SEC hot-seat coaches

Originally published on Dennis Dodd of recently posted his annual rankings of all the NCAA football coaches in terms of job security. They're titled "2005 Hot Seat Ratings," and, as always, they provide great fodder for heated debate.

The ratings are based on a scale of 0-0.5 (can't be touched), 1-1.5 (very safe), 2-2.5 (safe), 3-3.5 (on the bubble), 4-4.5 (warm seat) and 5 (hot seat).

Dodd issues just one 5.0 rating (Rutgers' Greg Schiano) and three 4s. None of the 12 Southeastern Conference coaches is rated higher than 3.0 but three SEC bosses got 3s -- Kentucky's Rich Brooks, Alabama's Mike Shula and Vanderbilt's Bobby Johnson.

Frankly, I strongly disagree with all three of those picks. Brooks should be a 4.5. His Big Blue program has gotten progressively worse since he succeeded Guy Morriss, and I thought Brooks would be canned following the 2004 season. Johnson deserves to be a 4.0. Granted, Vandy's a tough place to win, but he went 2-9 last fall with a team that returned 21 starters from the previous season. As for Shula, he should be a 2.0, not a 3.0. The pressure to win at Bama is enormous but Shula has done a very good job, considering the awful mess he inherited and the glut of key injuries he's had to overcome.

On the other end of the spectrum, Dodd gives five SEC coaches perfect 0.0 ratings -- Tennessee's Phillip Fulmer, Georgia's Mark Richt, plus first-year coaches Steve Spurrier (South Carolina), Ed Orgeron (Ole Miss) and Urban Meyer (Florida). Oddly enough, first-year LSU coach Les Myles gets a 1.0. Dodd gives near-perfect 0.5 ratings to Auburn's Tommy Tuberville and Mississippi State's Sylvester Croom. Arkansas head man Houston Nutt gets a 1.5.

Although I think Dodd's in the ballpark on this second group of coaches, I'd give Myles a 0.0, Richt a 1.0, Tuberville a 1.0, Nutt a 1.0 and Croom a 2.0.

To recap, here's how Dodd ranks the 12 SEC coaches in terms of job security:

0.0 Spurrier (S. Carolina)
0.0 Orgeron (Ole Miss)
0.0 Meyer (Florida)
0.0 Richt (Georgia)
0.0 Fulmer (Tennessee)
0.5 Tuberville (Auburn)
0.5 Croom (Miss. State)
1.0 Myles (LSU)
1.5 Nutt (Arkansas)
3.0 Shula (Alabama)
3.0 Brooks (Kentucky)
3.0 Johnson (Vandy) Top Stories