator at North Carolina. He had a head coaching job in the early 2000's at Wyoming that was unsuccessful. He makes $250,000 a year and is not as flashy a name as Pruitt or Collins, but he has been a very successful defensive coach. He served as defensive coordinator at Troy in 2003 and 2004 and his 2004 defense was in the NCAA top ten in scoring, rushing, and pass efficiency.

The Oklahoma native also ran a top 10 total defense at Clemson in 2009. All four of his defenses at Clemson finished in the top 25 in total defense. At UNC, the Tar Heels won six of their last seven games in 2013 and they held five of those opponents under 20 yards.

East Carolina OC Lincoln Riley

Lincoln Riley is the 31-year-old Associate Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator at East Carolina. The Pirates are 4th in the country in Total Offense with 581 yards per game. Riley makes $200,000 a year. ECU knocked off VA Tech and both Carolinas this year and last year they beat UNC and NC State.

Riley would certainly bring offensive production to Troy. The Texas Tech graduate has spent his entire career at Texas Tech and East Carolina. Riley would not have the recruiting contacts in the area as some of the other candidates, but he still would make an interesting choice.