Serious SEC football fans aren't much different from hard-core music fans.
They don't just know the lead singer. They know the band members.
A casual SEC football fan doesn't see beyond the head coach. The extreme fans knows the coordinators almost as well and some of the position coaches, too.
Many fans probably knew more about a couple of UT's new assistant coaches than they did Kiffin, whose head-coaching career was limited to 20 forgettable games with the Oakland Raiders. His father, Monte Kiffin, was much better known, having established himself as an NFL defensive guru before joining his son at Tennessee.
Ed Orgeron, whom Lane hired to coach his defensive line, had been a head coach at Ole Miss and was known nationwide for his recruiting exploits.
If you asked a serious fan to evaluate Jones' staff, his synopsis might go something like this: "A bunch of guys who were with him at Central Michigan and Cincinnati, and some dude (Willie Martinez) who got fired as Georgia's defensive coordinator (in 2009)."
Critics of this staff also might notice that it has virtually no NFL experience. And much of its experience at BCS programs was attained with Jones in his three seasons at Cincinnati.
Name recognition is one way to judge assistant coaches. NFL experience is another. But neither way is all that reliable, particularly in regard to position coaches.
There are just so many variables, most notably personnel. You also don't know how limited an assistant's role is or how much control is exacted by the head coach. And just because someone hasn't plied his trade in the NFL or at the most prominent programs in college football, he still might be an exceptional coach.
Ole Miss comes to mind. When the Rebels hired Hugh Freeze as head coach last year, he was "Who Freeze" to many college football fans. His previous head-coaching stops were at Arkansas State and Lambuth College.
The majority of his staff has a similar background. Five assistants followed Freeze from Arkansas State to Ole Miss.
So that was anything but a big-name staff. But Ole Miss fans aren't complaining after the Rebels improved from 2-10 to 6-6. Recruiting has improved as well. Ole Miss' 2013 class currently ranks 21st nationally, according to ESPN.
You couldn't have projected such a profound turnaround from those coaching resumes. Nor can you predict UT's football future from its assistant coaches' past.
At least, there will be some continuity on the staff. Dooley didn't have that.
Five of Jones' assistants were on his staff at Cincinnati. Four were on his staff at Cincinnati and Central Michigan.
So most of the staff will know Jones' drill. Now, they just have to make the adjustment to SEC football and the intense recruiting that goes with it.
You can judge them, like the head coach, after next season.