As the Southeastern Conference makes it way through spring practice sessions, it’s time to take an interesting look to see which coaches are the safest as they sit on their thrones.
- Nick Saban, Alabama: I think his chair might be bronze or gold, or named after him.
- Jim McElwain, Florida: Back-to-back title games is OK by Gators standards, but taking that next step back toward national prominence will be key.
- Dan Mullen, Mississippi State: He could have left (about 10 times) but he stayed. They love him in Starkville for that. Oh, and winning.
- Ed Orgeron, LSU: Only because he gets a pass for this season. But check back on this list next year. He could smell smoke very, very quickly.
- Mark Stoops, Kentucky: Sure UK fans would like to be better. But contending for a moment in the East late last season and beating Louisville? He’s good for now.
- Will Muschamp, South Carolina: Whatever he was at Florida, is not what he did the first year in Columbia. Maybe this is the spot for him.
- Derek Mason, Vanderbilt: He was dead coach walking to start last season, but he beat Georgia and Tennessee and made a bowl.
Hey, what happened to that cool seat?
- Kirby Smart, Georgia: Yes there is grumbling about tough losses last season and under-performance in Athens. He has to produce, but no one is calling for his head. Yet.
- Gus Malzahn, Auburn: Getting hammered at the Sugar Bowl didn’t help. He needs his new quarterback (if it’s not his old QB) to produce now. Auburn has talent and the faithful are sick of their in-state rivals.
- Bret Bielema, Arkansas: It’s fair to say Hog fans are not the most patient bunch. They like him but they are growing restless too.
- Barry Odom, Missouri: Might not be his fault he inherited a bit of a mess, but it’s his to own right now.
- Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M: Here we go again with Sumlin. Another fade at the finish might do him in.
- Butch Jones, Tennessee: Last year was supposed to be “The Year.” It wasn’t. This year had better be. It’s likely not.
- Hugh Freeze, Ole Miss: Freeze is melting under the fire. How does he even still have this job?
On Freeze. He’s beaten Alabama couple of times. He’s won big bowl games. But the NCAA hasn’t weighed in yet. So there could be more penalties coming. And Freeze has to win, right now and big time.