You wouldn’t know it by looking at the man, but Nick Saban will turn 67 next football season. He’s signed through the 2024 season and has shown no signs of slowing down, but not even the best coach in the history of college football is immune to aging.

After basically crushing the career of nearly every single SEC coach in his path over the previous 11 years, Saban has a new wave of coaches to deal with. Respecting the goodwill each of the new hires around the league inherits at their respective institutions, now seemed like a good time to examine which of them will survive the SEC landscape long enough to see a post-Saban world.

Listed out in order from least likely to the most likely, here are my thoughts on which coaches have the best chance to be left standing at their school when Saban decides he’s won enough trophies for the Crimson Tide:

Matt Luke — Ole Miss

Terms of Ole Miss coaching contract: Four-year deal, worth an average of $3.15 million per year

The length of Luke’s deal in Oxford should not be taken as a lack of confidence in his ability to lead the program, rather it’s the longest timeframe an employee from the state of Mississippi can agree to in a contract. Luke also didn’t receive the lowest amount of compensation among the first-year (full-time) coaches in the SEC, either — that distinction goes to Moorhead.

While Luke has been given a vote of confidence by his employer, it could be argued the Rebels didn’t have much of a choice when the program named him head coach. At the time of his hiring, the NCAA cloud was still hanging over the program and it would have been a tough draw for an attractive candidate. There were some in the Ole Miss media that bloviated regarding how much money Ole Miss was willing to spend to lure a coach to Oxford. The school then decided to turn around and give Luke a salary that starts him as the SEC’s 10th highest paid coach in 2017.

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The play here seemed to be stick with continuity in the hopes that it pays off for the program in the future while still battling through the probation handed down by the NCAA. That was likely the best decision at the time, but considering the Rebels have hauled in back-to-back recruiting classes that finished no better than 10th-best in the league, Luke won’t have the young talent needed to rise up and compete until at least 2019.

When Ole Miss comes off probation on Dec. 1, 2020, there’s a good chance they do so by making a clean break from the Matt Luke era.

Joe Moorhead — Mississippi State

Terms of Mississippi State contract: Four-year deal, worth an average of $2.75 million per year

Again, like Luke at Ole Miss, nothing can be read into the length of Moorhead’s deal in Starkville due to the laws in the state of Mississippi. Of all the first-year coaches in the SEC, I like Moorhead to have the most immediate success considering the talent he’s inheriting this offseason.

That being said, he may not be in Starkville very long. Unlike the vast majority of first-year coaches, Moorhead is taking over a loaded roster that appears poised to compete immediately. Also, this isn’t Moorhead’s first go at being a head coach. He had a successful run as Fordham’s head coach, going 38-13 from 2012-2015. Instead of toiling away at the FCS level, hoping to be discovered, he took a chance and took the Penn State offensive coordinator job.

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Now that he’s a head coach again, this time at the SEC level, any success he has will be exposed to the world immediately. If Mississippi State makes a run at the SEC West division, Moorhead is likely going to draw some interest from job openings from around the nation, especially if he does what Dan Mullen never could and wins his division — in Year 1 no less. We’ve also seen coaches around the nation going the one-and-done route more and more as the years have gone on. If the Bulldogs reach Atlanta, it’s  not out of the question that another program makes a move on Moorhead.

While winning at that level might not be very realistic in 2018, as long as Mississippi State has success and continues to build on Mullen’s achievements, there’s a good chance Moorhead isn’t in Starkville for the long haul.

Jeremy Pruitt — Tennessee

Terms of Tennessee contract: Six-year deal, worth an average of $3.8 million per year

After taking over the AD position at his alma mater, Phillip Fulmer quickly righted the ship and found Tennessee’s coach in Jeremy Pruitt. Since that hiring, Fulmer has preached patience and the need for stability in Knoxville if the Vols are ever to regain their status as an elite program in the SEC — something Fulmer knows all about.

While the fan base appears to have bought in fully to Pruitt and Fulmer’s vision for the future, Knoxville is also an environment of extreme pressure and where nothing short of consistent contention for championships is deemed acceptable. Butch Jones delivered a small sampling of success and the moment he began to falter, the mounting pressure on Rocky Top quickly buried him and his program. That’s not to say Pruitt won’t be able to manage it, but in reality, no one knows how the first-year coach will handle all the duties and responsibilities that come with being a head coach.

There’s no doubt Pruitt will be given time to lift the Tennessee program off the ground coming off a historically poor season. Taking into consideration the lack of experience several key members of his staff (Pruitt, DC Kevin Sherer, OC Tyson Helton — full-time — TEs Brian Niedermeyer and RBs Chris Weinke all are in new positions) and the questions on the current roster — particularly at the game’s most important positions (quarterback, offensive line and defensive line), it will be interesting to see how patient Tennessee fans will be if it takes the Vols multiple years to compete with the likes of Alabama and Georgia.

Chad Morris — Arkansas

Terms of Arkansas contract: Six-year deal, worth an average of $3.75 million per year

Morris is another coach who has to please a rabid fan base desperate for a winner. While nothing on his resume screams he’ll be a home run hire — unless he can attract the next Deshaun Watson to Fayetteville — it’s hard to imagine he’ll be a complete failure who has to be replaced in a hurry either.

So far in his brief tenure at Arkansas, Morris has provided mixed results. His close to the 2018 recruiting cycle was rough, but he deserves somewhat of a pass given he, along with the other coaches on this list, had to deal with the inaugural Early Signing Period in college football. While his staff failed to handle that curveball compared to the rest of the coaches on this list, his start and early momentum in the 2019 recruiting cycle should give fans optimism moving forward. You could argue his 2019 recruiting efforts rival any first-year SEC coach aside from the results attained by Jimbo Fisher at A&M.

Considering the talent he’s inheriting, it’s hard to imagine Morris having much success early in Fayetteville. However, if he can consistently improve his program’s mark as he did at SMU, Morris should be given several years to show what he can build for Razorback Nation.

Given his success as a high school coach and as a coordinator at Clemson, Morris has proven he can win at a high level. Now that he’s entering a different beast altogether, one that destroyed his predecessor rather quickly, he’ll have to show far more than he did at SMU to stick around with the Razorbacks.

Jimbo Fisher — Texas A&M

Terms of Texas A&M contract: 10-year deal, worth an average of $7.5 million per year

Given Fisher’s historic contract, it’s evident which SEC school put the most faith in their coaching hire, but I could argue his deal is the very thing that could ultimately end his coaching era in College Station prematurely should he fail to meet expectations. I mean, my goodness, Texas A&M just presented Fisher with a National Championship Trophy complete with fill in the blank year in which he wins it. The expectations are as clear as day, and if Fisher hasn’t matched them in by his fourth or fifth year, he could be sent packing for someone who can deliver.

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A&M deserves credit for securing arguably the biggest coaching coup in recent college football history in the luring of Fisher away from Tallahassee when many from the Sunshine State believed that to be an unrealistic endeavor. However, before the engraving of SEC and National plaques take place in College Station, Aggies fans should be asking why Fisher’s Florida State program ceded the ACC to Clemson? FSU has several natural advantages over the Tigers, and Fisher’s program losing the head-to-head matchup and division title in three consecutive seasons doesn’t exactly bode well considering the similar programs he’ll face on an annual basis in the SEC West.

Forecast four or five years into the future, if Texas A&M fails to win its first SEC title by that time and Texas has won a national title under Tom Herman, the pressure on Fisher would be immense. The 12th Man wouldn’t put up with much less than a Playoff berth, massive guaranteed contract be damned. It didn’t save Kevin Sumlin, and it’s not going to assure Fisher a decade in College Station if he doesn’t bring home some hardware sooner rather than later.

Dan Mullen — Florida

Terms of Florida contract: Six-year deal, worth an average of $6.3 million per year

Since the end of the Tim Tebow era, Florida just hasn’t gotten it right at the game’s most important position. While the Gators’ inability to develop a QB hasn’t been the only downfall, that appears to be an issue that will no longer persist in The Swamp with Dan Mullen at the helm.

While most fans tend to think of high-flying offense when they think back to the most successful Florida teams, the best Gators teams featured terrific defenses led by Bob Stoops and Charlie Strong. Based on his history, Mullen should be able to provide the offense in Gainesville. Although, much like the Florida program, Mullen’s best Mississippi State teams were led by defenses filled with tough, edgy defenders who played with a mean streak. Despite a revolving door of defensive coordinators over the years, outside of the one Peter Sirmon led defense in 2016, Mississippi State’s defense took on the tough-nosed characteristic of its head coach. As long as that tradition continues with the Gators, Mullen should experience much success at Florida.

In my mind, Mullen shouldn’t necessarily be considered a home run hire, but given his strong track record of overachieving, developing talent — particularly at the quarterback position — and his consistent ability to remain competitive at Mississippi State, he’s the best bet to remain at his current post by the time Saban calls it a career in Tuscaloosa.

NOTE: Average coaching salaries listed do not include potential incentives each coach stands to make.