SEC: A Coaches Paradise

Michael HicksSenior Analyst IMay 27, 2008

This year the SEC boasts the best collection of coaching talent. Five have national championship rings, and four have been head coaches in the NFL. You can argue this is the deepest lineup of coaches since Bryant, Dooley, and Jordan roamed the sidelines. Here is a list from 1-12 of who is the best in the SEC.

1. Mark Richt, Georgia. Richt is fourth among active Div. 1 coaches with a winning percentage of .791 (72-19). In five years he has brought two SEC titles to Athens, and the Bulldogs will go into this season as the favorite to be playing in the BCS title game.

2. Urban Meyer, Florida. A two time national coach of the year, Urban has won at every school he has coached. In his second year at Florida he won the BCS title, and has turned Florida into one of the top programs in the country again.

3. Les Miles, LSU. With a 34-6 record a SEC title and a national championship, Les has proved he can win in the SEC. In his fourth year at LSU he is building a dynasty on the Bayou.

4. Tommy Tuberville, Auburn. It is safe to say "Tubs" is the most underrated coach in the SEC. In nine years on the plains, Tuberville has a 80-33 record, five Western Division titles (two outright, three co-championships), and a 13-0 season in 2004. He also boasts a six game winning streak in the Iron Bowl.

5. Nick Saban, Alabama. No matter what you think of Coach Saban, he is a winner. With a BCS title on his resume at LSU, Saban brings that winning "process" to the Capstone. With his unmatched work ethic in recruiting and a feared presence on the sideline, He is bringing back the winning attitude in Tuscaloosa.

6. Steve Spurrier, South Carolina. Spurrier has a national title in 1996, and six SEC titles that makes him an all-time great. But his return to the SEC as been less than great. With four years under his belt in Columbia he has yet to get them to the upper level of the SEC. Another year of missing the post-season and the honeymoon may be over for Gamecock fans.

7. Phillip Fulmer, Tennessee. The longest tenured coach in the SEC, Fulmer has brought stability to the Volunteers. But with the last SEC title coming in 1998, the same year the Vols won the BCS title, fans in Knoxville are getting restless.

8. Houston Nutt, Ole Miss. He may have overstayed his welcome in Arkansas but Nutt is one of the best talent evaluators in the SEC. With three Western Division titles in Fayetteville expect him to do good things at Ole Miss.

9. Sylvester Croom, Mississippi State. Mississippi State is smart in being patient with Croom. He guided the Bulldogs to their first bowl game since 2000, and has big wins over Alabama and Auburn. Now the tough part is keeping the success in a tough SEC West.

10. Bobby Petrino, Arkansas. The newest member to the SEC, his track record speaks for itself. He turned Louisville to a Big East power and I expect him to do the same with the Hogs.

11. Bobby Johnson, Vanderbilt. It’s hard to win at Vanderbilt, but Johnson has done a pretty good job. With wins over Georgia, Tennessee, and Arkansas, Johnson has Vanderbilt SO close to their first bowl game since 1982.

12. Rich Brooks, Kentucky. Coach Brooks has experienced success at Kentucky, and with his NFL mind he will continue that success on the bluegrass. But with the exit of talent, this year will be a struggle to keep up in the very combative SEC East.