The SEC has never been more Nick Saban’s domain than it is now. When I started this series two years ago, there were three other coaches in the conference who had the talent to stand in Saban’s company, but they’re all gone now. Steve Spurrier retired unceremoniously in the middle of the season in 2015 after his South Carolina juggernaut faltered. Mark Richt didn’t last much longer. The Bulldog coach was fired for going 9-3 but not winning the SEC East as expected. Les Miles came within a hair of dismissal in 2015 to complete the hat trick, but a heated standoff between the coach/players/fans and the administrators/boosters earned him a short reprieve. Miles was fired before the end of September last year following two early season losses. In less than a year, Nick Saban was relieved of his biggest competition in the conference. The best new head coaches in the league appear to have plateaued in terms of potential and in Hugh Freeze’s case might doom his program to NCAA sanctions. Saban now has free reign to run this league with impunity. Until he retires, it’s only gonna get worse for the rest of the conference. Really, I should end this list now with numbers 1-14 being Saban. He’s that far ahead of the competition. The #2 coach in this conference is about as close to Saban as the #14 coach is to him.
I’m not trying to bang the drum for Saban this much, but it’s something I’ve noticed over the years and I think the SEC is weaker now than it has been in a while because of it. But let’s get down to business, there are 14 schools in this conference after all, let’s assess how the coaches have been doing.