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SHOWDOWN: TAKE YOUR PICK

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The Southeastern Conference is without question the top conference in college football. This point has become essentially unarguable in recent years with the descent to mediocrity of the Big Ten, and the black hole that is the ACC. At the forefront of the conference’s surge to dominance are the men who roam the conference’s sidelines. The SEC boasts perhaps the most prolific collection of coaches in the history of college football. Of the conference’s twelve coaches, five have won national titles. (Spurrier, Fulmer, Saban, Miles and Meyer.) Another, Auburn’s Tommy Tuberville, was robbed of an opportunity to play for a title in 2004 despite running the gauntlet of an SEC schedule without a blemish. Two others, Mark Richt and Bobby Petrino, have won BCS games during seasons of 12 victories. Even the traditionally moribund programs are led by coaches with impressive pedigrees. Ole Miss’s Houston Nutt took Arkansas to the SEC title game on more than one occasion. Kentucky’s Rich Brooks led then-lowly Oregon to the Rose Bowl, and has led the Cats to back to back bowl victories. Vandy’s Bobby Johnson led Furman to the 1-AA National Title Game, and Mississippi State’s Sylvester Croom was last season’s SEC Coach of the Year. A full one-third of the head men in the conference have experience as head coaches in the NFL. An impressive list of resumes to be sure, but the overall coaching acumen of the group is miniscule when compared to the unparalleled magnitude of arrogance that emanates from the select few coaches in the conference who are truly insufferable. Thus, the question of the day. Who is the biggest jerk among SEC coaches?

THE CANDIDATES:

Steve Spurrier:
Credentials: Although Coach Superior has been brought down a peg or two with his very public NFL failure and his annual beatings at the hands of Vandy, he remains the Jackie Robinson of this competition, blazing a trail of obnoxiousness for the new generation of arrogant jerks like Meyer and Petrino. Some career highlights include throwing bombs in fourth quarter beatdowns, ala 73-7 and 65-0 outings by the Cats at the swamp on consecutive occasions, and answering critics of his run-it-up tactics with: “it’s our job to score, their job to stop us.” With this, as well as his constant media barrage against Fat Phil, (“can’t spell Citrus without UT”), Spurrier is a first ballot lock to the pomposity hall of fame.

Bobby Petrino:
Credentials: Coach Petrino revealed his character in his very first game as a head coach, calling a timeout in the waning seconds to tack on a meaningless touchdown against the Cats at Commonwealth. Petrino’s sideline behavior, however, pales in his comparison to his true calling card; a total lack of loyalty or honesty. It began at Louisville, where Petrino conducted a cloak and dagger runway meeting with Auburn to potentially take the job of former employer and perpetual class act Tommy Tuberville. Petrino then totally denied that the meeting took place until it became apparent he was lying, then said he was “young” and didn’t know any better. Through the rest of Petrino’s tenure at Louisville, he flirted like a middle schooler with every job that came open, only to then publicly state his eternal devotion to U of L….until he left suddenly to coach the Falcons. Petrino then trumped even his own record by jumping that sinking ship in the middle of his first season, after telling the owner two days before that he wouldn’t, and ultimately resurfacing at Arkansas. Petrino may well be the front runner here, although we may have to get a ruling from the judges. I think that his performance may have been medically aided, as there are unsubstantiated rumors that Petrino underwent experimental surgery to remove the gene that causes other humans to experience shame.

Phil Fulmer:
Credentials: Phil is a sneaky one. His demeanor is much more jovial and “aww shucks” than the rest of the candidates. However, despite this, Phil presides over what may be the sleaziest program in the league. Phil’s teams have produced such luminaries as NFL running backs Jamal Lewis, who sometimes moonlights as a narcotics trafficker, and Travis Henry, who has fathered 26% of all American children between the ages of 1 and 10. Not to mention Leonard Little, who does not receive the good driver discount from Farm Bureau. On top of this, Phil has turned in chief rival Alabama for recruiting violations. This violates not only the time honored gentlemen’s code, but also the landmark NCAA case of Pot v. Kettle, 1952.

Urban Myer:
Credentials: If we could only harness the power of Urban Myer’s ego, America’s energy problems would be a thing of the past. Although there have been a few on-the-field eyebrow raisers (kicking a meaningless field goal at the buzzer against Miami to beat the spread), Saint Urban’s primary hope in this competition rests on his supreme arrogance. With every sound bite, it is clear that Myer is 100% confident that he is infallible. What is really infuriating is that he is frequently right, as seen by his record at Bowling Green, Utah and Florida. His whining in the wake of the Georgia game last year further cemented his holier than thou reputation.

Les Miles:
Credentials: See Urban Myer. They are essentially the same guy. Both having stockpiled ridiculous talent, and both ruling their respective divisions with an iron fist. Like Myer, Miles’ ego is enormous. (Some say it can be seen from space.) Miles’ ego often exhibits itself in his play calling, where he demonstrates that he is so confident that he can essentially throw out the coaching handbook, go for it on every fourth down, and still win. (Seems to me I remember one time it didn’t work for you last year, right Lessy?) Could also be given points for his flirting with Michigan last season during his run to the national championship.

Nick Saban:
Credentials: Saban combines the disloyalty and dishonesty of Petrino with the warm and loving personality of Bill Belichick. Throughout the course of his previous coaching stops at Michigan State, LSU and the Miami Dolphins, he perpetually searched for greener pastures. Green being the operative word. Most recently, he angrily told the Miami press he had absolutely no interest in the Alabama job before taking said job about five minutes later. Saban makes up for this absolute lack of integrity by having the personality of the average cactus. Miscellaneous note number one: When his name is spell checked, the second correction that comes up is “Satan.” Miscellaneous note number two: Saban is updating his resume on Monster.Com as we speak.

There you have it. The titanic clash of abhorrent dirt bags who run the conference. Now, I want to hear from the comments. Who is the biggest jerk? Whose failures do you most revel in? Feel free to write in any other SEC candidate I failed to profile. May the best man win.

Article written by Duncan Cavanah