Matt Hayes of The Sporting News ranked all 14 SEC coaches for 2015 on Monday. Here are his rankings, followed by a few thoughts.

1. Nick Saban, Alabama
2. Steve Spurrier, South Carolina
3. Bret Bielema, Arkansas
4. Gary Pinkel, Missouri
5. Les Miles, LSU
6. Gus Malzahn, Auburn
7. Hugh Freeze, Ole Miss
8. Mark Richt, Georgia
9. Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M
10. Butch Jones, Tennessee
11. Dan Mullen, Mississippi State
12. Jim McElwain, Florida
13. Mark Stoops, Kentucky
14. Derek Mason, Vanderbilt

  • Bret Bielema (78-39) ahead of Gary Pinkel (186-103-3)? One finished last in the SEC West the last two years. The other won the SEC East the last two years. Missouri won head-to-head in November, 21-14. What gives?
  • Gary Pinkel is one of just two SEC East coaches ranked in the top half of the conference. The division accounts for four of the bottom five, including Tennessee’s Butch Jones.
  • About Kevin Sumlin, the site wrote that the Aggies have “no wiggle room” after hiring defensive coordinator John Chavis, and that the team is “full of flash but lacking a killer instinct.”
  • Despite leading Mississippi State to the nation’s No. 1 ranking for five weeks in 2014 — how many coaches could accomplish that while playing in the SEC West? — Dan Mullen ranks just 11th. Tough competition.
  • The hard-scrabble reality of the SEC is that one or two coaches get fired every year. Can Vanderbilt turn it around enough for Mason to escape that fate?