Two of college football’s biggest turnarounds belong in the SEC, and it’s only fitting both teams are playing for the SEC Championship Saturday.
Auburn’s Gus Malzahn and Missouri’s Gary Pinkel join Duke’s David Cutcliffe as the three finalists for Maxwell’s Coach of the Year award.
Related: SEC Championship preview
Auburn finished 3-9 and winless in the SEC in 2012, and Malzahn has exploded the Tigers into the national championship conversation, finishing 11-1 overall and 7-1 in the SEC in just one season. We knew Malzahn inherited good talent, but what’s so impressive is how he changed the culture of the program in one season, when it usually takes other coaches two to three seasons.
Pinkel’s 2012 squad finished 5-7 with two SEC wins a year ago, and he’s orchestrated a fantastic turnaround that any coach would be jealous of. He’s guided the Tigers to 11-1 overall and 7-1 in the SEC leading into Atlanta Saturday. Despite a massive turnaround and incredible season overall, Mizzou is still flying under the radar leading into the SEC Championship.
Related: Compare Mizzou-Auburn team stats
Hats off to Malzahn and Pinkel for their big-time turnarounds in the toughest conference in college football.
Photo Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports