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Jul
10
2011

Ranking the SEC Football Coaches for 2011.

Due to the great response to my article Ranking the ACC Football Coaches for 2011, I decided to do a Coaches ranking of SEC too. These are coaches that are most often facing the ACC teams we like to talk about here.

What is particularly impressive is how successful these guys have been. There are 4 Coaches with National Titles  as head coaches and several others that were part of staffs that won National Titles.

That being said, not everyone agreed with the ACC rankings, and probably not everyone will agree with these, but I enjoy the debate as we wait… wait… and wait… for football season.

Like with the ACC rankings, even if you haven’t coached a game I have still have an opinion.

1. Nick Saban, Alabama

The Good: He’s won 2 national titles, at two different schools (LSU and Alabama) He’s won 3 SEC Titles, and his college coaching winning percentage is a tidy 71%. He’s may be the country’s best coach.

The Bad: I don’t know… he oversigns players during recruiting season? I’m not even sure that is that bad. It just happens to be Saban’s policy and most everyone knows it. Would he ever be tempted to return to the NFL?

2. Gene Chizik, Auburn

The Good: He just won the national title at Auburn. How is that for good? He also was an assistant coach for the Texas Longhorns when they won the national title in 2005. Chizik signed a monster 2011 class.

The Bad: In his two years at Iowa State  he won 5 games. Ames is a tough place to coach, but alot of people questioned his hire initially at Auburn. So is Chizik as good as last year or as bad as Iowa St? I’m guessing closer to the good.

3. Dan Mullen, Mississippi St. 

The Good: Dan Mullen can flat out coach. He was part of Urban Meye’s staff at Utah during their 2004 undefeated season and was part of Meyer’s staff during Florida’s national title seasons in 2006 and 2008. He’s brought the Mississippi St. program back to life with a 9-4 2010 season.

The Bad: How long will the Bulldogs be able to hold to Mullen? Mississippi St. fans are going to have to sweat every year that Mullen might leave.

4. Les Miles, LSU

The Good: 62-17 in 6 years at LSU is pretty darn impressive including a national title. Miles get criticized more than any other coach in America, but all he does is win, and win and win some more.

The Bad: He’s known as the Mad Hatter, because he makes calls during that sometimes simply defy comprehension. One of these days his luck may run out, but it hasn’t happened yet.

5. Steve Spurrier, South Carolina

The Good: Spurrier owns national title at Florida, but last year he did something that may have been even more impressive. He made South Carolina Gamecock football actually good. They won an SEC East Title and have beat arch rival Clemson 2 years in row. Spurrier still has it.

The Bad: No quarterback is safe under Spurrier, and sometimes it seems as if the Ole Ball Coach is just waiting for Danny Wuerffel  to walk back through the door.

6. Will Muschamp, Florida

The good: Muschamp has for years been one of the most respected defensive coordinators in the college football. He’s coached in the NFL and been part of staffs at LSU, Auburn and Texas before becoming Florida’s head coach.

The Bad: Following a legend like Urban Meyer  won’t be easy, especially with Muschamp’s lack of head coaching experience.

7. Bobby Petrino, Arkansas

The Good: Outside of a 5-7 season at Arkansas in 2008 has never won fewer than 8 games in his 7 years as a head coach at Louisville and Arkansas. His offenses are year in and year out among the most feared in College Football.

The Bad: Petrino’s took a reputation took a hit when many people felt he quit on the Atlanta Falcons  after a 3-10 season. You wonder if he’ll bail on Arkansas if things get tough there.

8. Marc Richt, Georgia

The Good: Richt had a stretch while at Georgia from 2002-2008 where his worst season was 9-4. He’s 7-3 in bowl games and has 2 SEC Titles.

The Bad: A 6-7 2010 season is not acceptable at a place like Athens. No reason Georgia shouldn’t be as good as Alabama or Auburn, but the Dawgs are no better than middle of the pack in the SEC these days. Richt better win big soon.

9. Houston Nutt, Ole Miss 

The Good: Nutt has taken his last two teams Ole Miss and Arkansas to bowl games in 10 of the 13 years. A solid game-day coach, Nutt brought Ole Miss and Arkansas quickly back to respectability in the rugged SEC.

The Bad: Nutt went 4-8 last season after two 9 win seasons at Ole Miss. The Ole Miss program has fallen behind in-state rival Mississippi State. He left Arkansas amid controversy with some questionable hiring practices.

10. Joker Phillips, Kentucky

The Good: As offensive coordinator of Kentucky from 2004-2008, The Wildcats had one of the most dynamic SEC offenses in the SEC. During that time Kentucky went to 4 straight bowls. As head coach in 2010 he extended the Wildcats bowl streak to 5.

The Bad: How committed is Kentucky to football? Basketball is king in Lexington. Phillips will constantly be fighting that uphill battle against most SEC Schools that are football first. He went 6-7 in 2010.

11. Derek Dooley, Tennessee

The Good: As the son of legendary Georgia Vince Dooley , Derek Dooley should have some good coaching genes. He took perennial Division 1 cupcake Louisiana Tech  to a bowl game in 2008, their first since 2001. He led a young Tennessee team to a bowl game in 2010, and signed a solid recruiting class this year.

The Bad: He has an under .500 career coaching mark. His Tennessee hire was met with a lukewarm response around the rest of the country. With 8 home games this season, the Vols are expected to be at least a couple of games better than the 6-7 2010 mark. No pressure Derek.

12. James Franklin, Vanderbilt

The Good: For being only 39, Franklin has wealth of coaching experience, ranging from stints with Maryland, the Green Bay Packers, Kansas St , and Maryland again. While at Maryland, the Terps won the ACC Championship in 2001. His recruiting at Vandy is off to a strong start.

The Bad: Winning consistently at Vanderbilt is almost impossible. This is his first head coaching job. As Offensive coordinator at Maryland from 2008-2010, the Terp’s offenses were inconsistent at best.


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