Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen has the most job security in the SEC according to USA Today.
Commence cowbells and a pair of fresh Yeezys for the first 100 fans in Starkville this season for the home opener.
Ranking league coaches in terms of job safety heading into August, here’s how Dan Wolken handicaps the SEC:
Ranking SEC coaches by job security
1. Dan Mullen, Mississippi State
Short of NCAA violations or some sort of off-field scandal, Mullen is secure in Starkville for a long, long time. Not only has Mullen taken the Bulldogs to five consecutive bowl games, he works for an athletics director in Scott Stricklin who understands the inherent challenges of the job and knows he probably could not hire a better football coach than the one he currently employs.
2. Gary Pinkel, Mizzou
3. Nick Saban, Alabama
4. Butch Jones, Tennessee
5. Bret Bielema, Arkansas
The new deal Bielema signed extends through 2020, and given the strides Arkansas made in his first two seasons, he’s quite safe and secure. Bielema established an identity for the program, has recruited well and fits the personality of the state. People like him and the product he’s putting on the field — for now.
6. Hugh Freeze, Ole Miss
7. Gus Malzahn, Auburn
8. Jim McElwain, Florida
9. Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M
Since his 11-2 debut in 2012, Sumlin has been one of the hottest coaches in all of football, rebuffing interest from a bevy of college and NFL teams to stay in College Station at $5 million per year. But that contract comes with much higher expectations than he delivered in 2013 and 2014. If Sumlin doesn’t contend for an SEC title in the next two years, he’ll start feeling heat for the first time.
10. Mark Stoops, Kentucky
11. Mark Richt, Georgia
12. Les Miles, LSU
13. Steve Spurrier, South Carolina
There’s no chance Spurrier is getting fired, but he’s at the point where every season could be his last. That’s how it is at age 70, coming off a season in which the Gamecocks plunged to 7-6. Spurrier acknowledged he thought about retirement last year before a rejuvenating bowl win against Miami. If there are more signs the program is headed backward, Spurrier won’t need to be nudged to hang up his whistle.
14. Derek Mason, Vanderbilt