The SEC is, undoubtedly, the great college football conference in America. There is no other conference that boasts the rich traditions, rabid fan bases and the consistent on-field dominance that the SEC does. It is also home to many of the best head coaches in football period. Here is how the SEC coaches rank 1-14:
2. Les Miles (LSU). Known to many as “the riverboat gambler,” Les Miles has amassed an incredible 95-24 record at LSU since taking the job in 2005. With two SEC Titles and one BCS Championshp in his pocket, Miles is clearly an elite member of the coaching fraternity.
3. Steve Spurrier (South Carolina). “The ol ball coach” has had astronomical success at two different SEC schools. Spurrier won six SEC Championships and a National Championship while at Florida. He then posted an astounding three straight 11 win seasons and an SEC East Championship while resurrecting the South Carolina program.
4. Gary Pinkel (Missouri). No one does more with less than does Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel. After winning two division titles in the Big 12 North, Pinkel brought Mizzou immediate success in the SEC, winning back-to-back SEC East Championships in 2013 and 2014.
5. Mark Richt (Georgia). Despite an impressive overall record (135-48) and two SEC Championships, Richt has not been able to get the Georgia program to the “next level” as far as winning National Championships. Back-to-back disappointing seasons have taken the shine off even further.
6. Gus Malzahn (Auburn). We are only two years into Malzahn’s tenure at Auburn, but an SEC Champioship and an appearance in the BCS Championship Game in year one vaults him into the top half despite a somewhat disappointing 2014 season.
7. Hugh Freeze (Ole Miss). Ole Miss has been trending upwards since Freeze’s first season in 2012. He is boasting top-ranked recruiting classes and got the rebels to 9-3 in 2014 with a win over Alabama. A bright future appears to be ahead for Freeze in Oxford.
8. Dan Mullen (Mississippi State). Mullen had the Mississippi State Bulldogs #1 in the nation for much of 2014 before losing two straight to end the season. Mullen’s hot seat has definitely cooled off for now, and he has done a solid job of bringing excitement back to the Mississippi State program.
9. Kevin Sumiln (Texas A&M). The Aggies had a hot start as members of the SEC going 10-2 in 2012 on the hot arm of Johnny Manziel. Sumlin has recruited to the moon and back, but on-field results have been diminishing the past two seasons.
10. Bret Bielema (Arkansas). Despite failing to win a conference game until deep into his second season, Bielema clearly has the Arkansas program on the upswing. Plus, he has the hottest wife of any coach in the conference which can do nothing to hurt his ranking.
11. Butch Jones (Tennessee). The Vols entered the 2014 season with lofty expectations under second-year head coach Butch Jones, but had to eek their way to a 6-6 record). Jones does have Tennessee back into a bowl game for the first time since 2010 but on-field results will have to improve next season or Jones will find himself in Derek Dooley land.
12. Mark Stoops (Kentucky). Stoops has done a decent job raising expectations at the basketball school known as Kentucky. The Wildcats were atrocious during year one of Stoops’ tenure, but improved markedly in 2014, although the Wildcats did end the year with six straight losses.
13. Will Muschamp (Florida). Technically, Muschamp is no longer the head coach of the Gators and has coached his last game in Gainesville. Muschamp managed to turn a proud Florida program into a complete dumpster fire in just three years time. Anyone with a pulse should be able to win at Florida given the talent in the area as well as the abundance of resources that the school has at its disposal.
14. Derek Mason (Vanderbilt). Mason inherited a decent program from James Franklin, but instantaneously has turned Vanderbilt back into an SEC East doormat as the Commodores were winless in conference play in 2014. Mason certainly has his work cut out for him as he attempts to get Vandy back into bowl contention going forward.