Number of wins every SEC East coach must reach in 2015
Winning changes everything.
The offseason’s easier coming off a successful season and there’s less pressure heading into the next.
With that in mind, how many wins does each coach in the SEC East need to avoid backlash in 2015? We’re glad you asked.
Disclaimer: There’s only one Eastern Division coach on the hot seat and that is Vanderbilt’s Derek Mason. It could get a little warm this fall for Mark Stoops and Mark Richt however if the Wildcats and Bulldogs fall flat based on their respective expectations.
Wins each East coach needs to avoid backlash in 2015
Steve Spurrier, South Carolina: 7
The Head Ball Coach will leave Columbia, S.C., on his accord, which won’t be until he sees what 2016 four-star commit Brandon McIlwain has to offer. But this season won’t be one of his best and avoiding his first losing campaign in 22 years as a head coach in the SEC is priority No. 1. The Gamecocks have the league’s toughest non-conference slate, talent’s an issue at certain positions and quarterback play could be struggle, but fans are behind Spurrier 100 percent.
Mark Richt, Georgia: 9
The bar is set awfully high for this year’s ultra-talented team in Athens and the fanbase is growing tired of missing out on trips to Atlanta. It’s a make or break year at Georgia, especially for Richt who lost some of his appeal after disappointing losses to Florida and Georgia Tech last season. Vegas set the Bulldogs’ win total at nine during the regular season, so we’ll keep it there before the panic button’s pressed.
Butch Jones, Tennessee: 8
Will the Vols meet lofty expectations as a serious threat in the East? We think so, based largely on Tennessee’s returning talent along with an elite 2015 signing class that includes several first-year impact players like defensive lineman Kahlil McKenzie. Much of Vol Nation believes 2017 will be the year in Knoxville, but this squad is far too talented to finish with less than eight wins this fall. The Oklahoma game in Week 2 will go a long way in determining Jones’ continued momentum.
Gary Pinkel, Mizzou: 8
As of right now, Pinkel can do no wrong for the Tigers. He’s won consecutive division titles, pumped many players into the NFL and has stressed the importance of facility upgrades to his constituents to keep his program on par in the arms race with other nationally-relevant members of the SEC. At some point, Mizzou has to take a step back, right? Eight wins and a bowl victory may fall short of championship aspirations, but it would still be satisfactory.
Jim McElwain, Florida: 7
Most of us aren’t expecting much out of the Gators this season, and neither is a fanbase or administration understanding that going through a rough patch — by Florida’s standards — is all part of the rebuilding process. Looking at other SEC schedules, Florida’s is favorable comparatively, and the Gators have the talent on defense to win seven (possibly eight) games with a few breaks. McElwain’s a first-year coach in Gainesville — expectations aren’t high.
Mark Stoops, Kentucky: 6
The Wildcats were thisclose to making something happen last season, a solid second-half finish away from reaching bowl eligibility and taking a giant leap in the right direction as a program. Considering the upgrades at Commonwealth Stadium and the talent on roster and above-average coaching staff, compared to most recent years at Kentucky, six wins should be feasible this fall. A sixth straight losing season however would bring some doubt for this regime.
Derek Mason, Vanderbilt: 5
Coming off a winless SEC season without showing up in a few games, Mason’s feeling some heat under his collar. His first year as a head coach was a disaster, but he’s made some necessary changes that should reflect in the wins department this fall. Vanderbilt needs solid quarterback play, something it didn’t have at any point last season. Without it, the Commodores’ defensive-minded head coach could be out of a job in December.