The SEC Power Poll is back in action! Be sure to visit Garnet and Black Attack for the final results later in the week.
Even though we will continue with last year’s format, we’re abandoning the pre-season poll to present a ranking of the coaches.
You know tempers could flair since we’re grading the coaches. Let’s be honest, we tend to focus our hatred of other teams through the coaches, so this will probably be an extremely biased pool of polls, (heck, that should include the poll below this paragraph). I’m probably just uncomfortable doing this because I think it is harder to accurately rank coaches, as apposed to teams.
Anywho, is is my attempt at actually ranking the coaches.
1. Mark Richt- He’s a good guy, although I would recommend some sunscreen in the future.
In all seriousness, he is probably the best overall once you take into account every aspect of his coaching. He’s confident, but humble. He can recruit, but he doesn’t have a bad reputation on the trail. He knows when to take the reigns, and when to let somebody else lead. Plus, all of the women in my family love the guy, so I gotta say he’s good to keep them from telling me otherwise (just joking). All he needs to do now is produce, because the wave of public opinion could change if he doesn’t.
2. Steve Spurrier- This seems like a natural reaction, must like sneezing when you walk into a dusty room. You feel so uncomfortable for the moment, but you’d rather just get it out of the way so you can return to normalcy. Even though Steve Superior has seen better days on the field, he’s still got what it takes to transform an offense into a Goliath. Even though his teams may have less talent due to geography, his X’s and O’s make him a threat every time he graces the opposite sideline.
3. Urban Meyer- Urbz has had success at a many different schools, something that should be noticed. He’s got a good eye for talent, and has been active in keeping a good coaching staff in Gainesville. Still, he isn’t perfect, and I do feel like he will slide back a little once Tebow runs off to Laos to circumcise baby pandas following his college career.
4. Nick Saban- Some will call me a homer for putting him over coaches with better records last year. Others will ridicule me for ranking him lower than three other coaches. I think Saban is a great program builder, but he does have his fair share of coaching weaknesses.
One can legitimately argue that Saban is the best at building infrastructure, something I won’t back down from. But, I do worry from time to time about the calls he approves. Are there better X’s and O’s coaches in the league? Yes. But you must respect him for his ability to rebuild a down program from the bottom up. 2 SEC championships and a BCS title in 5 years is as good a run as you’ll get from any coach on this list.
5. Tommy Tuberville- Question for the world: If everyone claims you’re underrated, are you in fact “underrated”? I think he’s a very good coach, but let’s me honest, he’s only a top notch coach when he is coaching against teams he should lose to. I respect him, but I do feel that people tend to just overlook his flops as a big favorite. Tis the curse of Tubs I suppose.
But give the man his due. He went from the brink of the pink slip to a perfect season. He likes tough defense, and it is hard to not respect that in such a conference. Plus, he knows what it takes to please his fan base, and he has delivered 6 years running.
6. Phil Fulmer- Big recruiter in a state not known for high school talent. He’s taken Tennessee to to promised land, having also given them 2 SEC titles. Still, in terms of pure coaching moves, I think his problems have been his assistants over the last few years. Good head coaches now when to cut the cord, and sometimes I wonder if Phil really knows when (other than to save his butt from a 5-6 season).
7. Les Miles- Gasp! An Alabama fan ranking Les low on a coaching poll?! Surely you jest!
He’s feisty, he knows how to use talent, and he is always good for a quote. Still, you have to wonder when his abnormal play calls in crunch time will finally backfire on him. LSU has been in a position the last 8 years to lock down their state, something that can’t be broken too easily. I think he realizes this, and is smart enough to use that talent to draw in good assistants, who continue to draw in more talent. Heck, he’ll probably be the only coach in the next 10 years to lose his last regular season game and get into the BCS title game (I don’t view conference title games as true regular season games).
8. Houston Nutt- Every is picking Ole Miss as the dark horse in the SEC. Sure, they have some good talent there, but a lot of people are doing so based on Houston Nutt. I have to be honest, I think he’s a very good coach, and is somebody that can catch you by surprise.
He’s been to the SEC title game multiple times, and has yet to really deliver a title or a BCS game, something that everyone above him has been able to do. I think he’s good, but he has yet to reach that plateau.
9. Rich Brooks- Brooks have had a resurgence as of late, something that I respect. Still, he might be looking to retire soon, and I wonder how much his heart will be in it with Joker right behind him.
10. Sylvester Croom- Some will say I am disrespecting Croom for posting him this low. Yet, even though I respect the heck out of this guy for the job he’s done, I really don’t think he’s been very good at preparing for MSU post-2007. Yes, they won 8 games, but they were in rather unimpressive fashion. Take that into account with his rather unimpressive assistant coaching staff (replacing a Ellis Johnson with a Charlie Harbison in particular), and you may seem the bulldogs fall back a few steps.
11. Bobby Johnson- I truly don’t know what to say for Bobby other than he really needs to get Vanderbilt over the hump soon, because even the ‘Dores aren’t going to accept almost after almost for too much longer.
12. Bobby Petrino- I have to be honest, I have no clue what to do with Bobby Petrino. I should apologize to Hog fans, because I don’t want them to think I’ve intentionaly ranked him last based on his depature from Atlanta. I just think that out of all of the coaches on this list, he has the least SEC experience, something that can really test a coach. I think he’s an offensive talent, but I do wonder about that defense. I’m really hoping to see him in action before forming a true opinion.