Dan Mullen, Phillip Fulmer discuss how Nick Saban's presence has led to crazy SEC coaching carousel
As of right now (assuming Tennessee hires a head coach at some point), five SEC teams will kick off the 2018 season with new head coaches.
The crazy coaching carousel in the SEC has spun out of control in recent years, and it can all be traced back to one man — Alabama’s Nick Saban.
Since Saban took over the Crimson Tide in 2007, he has won four national championships and will compete for a fifth this year. Even as Alabama has become a dynasty, though, other SEC fan bases still expect greatness from their squads.
Dan Mullen, who moved from Mississippi State to Florida this offseason, told ESPN.com that the expectations in the conference are that every team should be competing for a championship every year. That, he said, is something unlike any other conference in the country:
“It’s the expectations and the fan base here of people in the Southeastern Conference that every school in the conference [wins championships],” Mullen said. “I don’t think you can go anywhere around America where every fan base expects to win a championship starting off the season. Not, ‘Hey, we’re going to have a great year. Let’s do this, let’s do that.’ After spending the last nine years in the SEC West, every fan base expects to go to Atlanta at the end of that season.”
Even former Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer, who took over as the Vols’ athletic director last week, is amazed by what Saban has been able to accomplish in Tuscaloosa:
“What he’s accomplished is just incredible,” Fulmer said. “The consistency of his teams, how good he’s been and playing for all those national championships, that’s hard to do.”
Fulmer needs to make a hire at Tennessee, and having to play Saban’s Crimson Tide squads every year will make that coach’s job all the more difficult.
The coaching carousel was at full spin this past month, and it’ll be interesting to see if any jobs come open next year, especially if Saban continues to dominate the conference.