Episode 073: Scouting the SEC (Coaches)

Stephen Prather from Coaches By The Numbers

No conference has more BCS championship coaches than the SEC. Getty Images

Four different coaches with a BCS championship game victory put this list of coaches on top of all other conferences, just as the SEC sits on a mighty perch overseeing the rest of the college football world. Nick Saban has two BCS titles between Alabama and LSU. Les Miles has a BCS championship, as does Gene Chizik from this past season. And who can forget the old ball coach, Steve Spurrier, who last picked up a BCS victory while at Florida. Now he’s on a mission to bring that glory to South Carolina.

Even the second-tier coaches in this conference could compete for top billing in any other conference. Bobby Petrino receives high praise, if he sticks around long enough. Dan Mullen is a hot commodity right now working his way up to bigger job offers coming up. Will Muschamp will get a shot to show what he is made of at Florida this season and I have not even mentioned the coach who has been in the conference the longest and racked up an impressive win-loss total, Georgia’s Mark Richt.

Stephen Prather form Coaches By The Numbers gives his brother Scott a week off as he returns to the podcast to break down the coaches of the SEC. As we wee starting our recording on Thursday the Georgia Tech violation news was just breaking, so we touched on it briefly but could not comment on it as we did not know what is now readily available. After the podcast was mixed together and Georgia Tech issued their response to the NCAA release Prather told me that Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson will be added to their site’s infractions ranking, but no changes will be made to account for what is now a vacated ACC title or vacated wins.

But our main ficus was the SEC coaching circle. Here is my ranking of the SEC coaches. What do you think?

  1. Nick Saban, Alabama (43-11) – Nick Saban has won multiple BCS championships, and could be a favorite for another this season. Master recruiter, top of the line game-day coach, Saban is hands down the best of the best.
  2. Les Miles, LSU(62-17) – After Saban, who do you go with second? It’s a tough pick, but I’ll go with Les Miles. The Mad Hatter has something brewing in the Bayou and this could be a fun season.
  3. Steve Spurrier, South Carolina (44-33) – The last time the Gamecocks had six seasons at or above .500 before Spurrier was from 1975-1981. Spurrier has yet to have a losing season with the Gamecocks, and is one of the SEC East favorites in 2011.
  4. Mark Richt, Georgia (96-34) – Richt has an outstanding overall record, but he has played in a conference that has won five straight BCS titles. Needless to say, Richt has held his own more often than not but could benefit from joining the championship party with Florida, LSU, Alabama and Auburn.
  5. Bobby Petrino, Arkansas (23-15) – No doubt about it, Petrino knows offense. Being in a division with three BCS championship coaches though could be toughest job in America.
  6. Houston Nutt, Ole Miss (22-16) – Les Miles may be the most entertaining coach in the SEC, but Houston Nutt is not too far behind him. And he’s one of three coaches in the conference to have over 100 career wins. Who’d a thunk it?
  7. Dan Mullen, Mississippi State (14-11) – The up and coming Mullen could move up this ranking with a solid season in 2011. Could be mentioned for some big vacancies in the next round of the coaching carousel.
  8. Derek Dooley, Tennessee (6-7) – Dooley is doing what he can to get past the stain left by Lane Kiffin. Wes Rucker thinks Tennessee will be a team to reckon with as early as next year.
  9. Joker Phillips, Kentucky (6-7) – I feel for you Joker, I really do. Winning at Kentucky to the point of being relevant is as tough as convincing Tmeple fans that Villanova belongs in the Big East.
  10. Will Muschamp, Florida (0-0) – Plenty of potential for Muschamp, but as I have always done, new head coaches have to work their way up in my rankings.
  11. James Franklin, Vanderbilt (0-0) – Same goes for you Mr. Franklin.

Records shown are record with current school, not overall record.

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About the author

Contributor to College Football Talk on NBCSports.com. Member of Football Writers Association of America and National Football Foundation. Follow on Twitter @KevinOnCFB.