Most, but not all, college football coaches played the game themselves at the high school or college level. ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg recently took on the task of trying to rank all 130 FBS head coaches based on their college football careers.

Among the 14 SEC head coaches, a newcomer leads the way. First-year Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel’s career at Oklahoma checks in at No. 3 overall. Only 12 of the 14 SEC head coaches actually played college football. Mississippi State’s Mike Leach played rugby at BYU while Missouri’s Eli Drinkwitz did not play football after high school.

  1. Josh Heupel, Tennessee (No. 3 overall)
  2. Kirby Smart, Georgia (No. 13)
  3. Jimbo Fisher, Texas A&M (No. 15)
  4. Sam Pittman, Arkansas (No. 28)
  5. Ed Orgeron, LSU (No. 53)
  6. Mark Stoops, Kentucky (No. 67)
  7. Nick Saban, Alabam (No. 71)
  8. Dan Mullen, Florida (No. 73)
  9. Clark Lea, Vanderbilt (No. 89)
  10. Shane Beamer, South Carolina (No. 101)
  11. Bryan Harsin, Auburn (No. 106)
  12. Lane Kiffin, Ole Miss (No. 111)
  13. Eli Drinkwitz, Missouri (No. 126)
  14. Mike Leach, Mississippi State (No. 129)

Rittenberg’s evaluation for the playing careers of the coaches in the SEC and the rest of the SEC can be read here.