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The 20 most important assistant coaching hires of the 2020 season -- No. 1: Todd Monken, Georgia

Back by overwhelming demand, FootballScoop will once again examine the assistant coaching hires that will have the biggest impact on the college football season and the coaching job market in the 2020 season and beyond.

No. 20: Zach Arnett, Mississippi State
No. 19: Larry Fedora, Baylor
No. 18: Justin Hamilton, Virginia Tech
No. 17: Sean Gleeson, Rutgers
No. 16: Adam Fuller, Florida State
No. 15: Matt Lubick, Nebraska
No. 14: Mike Bobo, South Carolina
No. 13: Rhett Lashlee, Miami
No. 12: Marvin Lewis and Antonio Pierce, Arizona State
No. 11: David Ballou and Matt Rhea, Alabama
No. 10: Scott Cochran, Georgia
No. 9: DJ Durkin, Ole Miss
No. 8: Joe Moorhead, Oregon
No. 7: Todd Orlando, USC
No. 6: Chris Ash, Texas
No. 5: Chad Morris, Auburn
No. 4: Bo Pelini, LSU
No. 3: Kerry Coombs, Ohio State
No. 2: Kirk Ciarrocca, Penn State

Who: Todd Monken, Georgia

Title: Offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach

Previous stop: Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator (2019)

Why he's important: A year ago, LSU paired an NFL passing game expert with a graduate transfer quarterback to instantly produce the most fearsome passing attack college football has ever seen, in the process taking the entire sport by storm en route to an all-timer of a national championship run.

Georgia has its own NFL passing game expert on staff, and not one but two transfer quarterbacks.

Time to start celebrating, right?

It's hard to imagine any Georgia signal caller repeating Joe Burrow's numbers -- 76.3 percent completions for 5,671 yards (10.8 per attempt) with 60 touchdowns against six picks, good for an FBS-record 201.96 rating -- but the good news is those bonkers numbers won't be remotely necessary.

That's because Georgia's 2020 defense has a chance to be every bit as good as LSU's 2019 offense.

The Bulldogs led FBS in 2019 in scoring defense (12.6 points per game), rushing defense (75 yards per game), ranked second in yards per play (4.29) and return 80 percent of their production from a year ago -- more than everyone else on the SEC portion of their schedule, save for Vanderbilt.

This has led some to wonder if this could be Smart's best defense at Georgia.

Whether that proves to be the case or not, we know Smart's program is thisclose to joining a stratosphere occupied only by Alabama and Clemson (and now LSU). Georgia has won 36 games over the past three seasons. They're 21-3 in regular season SEC games with three straight SEC East crowns, and they did not trail in the 2017 national championship until the game's final play. The defense, whether it be better than previous iterations or merely equal to them, is already championship caliber. It's the offense that needs to catch up.

This is, of course, where Monken comes in.

Monken's rise to prominence came in 2011, when he became the offensive coordinator of what turned out to be the best Oklahoma State team of all-time. Those Cowboys averaged 48.7 points a game in a 12-1 season, winning the Big 12 title and the Fiesta Bowl and losing only at Iowa State in double overtime. That success won him the Southern Miss head coaching job, where he turned an 1-11 team into a 9-5 team in three years' time.

He then spent the last half of the previous decade as an NFL offensive coordinator, with the Bucs and Browns. Those travels, from the Big 12 to Conference USA to the AFC North, taught him a lot about what a balanced offense truly means.

"I think balance is multiple skill players touching the football," he said in Cleveland. "It's not always run-pass. Do you have enough skill players that can touch the football? If you have a run play with an RPO built in it, that's a play. That's not run-pass. The efficiency of that play is what matters, not who touched it. Sometimes we get caught up in run yards, pass yards; it's efficiency of what you do, being explosive, not turning it over, scoring touchdowns."

Monken's 2015 Southern Miss team was the second in college football history to produce a 4,000-yard passer and two 1,000-yard rushers. His 2018 Tampa Bay offense led the NFL in passing offense and finished third in total yards.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMsh6LPp52Y

"Coach Monken sees the game through the quarterback's eyes," Ryan Fitzpatrick, who played under Monken with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, said upon his hiring. "He is aggressive and calls a game based on the strengths of his players. He does a great job of teaching and instilling confidence in the entire unit."

On that front, Monken will have one -- and perhaps two -- sets of eyes to see the game.

Georgia acquired graduate transfer Jamie Newman in February after a season in which he threw for 2,868 yards, rushed for 574 and accounted for 32 touchdowns. Newman was a master of the RPO game at Wake.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CtaJUM4o4oo

The Dawgs added USC transfer JT Daniels late last month, though it's uncertain he'll see meaningful action for Georgia this fall because: A) he's three months behind Newman in learning Monken's playbook, and B) he's yet to receive a waiver to play this season as an undergraduate transfer.

Still, he threw a nice deep ball as a true freshman on a bad USC team in 2018.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmDdZ7cp3t4

No matter who wins the job, Georgia will have to replace a lot around him. The Bulldogs lost four starting offensive linemen from last year's team, plus O-line coach Sam Pittman. Their top two running backs, D'Andre Swift and Brian Herrien (1,708 rushing yards in 2019) are both gone, as are four of their top seven pass catchers.

Still, the recruiting classes that will comprise Georgia's 2020 roster ranked No. 3, No. 1, No. 2 and No. 1 in the country, with a whopping 19 5-stars among them. This is every bit the most talented roster in America.

Georgia's revamped offense doesn't necessarily need to rack up 8,526 yards and 726 points, as LSU did a year ago. As long as Monken gets the Bulldogs within barking distance of those numbers, Georgia is likely your 2020 national champion.