Just How Secure Are They?

With the SEC football season just a couple of months away this is a good time to assess the coaching situations at the twelve schools of the SEC. Just how hot are the seats under the men entrusted with their respective positions?

The odds are pretty strong that the SEC will have at least one coaching change as a result of the upcoming season and there may well be two or three. So let's evaluate the job security of SEC Football coaches entering this season.

#1 Urban Meyer ----- In just two years Meyer has become a hero in Gainesville and received a huge raise earlier this month. His Florida record of 22-4 is superb and his six-year collegiate mark stands at 61-12. He's the rock star among SEC coaches after just two seasons.

#2 Nick Saban ----- Something about a $4 million salary makes you pretty secure even in the most unforgiving job in the conference. Saban has a proven track record at LSU where he won 48 games, two SEC crowns and shared a National Title in five seasons.

#3 Steve Spurrier ----- You wouldn't think 15-10 in two years would have people all that happy, but Carolina fans aren't like most in the SEC. The Gamecocks generally are the easiest fans in the league to please and the fact that the Head Ball Coach has them competitive in the SEC East has them delirious up in Columbia.

#4 Tommy Tuberville ----- It wasn't long ago that Tuberville was on thin ice at Auburn but that changed dramatically with is perfect 13-and-0 season in 2004. Coming off an eleven win season last year including a win over Florida, Tuberville may be a lifer in the loveliest village.

#5 Les Miles ----- LSU fans still aren't sold on Miles, but consecutive 11-2 seasons have to count for something, don't they? Miles' job just got tougher. He has to beat his predecessor, Saban now at Alabama.

#6 Mark Richt ----- You may think I'm crazy for having Richt this far down the list and you may be right. After all, Richt has averaged ten wins a season in his six years with Georgia. On top of that he has two SEC Championships to his credit. Still, that 1-and-5 mark in Jacksonville is bound to start wearing on the Bulldawg faithful.

#7 Phillip Fulmer ----- There was a time when Fulmer was one of the most secure coaches in the country, let alone the SEC. However those days are long gone. Tennessee had a 9-4 record a year ago and made it eight straight years without an SEC Title. Since winning the National Title in 1998 Tennessee has gone 70-30. That's not bad, but it's not good enough for the 100,000-plus that pack Neyland Stadium.

#8 Rich Brooks ----- The Kentucky Coach would have been in the bottom two entering last season, but is in somewhat better position after an eight win season last year. Brooks has a dangerous team this year and should win more games this time around. If they do, is security will be in the top half of the league. If not, it's time to get back on the hot seat.

#9 Bobby Johnson ----- If Vanderbilt had an Athletic Director Johnson might be on shakier ground. As it is, Vandy has to start showing some progress on the field. Last year's team seemed capable of post-season play, but finished just 4-8. After five seasons, Johnson has a 15-43 record and has just six SEC wins in 40 tries.

#10 Ed Orgeron ----- It might not be fair to be in trouble after just two seasons, but as Ron Zook can tell you coaching life isn't always fair. Orgeron's 7-16 record is not what Ole Miss had in mind after the Rebels inexplicably fired David Cutcliffe. This is an important year to show some progress and instill some confidence that he is more than a talented assistant who is an excellent recruiter.

#11 Houston Nutt ----- It's bizarre that the guy who won the SEC West a year ago can be in this position, but the Arkansas program is just plain weird. Nutt has 67 wins in his nine years in Fayetteville, but he's also had nothing but trouble off the field. In just the last year he has had prime recruits walk out, fired assistant coaches and dealt with a near mutiny from some players' parents. If that's what happens after a good year who knows what happens if the Hogs fall back in the West as they are bound to do?

#12 Sylvester Croom ----- Everyone applauded when Croom became the first black head football coach in the SEC four years ago. No those same people are concerned this gentleman might soon be the first fired black head man. Mississippi State has won just three games in each of Croom's three seasons as he has tried to instill pride, dedication and discipline into a program that had none of the above when he got there. Despite tremendous progress off the field, it's progress ON the field that will determine his fate.

So there you have it. The SEC coaches from most-to-least secure entering this season. Keep in mind job security in the SEC is often only as solid as your most recent performance against your most intense rival.

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