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Saban’s On Top Of TSN’s 124 Football Coach Countdown

Earlier this week, Matt Hayes of The Sporting News posted his rankings of the SEC’s 14 football coaches.  Nick Saban was on top, Derek Dooley was on the bottom and second-year coach James Franklin was ranked all the way up at #5.  You can find that list here.

But now The Sporting News — Hayes with fellow writer Steve Greenberg, in fact — has ranked all the college football coaches in the country from #1 all the way to #124.  Some anonymous coaches also weigh in on their colleagues in some of the breakdowns of each.

Below we’ll show where each SEC coach fell in their rankings as well as who is above and below each coach:


1.  Nick Saban, Alabama

Just above him: No one

Just below him: Chris Petersen, Boise State


4.  Les Miles, LSU

Just above him: Urban Meyer, Ohio State

Just below him: Bob Stoops, Oklahoma


8.  Steve Spurrier, South Carolina

Just above him: Gary Patterson, TCU

Just below him: Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech


14.  Mark Richt, Georgia

Just above him: Mark Dantonio, Michigan State

Just below him: Bronco Mendenhall, BYU


25.  James Franklin, Vanderbilt

Just above him: Brady Hoke, Michigan

Just below him: Gary Pinkel, Missouri


26.  Gary Pinkel, Missouri

Just above him: James Franklin, Vanderbilt

Just below him: Dabo Swinney, Clemson


36.  Gene Chizik, Auburn

Just above him: Ken Niumatalolo, Navy

Just below him: Bo Pelini, Nebraska


46.  Dan Mullen, Mississippi State

Just above him: Mike London, Virginia

Just below him: Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M


47.  Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M

Just above him: Dan Mullen, Mississippi State

Just below him: Paul Rhoads, Iowa State


59.  Will Muschamp, Florida

Just above him: Dave Christensen, Wyoming

Just below him: Paul Pasqualoni, UConn


74.  John L. Smith, Arkansas

Just above him: Mark Hudspeth, Louisiana-Lafayette

Just below him: Todd Graham, Arizona State


77.  Hugh Freeze, Ole Miss

Just above him: Terry Bowden, Akron

Just below him: Larry Coker, Texas-San Antonio


90.  Joker Phillips, Kentucky

Just above him: Doc Holliday, Marshall

Just below him: Mike MacIntyre, San Jose State


99.  Derek Dooley, Tennessee

Just above him: Norm Chow, Hawaii

Just below him: Garrick McGee, UAB



I may be wrong but I dont think Matt Hayes cares for coach Dooley much


These lists have a big problem. Most of the coaches in the SEC have less than five years experience. This will be Texas a and m and Missouri's first year in the SEC, and the first year for Hugh Freeze and John L Smith.This is basically a preseason poll and we know how those usually go.


John, I believe you said you thought Dooley would make it through this coming year. Do you believe he'll actually be a success at UT? If not, who is at the top of your list to take over for him? Thanks.

Geoff McDorms
Geoff McDorms

 @poooooookss I don't want to put words in his mouth, but I believe Mr. Pennington has indicated more than once that he believes Dooley will eventually succeed at Tennessee.  He lives in Knoxville if I'm not mistaken.  Maybe he knows something the rest of us don't.

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

 @Geoff McDorms  @poooooookss 


And once again I'm dragged back into the comment boxes to correct a complete misrepresentation of my position.


For the record, I've never, ever come close to writing, saying or thinking that Derek Dooley would eventually succeed at Tennessee.  I've said I think he will survive this season because a) he has an experienced team, b) he's in a muddled SEC East and c) Tennessee AD Dave Hart would/should know that hiring a 4th coach in six years would be quite difficult.


That's a far cry from expecting Tennessee to have success under Dooley long-term.  (However, I could be wrong.  He inherited such a mess, he deserves AT LEAST another year to prove himself.)


When Tennessee first hired Dooley, I was on record as saying previous AD Mike Hamilton stupidly rushed the hire -- saying he would have a new coach by the weekend -- just so he could save a recruiting class.  I was ripped to shreds by Volunteer fans because of my supposed "hate" for their team.  Naturally.


Now, just two seasons later, I'm being ripped by many of those same fans for being "pro-Dooley."  I've got the emails if anyone wants to read 'em.


It's pretty funny actually.  I've stood in the same spot, other people have gone from thinking Dooley's their savior to thinking he's their anchor, and that makes me look like I'm the guy who's changed position.


At any rate, I think Dooley will eek out enough wins to survive for one more year, but I've said since the week UT hired him that I believe he will be a "bridge" hire at best -- someone to stabilize Tennessee's program, restock the cupboard, and then leave a better roster for the next guy, a la Mike Shula's pre-Nick Saban work at Alabama.


But I wonder now how many people will have read that I've supposedly said he will "succeed" at Tennessee and believed it.


Oh, well.


Thanks for reading the site,


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