If you haven’t realized it by now, I exhausted my allotment of creativity about three years ago. If it weren’t for blatantly obvious current events and the constant rehashing of old ideas, my column would conspicuously resemble blank paper.
With that in mind, it seems like the perfect time to put the SEC coaches in some sort of discernible order. You might say, I’m going to rank them.
1. Nick Saban (Alabama): 2018 rank No. 1
Dabo Swinney and Clemson humbled Nick and the Tide last year for the first time in a long time. So what? He’s still the best and it’s still not even that close.
2. Kirby Smart (Georgia): 2018 rank — No. 4
It’s taken some time to work his way up the list, but the combination of recruiting and coaching has been exceptional.
3. Jimbo Fisher (Texas A&M): 2018 rank — No. 2
He’s still living off a title in Tallahassee, but the Aggies won nine games a season ago and could’ve easily won 11.
4. Mark Stoops (Kentucky): 2018 rank — No. 6
The Wildcats won 10 games in 2018 and beat Penn State in the Citrus Bowl. Stoops has not only made the Bluegrass competitive, he’s actually turned them into a contender.
5. Dan Mullen (Florida): 2018 rank — No. 3
I’ve had Dan as high as No. 2 on the list in previous years. I don’t think he’s becoming a worse coach, but at some point he is going to actually have to make it to Atlanta to be considered legitimate.
6. Ed Orgeron (LSU): 2018 rank — No. 13
Eddie is certainly the biggest mover on the list. I thought he would be a colossal failure in the Bayou. I didn’t think he had a chance. All he has done is win 19 games in two years and beat Auburn twice.
7. Gus Malzahn (Auburn): 2018 rank — No. 5
Despite all my faults, I’m honest. Malzahn has been falling down the rankings the last couple of years. If he’s ever going to arrest the fall, now would be a good time.
8. Derek Mason (Vanderbilt): 2018 rank — No. 10
His overall record isn’t very good, but he has taken the Commodores to 2 bowl games in the last three years and has dominated Tennessee. I’m sorry; that’s a pretty good coach.
9. Barry Odom (Missouri): 2018 rank — No. 8
The Tigers are a consistently mediocre team. Then again, it’s not that easy to recruit to Missouri.
10. Will Muschamp (South Carolina): 2018 rank — No. 7
Muschamp has been a head coach in the SEC for 8 years. Those eight years have been very unremarkable.
11. Chad Morris (Arkansas): 2018 rank — No. 12
I’m still giving him the benefit of the doubt for his last season at SMU, but the Hogs were horrendous in 2018.
12. Jeremy Pruitt (Tennessee): 2018 rank — No. 14
Pruitt seems to be recruiting well in Knoxville, Tennessee. His first season left a lot to be desired, but he does have an opportunity to move up the list quickly.
13. Matt Luke (Ole Miss): 2018 rank — No. 9
Matt is a really nice guy in a tough situation. He’s 11-13 the last two years. I’m just not sure it’s going to get any better.
14. Joe Morehead (Miss State): 2018 rank — No. 11
The Bulldogs produced 3 first- round NFL draft picks and still managed to lose five games last year. He’s supposed to do more with less, not the other way around.
Andy Graham is a regular columnist for The Outlook.