Saturday Down South only talks about SEC football, which means at times like these, things can be a little slow. So like most sports sites do in the summer, they put together a little list. Actually, they put together a lot of lists. You could actually just make a list of the lists they made, and it’d still be pretty long. But today’s list goes big: SEC head coaches ranked from top to bottom.
It’s no surprise that (Little) Nicky Saban is at the top. I’m not convinced that man didn’t sell his soul, or at least his personality, to the Devil to achieve this level of success. I’m not saying he did, but c’mon. Look at him. At the bottom, sadly, is Mark Stoops. How can that even be possible, you wonder, with his dynamite offseason that consisted, however briefly, of a #1 ranked recruiting class? Bottom line, he hasn’t coached any games in the SEC. He hasn’t coached any games, period. Not as the head guy. And while everybody’s guessing he’ll do a solid job, there’s just no way to guarantee that without any sample at all.
Here’s the rundown in full:
14. Mark Stoops, Kentucky
Overall record: 0-0
Buzz: Mark Stoops has already made his mark on this league, because he’s penetrating the fertile state of Ohio and bringing SEC-caliber players to Lexington. However, things will get real for the first-time head coach. But coming from Florida State, he knows how to recruit and how to develop a defense. And he has OC Neal Brown to put together an explosive offense. The question isn’t whether Mark Stoops will have success at Kentucky, but rather how long Stoops will stick around Kentucky.
They worked that backhanded compliment in there at the end, you’ll notice. (They redeem themselves a little by calling Neal Brown “one of the sexiest hires” of the offseason. He’s got a good offensive package, too.) Yeah, Stoops will have a measure of success at Kentucky, but will he use that as a “Stooping” stone to land a better job? Hopefully not, and I’m sorry for the awful pun. I had a rough weekend. But coaches remember the first school to hire them on as the head guy, and hopefully,
if when Stoops succeeds, he’ll show the same commitment the University did in promising to upgrade its facilities in pursuit of a respectable football program.
My guess? He’ll stay at the bottom this year, and then move up a few spots, leap-frogging guys like Dan Mullen, Gary Pinkel, and Gus Malzahn. At least, that’s what I hope. The SEC is tough, as well know all too well. But we’ve never had a better offseason, and there’s no reason to think that Stoops will stay at the bottom for long. And then we have the 2014 class to look forward to after that, and as they mature and get better and are thrown in the mix with 2013 and 2015 guys, the future looks very promising, indeed.
So chin up, Mark Stoops and Kentucky fans. This just isn’t all that big a deal. It’ll just make it feel that much better when we start getting those Bowl invites again.