What would an All-SEC Presidential Cabinet look like?
College football coaches are among the most recognizable and highest paid public figures in their respective states, and that is especially true in the SEC.
In the South, where football is as much a religion as it is a sport, head coaches are some of the most powerful people in town. In 2015, the highest-paid employee in an SEC state was a head coach of a major university.
It’s no surprise that Alabama coach Nick Saban received several write-in votes during the presidential election and even finished fourth in his school’s 2016 Student Government Association election.
With America’s political landscape undergoing a change, it’s time to look at what an All-SEC Presidential Cabinet might look like. Before we begin, however, there should be no dispute that Saban is the de-facto president in this imaginary scenario. That’s what winning five national championship gets you.
Now, here would be (some of) President Saban’s cabinet.
Vice President – Jim McElwain: A Saban disciple, Jim McElwain has won the SEC East in both of his seasons as Florida’s head coach. He has a proven track record on the field and has already accomplished great things while working alongside Saban.
More important, though, McElwain has the personality and the ability to address the media and win public favor, which would allow the president to focus on more important matters.
Secretary of State – Dan Mullen: A strong working knowledge of foreign matters and a steady demeanor are some of the primary qualities a Secretary of State should have. Mullen has shown that he can be charismatic on the sidelines and, aside from the Jeffery Simmons situation, generally stays out of the spotlight.
He’s also been a coach in several different regions. From Utah and Syracuse to Notre Dame and Florida, Mullen is already well-traveled and has seen all different walks of life.
Secretary of the Treasury – Kevin Sumlin: Who better to help make money decisions and set policy than the second-highest paid coach in the SEC? Sumlin also gave some of the SEC’s best teams a run for their money most of the season.
Secretary of Defense – Kirby Smart: Saban’s defensive coordinator for seven seasons, Smart is the obvious choice for this position. He knows exactly what type of defense Saban would want America to implement and would excel at recruiting the best and the brightest.
Smart’s track record speaks for itself and he’s already helped Georgia’s young defense make steady improvements in his first season. He and Saban would make this country virtually untouchable.
Attorney General – Derek Mason: As the leader of the Department of Justice, this would ideally be a person who looks capable of enforcing what is right. Well, Mason certainly looks the part.
The Vanderbilt coach’s fierce gaze welcomes no objections. Mason is the man we want handing down his swift judgement.
Secretary of the Interior – Bret Bielema: This job is one that few people know much about. The Secretary of the Interior is charged with management and conservation of most federal lands and national resources. That sounds like a pretty boring gig, but we know one man who can fix that.
Bielema is anything but boring. He is never shy about stating his opinions and dives head-on into every new challenge. The Arkansas coach would make this position his own and get people to take notice about his environmental messages and whatnot.
Secretary of Commerce – Butch Jones: Jobs aren’t created overnight, and if there is one person who knows all about “Building the foundation” it’s Butch Jones. Since taking over at Tennessee, Jones has made it his goal to return the Vols to national prominence on a yearly basis.
Jones will set the foundation for strong growth in the job market, even if he has to do so brick by brick.
Secretary of Transportation – Gus Malzahn: Author of one of the top rushing offenses in college football, Malzahn knows how to get things done on the ground. America’s transportation system can be complicated at times, but that should be no problem for this offensive genius.
The only possible downside would be that his ground-centric “Gus Bus” focus could cause air travel to suffer.