Ranking SEC Coaches: Kevin Sumlin was a genius investment
Buy, sell, trade.
Vanderbilt would love a re-hire right now while Texas A&M’s sitting on a gold mine out West.
Ah, the SEC coaching circle.
Every week, SDS will try and determine who’s hot in college football’s most competitive conference, a league that’s currently boasting four teams in the top 10.
Steve Spurrier, a preseason Top 3 in the SEC among coaches, has fallen out of the Top 5, a sure shot to the ego. His 24th-ranked team’s 1-1 this season and hasn’t looked like a preseason division favorite whatsoever, but that could change this weekend in a marquee home date with rival Georgia.
Ranking coaches based on their 2014 seasons to date, here’s a quick glance:
5. MARK STOOPS, Kentucky: Surprise, surprise. The Wildcats’ second-year coach is front and center at 2-0, albeit wins over semi-pro competition. Quarterback Patrick Towles has been solid and the 1-2 punch of Jojo Kemp and Braylon Heard in the backfield provides Kentucky with run options. Six wins and a bowl? It’s possible with a victory or two in SEC play.
4. MARK RICHT, Georgia: Jeremy Pruitt deserves this spot, but like all jobs, his superior gets the love. The SEC’s best offseason hire put his heavy-blitzing personality on the line in the opener and slammed the door on a feisty Clemson squad ‘tween the edges. The Georgia defense’s encore comes against another Palmetto State foe at South Carolina. It’s still early, but the Bulldogs have their gloves on hoping to deliver the Gamecocks’ knockout blow with a win.
3. NICK SABAN, Alabama: Outside of constant quarterback chatter, this guy’s been relatively quiet early in the season. Saban has the SEC’s best staff overall and probably the league’s top collection of talent, but what will it mean? Not much unless the Crimson Tide prove they can return to pre-2013 form and perform well in big games. There’s not much hype surrounding Alabama despite a No. 3 ranking at the moment and that should be frightening for the rest of the league.
2. GUS MALZAHN, Auburn: The Tigers look the part, again. Malzahn’s simplistic scheme is reliable, in matchups against ranked teams or upset-minded foes, and gives all defenses headaches. You know what you’re getting out of Auburn every weekend, a squad that never regresses to the mean when it comes to rushing the football. With the meat of the schedule coming up including seven games against ranked teams over the final 10, the Tigers will have earned a spot in the College Football Playoff if they’re good enough to be in the conversation. Take notes y’all.
1. KEVIN SUMLIN, Texas A&M: ‘They haven’t played the bigger teams, so their schedule has been a little misleading. Kevin Sumlin has an excellent record as a coach and he’s a good negotiator, we know that also.’ Stop that crazy talk right now, HBC. This offense can score on anyone, your team especially. Kevin Sumlin’s proved thus far this season he’s worth every penny of his fat $5 million/year extension signed in December 2013. From low 20s to Top 10 in two weeks, the Aggies are here to stay in the West and have started pushing around other SEC elites in the recruiting circle. Very impressive for the dude with the cool shades.