For a decade, the SEC dominated the college football landscape. But now, that no longer seems to be the case.
After winning seven national championships from 2006 to 2015, the SEC has seen a number of its top-tier programs slide. And according to ESPN’s Paul Finebaum, a lot of it has to do with the coaching in the conference.
“It’s time to tell the truth down here. The SEC won six straight national championships and owned college football but it doesn’t anymore,” Finebaum said. “I think a lot of the coaching hires have been very questionable.”
Paul Finebaum agrees with critics that the SEC isn't the powerhouse it once was and offers some perspective into why: pic.twitter.com/eiEjIF5E9d
— Mike & Mike (@MikeAndMike) September 21, 2017
Florida, LSU and Auburn, along with Alabama, were the teams that have won titles since the SEC’s rise to power. But other than Saban and Alabama, it’s hard to say those other three schools have nailed replacing their championship coaches. Florida cycled through Will Muschamp and hasn’t gotten championship-level returns on Jim McElwain. Ed Orgeron didn’t get off to an inspiring start against Mississippi State, and Gus Malzahn has seen Auburn go from an offense powerhouse to a sputtering attack.
Couple those hires with Tennessee being unable to get back to the highs of the Phillip Fulmer era, Kirby Smart going 8-5 in his first year at Georgia and Kevin Sumlin and Bret Bielema underwhelming at Texas A&M and Arkansas, respectively, it’s easy to see Finebaum’s point
While the ACC can boast coaches such as Dabo Swinney, Jimbo Fisher and Bobby Petrino, most fans struggle to identify who the second-best SEC coach is (it’s Dan Mullen at this point, who is 0-8 against Nick Saban and Alabama in his time at Mississippi State).
The SEC may soon be getting new coaching blood if certain programs continue to flounder.
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