Fricke: 2016 SEC Coaches Hot Seat

My pre-season SEC hot seat rankings. ‘0-10’ ranking Cold-to-Hot.

NO WORRIES
Nick Saban (Alabama) ‘0’ Very few coaches would ever get a zero. Saban is a very few coach

Kirby Smart (Georgia) ‘1’ Since he hasn’t coached a game yet this could, probably will, go up during the season. But he’s an alum with a track record.

Jim McElwain (Florida) ‘1’ His hiring wasn’t the splash some Gators wanted but they are very happy now.

LITTLE ISSUES
Barry Odom (Missouri) ‘3’ This is an unusually high number for a new coach but he is walking onto a campus that is struggling with lots of issues and a fan base that expects an annual contender. This will be an interesting season in Columbia.

Will Muschamp (South Carolina) ‘3’ Muschamp’s track record is shaky and there is no patience in Columbia for how far back of Clemson this program has fallen. There is no appetite for a rebuilding process. He’ll get a year but he has to show signs of putting the Gamecocks on more solid ground soon.

Dan Mullen (Mississippi State) ‘4’ Mullen has done a remarkable job in Starkville. He’s spoiled the Dogs fans into thinking they are going to be a major factor all the time.

Bret Bielema (Arkansas) ‘4’ He’s well liked throughout the state but Hogs fans are notorious for demanding their team be in the mix nationally. Not in trouble but failure to move back into the thick of the west battle and you will start hearing grumbles.

Butch Jones (Tennessee) ‘4’ Time for Butch to deliver in Knoxville. Big Orange fans are demanding to be in the hunt for a spot in the playoff. Bring that and this goes to near zero… fail and the next couple years could get interesting.

GETTING UNCOMFORTABLE
Hugh Freeze (Mississippi) ‘5’ This seems out of place since Freeze has had so much success in Oxford. Still the recent problems of the program have been largely on his watch. Now he has to continue to win big and stay clean at the same time. Fail on either account and this seat becomes white hot fast.

Les Miles (LSU) ‘6’ Stop and consider the off season Ole Miss has suffered through, largely within the Freeze era. He has won big in Oxford but the cost is potentially a high one. Has to keep winning big and stay clean now. Fail on either count and he will be on the real hot seat soon.

OUCH, MY BUTT
Mark Stoops (Kentucky) ‘8’ Lexington is out of rope when it comes to asking ‘when’. Better be soon. Very, very soon

Gus Malzahn (Auburn) ‘9’ Simply put if Auburn goes 2-6 in the league again this year there will be big changes coming on the plains. The War Eagles have talent, lots of it. No excuse not to win 8-9 games.

Kevin Sumlin (Texas A&M) ‘9’ Was a time just a couple years ago he was so hot a coach the letters NFL swirled around him. Has to win bigger right now. Has to take advantage of the Baylor fiasco to reclaim lost recruiting ground in the state.

Derek Mason (Vanderbilt) ’10’ This is what happens when a fan base that isn’t used to winning suddenly has a hot team that nearly as suddenly reverts back to being who they used to be. Vandy is in danger of losing contact with the contenders in the east.

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