Alabama Football: Power ranking all the SEC Football Head Coaches

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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SEC football
Head coach Mike Leach of the Washington State Cougars(Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images) /

No. 8 – Mike Leach – Mississippi State (previous Washington State and Texas Tech

Career Record; 139-90, 60.7 percent

The ‘Pirate’ in StarkVegas seems almost bizarre. But then, Mike Leach fits in better in the Florida Keys than he did in Lubbock, TX or Pullman, WA. He can coach football and he adopted the ‘Air Raid’ approach when some of the guys on this list were children, or not even born.

Along with his quirkiness has been impressive consistency. Neither Texas Tech or Washington State have much of a history of winning. In his 18 seasons at the two schools, Leach had only three losing seasons. Is Mike Leach ready for the SEC and is the SEC ready for him? It will be great fun learning those answers.

No. 7 –  Mark Stoops – Kentucky

Career Record, 44-44; 50 percent

Mark Stoops is given a slight edge over Leach for only one reason. Stoops coaches in Lexington, KY and next to Nashville it is the toughest place in the SEC to play winning football. The recruiting base is even worse than Tennessee. The Wildcats are a legitimate SEC football school but Kentucky is, and always will be, a basketball-first school.

No. 6 – Gus Malzahn – Auburn (previous, Arkansas State)

Career Record, 71-34; 67.6 percent

The former offensive Guru, when offensive lineman could regularly venture five or more yards downfield on pass plays and defenses had no chance to sub, is now an enigma. He is not a bad coach, despite not fully embracing a CEO mentality. His teams can win big games and he has had more success against Nick Saban than anybody. His devotion to his offensive scheme may make sense in this point-crazy time, but his teams have not lost less than four games in a season since 2013.

No. 5 – Kirby Smart – Georgia

Career Record, 44-12, 78.6 percent

Kirby’s win percentage is impressive. His recruiting success has been outstanding. One day he will probably win enough to be considered one of top SEC football coaches, maybe even one of the nation’s top coaches. He is not there yet. He either has to beat Nick Saban or failing that, try to wait him out. He could get two shots at Nick in 2020.