Fulmer's record says top 5, but everyone else says, no thanks. He is the dean of SEC coaches and a future Hall of Famer, but he's also going to be 56 at the start of the season and has spent the last 25 years in the same program. Starting over in a brand new town, let alone wearing a color other than orange on the sidelines, would be like asking Teddy Kennedy to adopt the Republican ideology. Plus, Fulmer hasn't exactly been peaking the last couple of seasons. The Vols had their worst season in 17 years in 2005, and David Cutcliffe was brought back to Knoxville to instill a little discipline and structure.
14-Year Record: 128-37 (7-6 in bowl games)
14-Year Record Before He Arrived: 105-52-8 (7-4 in bowl games)
Two SEC coaches show up in Cirminiello's top six, which reads as follows:
1. Pete Carroll, Southern Cal
2. Bob Stoops, Oklahoma
Jeff Tedford, whose California Golden Bears visit Neyland Stadium for Tennessee's 2006 opener, is rated No. 9.
In addition to Richt and Meyer, other SEC coaches mentioned are South Carolina's Steve Spurrier (No. 10), Auburn's Tommy Tuberville (No. 11), LSU's Les Miles (No. 22), Arkansas's Houston Nutt (No. 41) and Alabama's Mike Shula (No. 44).
To view Cirminiello's complete list, go to Collegefootballnews.com and click on the "Top 50 Coaches You'd Hire" link.