HottyToddy.com’ staff writer Collin Brister and sports editor Adam Brown joined their heads to rank SEC football head coaches.
Today, we are 58 days away from college football. Let’s get ready for the season by looking at the SEC coaches.
1. Nick Saban
Since arriving at the University of Alabama in 2007, Saban has led the Crimson Tide to four national championships and four SEC crowns. During his career at Alabama, he has had a successful 100-18 record on the gridiron.
Each year, Saban has some of the best talents in football to step on the field at every position no matter what string they play on. Last season, Alabama won the national title over Clemson, but the Tide suffered its sole loss to the Ole Miss Rebels.
2. Hugh Freeze
Hugh Freeze has completely turned around the Ole Miss football program. Pending a NCAA investigation’s outcome, the Rebels look poised to stay nationally relevant in college football. The Rebels have gone to back-to-back Access Bowls, and with Chad Kelly returning at quarterback, the Rebels look poised to compete for the SEC West in 20156.
3. Les Miles
Les Miles has had success at LSU since taking over in 2005. The Tigers won the BCS national championship in 2007 under Miles. His on the field record with the Bayou Bengals is 112-32. Every season when the Tigers and the Tide meet up, they are usually playing for a spot in Atlanta on the first Saturday in December. Last season was not the Tigers’ best performance on the field, but in the last game of the regular season (against who?), LSU was victorious.
4. Jim McElwain
McElwain completely turned around a football program that struggled vehemently under Will Muschamp. McElwain doesn’t have any experience returning at the quarterback this season, but he did yeoman’s work in Gainesville during the 2015 season, winning the SEC East.
5. Dan Mullen
Dan Mullen took over at the helm of Mississippi State in 2009. Since his first season as the football team’s head coach, Mullen has changed the atmosphere in Starkville, making it a challenging place for opponents to face the Bulldogs in. This season, Mullen will be looking for a new quarterback under center to replace beloved Dak Prescott who has become the Dallas Cowboys’ newest quarterback. During Mullen’s tenure in Starkville, the Bulldogs are 55-35 with a 4-2 record in bowl games.
6. Gus Malzahn
Malzahn has had relatively good success on the Plains, but this year is critical for him. Malzahn didn’t have an answer after Jeremy Johnson didn’t pan out last year, and the Tigers went 7-6 as a result. The Tigers open with Clemson this year, and have to play Georgia from the East, so they have a tough road this year as well.
7. Butch Jones
The Tennessee Vols’ head coach has his team right there to contend for an SEC East crown this season. Since his arrival on Rocky Top in 2012, Jones has led the Vols in back-to-back bowl victories. The last time Tennessee played in a bowl was in 2010. During his tenure, the Vols have a 21-17 record.
8. Kevin Sumlin
This is where it gets fishy. I’m not sure Sumlin is employed at Texas A&M next year. Sumlin’s first two years went well, but the common theme was Johny Manziel was the quarterback. Since then Sumlin hasn’t found continuity at the quarterback position and this year will rely on transfer Trevor Knight for the 2016 season.
9. Bret Bielma
Bret Bielema came to Arkansas Razorbacks after being the head coach at Wisconsin His first season in Fayetteville was not great as the Razorbacks finished 3-9 overall. In his second season, Arkansas won his first ever two SEC games in shutout fashion by defeating LSU 17-0 and Ole Miss 30-0. Then this past season Bielema’s team went on a tear winning their last five-out-of-six games to go to the AutoZone Liberty Bowl.
10. Mark Stoops
Stoops has to get it going at Kentucky this year. He’s gone 5-7 the previous two seasons, and it’s time for him to get Kentucky to a bowl game. Stoops has some talent coming back, and Drew Barker started the last few games of the Wildcats season so at least there is some experience there.
11. Derek Mason
The Vanderbilt head coach was hired in 2014. But during that 2014 season, the Commodores struggled on the field. They lost their first two games by the score of 10-78 before beating UMASS. Vanderbilt was improved during 2015, winning two SEC games over Kentucky and Missouri. Vandy’s record under Mason is 7-17.
12. Kirby Smart
We decided to rank the new coaches last as they’ve never coached a game at their respective schools. Smart is a Georgia alum, and has been on the hiring block for a long time. Smart will have some issues immediately at Georgia, like who’s going to play quarterback. The good news for Smart is he has a monster at running back in Nick Cubb.
13. Barry Odom
Defensive coordinator turned head coach, Barry Odom is starting his tenure this 2016 season after Coach Gray Pinkel resigned on November 13, 2015 due to a lymphoma diagnosis. Odom’s passion for the university and strong track-record proves that he is confident in leading the Tigers to victory in the SEC. Since joining the conference, the Tigers claimed the East division in both 2013 and 2014.
14. Will Muschamp
He didn’t win at Florida, so I have no clue why he’ll win at South Carolina.
Adam Brown is the sports editor for HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Collin Brister is a staff writer for HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.